Coffee

Droughts Worldwide May Have an Effect on American Dinner Plates

Publication: NBC News   Date: April 7, 2014   View Article

It’s been a long, cold and wet winter in parts of the United States. But in many parts of the world, from California to Southeast Asia, the land is parched from growing and persistent droughts. And that spells higher prices for many foods Americans put on the table during every meal.

That morning cup of coffee, for example, could cost a bit more as the beans rise to their highest prices in years due to a Brazilian drought. A salad at lunch full of fresh fruit and vegetables topped with slivered almonds may run a few more dollars a month as California’s drought begins to boost prices for produce and nuts.

And the classic American dinner of a cheeseburger, French fries and a milkshake is already more expensive due to rapidly rising beef and dairy prices underpinned by drought.

Brown dwarf as cool as coffee found

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 23, 2011   View Article

Astronomers have found a star that’s only as hot as a cup of coffee, making it a candidate for the coldest star known. That is, assuming it’s a star.

While a cup of coffee may sound hot — the newly discovered object is about 200 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) — our sun is about 10,000 degrees F (5,500 degrees C). So, by comparison, it really is quite cold.

The object is considered a brown dwarf, a cosmic misfit that’s cold enough to blur the lines between small cold stars and big hot planets. Astronomers consider brown dwarfs failed stars because they lack the mass and gravity to trigger the nuclear reactions that make stars shine brightly.

Early Risers Have Mutated Gene, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 30, 2005   View Article

If the early bird gets the worm, Susan Middlebrook should be well fed. Whether she wants to or not, she’s ready to start each day between 1:30 and 3:00 a.m.

“I’m wide awake and ready to paint the house,” the 49-year-old Colchester, Vermont, resident said. “I don’t need a cup of coffee to get going, not at all. But between 4:00 and 5:00 [p.m.] you might have to nudge me with an elbow.”

Middlebrook suffers from what is known as familial advanced sleep phase syndrome, or FASPS. Her body’s clock is out of sync with the sleep-wake rhythm most of the world lives by.

Hawaii Ridge Helps “Stir” Ocean Waters, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 18, 2003   View Article

Imagine a cup of black coffee. Add a spot of cream. Watch. The white glob swirls, tendrils stretch to the rim and get thinner. Black and white meld to milky brown but black patches remain, white tendrils linger. Grab a spoon. Stir. The patches and tendrils disappear. Sip. Enjoy.

The interactions of motion that mix the coffee and cream are difficult to understand, says Dan Rudnick, an oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego. His task is even more difficult. He and his colleagues are on a quest to understand how mixing happens in the oceans.

Coffee Glut Brews Crisis for Farmers, Wildlife

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 24, 2003   View Article

For many people a coffee crisis occurs when there are no beans left in the kitchen to brew a pot of the morning elixir, forcing a half-awake stumble to the nearest coffee shop on a quest for a jolt of caffeine.

On a global scale the crisis is the opposite: There are too many beans.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach