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Sunday, March 15, 2015

How many it takes to lick lollipop without crunching it ~ research !! - don't say 'Android's"

Are you an Android user ? …. Android is a mobile operating system (OS) based on the Linux kernel and currently developed by Google. With a user interface based on direct manipulation, Android is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. The OS uses touch inputs that loosely correspond to real-world actions; despite being primarily designed for touchscreen input, it also has been used in game consoles, digital cameras, regular PCs  and other electronics.

Lollipops, or suckers as some call them, are essentially hard candies with a short stick of some sort. The tightly wrapped white paper stick serves as a handle, and the hard candy lollipop is either sucked or bitten apart until consumed. Lollipops take an astonishing array of forms.  Lollipops are not complicated to make and do not really require special equipment for home production. Sugar-corn syrup solutions are cooked until the concentration of the solution reaches a high level, and this super saturation of sugar remains upon cooling.  This type of adorable confectionery has hardened, flavoured sucrose with corn syrup mounted on a stick, much like an icecream stick. Lollipops are available in a number of colours and flavours, particularly fruit flavours. 

Lollipop is also the name of the latest version of Android 5.0; unveiled in June 2014, it became available through official over-the-air (OTA) updates on November 12, 2014, for select devices that run distributions of Android serviced by Google.  One of the most prominent changes in the Lollipop release is a redesigned user interface built around a design language referred to as "material design". Other changes include improvements to the notifications, which can be accessed from the lockscreen and displayed within applications as top-of-the-screen banners.

Which lollipop is more tempting depends on your age and …. !!   ~  Scientists at New York University claim it takes 1,000 licks per cm of candy.  Here is something excerpted from an interesting article in MailOnline.


Most children have tried to tackle an entire lollipop without crunching it, but few have succeeded. Now scientists have managed to calculate quite how long it takes to achieve such a feat - and it's a lip-smacking 2,500 licks. By placing a variety of boiled sweets into flows of water, researchers were able to watch how they dissolved over time. They calculated that it would take around 1,000 licks of the tongue to dissolve 1cm (0.4 inches) of candy.  The scientists took time lapse photographs of lollipops as they dissolved in flows of water.  They found that the turbulence created in the flow of water  caused the back of the candy to flatten and the top to be smooth.  This means that the average Chupa Chups lolly - which measures around 2.5cm (one inch) in diameter - would take about 2,500 licks to dissolve.

Researchers at the National University of Singapore have created a 'digital lollipop', which uses electric currents to transmit virtual tastes straight to your tastebuds. The device has echoes of Roald Dahl's fictional Everlasting Gobstopper, which never runs out, and the Chewing Gum Meal, which had several different flavours packed into one piece of gum. All of the four major taste groups - sweet, salty, bitter and sour - can be mimicked through a silver electrode which makes contact with the tongue.  The gadget also makes tiny adjustments in temperature to simulate tastes more convincingly. Dr Leif Ristroph, a mathematician at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences who led the study, said lollipops also tend to be sculpted into similar shapes by the flow of liquid like saliva over the surface.

The researchers used simple candy shapes such as spheres and cylinders, monitoring how they dissolved using time lapse photography.  They found that regardless of the initial shape of the candy and the speed of the water, it formed consistent shapes over time with about 1cm dissolving each hour. Their findings do also have some serious applications with dissolution of materials being an essential process in many chemical and pharmaceutical industries. It could also help to explain some of the processes that occur during erosion of rocks by rivers and the sea.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

10th Feb 2015.

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