Episode 25 of The Geekosystem Podcast “Chocolate Cookie Biscuit Physics” Is Ready for Your Ears!

Oh, we also talk about bee stings and scrotums, but it's mostly cookie talk.
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The fundamental question of this week’s podcast is “Does adding chocolate to something fundamentally change its orientation?” At least I thought it was. The rest of Team Geekosystem was just excited I brought cookies.

Listen to the episode by subscribing in iTunes or grab the episode right here from us.

All four of us were back in the studio this week, so we finally tackled the tough cookie questions Victoria brought up in her story about whether McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits have chocolate on the top or the bottom. The company says it’s the bottom, but there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

We all agree that the cookie is baked with the logo stamp on the top, but the chocolate is then applied to the other side. Does that mean the chocolate is on the bottom, or does adding chocolate to something fundamentally change its orientation?

We talk about cookies for most of the episode, but we did talk about how much bee sting to the scrotum would hurt because of this article from Carolyn about a guy who let bees sting him on every part of his body… for science.

For Editors’ Picks this week, Dan was going to go first, but he’s too busy finally watching Breaking Bad to care about anything else, then we talk about his dad for a little bit. Speaking of dads, Carolyn is all about Dad Magazine from The-Toast.com:

Dad Magazine

I’m definitely late to the game in terms of being a fan of The Toast, but if you’re even later than me, I suggest you go check the site out right now. The Toast’s articles are surreal, hilarious, and always make me feel just a little bit unrefined–but in a good way. The feature that first made me a Toast fan is Dad Magazine, the fictitious publication “For Dads, By Dads.” Created by Jaya Saxena and Max Lubchansky, DM offers articles like “Give Me a Shout! (Get your kids started on business speak early” and “10 Things You Already Knew About Patton”. I’d recommend The Toast and Dad Magazine to everyone–not just people who, like Senior Editor and Dad In Residence Glen Tickle, have strong Dadpinions.

Victoria doubles up her pick this week. No one is surprised.

I have two picks this week because A) I’m me, and B) I was sick last week so I’ve had a lot of editor pick build-up. It’s a real problem.


My first pick is Redshirts by John Scalzi. I’ve been a fan of Scalzi’s blog and Twitter account for a long time because he seems like a genuinely awesome person, but I’ll admit that I hadn’t read anything of his up until now. Redshirts is stupendous, though, especially for genre-savvy Star Trek fans. It’s about a group of ensigns aboard a “Universal Union” vessel who all realize that they are actually “redshirts” in a crappy Star Trek-knock off television show who are fated to die so that the main characters feel bad, and decide to take matters into their own hands by seeking out the writers of that show. The novel itself is wonderful, but I especially loved the three codas at the end, because they deal more with the emotional aftermath of what the writers, actors, and creators of the show experience after finding out that the people they designed and portrayed actually exist. Its an incredibly fascinating, fun, quick read that I’d recommend for any writer or genre fan.

My second pick is the Captain America: Winter Soldier, because it’s awesome. I wish I could be more eloquent about why I liked it because it’s legitimately a very good movie, but as you can see from listening to the podcast, I tend to get kind of fangirly and non-verbal when I talk about Captain America. There’s something about his humbleness and earnestness that just really gets to me, man (I swear it’s not his pectoral muscles. I SWEAR. I mean, they don’t hurt, but it’s definitely his earnestness). There is less of that in this film than in the first one, of course, but we get more Black Widow, Nick Fury, and Maria Hill. The Falcon is pretty incredible, too. He pretty much steals every scene he’s in. It’s just great, okay guys? I don’t know what else to tell you. Go see it.

I’m excited to read the Peter McGraw and Joel Warner book The Humor Code.

The Humor Code

Although most of what I write about on Geekosystem is science-related, I occasionally slip stories about comedy onto the site. They’re my two biggest interests, and besides writing for Geekosystem I’m also a comedian. I’m pretty much the perfect audience for The Humor Code by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner, which attempts to take a scientific look at humor and why humans think something is funny. That’s why I’m recommending it before I actually read it.

McGraw and Warner have both written on the subject in the past, and the book collects some of those writings and adds to them. I have read some of their work on the subject, and it’s really interesting. McGraw helped develop “The Benign Violation” theory which says that for something to be funny it has to meet three requirements: “(1) a situation is a violation, (2) the situation is benign, and (3) both perceptions occur simultaneously.”

I’ll be speaking to the authors in the near future about the book and will have more to say on it soon.

Dan finally managed to think of something he likes, and recommends VirtualBox:


If you want to run another operating system on your computer and don’t like switching back and forth or paying for Parallels, check out Virtual Box. It’s completey free OS virtualization software that works pretty flawlessly. I’ve used Parallels in the past to run Windows on my Mac, and I haven’t noticed any performance differences with VirtualBox other than that it didn’t take any money out of my wallet on top of the cost of an additional operating system.

It can be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac computers to run a wide range of OSes including multiple versions of those three (though I haven’t tested them all for myself). If you’ve got platform specific programs you need to use and are looking for a relatively painless way to use them in your native OS, give VirtualBox a try.

So that’s it for this week, Internet. Next episode should be interesting because I’ll be seeing Our Friend Bill Nye again on Thursday. If you have a question you’d like answered, here’s how you can make that happen.

(Cover image via Dan Van Winkle, Editors’ Picks images via the things we picked)

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Glen Tickle
Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.