Sugar & Irony

Just finished the recipe for Digestive Biscuits which i baked three days ago. So now I’m just sitting here, I’m “ill” today… was freezing and sweating at the same time yesterday and I almost fell asleep during the half math-lesson (not because of the teacher this time). I decided this was best, since we have a biology exam tomorrow and I’m not very prepared. ~I’ll be studying today 🙂

Other than that, I’ve started reading about sugar – which is a part of everyone’s daily life nowadays. It is very well-written and  easy to understand, even if you’re a novice in the subject. The author of the book (Sockerdetektiven hittar vägen till bättre mat / The sugar detective finds the way to better food) is a swedish nutritionist and health pedagogue by the name Maj Östberg Rundquist. Her aim is (translated into english by me) this:

“I want to contribute to increasing the interest in good food. The more you learn about how food affects health, the easier it is to choose healthy foods over food with questionable ingredients and low nutritive content. ” – Maj Östberg Rundquist

When reading her book I get icy shivers every now and then – because even though I know more than the average 17-year-old about food, I didn’t know things like ~Examplia gratia; That they dyed sugar with blue colour so that it get that snowy white colour. It is so damn unneccessary! I will return to this subject when I’ve read a bit more of this wonderful book, in the meanwhile – you can go check out the webpage belonging to her book, here.

But there is also irony in this – because I’ve been posting so many sugary recipes lately and I just started my day with a glass of chocolate oat milk, which contains sugar… But! You have to take things “with a pinch of salt”, baking is so much fun! 😀

// SockFusion

Emission Spectrometry

Tomorrow I’ll be doing a small presentation about this analytical method in chemistry class. We’ll be doing presentations in small groups, so it’s not really a big thing. But – never, ever underestimate things! Therefore I’ll be presenting it to you first! Explaining things to someone else helps you learn it yourself, that’s why discussing the subject with your classmates is a great thing to do before exams etc. ~Here we go!

When a the light-beam goes through the prism it splits in different wavelengths (see below) which is shown in different colours, in reality too.

Emission Spectrometry

There are many analytical methods, both because there are many things to analyse and because there sometimes are different ways to get the same (or almost same) results. Before we go on, we’ll ourselves analyse something – the name of this method. The middle part, “spectro-”  comes from the word “spectra”, which gives us the hint that this is about light. The first part, “emission” is what you could call the opposite of “absorbtion”, instead of something getting soaked up we have something leaving from somewhere. The third part, “-metry” indicates that we are measuring something. So what result did we get, analysing this?

“Measurement of emitted light-thingy”

Seems easy, but it is a bit more complicated than that. Examplia Gratia; we cannot call ourselves chemists (or physicists for that matter) when calling something “light-thingy”. I’ll answer some questions…

Q: What is light?

A: Light is electromagnetic radiation – energy being transported. It can be described as a particulate flow or wave phenomenon. Either way, emitted light flows from the source, in the “shape” of so-called photons. Photons are tiny tiny particles which are generated e.g. when the electronic structure of atoms or molecules is changed.

There are also different kinds of light. The type of light depends on which wavelength it has. There are light which we can not see with just our eyes, light with very low wavelength, so-called ultra-violet light, light with very high wavelength, so-called infra-red light and the so-called black light. Between ultra-violet and infra-red is the light which we can see. This light has different colours, depending on what wavelength it has.

Q: How do we measure light?

A: Light can measured it by wavelength. The wavelength is the distance between two peaks (crests) or two lows (throughs), its unit is either meters with a prefix (very small distances) or “Angstrom” which was introduced by the swedish physicist Anders Jonas Ångström. Intensity, (which shouldn’t be called brightness) is simply the height from the “zero-point” of the wave, the so-called equilibrium, to the highest point of the wave. Also called, Amplitude – if you’ve studied sine waves. It can also be measured in hertz, which tells the frequencythe number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. The shorter wavelength, the higher frequency, vice versa.

We can either measure the wavelength of the emitted light or the intensity of it. But what’s really studied when using this method is atoms and molecules – not just “simple” light. Which of the two things measured depends on if we want to know quality or quantity.

  • Quality is what something is made out of.
  • Quantity is how much there is of something.

Q: Why are we interested in the wavelength?

A: Well, by knowing the wavelength we know what kind of light it is. But there’s something more to this, energy levels.

When I say “energy levels”, I of course have to explain further (if you’re not a genius :)). To make it easier – we’ll use an example with a simple atom. As I suppose, when you’ve read this much – you know what an atom is built of, (nucleus containing positive protons and neutral neutrons this surrounded by a ‘cloud’ made of negative electrons). Though, there is an other way of picturing the atom – the Bohr model. Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics for which he received the Nobel prize in physics in 1922. He improved earlier models of the atom, saying that every atom has a certain number of electron orbitals and that each electron orbital has a particular energy level.

