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smoots

We were reading about smoots the other day, a unit of measurement based on the height of Oliver Smoot in 1964 (5 feet 7 inches). As a prank when he was a student at MIT, Oliver Smoot repeatedly lay down on the Harvard Bridge while his friends measured how many of him would make up its length. It was discovered that the bridge was 364.4 smoots. 

Since then the smoot has become a semi-official measurement of distance. The original marks are repainted every year and you can even use it in the official Google Calculator (we’ve worked out that Fruit Towers is just over 14 smoots).

Having learnt about smoots, we then got lost in a tunnel of other odd (and surprisingly real) ways to measure stuff.

The beard-second - 10 nanometers, the distance the average beard grows in a second.

The sheppey - the closest distance at which sheep remain picturesque

The New York second - the time between the lights turning green and the cab behind you beeping its horn. The shortest imaginable measurement of time there is.

A Warhol - a measurement of fame. Fifteen minutes worth of fame equals 1 Warhol. Can be expanded to:

- 1 kilowarhol — famous for 15,000 minutes (about ten days)

- 1 megawarhol — famous for 15 million minutes, (roughly 28.5 years)

We’d like to add our own method of measurement to all this. 

The Wiki-moment - The amount of time you accidentally spend on Wikipedia before realising you really should get back to work.

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meet the knitters: marion

There are two sure-fire ways to get our attention. 

1 - Send us a picture that somehow includes a good dog

2 - Send us a picture of loads of Big Knit hats that you’ve knitted

Marion knows us well. Not only does she have a good dog (hello Dusty, who’s a good boy?) but she’s also one of our most prolific Big Knit knitters. Last year we featured her and her friend Ali on our bottles for knitting 2,500 hats, this year Marion’s already on her way to another 2,000.

Thanks, Marion. You’re the best.

If you want to help out with this year’s Big Knit, you can. Just head to our Big Knit website where you’ll find knitting patterns, how-to guides and everything else you’ll need to get involved. Thanks in advance, couldn’t do it without you.

Or if you know someone like Marion and want us to know about them too, please do tell us. We’re constantly in awe of our knitters and want to know as many of them as we can. Drop an email about them to hello@innocentdrinks.co.uk and we’ll do our best to give them a proper thank you.

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nominative determinism

Recently we’ve become interested in the idea of nominative determinism, the theory that people are naturally drawn to careers that match their names. For example, if you were called Ian Growsuptobealawyer then you’d have an increased chance of growing up to become a lawyer. We’d also love to hear from you, Ian. You have an amazing name.

Other examples of nominative determinism include:

Mark de Man - Belgian footballer (a defensive midfielder, no less)

Usain Bolt - very fast man from those internet adverts

Storm Field - American meteorologist

Sue Yoo - lawyer who we promise we didn’t just make up

Sara Blizzard - BBC weatherperson

James Peach - actual person who works in Fruit Towers

Did your name subliminally send you down your career path? Or are you Ian Growsuptobealawyer? Get in touch if so (especially the latter).

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jaffa cake or jaffa biscuit?

Recently, during the return of Bake Off, we asked our Twitter followers an important question.

Are Jaffa Cakes a cake or a biscuit?

 

 

We’d even go as far as saying it’s possibly the most important question of modern times. Yes, people argue about religion or politics or the correct way to eat Maltesers*, but you only really know the full measure of a person once you’ve had the Jaffa Cake Conversation (or JCC for the busy amongst us).

Immediately, people on Twitter started to bring up the fact that this entire question was apparently solved in a court case a few years ago. Cakes, you see, are charged a different VAT rate so the matter had to be settled legally. It turns out that one of the primary differences between cakes and biscuits is that cakes go hard when stale while biscuits go soft. And, seeing as Jaffa Cakes undoubtedly toughen up after a period during which they miraculously go uneaten, it was decided that they were cakes.

But maybe that’s just what they want us to think? Maybe there’s something else going on? Maybe, deep in some underground bunker miles beneath London, there’s some secret consortium of cake bakers locked in a battle against a cult of biscuit artists that goes back for thousands of years? Maybe, just maybe, Jaffa Cakes are some sort of mythical object and whichever side ‘owns’ them can dictate the shape of reality itself? Maybe we’re all pawns in an ancient game that none of us can truly understand?

Or maybe everyone involved could realise that they’re called Jaffa Cakes. Clue’s in the name.


*bite all the chocolate off, eat the malty goodness after

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Kiwis. What came first – the bird or the fruit?

We travel far and wide to source the finest fruit for our drinks, which can take us to sunny places, rainy places, and, occasionally, downright explosive places. We stay as close to the fruit as we can to make sure it’s as tasty and responsibly sourced as possible, and our kiwis, odd-looking and slightly hairy as they may be, are no exception.

 

We make a purée from our kiwis to use in drinks like these. Because we don’t want to waste any kiwi, we actually use the whole fruit, from the seeds to the fuzzy coating. Nobody wants a fuzzy purée, so, to avoid this, we carefully wash the fruit and then sieve it several times which ensures that the purée tastes as delicious and hairless as a purée made from bald kiwis would be.

It’s important not to be ‘that guy’ who only bangs on about fruit, so we ask other important questions to our growers in New Zealand. Like whether the bird was named after the fruit or the fruit after the bird. We’re chuffed to confirm that (drumroll) it was in fact the fruit that was named after the bird. Ages ago, somewhere in New Zealand, someone decided to name the local birds ‘kiwis’. Then, the word ‘kiwi’ was applied as a nickname to things from New Zealand, the world largest producer of kiwi. One day, the Chinese gooseberry was renamed as ‘kiwi fruit’ for marketing purposes in New Zealand. The rest is history.

So that’s one of the big questions answered. Use it (in pub quizzes) wisely.

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