Science Confirms What We’ve Always Suspected: Potato Chips are Irresistible

RatI love potato chips. There’s something very satisfying about the crunch of a good chip. The problem with chips, other than the obvious effect they have on my waistline, is that I can’t eat just one. Neither can my husband, who loves to open a bag of potato chips while I’m preparing dinner! To explain the disappearance of the potato chips, we joke that the chip-eating culprit in our house is not my husband but a giant mouse that has developed a taste for salty snacks.

Recent research presented by Tobias Hoch at a meeting of the American Chemical Society shows that not only do rodents love potato chips but that this attraction may not be due solely to the high ratio of fats and carbohydrates, which is one proposed explanation for the “bet you can’t eat just one” phenomenon. There is something else that makes potato chips irresistible. Continue reading “Science Confirms What We’ve Always Suspected: Potato Chips are Irresistible”

Rats Avatars: A New Twist On Virtual Reality

Imagine playing a simple game in a virtual-reality setting. You move an avatar around a room trying to entice your opponent’s avatar to move closer to you when you are in certain spot. Meanwhile, 12 km away, cameras track your opponent’s movements around an arena that also contains a robotic representation of you. The cameras are telling your opponent’s avatar where to move in your virtual reality setting based on where they move in their actual setting.

Your goal is to score the most points by moving the virtual you into proximity with your opponent’s avatar while you are both at a certain location within the virtual room. If you succeed, you score a point. If you and your opponent get too close anywhere else in the room, your opponent scores a point. Your opponent, however, is not terribly interested in points; your opponent wants to get close to the robotic you because it has snacks. Your opponent is a rat, Continue reading “Rats Avatars: A New Twist On Virtual Reality”