August 8, 2013

    Photo: val lawless via Shutterstock

Scientists Turn Coffee Into Alcohol

Has a hint of coffee smell

The age of alchemy is upon us. Scientists have figured out a way to turn used coffee grounds into drinkable alcohol. In the journal LWT - Food Science and Technology, the team of Spanish and Portugese researchers described how they created the spirit from spent ground coffee. The liquid isn't as tasty as some coffee liqueurs, but the scientists describe the beverage as being pleasant with the taste and smell of coffee.

The team started with dried coffee grounds, mixed the material in water at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, separated the liquid, and added sugar before finally mixing in the yeast. The researchers let the drink ferment and concentrated the sample to raise its alcohol content.

While the drink contains up to 40 percent ethanol, it doesn't carry much of a punch—most of the caffeine is filtered out during the process.

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The first color image of sprite lightning     Photo: Courtesy of University of Alaska Fairbanks

Rare Sprite Lightning Caught on Film

Photographer captures pictures from plane

A photographer in Colorado has captured rare images of sprite lightning, hard-to-observe electrical bursts that occur high in the atmosphere, on a flight above Boulder. Jason Ahrns was flying on a special plane from NOAA when he used a dSLR and a window-mounted Gorilla Pod to catch pictures of the sprites, red-colored, split-second electrical bursts that occur at altitudes of about 40 to 45 miles.

While sprites aren't well-understood (the first photograph of one was captured in 1989) researchers believe that they're caused by a positively-charged lightning strike which reaches the ground, causing the top of the cloud it originated from to take on a negative charge.

To see Ahrns's sprite pictures, visit his website, or check out video of the sprites, taken at 10,000 frames-per-second, at Universe Today.

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Rodeo Bull Loses It, Injures Eight

Escaped its pen at the Dakota State Fair

A raging bull, seemingly no longer content to be the plaything of our decadent ways, broke loose at the Dakota County Fair Wednesday evening, injuring eight people on its rampage.

According to Dakota County Sheriff David Bellows, the rampage began at about 8:15 p.m. when the bull escaped from its pen. It was eventually brought down by an unnamed sheriff’s deputy who fired two shots into the animal as it charged him.

Of the eight people injured, only one required extensive medical attention. The woman in question was airlifted to a nearby hospital immediately following the incident.

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