Q: Why are we talking about energy levels?

A: When energy, (either thermal, resulting from collision, or radiational, resulting from absorption of electromagnetic radiation), is applied to an atom, it can (if a sufficient amount) “lift” an electron from its ground state to a higher state. Which means that it’ll move to a shell more far from the nucleus. This is called excitation – the electron gets excited and is in an excited state! Though, the new structure is very unstable and decays rapidly, the electron quickly jumps down to its ground state again. When it does, the energy that took it to the outer shell is emitted again, as photons – light. Depending on what element the atom is – we’ll get different kinds of light. Different meaning difference in wavelength, colour!

This is why we are interested in measuring the wavelength – by doing that, we can get to know what stuff is made of.

Q: What about intensity then?

A: In simple terms you could call ‘intensity’ brightness, but this is not completely correct. See, intensity – measured in luminance depends both on the emitted light and the area absorbing it. What we can say is, that by measuring the intensity, we can determine the concentration of an element. Higher concentration of a specific element in say, a star – emits light with a higher intensity of the light with the specific wavelength for that element.

I won’t explain the procedure in detail since it is hard to find information about it and much of the sources are quite confusing. This because spectroscopy which is the basis for emission spectrometry is a common search-result. There are some differences.

Q: What is it used for then?

A: As you’re told, we can determine what things are made out of with this method. Mankind has had (and still has) good usage  of this method. It is the most commonly used procedure for the measurement of trace elements in rocks, water, soil, manufactured goods and biological specimens. Daily usage, all over the world. What has brought us even more is perhaps the use of it regarding astronomy. It is one thing to understand the planet we’re living on, touching, but how about really knowing what the little sparkling points in the night sky are made of? We can, with emission spectrometry (and a bigger brain than I have perhaps), from the light the stars emit towards us, even though they are light-years away – determine what they are made of!

Isn’t it amazing?

Yours, a tired SockFusion, head full of Physics & Chemistry

Crescent Apple Bay

Remember I hailed my old bike a while ago? Well, a week ago it broke… I’m not sad though – it’s like when you have an old relative who’s ill… you know it’s going to happen. So when it happens you don’t act as shocked as you really are.

This bike has been my grandmothers sisters husbands bike. They owned a little store, where they sold bikes, miniature train-tracks and a lot of other things, stacked in wooden boxes, I’m told. Tough that was at least 30 years ago my mum says (but I believe it’s almost 40! since she said she used to play there and she’s 54 now!). From what I can hear (which is an awful screeching sound) when I’m riding the bike… I think a ‘layer’ broke (it’s called ‘lager’ in swedish). It can be fixed if there are ‘layers’ to fit in a 40/30-yearold bike today, because it has to be replaced. Or, I’ll say goodbye to this old rusty thing and buy a new one – as any member of the consumer-soceity would…

I need a bike, Crescent* does make good bikes – they always have, as we can see looking at my old bike (it was a Crescent). The real sport-bikes, mountain-bikes are way too expensive (we’re talking about Nikishi and stuff). But a few days ago, I sat in the car with mum, we stopped at a red light and across the zebra crossing came someone, (I think there were someone but I didn’t pay attention to that because…) that someone rode something which I instantly fell in love with. It was a Crescent bike, of course. I looked it up this morning and obviously this marvelous thing is called  “Crescent Apple Bay“, I even love the name! Apples are one of my favourites! – Have eaten an apple a day for weeks now! (didn’t keep the doctor away though).

It goes at a decent price – 4000-6000 SEK, (560-840 USD at the moment) though it IS money which I don’t have… but instead I have a neat father… might help…

Sorry, page in Swedish only!

Look at it! They’ve mixed that sky-tiny-purple-blue colour with daffodil-yellow!! The thing I like the most is … the thing at the front.. which I don’t know what to call in english .. but it makes it a ‘paket-cykel’** (parcel-bike)! 

** In Swedish, the word bike is translated; Cykel.

Yours, SockFusion – off to school!

Brussel Bickies & Apple Chips

Since writing down the recipes and editing the pictures has taken so much time – I will now write about yesterday when it is almost morning … today! (No, it is not because I have to – it is because I WANT to…)

Yesterday (I wish I could say today) I woke up, awkwardly early for being on a weekend at 8 o’clock. Had some breakfast and started doing my homework. (Yes, you did read what you just read). Math, of course with all the sinus, theorems and formulas. It feels good when you’ve read a little more and finally understand things… Though, my head will still be spinning when my teacher is explaining something in class since he’s explaining new things when nobody’s done with the last thing he spoke about. Well well..

