The drowned fly goes past every two minutes

I like to think that even when I was a small child, I would have viewed a chocolate fountain with grave mistrust.

I mean, is there a filtration stage in one of those things?

Without such a filter (which, if not very large, would surely enormously impede the flow of the high-viscosity pseudo-chocolate liquid), anything that lands on the chocolate while it's flowing over the large surface area of the fountain is, I think, pretty much there to stay.

Until someone eats it, of course.

I regret to say that I might, as a small child, have seriously countenanced the idea of finding a cigarette butt and flicking it surreptitiously into the fountain.

I'm certainly thinking about it now.

(This may, or may not, be an example of the security mindset.)

13 Responses to “The drowned fly goes past every two minutes”

  1. Mohonri Says:

    There generally is a filter, but only for bulk solids. The holes are 3mm or so. It's not there to keep anything clean, it's just to keep dropped fruit and such from getting into the pump and stopping (best-case) or ruining (worst-case) it.

    Exercising the security mindset (as mentioned in the second link) is actually a very good mental exercise, particularly for those of us stuck in boring, brain-dead jobs. Perhaps it comes from watching too many heist movies, or too much tv crime shows, but it's rather entertaining to mentally plan out the perfect bank robbery. How to avoid detection beforehand, how to actually execute it, how to avoid the dye-pack explosion, how to get away, how to "prove" I was elsewhere at the time if I were suspected, how to spend the money without raising suspicion (that's a bigger challenge than it might seem), etc.

    I think there's a related concept that arises inadvertently among FPS gamers. I occasionally find myself analyzing a real-life area, trying to work out where the best place would be to set up a sentry gun (ala Team Fortress 2), or where I would camp if I were a sniper.

  2. Daniel Rutter Says:

    My readers clearly know, in case you thought otherwise, everything.

    (So a cigarette butt dropped into a chocolate fountain would actually just stop at the pump filter, where you couldn't see it. And the chocolate would keep flowing past it. And past it. And past it. Over and over again.)

    I think the security mindset is actually the result of being temperamentally inclined towards vandalism, but too intelligent to be able to discharge one's urges by merely slashing the seats on buses.

    I, too, find myself thinking about everyday locations as potential FPS/paintball/psycho-massacre arenas.

    Shopping malls, I find, in particular.

  3. pittance Says:

    I think it's a fair bet that, for whatever you could imagine dropping in there'll be somebody, somewhere who will consider it a delicacy (Mmm chocolate coated...)

    Mind you they sell _crates_ of these in a supermarket we go to and I've often found myself wondering about the practicalities of owning one: How do you clean them? _Do_ you clean them? What happens when they get cold?

    The idea of that much stuff that looks, to my uneducated aerospace-engineer-who-dropped-biology-at-the-first-chance eyes, like a fantastically good medium for growing nasties in makes me feel a little itchy...

  4. Coderer Says:

    @Dan: Surely, I'm not the only one who made a rough model of their house as their first Half Life map? Right?

  5. Mr. Peepers Says:

    After reading the linked article, I want to send ants to my previous employer. Hmmm.

  6. chronoso Says:

    surely this is related to the "hacker" mindset in as much as the "i enjoy taking things apart to see how they work" mindset which..makes me wonder why it would be atypical of engineering mindsets

  7. FuzzyPlushroom Says:

    Hey... let's all send Dan ants...

  8. corinoco Says:

    @ Dan: Many moons ago a certain university allowed me to be an Architectural Design tutor (bwhahahaha!), which allowed me to ask undergraduates: "Where would you put a machine-gun nest in this design? How would you repel an infantry attack? What is the best spot for an ambush?" Only for the expresions on students faces, and those of my fellow tutors.

    My current real-world design does not have machine-gun nests, but DOES have a dedicated pyrotechnics deployment platform. Oh, and an eyrie for sea-eagles.

    And back on topic: walking through QVB yesterday, my fiance looks at a chocolate fountain and says "How do you know that is clean? What happens when they turn it off? Won't cockroaches get into it?"

    Crunchy Frog, anyone?

  9. phrantic Says:

    This is by far the most aptly-named blog on the internet.

  10. Daniel Rutter Says:

    I think I speak for all of us when I say, "Phrantic has delicious-looking veins."

    Re the usefulness of the flowing chocolate as a growth medium for whatever microorganisms happen to find themselves there, it strikes me that "proper" chocolate fountains may operate at a high enough temperature - at least when the chocolate flows past the heating element - that they keep themselves effectively sterile.

    The "home" sort of chocolate fountain doesn't necessarily run that hot, though. When the "chocolate" is really just chocolate-flavoured vegetable oil, it could easily be heated only to a very nice growing temperature for bacteria.

  11. Stark Says:

    Yeah, the home versions don't get very hot at all. You don't want guests with burned tongues after all. My own experience with these (couple of holiday fondue parties at friends places - its a weird tradition) is that they don't last long enough to become a bacterial issue. Though, if they did sit about for awhile I would be rather frightened of what could grow due to the intrusion of the fingers of the less sanitary of my acquantances. Licking the chocolate off of ones fingers after completely ignoring the fondue forks provided for dipping your item of choice and then returning to the fountain with same said fingers was enough to convince me not to even sample the goods. I stuck instead to the cheese and hot oil fondues - both of which were hot enough to do serious damage to anybody foolish enough to stick their fingers in them.

  12. Stark Says:

    Oh, almost forgot: Phrantic veins.... yum.... ;)

  13. RichVR Says:

    Wow. I didn't know that there was a legit term for the way I think about the world. I have to show that to the girlfriend. Security mindset. Cool.

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