Saturday, January 14, 2012

The vulgar boil, the learned roast, an egg

I tend to be interested in geeky type stuff, you might go so far as to say I'm an egghead,  so please indulge me while I get a little excited about a nerdy topic.

It all started when I read or heard about how it was hard to make a good soft boiled egg in recent years due to the thinning of eggshells in eggs laid by domestic fowl.  Apparently, the top of a shell simply doesn’t break cleanly and the soft boiled eggs end up with unpleasant crunchy bits inside the ooey gooey nomminess.

For the past half of a century or so, there is an ongoing controversy over the effects of the pesticide DDT and bird eggshell thinning which was causing bird populations to diminish dangerously.  I'm not going to get into the science or politics of this issue . . . 

it's complicated and technical to the point of eyes crossing and cranial eggsplosions . . . it may be important to study but OMG so boooooooooooring.

During my brief exploration of the subject, I did an internet search on the thickness of eggshells and came across an interesting . . . to me . . . article.  So, I am sharing it with y'all.

Well, someone with more brainpower than me and too much time on their hands actually figured it out.    Relatively speaking . . . the egg wins.  Proportionally, an eggshell is 3 to 4 times thicker than the earth’s crust.  That deserves an ovation.


Okay so here’s the math . .  .

Typical poultry eggshell thickness = approximately 0.35 mm
Average egg diameter = 50 mm (2 inches)
The ratio of these values is (0.35/50) = (7/1000).

On average the Earth’s crust = approximately 25 km
The Earth’s diameter = 12800 km
The ratio comes out to (25/12800) = (2/1000).

7/1000 vs 2/1000 . . . even I can do that math.

The vulgar boil, the learned roast, an egg.
Alexander Pope

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