back to article Xbox daddy bakes bread with 4,000-year-old Egyptian yeast

Former Xbox fiddler Seamus Blackley has baked a loaf of bread using yeast extracted from an ancient Egyptian pot. Although it is unlikely that the yeast is entirely that ancient (the team are awaiting gene tests), the results have raised eyebrows. The yeast was extracted by a process Blackley described as similar to fracking …

  1. MiguelC Silver badge

    Yum!

    That bread looks wonderfully rich and tasty and... damn!, need to go and make myself a sandwich now.

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Yum!

      I hope it Set properly and didn't take Horus to bake.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Yum!

        \why didn't El Reg show the actual photos, rather than "stock image of freshly baked bread because our stupid readers need to know what bread is."

        If it's due to copyright, just skip the picture entirely. Most of us know what bread is..

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Yum!

        ...it's Anubis-ness opportunity.

        1. Scott 53

          Re: Yum!

          Well Ra for that

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Pint

    I'd eat it

    And I'd like some of his starter... but there are so many yeasts in the environment that you're pretty much guaranteed to end up, after a few cycles of feeding and baking, with a 'local' yeast/bacteria blend no matter what your original yeast was.

    Though he does claim sterile media, I'm finding it hard to believe in a yeast that's estivated for four thousand years with no admixture of more recent yeasts.

    Runny bread time ---->

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: I'd eat it

      Makes my oldest starter look positively newborn ... I have yeast & lactobacillus that I caught in the rafters of the old bakery in Columbia, California in about 1990. According to UC Davis, the DNA probably dates back to the Goldrush (or thereabouts). It makes a quite tasty loaf, and a surprisingly drinkable beer.

      I know the lore states that sourdoughs tend to localize, but I have several here that have been in my possession for at least a couple decades. The one from Columbia, one from Palo Alto that I caught when I was in Cubs (over 50 years old), my Grandfather's (probably over 100 years old now; caught in the Red River Valley before lake Texoma existed) and one from Bread Alone, in New York's Catskills, which I got from the owner a little over twenty years ago. All are quite different, and don't seem to have changed since I started working with them.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I'd eat it

        "I have several here that have been in my possession for at least a couple decades."

        Does the yeast really have that much effect on the bread? Assuming everything else is identical, can you tell the difference between two loaves?

        I do bake bread, but to be fair it's not a real hobby or anything for me. Most of time I just shove the ingredients in a breadmaker machine and wait a few hours. It's a significant step up from most shop bought bread and it's full programmable so I use my own custom programme evolved over a year or so to produce a loaf I like.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: I'd eat it

          Does the yeast really have that much effect on the bread? Assuming everything else is identical, can you tell the difference between two loaves?

          Yup. I did some experimentation, mainly to see what would happen if I used brewer's yeast instead of bakers. They're bred for different purposes, ie carbs to booze vs carbs to CO2, so the brewer's yeast made for a denser bread.. Which I think is the main difference, ie how well they act as a gas generator, and temp range/speed, and I think slower acting yeasts end up with a better flavour & texture.

          I guess for sourdough, flavour differences probably come mostly from whatever's been used to feed the yeast vs plain'ol sugar in a breadmaker or non-sourdough. I do like my breadmaker though simply because it gives control over some of the variables, ie rise times, kneading etc leaving me to play with different flours, yeasts, flavours etc.

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

            Re: I'd eat it

            As Mr Eel says... definite differences between live yeast vs dried yeast vs my fifteen year old starter, but the difference between the three is - apart from the sourness of the sourdough starter caused by opportunistic bacteria - largely down to differences in texture caused by the time it takes to rise. The sourdoughs are much slower than carefully developed bakers' yeasts, and that affects the hydrolisation of the flour and the final texture and taste (you can see this by making bread with a tiny amount of yeast, so it needs three or four hours to multiply enough to rise).

            But to be honest, I feel that while the yeast choice has a huge effect on bread texture, the flour choice has much more effect on the taste.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: I'd eat it

              But to be honest, I feel that while the yeast choice has a huge effect on bread texture, the flour choice has much more effect on the taste.

              Same here, plus I think a slower acting yeast can be more forgiving, especially when I make multi-grain/granary loaves. Never been sure if that was due to the hydrolisation, or just giving the grain chunks more time to hydrate and soften a bit. Good fun though, and nothing beats a nice, crusty loaf fresh out of the oven.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: I'd eat it

          Does the yeast really have that much effect on the bread?

          Well - different yeasts certainly make a difference in beer (which, as one commentard pointed out, is just very, very runny bread) and also in wine, so I would imagine that the same holds in bread.

    2. Grikath
      Happy

      Re: I'd eat it

      Well the Egyptians were known for the quality of their bread and liquid bread in antiquity...

      I'm happy he handed most of the sample to professionals. Still has to be properly processed, but viable spores a couple of millennia old are few and far between, and a veritable gold mine.. For Science!.

    3. Griffo

      Re: I'd eat it

      You CAN keep a strain of pure yeasts. What do you think all brewers do?