After a bit of math I spontaneously looked up a recipe for apple chips, went downstairs to the kitchen and put some in the oven (they were in there for 3 hours so I meanwhile I did homework). I still don’t know why.. but I did, and they were awesome! I also re-roasted my muesli..

For some reason, I didn’t eat lunch.. Instead I ate dinner 10 hours after breakfast… hm, broccoli included!

Later, I started baking – Brussel Bickies! And ate some, accompanied by apple and my obsession – Oat milk . The biscuits were done by 12 pm yesterday and I’ve been sitting here since.. just writing and stuff… XD

ok, the birds are starting to sing now and I think it is getting light outside… I better get to bed, 3,5 more hours and I’ve been awake for 24 hours… hehe

Yours, SockFusion

To me, a day off is…

… a day off – of course! But to my teachers, it is a day to study extra hard. That includes weekends and vacations. Sometimes, I just don’t agree with the education system, I mean – if we’re given so much homework and there’s so many exams planned that we have to study late at nights and on vacations and weekends to get good grades… How can they expect us to be awake and ALERT during the lessons?

It is an eternal struggle, exemplia gratia; Math!

  • In order to understand what my math teacher* says during the lessons I have to study at home
  • In order to be able to study at home I first have to understand what my teacher said during the lesson

In the beginning of the year, when we don’t have that much homework, things are fine. But then they give us more and more, eventually we have to prioritize the subjects that we aren’t allowed to fail and the subjects we’d rather study and been really good at – has to suffer. This means that we’ll get at least decent grades in the subjects we have to pass but we don’t get the high grades in the subjects we like and could have gotten really good at. Everything is rushed… students are being wornout since the teachers have expectations but doesn’t give us the right amount of time!

* But… it doesn’t really matter if I’m awake or not when listening to my math teacher – nobody ever understands what he says anyway…

So, today was a day off to me. I ate breakfast (flatbread! flatbread!) at 8 o’clock, not half past five as usual, watched some tv and surfed the web. I told myself yesterday to study – but a day off obviously inevitably IS a day off… Around two o’clock I went to Malmö with my mum, to pick up my sisters (they still had to go to school hehe…) and buy some shoes. Also, my little sisters friends mum (connections!) is a physiotherapist and she had offered to take a look at my knee! So she did and she said there was a lot of gnarls in my muscles… therefore she massaged it. It hurt, A LOT . So now it feels like my thigh/crural and knee has been hit by something… like a… physiotherapist. It feels like a big big bruise and it smells tiger balm/liniment. But! It does feel better, not as rickety anymore!

After some kneading we went food-shopping and I got THE LAST OAT MILK IN THE WHOLE STORE! *phew* I was lucky… I also got a free pack of bread… hehe (coupon). We went home and ate wheel-macaroni and mincemeat sauce (very common dish among swedish families with children). After that I tried roasting some muesli… unfortunately.. I should have added more syrup – which I don’t want to because it makes it unhealthy… But! I could eat it as ‘dessert’ with fruit then! healthy dessert!

If I make a good muesli – I’ll put up a recipe here  

Oh! Almost forgot! When I sat in front of my desk, surfing the web I heard something twitter and saw this little fellow… He/she is a Eurasian Tree Sparrow (“Pilfink” in swedish)… Wish it was a Blue Tit (“Blåmes” in swedish) though since they’re so cute..

Yours, SockFusion 

Sunny soon? (Bit of a “note to self”)

I have a few things to deal with, before things can be “sunny”. I am not feeling all too very well, I’m tired most of the time. People have suggested that I’m eating too little – but if anything, I’m eating normal amounts of food – sometimes even too much. I ate a WHOLE pizza yesterday!** My hair is also not good, every time I brush it, some comes off**. It is not as I have bare spots or anything, but it feels thinner than before. And I have dandruff… so damn annoying! It is actually acting so stupid.. I have had my hair in a ponytail for at least half a year now. And then there is my knee… and a verruca (sounds better than wart) on my left foot – ugh! I feel so damn.. old? Like a witch? Something like that… I have to do something about these things…

  • Both the tiredness and thingy with my hair can be a lack of vitamin B (Especially B5). Even though I eat vegetables, fish, and everything – I can still have a lack of it. You never know since the body is such a complex machinery, vitamin deficiency can have MANY strange symptoms. Since vitamin B (at least B6 or B5) is water-soluble* and not fat soluble*, I might as well eat some extra – since I can’t get too much of it. Had some “bjäst”-pills lying around, which is.. yeast and some other substances (riboflavin, folic acid etc.). I also found a box of “Hårkontroll” which is supposed to be good for your hair and nails, these contain some extra minerals. The only bad thing is that they both contain vitamin B3 which I shouldn’t overdose – but we’ll see…
  • Since the school nurse told me, I’ll go to the doctor soon and find out what’s wrong with my hair…
  • When I’m there I will ask them about my knee as well. Until then, all I can do is.. continue my limping… and being enormously irritated since I can’t exercise.
  • And, I will go downstairs now – to take a pumice stone and rasp that ‘verruca’ as we called it…

