Thursday, July 5, 2007

This post looks like it sucks. Therefore, it sucks.

Today I was reminded of a segment on Daily Planet (oh shut up, science snobs) about how visual perception changes taste. For instance, from a large sample of people, they found that a brownie served on a napkin was opined to taste worse than an identical one served on a plate with a fork. That was mildly interesting, but the craziest demonstration involved yogurt. They sat someone down, and told her that they wanted to determine which of the two strawberry yogurts presented in front of her had a more authentic strawberry flavour. They blindfolded her, but before allowing her to taste them, they switched the yogurt for vanilla yogurt mixed with a small amount of chocolate sauce. Lo and behold, she had a very strong opinion about how authentic the strawberry flavour was, and made detailed comments about the subtleties of the flavour. And there was absolutely no strawberry flavour there! They repeated the experiment with several people, and everyone tasted strawberry. It's interesting how one sense can so strongly influence another. Maybe it's why people still find their spouses attractive as they age.

Speaking of visual media with the word "planet" in the title, if anyone's thinking of buying me a five-month-early birthday present, may I suggest Planet Earth, one of these David Attenborough mega-eco-documentaries. It would be fun to rent out an OMNIMAX(apparently now called IMAX Dome to watch it, but I'd settle for my apartment. Or maybe we could screen it at the department as a fundraiser, or substitute it for yet another boring HIV talk.

No comments: