building howbigismypotato

The story of a page and a kitchen tool:

Saturday, October 07, 2006


The original inspiration for this project was an incident at home. My flat-mate Dave wanted to microwave a potato. How long would it take? Handily the mirowave had a baked potato button, but it needed him to type in a mass. With no scales available, he asked for my help and I devised a see-saw like device involving a wooden spoon, a spatula and a block a cheese. We were able to get the potato to balance against the block of cheese and we could measure the distances to the pivot with a tape measure. The final step was to divide a couple of numbers to find the mass we wanted. I turned to my laptop and used its calculator. 346g - success! Ironically the microwave only wanted a measurement to the nearest 100g, so we probably could have just guessed.

This incident was silly in a number of ways, but the thing I found most ironic was that the final step in our low-tech process invloved an expensive computer - not low-tech at all. How many people, I speculated, lacked scales in their kitchen but did have a computer close to hand.

A week later I was showing off to my girlfriend, telling her about my potato weighing skills over a romantic dinner. In the chat that followed, was born. It was going to be fun, very silly, and surprisingly hard work.


Blogger James Webster said...

Awesome, dugg!

5:21 PM  

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