      Years ago when I used to make beer every weekend in 100L lots, I was right into yeast cultivation. Using some fairly basic gear (a magnetic stirrer, some flasks, agar plates, innoculation loops) it's pretty simple to isolate a single yeast strain, grow it, and grow it in a starter. It was a "thing" to isolate yeast from well known beers.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical Xbox users trying to get a rise then tea bagging at the end.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Eh?

    "UK readers will also be pleased to hear that his kitchen kit includes a 5,000W transformer allowing him to run 230 volts to his proper British kettle"

    My electric kettles work just fine on US power. There is no discernible difference in operation between mine here in California, and the ones I've used in Blighty (except that gawd/ess-awful monster of a plug you lot are inexplicably in lust with, of course). What makes you think it would be otherwise?

    And as a side note, most US households are perfectly capable of 230V. For example, ovens, clothes dryers, tankless water heaters, HVAC and the like all typically run on 230V; adding a circuit for a British-wired kettle would be a lot cheaper than a 5,000W transformer. Methinks the transformer is probably part of a 60 to 50 Hertz converter ... which most kettles don't give a shit about. As a dude who shuttled back and forth between here and there for several decades, I'm here to tell you it's a lot easier (and cheaper in shipping costs!) to just use the local electronics.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      A US kettle on a normal Edison plug has 15A @ 120V, thus 1800W available.

      A British kettle has 13A @ 240V, thus 3120W of power.

      So it boils faster, and you can have more tea. This is important.

      If you did use a US "dryer socket", you'd need a special kettle designed to be safe when fed with two 120V phases - both are live. A rewired continental kettle would fit the bill.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        How long does the British kettle require to boil? Add 40% to that time, and that's what it would take the US kettle. Hardly a big imposition.

        And many US kitchens are wired for a 220/230/240v socket for an electric oven (even if the installed oven is gas) so you could get your tea EVEN FASTER if it means that much to you!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Eh?

          It's been boiling since 1773 but feel free to throw it away you splitters. (This is sarcasm btw)

        2. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          Here in the UK, a kettle is way quicker than an electric oven for boiling water. I get boiling water from my kettle in about a minute, and if my recipe calls for boiling water in a pan, eg pasta, vegetables or whatever, I will fill the pan with boiling water from the kettle rather than heat up a pan of cold water.

        3. DougS Silver badge

          Wow look at all the downvotes

          From any of us yanks questioning the Brit's tea.

          No wonder dumping their tea in the harbor was such a powerfully symbolic act, the equivalent piss off for Americans would be strangling a bald eagle with the stars and stripes while singing the national anthem off key :)

          1. Jemma Silver badge

            Re: strangling bald eagles

            Shortly to be seen in the Hollywood film - Being Donald Trump.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Wow look at all the downvotes

            while singing the national anthem off key

            Which, having been at a number of NFL games, both here in the UK and in the US, I have plenty of experience of..

            (Of course, the GB anthem at UK games is usually sung by a proper trained singer like Laura Wright rather than some random $ForcesPerson/R&B 'singer' and so is both in-tune and on-time..).

      2. jake Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Eh?

        The kettle that my Wife uses to make her tea actually has a 1500W element. (It's a Cuisinart "PerfectTemp Programmable Cordless", Xmas gift a couple years ago). It boils 1.7l (actually 2.0l if you push it) of cold tap water more than fast enough to pre-heat the tea pot properly. The last one we had was 2,000W and required a 20A circuit, but that's OK because the entire kitchen is wired for that. Seat-of-the-pants shows no noticeable difference in boil speed, so I suspect the time between them isn't all that far off in the real world.

        It has been my experience that British appliances rarely, if ever, use the 13A they are fused for. How many Watts does your kettle's actual heating element use? Not arguing, curious. I never bothered to look :-)

        230V kettles are available at restaurant supply stores, and are competitive in price with common or garden domestic kettles. Most hold more water, though.

        Beer ... all this talk of tea has made me thirsty, and it's bound to be 5 o'clock somewhere.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          My kettle is 3kW. Lower powered ones are available. Mine came from John Lewis (high street department store chain with big electrical section). Currys, our equivalent to Best Buy out on the retail park, also has them.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Eh?

            3KW at TOA's stated 230V is a tick over 13 amps ... more than the circuit is supposed to provide. Even if it's a 240V circuit, that's still 12.5 amps ... do you honestly call an electrician in to run a new circuit every time you change your mind as to the placement of the kettle in your kitchen? Or do you yell out "kettle's on!" so nobody accidentally turns on a light and the radio or telly, thus tripping the circuit? And what happens if you designate a spare room in your house as office space? Do you have to have a special line run in to operate the kettle?

            (Note that I know the answers to all this, I'm just pointing out the futility of trying to one-up the neighbors unless you are in full possession of the facts. That's generic "you", not you personally katrinab.)

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Eh?

              > I'm just pointing out the futility of trying to one-up the

              > neighbors unless you are in full possession of the facts

              Right back at you:

              "The power of a kettle ranges from about 2.2kW to 3kW – higher-wattage kettles are more powerful and so boil faster. Most kettles now have a wattage of 3kW, but we've found that kettles with similar power levels don't always boil at the same speed." https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/kettles/article/kettle-features-explained

            3. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              We have 30A ring mains with 13A at each socket, so the kettle will work anywhere in the house. Obviously a kettle and two electric heaters on the same circuit would be a problem, but generally it is not something I have to think about.

