Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Scientist TV

Beat the salad bar: Build the ultimate food tower

 Not all buffets are unlimited. But with some knowledge of math and architecture, you could maximise a single trip to the salad bar by creating a tower of food. In this time-lapse, watch our attempt at packing the most fruit and vegetable pieces onto a single dish. Our strategy was inspired by software engineer Shen Hongrui who devised equations, diagrams and online instructions to help hungry cheapskates accomplish the feat.

The key to building a killer tower is in the foundations. Dry and dense toppings provide a stable base, while placing carrot sticks radially along the bowl's rim help stabilise top layers. Small ingredients like chickpeas are useful for filling the inside of the tower after building walls from cucumber slices or pineapple wedges, for example.

While our tower reached a reasonable height, a quick online search reveals the work of more Tetris-like food architects.

For more on buffet science, check out our festive feature, Salad-bar strategy: The battle of the buffet.

If you enjoyed this video, see a novel screen made of water designed for 3D Tetris or watch an octopus navigate a maze to get food 

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