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September 7th, 2006


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03:09 pm - This cuppa is out of this world
Exerpted from the newswires:


Malaysian astronaut to throw tea party in space

Sep 5, 10:22 AM (ET)

SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Malaysia plans to push the boundaries of space travel, by making a cup of tea.

Malaysia will send its first astronaut into the heavens aboard a Russian rocket next year and attempt for the first time to make the nation's favorite hot drink, teh tarik, in space.

"The physics experiment is to see what happens to teh tarik in space," Haniff Omar, head of Malaysia's astronaut selection program, told reporters in all seriousness Monday after two Malaysian men were short-listed to make the trip.

Making teh tarik (pulled tea) can be tricky and dangerous, even with the help of gravity. Malaysians pour boiling-hot milky tea swiftly and repeatedly from one vessel held high in one hand into another held low, producing a distinctive layer of froth.

Making teh tarik in space would bring Malaysian customs to the attention of a worldwide audience, said Faiz Khaleed, one of the two astronaut candidates.

"Teh tarik is one of the symbols of Malaysia," he said. "I think this is a good idea also to bring something from our country so the world can learn something about our country."

Russia offered Malaysia a free trip into space aboard a Soyuz spacecraft three years ago to sweeten the $900-million sale of Russian-made fighter planes.


Complete article here


I've had this type of tea while visiting Kuala Lumpur -- it's quite nice. The chai wallahs at the stands that line the roads of India make something similar too, but usually less frothy and with more spices and sugar. I'm interested in how they'll be trying to make it in a zero-gravity environment.
Current Mood: thirstythirsty
Current Music: "Earthfall" by the Crüxshadows
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(13 seeds eaten | Eat a pomegranate)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:chateaudyquem
Date:September 7th, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)
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i would love to see a video of this in action. in zero gravity, don't you think the liquid would move too slowly to create that frothy layer? and if they used too much liquid, wouldn't it go all wonky-out-of-shape instead of a straight shot from one vessel to the next?

maybe it's my over-active imagination but all i can see in my mind's eye is a bunch of guys floating about trying to catch wayward milk.
[User Picture]
From:theentwife
Date:September 7th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
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I'd love to see how it's done too.

I'm going to guess they use some kind of containment vessel, just to cut down on the mess factor. I don't know how they'll do the froth though, unless they use something like the steam wand on a cappucino machine, but doing that would change the taste of the end-product, since the steam wand cooks the milk even as it simultaneously aerates it. Plus the froth quality is different with the pressurized steam, compared to the gravity method.


Persephone
[User Picture]
From:chiralove
Date:September 7th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
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Would they have to pour the liquid through some sort of straw-like device, do you think? I don't understand how it could not make a mess. I mean, I don't understand physics in general but I thought that liquids in space were not exactly a good thing?
[User Picture]
From:theentwife
Date:September 8th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure how they'll do it. Squirting it from one baggy to another through a straw seems the most practical to me, but that's not quite how the original is made, so the end product will be "off", although it may be the best that can be made under those conditions.

Uncontained liquids in zero G are indeed a bad idea. The only good thing is that they tend to form spheres if left to themselves, not spills running all over the place. So there would be balls of hot milky tea floating about -- at least until said balls came into contact with something else -- and they could be cleaned up with the vacuum cleaner the crews use for floating debris like that.


Persephone
[User Picture]
From:chiralove
Date:September 8th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC)
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Now I have this mental image of astronauts floating around, mouths open like goldfish, trying to catch the balls of hot milky tea ... not to mention a strange impulse to add food dye to the tea until it looks like the solutions in your icon. :)
[User Picture]
From:theentwife
Date:September 8th, 2006 12:22 am (UTC)
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~~ points to icon for this comment ~~


Persephone
[User Picture]
From:chiralove
Date:September 8th, 2006 02:20 am (UTC)
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Err ... I'll be brave and admit that I don't get the reference. Were there multicolored spheres of liquid floating around in one of the Star Trek episodes I haven't seen? That wouldn't be hard for me to imagine, since I've seen umm ... probably less than 1% of them. :)
[User Picture]
From:theentwife
Date:September 8th, 2006 09:54 am (UTC)
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I'll be brave and admit that I don't get the reference.

No reference -- I was raising my eyebrow at what you had written. (I don't have a Severus "raised eyebrow" icon. Plus the post is about space -- hence the Spock icon usage.)

Since you have seen so little of the series, I'll risk an over-explanation in case you don't know this -- the personal weapon of the Star Trek characters is the phaser, which has two main settings, "kill/destroy" and "stun".

I've seen umm ... probably less than 1% of them.

~~ points to icon for this comment ~~

How could you miss out on such an important pop-cultural icon? I know it's not in syndication on free TV anymore, but surely the SciFi channel still airs episodes of Star Trek the Original Series? That series is what spawned the whole "fandom" phenomenon!! Kirk/Spock was the original slash pairing, for goodness sakes!!!

Plus they had REAL science fiction authors, like Harlan Ellison, writing the episodes! Ones who were published, well known authors, not just TV script writers. Ones who wrote about controversial social phenomena of the day, like racism and overpopulation and the rebellious youth movement of the day -- cutting edge stuff at the time, even if it seems dated now.

Go watch the series!!!!! The original series -- the later Star Trek series are mere pale imitations of TOS. Really -- they are.


Persephone
[User Picture]
From:chiralove
Date:September 9th, 2006 01:10 am (UTC)
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I know, I'm an uncultured loser who's sitting at home on a Friday evening and doesn't even have anything exciting to watch on TV ... *sigh*

Well, I could think about trying Star Trek someday. I never could get into it because there were all these freaky people teaching themselves how to speak Klingon and making strange hand signals and generally being frightening. I still think that the ability to do that split-finger thing must be a genetic trait, akin to the curled-tongue phenotype - I certainly can't make my hands look like that, and I'm not sure that it ought to be possible.

But if it will entice you to stop abusing the poor exclamation marks, I'll go see if I can find it on Netflix and put it on my list, 'kay?
[User Picture]
From:theentwife
Date:September 11th, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC)
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if it will entice you to stop abusing the poor exclamation marks

I was not abusing them -- what I did was entirely consensual.


Persephone
[User Picture]
From:chiralove
Date:September 11th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
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Umm, yes. Right. So, there will be no long ramble about the requirements for consent (CNS, etc.) that exclamation marks don't seem to have. :)
[User Picture]
From:innerslytherin
Date:September 8th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)
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Wow. I'm envisioning large globs of tea floating back and forth between cups. It'll be interesting to see how this works.
[User Picture]
From:theentwife
Date:September 8th, 2006 09:59 am (UTC)
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That's certainly a possibility for how they'll do it, albeit a messy one. I hope there will be some sort of follow-up story that shows how they actually did do it in space.


Persephone

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