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Cambridge University Science Magazine

There was recently a story about Jesus’ face appearing on a marmite lid. I’m not sure I believe in miracles, I was hoping that science might have an explanation.

Agnostic Anne


Of course science can offer us a logical explanation, one need only delve into physical chemistry to find the answer. When highly volatile substances such as marmite become superheated, for instance when a warm knife is used to remove them from a pot, they enter an extremely excitable state. In such a state, they are susceptible to changes in the Higgs field. Marmite, like certain other things, is closely linked to religion due to its love it/hate it dichotomy. As such, there is a clear entanglement process between a Gideon bible and the marmite atoms on the plastic lid. Illustrations present in the bible manifest themselves as changes in the localised Higgs field around the lid thereby condensing the marmite atoms into the pattern of a well-known historical figure, creating a media storm. A similar process is performed by Nike and other sports brands, where they entangle the material they use to make their logos with shampoo additives, causing their brand logo to spontaneously appear on the back of people’s heads.

Dr I.M. Derisive

Walkers crisps have been running a promotion to find a new flavour for their crisps. Is there a scientific method to arrive at the perfect flavour?

Munchies Mark


Naturally, the best method is a statistical one. Using the renowned Triple Asymmetric Solitary Tangent Efficiency (TASTE) test, it is possible to determine the favourite flavours of every human being on the planet through sampling only a population of ten children, six geese and one newborn infant of unknown gender (hence the ‘Triple Asymmetric’ moniker). The results of this analysis are fed through a complex algorithm whereby the numbers A=1, B=2, etc., are Summated, Multiplied, Executed, Loaded and Lowered (the SMELL transformation) to give a 17 digit number. This number can then be translated into a single digit code using the Yacksenfive Uncoupled Matrix (YUM) machine. From this, it has been discovered that by far the best flavour is salt and vinegar, although certain anomalous results indicate that banana and prawn may well be the way to go.

Dr I.M. Derisive

I read that objects going into a black hole undergo a process of stretching called ‘spaghettification’. It got me to thinking, what would happen if you put spaghetti into a black hole?

Durum Dan


What an excellent question! Indeed, scientists at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) hope to answer just that over the coming years. Their experiments will involve putting spaghetti pieces into the collider, accelerating them to nearly the speed of light and colliding them against a stationary bed of tomato sauce. This will allow the behaviour of spaghetti in the resulting transient black holes to be observed. This project has been assigned a total budget of $10 billion, though the majority of that spending will be on bread for mopping up (apparently seeded batch loaves are at a premium). Of course, your question focuses by implication on what would happen if you fed spaghetti into a black hole end-on. If however, the strand were to be fed sideways, the obvious result would be tagliatelle - a mechanism which is, in fact, currently used by the pasta making industry. Indeed, given the cost of making these black holes by other means, most production is now out-sourced to Switzerland.

Dr I.M. Derisive