* I’d say this is the basics about vitamins – if it is water-soluble you can hardly overdose it since the abundance will come out together with other water (like… wee-wee). But if a vitamin is fat soluble, it can be stored in your fat tissue and the amounts of it will only increase (if you are overdosing).

** I think I’ll have to explain, that I’m not anorexic. I am not starving myself or anything – because that often leads to vitamin deficiency and alopecia (and tiredness of course).

 // SockFusion, who is tired of the eternal ponytail…

Drama

Despite the title, we’ll begin with the slightly “calmer” news.

  • I’m free from school tomorrow! (A thing that only makes me and the rest of the people in my class happy, but still.. shared happiness is a little bit greater?) And… I still have a ton of homework to ‘machete’ my way through or something…
  • Ate dinner with dad and sisters today , although I’m still a bit frightened of pizza.. because of one particular ‘incident’ a few months ago… (believe me when I say.. you don’t want to know…) I actually ate some today – Aaand I also had some.. Panna cotta – for the first time ever! 0_o It was good, but I think I can make a better one, hehe… will be one of my projects to come ;P
  • Last week I ran too much, which resulted in this terrible pain in my left knee. Just a month left to the 5 km race in school! I have to improve my time, but things aren’t looking very good right now.. School nurse told me to go see a doctor :/
  • I’m obsessed with oat milk . I really really like the flavour of it, since it reminds me of the milk that’s left when you’ve eaten some sugary muesli or something (granola/crunchy/start…). And I like oats. I believe this is one of my benefits, just as I like broccoli and dislike hamburgers, sponge-cake and low-quality chocolate… those things are impossible for me to eat…

And then there’s the ‘DRAMA’ of todays post… which is a video. I can’t tell you anything else about it. Just watch it… because it is just simply AMAZING.. I wish I was there…

Well, good night to you all – I’ll try to get some of the sleep I missed last night .. and the night before that.. >_>

// SockFusion 

Baking ^_____^

So today I was baking – again. This time, a little healthier. I woke up at 10 am but I wasn’t hungry (you know why if you read my last post). So I decided to wait and started to bake at 12 am, – swedish tunnbröd (click for the recipe). It took me at least two hours and afterwards I took pictures for the recipe. I ended up eating my “breakfast” at 6 pm… – this really proves how much I ate yesterday XD. Anyhow, the pictures turned out great and the tunnbröd tasted awesomely – much better than the kind you buy in the stores, which is powdered with preservatives and stuff. 

Yours, SockFusion 

Ouch, my belly!

Today my mum invited some friends for dinner, so I vacuumcleaned the whole living room. Then we ate massive amounts of salmon (both smoked and pan-fried), avocado, roe sauce, everything. A few hours later, my sister baked her famous mudcake and some meringues. I couldn’t eat any of it (I’m allergic to egg) so I baked some oatmeal cookies. We ate these things with banana, icecream, cream.. ugh – I try not to think about food right now because I’m so damn full of it my belly hurts! 

Though somehow I surfed the web and ended up finding this video of some people making a cake. Compared to what I do – this is set in a complete other dimension of baking and confection… Have a look!

Yours, resting from food-attack, SockFusion (in pain)

Hash = Pot = Kettle

I’m really fond of Skype, MSN messenger still has its icon in my menu – but I never use it anymore. Probably because nobody else does either and what’s the point with being online if no one else is?

I talk to various people, some whom I’ve known for years, others that I’ve never even met in real life! We write a lot of stuff, both quick sayings and longer, deeper stories. People* say that computers are not a “real” way of communicating – but I think it is – it is just different from what they know. Heard that the police has started  interviewing witnesses through chatting since voices and eye-contact can cause a lot of stress to a person who has gone through something terrible. That way they are given time to think about things and perhaps, important details are not excluded. This is the biggest difference between having a live conversation and chatting through a computer – voice and eye-contact. To me, a bit introverted person – that can be positive. I don’t run away screaming if someone looks at me and talk to me, but I think, that sometimes it can be nice to have a break from voices and eye-contact. Then I open up more easily and tell things I’d probably would have forgotten if I would have been in a live conversation. Such as jokes…

* Like.. “old” conservative people… (nothing bad about old though)

Yours, SockFusion