Friday, March 27, 2020
OK, buckle up. I wanna talk to you about Triscuit.
Several years ago I was at a party (BRAG!), and I spotted a box of Triscuits. I asked everyone, "What does the word 'Triscuit' mean? It's clearly based on the word "BISCUIT," but what does the "TRI" mean?" (I'm great at parties.)
The consensus was that "TRI" means three. Maybe "three layers" or "three ingredients." No one knew for sure, though, so I Googled it. But here's the thing -- Google didn't seem to have an official answer, either. Just more guesses.
So we went straight to the source. We emailed Nabisco. And the response we got a few days later shook us to the core. Here it is:
"The "TRI" does not mean 3." How... how do they know what it DOESN'T mean, but NOT know what it DOES mean? HOW??
Also, "No business records survived"? What the HELL happened at the Triscuit factory? Did the building explode? Did someone run out of the doors and yell "It doesn't mean THREE!" right before perishing in a giant blaze?
I was baffled. And I couldn't stand not knowing. So I did a little sleuthing online, and stumbled on some early Triscuit advertisements. Take a look at these bad boys:
In the early 1900's, Triscuit was run out of Niagara Falls. And their big selling point? Being "baked by electricity." They were "the only food on the market prepared by this 1903 process." Look at the lightning bolts! And that's when it clicked--
TRISCUIT MEANS "ELECTRICITY BISCUIT"
Sunday, March 22, 2020
Literally every celeb and influencer and nearly 80k others are in DJ D-Nice’s IG live dance party rn https://t.co/lsoXGoTdys pic.twitter.com/jHTHYX0xWj— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) March 22, 2020
New York Times – "The Hottest Parties in Town Are Now Online"
New Yorker – "Snow Science Against the Avalanche"
"We think of the snow on a mountain as a solid mass. In reality, it is a layer cake created by serial snowfalls, each layer distinctive and changeable. “The snow cover is never in a state of repose,” Atwater wrote. “It is continually being pushed, pulled, pressed, bent, warmed, chilled, ventilated, churned.” The topmost layer might be evaporating into the night air; at the same time, radiant heat from the ground, or from nearby trees, could be melting the lowest layer. When the temperature differences between the layers are small, snow tends to sinter, or coalesce: the crystals knock off one another’s arms, becoming rounded grains that fuse into a strong, dense snowpack. When the differences are larger—say, between the pack and the ground—snow vaporizes upward and refreezes, creating hollow, cup-shaped crystals. The result is brittle, spiky snow, called depth hoar. (In ice cream, a similar process creates freezer burn.)
Neither settled snow nor weak hoar is dangerous in itself. The problem arises when a dense layer lies atop a weak layer to which it is poorly bonded. Depth hoar is “the eeriest stuff on any mountain,” Atwater wrote; it grows unseen, rotting the snow until it is weak and potted. It is strong in compression but weak in shear. Like a row of champagne glasses slowly loaded with bricks, it can hold a surprising amount of weight until, with the slightest shove, the structure falls apart, creating a slab avalanche.
The word “avalanche” is too graceful for the phenomenon it describes. On slopes shallow enough to accumulate snow but steep enough for it to be unstable—the sweet spot is said to be thirty-nine degrees—the layers will separate, and the slab will crack and slide. Churning violently, the snow reaches eighty miles per hour within a few seconds. A skier who avoids colliding with trees and rocks is likely to be pulled under, then pinned in place by thousands of pounds of snow that harden like concrete. Very few people can dig themselves out; most can’t even move their fingers. Within minutes, an ice mask forms around your face. You asphyxiate on your own exhaled carbon dioxide."