Life of pie: Hard cheese for academics



Science is a wonderful thing. But because curing terminal illnesses and proving the existence of the Higgs boson particle is apparently not enough, researchers at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, set their collective brains to discovering the perfect cheese for pizza.

In a study titled, I kid you not, "Qualification of Pizza Baking Properties of Different Cheeses, and Their Correlation with Cheese Functionality", scientists, including one Bryony James, a professor of materials engineering, published the results of their exhaustive tests and, prepare yourself for this, it turns out that mozzarella is the best cheese to use on pizza. In other news, fish goes rather well with chips, and cream is quite nice drizzled on strawberries. Sheesh.

Paws for thought

Alarming news last week in the world of Hello Kitty, the character created by the Japanese Sanrio company in 1974 and worth about $7bn (£4.2bn) a year.

As an anthropologist called Christine R Yano was preparing a speech to celebrate the character's 40th birthday exhibition in LA, she was contacted by Sanrio and told that, in fact, Hello Kitty was not a cat, but a girl called Kitty White who lived "outside London" and was in 3rd Grade. Cue internet meltdown. (Just what is it about the internet and cats?)

Putting aside the fact that we don't have the school grade system in this country, and that the company has now backtracked slightly ("Hello Kitty isn't a human, but she's not quite a cat either"), what was Sanrio thinking by citing as evidence of Hello Kitty's non-feline qualities that "you have never seen her on four legs". If that held true then clearly Mickey is not a mouse, Pluto is not a dog and so on. None of which answers the question, immortalised in the film Stand By Me, of what the hell Goofy is. Although his original name of Dippy Dawg may hold some clues. Or perhaps not.

Rising above it

While Twitter users expressed their shock at the fact that the magician Dynamo had not actually levitated above the Shard last week ("Look, you can see wires!"), the comedian Jason Manford took to Facebook to air his thoughts on the subject.

In a pithy "rant", Manford wrote: "WHAT?! You mean he can't actually levitate and he was 'tricking' us!? What is wrong with these so-called entertainers?! I once saw a guy talking to a dummy sat on his knee, and the dummy SPOKE BACK! Turns out, he was doing the voices. Sicko!

"Then the other day I'm at the cinema right, there's this mad documentary or whatever about a tribe of apes yeah, and they live in a forest, and anyway, it turns out one of them can TALK! Yeah, you heard me, TALK! And he rides a horse! A monkey on a horse?! I know!

"Anyway, get this, couple of days later I'm reading a magazine and there's a headline 'Andy Serkis Aping About' and I'm like, 'What's this?' Only turns out the monkey on a horse was a bloke dressed up. Why? What sort of prick would do that? To trick us! To try and entertain millions of people! These people should be ASHAMED!"

Red alert

It started as a joke. When Aberdonian Richard Macrae turned 30, his friends thought it might be funny to make him a "Ginger Discount Card", little thinking that the redheaded Macrae would produce the card around town. Four years on, Macrae claims the card has saved him hundreds of pounds as various retail establishments appreciated his chutzpah and put his purchases through as a student discount.

And now this weekend, other people of a flame-haired persuasion can cash in – because Aberdeen's Union Square shopping centre is offering a 10 per cent discount in various outlets to anyone with ginger hair. Ryan Manson, the centre's general manager, says: "Richard's card made us laugh so much that we thought we should make the discount official for one weekend only." And before you go claiming discrimination, ginger wigs are allowed.

Thinking outside the box

While most of us can't wait to get out, Ikea, it seems, is increasingly keen on finding ways to keep us in. Not content with teaming up with Airbnb in Sydney, Australia, to allow people to spend the night in the shop tonight, next weekend five UK stores are offering the chance to take part in its "overnight spa experience".

Ikea's Myriam Ruffo says: "A recent study revealed the toll our busy lives are taking on us, with Brits experiencing 14 bouts of stress a day." Or more, if you have to shop at Ikea at the weekend.

No rhyme or reason

Another in a regular series of limericks based on recent events:

(No cameras), but action and lights

It's Kate Bush playing 22 nights!

And while most entertaining

There's still those complaining

She doesn't play "Wuthering Heights".

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Read Next
London's New Year's Eve fireworks event is going to be ticketed this year for the first time at £10 a head  

London’s far too exclusive already, so don’t start charging people for the New Year’s Eve fireworks

Mary Dejevsky
So far Ebola has caused 2,600 fatalities and infected more than 5,300 people  

To stop Ebola killing thousands more, we need doctors who are willing to put their lives on the line

Peter Popham
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week