Friday, March 18, 2005

Apple #49: Hair, Cinderblocks, and Hot Fudge

Since the last few entries have been quite long, I thought I'd do a few short ones.

  • Hair goes through three stages: it grows, detaches itself from the follicle, and rests before it falls out. This complete process can take anywhere from two to seven years.
  • The average rate of hair growth is six inches per year.
  • You lose anywhere from 100 to 300 hairs from your scalp each day.


Some Daily Apple readers asked me to find out if there is a relationship between cinders and cinderblock. Answer: yes.
  • A cinderblock is made of cement plus coal or wood cinders.
  • The cinders are a type of aggregate in the concrete. In general, aggregates can be things like sand or gravel. They help keep the concrete from breaking when you put stress on it.
  • Once upon a time, blocks were made using clinkers, or hunks of coal that wouldn't burn in the furnace. Clinker blocks were produced close to power plants, which used coal and thus turned out lots of clinkers. However, these blocks crumbled easily and were abandoned in favor of cinder blocks.
  • Cinderblock is relatively lightweight, easy to handle, you can pound nails into it, you can paint it and improve its water resistance, but above all, it's cheap. This is why you see it a lot in schools, prisons, basements, and government buildings.

Is hot fudge really fudge? Answer: the two are pretty much the same thing.
  • Hot fudge sauce is generally made from sugar + cocoa (chocolate), milk of some kind, and butter or oil. You put this all in a saucepan, heat it up, stir it until it gets all melty, and pour it over ice cream.
  • Fudge is pretty much the same ingredients. Some recipes call for eggs. Some add other stuff like marshmallows or vanilla or peanut butter. But otherwise it's the same ingredients as hot fudge. You even melt it the same way. The difference is, as soon as it melts, you next pour it into a pan right away and bake it. When it's done, refrigerate it and cut it into cubes.
This would suggest you could perhaps melt some pieces of fudge and put them over ice cream. But somehow, I don't think that would work the same way.
Sources, "
What is Normal Hair Loss?", "
Wikipedia, "
Cinder block," "Concrete," "Cement," "Aggregate," "Clinker"
US General Services Administration, Historic Preservation Technical Procedures, "
Concrete Block: Characteristics, Uses and Problems" (cached)
Various recipes for hot fudge and fudge at
My copy of Betty Crocker's New Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook, Macmillan, 1996.

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