Book 3 - Page 296

Vanna Vanna foe-fanna

Book 3 - Page 296
Comic - Book 3 - Page 296
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The time it takes for Peeps (or anything) to dry out to the point that they become "solidly crunchy" varies dramatically with relative humidity, the amount of effective surface area (which certainly is affected by the amount of packaging) and the definition of "solidly crunchy".

It can be achieved in mere hours for the right values of all of those.

How do you imagine they make marbits, after all?
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
The time it takes for Peeps (or anything) to dry out to the point that they become "solidly crunchy" varies dramatically with relative humidity, the amount of effective surface area (which certainly is affected by the amount of packaging) and the definition of "solidly crunchy".

It can be achieved in mere hours for the right values of all of those.


The obvious straightforward definition of "solidly crunchy" would seem to be having a crunchy texture throughout, with a center that retains no significant elasticity, as with most cereal marbits. Having an outer 1/8 inch crunchy marshmallow shell around an regular squishy marshmallow peep texture would not seem "solidly" crunchy, and would not make a "snap" sound when eating. This degree of comprehensive desiccation occurs more quickly with marbits than with peeps, as the smaller size of the pieces gives a higher surface-to-mass ratio. (Particularly fresh Lucky Charms cereal marbits may rarely have some residual "squish".) Parson was using a relatively standard peep, rather than one cut into smaller pieces to increase the surface to mass ration, or one of the "bite sized mini" peeps (which I don't think were available until after 2012, and are precluded due to the relative size with Parson's hands).

Achieving a result more quickly would in theory seem particularly likely for somewhere like Phoenix, Arizona (with its notoriously low humidity), but less so for Columbus, Ohio where the ambient relative humidity tends to run around 70%.

While the amount of packaging would be expected in theory make a difference, in that a case of peeps in the original corrugated cardboard of a shipping carton can prevent air circulation, relatively few people purchase peeps by more than the 24-count case of six-packs (which is itself rare); and furthermore, the baseline value is for a single six-pack in ordinary cellophane. Contrariwise, I do not think you have yet empirically measured the comparative speed of peep desiccation with and without cellophane, much less identified and empirically verified the conditions that allow a package of standard yellow chick peeps (IE, UPC 070970000027) go stale in less than one day. If I'm wrong on that, by all means feel free to give details to allow experimental replication.

Nohow, positing that Parson did anything more than leave a standard package around to go stale at the ordinary rate seems to necessarily also require positing that he's making unusual deliberate preparations; and the empirically observed ordinary rate requires one the order of one year to even get a slightly crunchy outer layer.
abb3w wrote:

While the amount of packaging would be expected in theory make a difference, in that a case of peeps in the original corrugated cardboard of a shipping carton can prevent air circulation, relatively few people purchase peeps by more than the 24-count case of six-packs (which is itself rare); and furthermore, the baseline value is for a single six-pack in ordinary cellophane.

I had been reading "amount of packaging" as "integrity of packaging", i.e. whether the original cellophane is intact, or has been punctured, or ripped, or removed entirely.
greycat wrote:
abb3w wrote:

While the amount of packaging would be expected in theory make a difference, in that a case of peeps in the original corrugated cardboard of a shipping carton can prevent air circulation, relatively few people purchase peeps by more than the 24-count case of six-packs (which is itself rare); and furthermore, the baseline value is for a single six-pack in ordinary cellophane.

I had been reading "amount of packaging" as "integrity of packaging", i.e. whether the original cellophane is intact, or has been punctured, or ripped, or removed entirely.

Unlike the packaging of (say) most chocolate bars, the cellophane packaging of Peeps is seriously far from air-tight and water-tight even when "intact". It doesn't seem to serve so much a protection from humidity (or lack thereof) as merely a protection from dust and dirt. Additionally, most people (and even most epic slobs) do not routinely remove the wrapping from Peeps five months before eating them; and Parson did not mention in TBFGK:015 that he did so to speed the process.

Now, if you'd like to run the experiment to compare how much faster peeps desiccate with and without the cellophane, I'd be fascinated to hear your results... eventually. (Note the previously reported time to achieve "solidly crunchy" under the with-cellophane condition.) Nonetheless, all possible results would seem to indicate only different directions to the "no idea" level of Parson's advanced preparation for the game.
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
How do you imagine they make marbits, after all?
Freeze drying. And yes, I did include altering the surface area as one of the variables. It doesn't appear that Parson has modified the shape of his Peeps (as by sectioning or boring), but then he doesn't say he got them crunchy in hours rather than months.

Also, Parson mentions that, in Stupidworld, they are working on a supercomputer that uses marbits as calculation elements. I would think that a datum worth factoring into the discussion, if we're really taking it seriously.
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
How do you imagine they make marbits, after all?
Freeze drying. And yes, I did include altering the surface area as one of the variables. It doesn't appear that Parson has modified the shape of his Peeps (as by sectioning or boring), but then he doesn't say he got them crunchy in hours rather than months.

Contrariwise, more to the original point, he does seem to seriously suggest that he got them crunchy in months rather than years.

Nohow, it is indeed also another possible hypothesis that he was cheating, and (ab)using his parent's home freeze-dryer to speed the process. Which might shed yet another light on his personality, while still falling in the "no idea" category.

Chiu ChunLing wrote:
Also, Parson mentions that, in Stupidworld, they are working on a supercomputer that uses marbits as calculation elements. I would think that a datum worth factoring into the discussion, if we're really taking it seriously.

That I think may narratively be more parsimoniously explained as Parson "telling a joke".
abb3w wrote:
Contrariwise, more to the original point, he does seem to seriously suggest that he got them crunchy in months rather than years.
I think you may need to either read what I wrote more carefully or review the definition of "contrariwise".
abb3w wrote:
That I think may narratively be more parsimoniously explained as Parson "telling a joke".
Really, I find that the most parsimonious account of the entire discussion. Parson simply found some Peeps that were completely expired, and ate them without it being an elaborately planned "seasonal treat" or anything like that. And jokingly made up a justification for it.

We're talking about a guy who just dug a shirt out of his dirty laundry to wear when he had planned to have guests over, after all. I don't seriously believe he carefully planned out his snacks months in advance.

I say this as someone who knows people like this, though their justifications are usually less...inventive. My mom, bless her heart, will find expired candy with bugs in it and just say that they are a source of extra protein. I don't buy that she really planned it that way.

On the other hand, my sister (who is an engineer) actually did extensively plan out and execute her scheme to make her family eat cicada smoothies that one time. But she's...not Parson. She is married to a game designer, though. But I doubt being fed bugs was his plan either.
So, the moral of this thread is never eat anything given to you by any of Chiu ChunLing's family members.
greycat wrote:
So, the moral of this thread is never eat anything given to you by any of Chiu ChunLing's family members.


There might also be a moral of "check the Wiki page history", but I doubt it.
It depends on the family member. If one of about half my sisters (including the engineer) or I says that something is free of bugs, why then it is free of bugs. For the other siblings, or my parents...well, you take your chances. Most of them would honestly tell you if they knew, but it's not like they really know.

Same for many other things you might express an aversion to having included in your food.

I suspect this is relatively true of most families, I might be excessively fastidious. But it's not like I've never sucked it up and just eaten the bugs. I simply object to them being justified as a bonus when clearly they are not.