            4. Aitor 1 Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              British spec kettles use 12.5A, at 240v = 3000W

              By law (code), the circuits in the house are at least 16A, so this is about 78% of a normal circuit. and 39% of a kitchen circuit.

              Power circuits in the kitchen/high power areas in the houses are 32A, at 240V this is 7680W, useful for electric showers, aircon etc.

              Even if you had overload in the circuit, a 16A can withstand at least 20A, but the protections in your panel will trip way before there is a problem.

              1. keith_w

                Re: Eh?

                "Power circuits in the kitchen/high power areas in the houses are 32A, at 240V this is 7680W, useful for electric showers, aircon etc."

                Electric shower? Shocking I tell you, shocking!

            5. dajames Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              3KW at TOA's stated 230V is a tick over 13 amps ... more than the circuit is supposed to provide.

              UK mains sockets are rated for 13 amps at 250V, so a kettle rated at 3kW at 240V is fine.

              The mains supply was traditionally 240V, but to bring the UK inline with the rest of Europe where 220V supplies are the norm the official voltage was changed to 230V plus or minus 10%. This means that both 220V and 240V are in-spec.

              Of course, if you run a 3kW/240V kettle at 230V you won't quite get 3kW out of it -- the current depends on the resistance of the kettle element and the voltage of the supply -- so it will be consuming less than 13A, and will be within the specification of the socket.

              Or do you yell out "kettle's on!" so nobody accidentally turns on a light and the radio or telly, thus tripping the circuit?

              The wiring for a ring-main in a UK house typically uses 2.5mm conducting wires, which are rated for 20A (more or less, the actual rating depends how the cable is routed) so there's no danger from turning on the kettle at the same time as other low-consumption devices.

            6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              "Or do you yell out "kettle's on!" so nobody accidentally turns on a light and the radio or telly, thus tripping the circuit?"

              The socket, plug and cable to device is rated at a minimum of 13A, there's a safety margin. The socket is fed from a 30A ring main.

              There are no rules or laws restricting the power of a kettle other than being safe to use in a standard home environment. This means there are a range available including large bottomed one with a spread out element for larger capacity and smaller bottomed ones which can safely boil as little as a single mug of water for efficiency. The EU is looking at efficiency of electrical items but that doesn't mean forcing a power reduction. It could just mean more efficient design so you need it powered for less time, or a more robust design so it lasts longer and you don't need to make as many.

        2. dajames Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          How many Watts does your kettle's actual heating element use?

          3kW. Quite a lot of kettles on sale in the UK are (for some reason) only 2.2kW, but I can't wait that long for my tea!

        3. AIBailey Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          It has been my experience that British appliances rarely, if ever, use the 13A they are fused for

          Just to be pedantic, for those that haven't experienced UK electrics before: We actually have 3 different fuse ratings for plugs - 3A and 13A are still in mainstream use, with 5A apparently being phased out nowadays.

          So, anything that needs less than around 650W will have a 3A fuse fitted - this will include items like TV's, HiFi equipment, clocks, fans, lights, old computer equipment etc. Higher rated items like heaters, kettles, microwave ovens, washing machines and toasters will use 13A fuses instead.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Eh?

            >We actually have 3 different fuse ratings for plugs - 3A and 13A are still in mainstream use, with 5A apparently being phased out nowadays.

            You forgot the 2A, 7A and 10A varieties! But they're mostly for fuse geeks these days.

        4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Eh?

          Only if you posted at 00 minutes in the hour. Otherwise it's at [PostingTime in minutes]+5pm..

          (Yes, yes, that's my coat. The one with the twice-a-day accurate watch permanently set to 5pm. Oh look, hometime!)

      3. s2bu

        Re: Eh?

        It’s not two phases really, it’s split phase. One is -120V, one is +120V, The different between the two is 240V. If it’s a 3-prong device with a proper chassis ground it should be perfectly safe. If not, then, yes, you’re probably right.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        ...designed to be safe when fed with two 120V phases...

        I don't know what you're smoking, but this is incorrect. Go find the wikipedia article on "split phase" and read it.

        Every house here gets 240v single phase service, and the electric panels are designed so that it's impossible to wire a 240v circuit incorrectly and get anything but 240v single phase.

      5. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      Yes, yes, no-one is saying 230volts isn't possible in America, just that your average domestic kettle has lower power than the UK ones due to your puny voltage. - It's why Americans use a microwave rather than a kettle to boil water for their coffee.

      As for the UK plugs, maybe we don't like electrocuting babies? Tom Scott - British Plugs Are Better Than All Other Plugs, And Here's Why - YouTube

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        I provided two examples of kettle wattage known to me, and you provided snark. Again, what kind of actual wattage do typical British tea kettles use?

        If you don't like electrocuting babies, perhaps you should look into GFI protection (that's RCB to you Brits) instead of 13 amp fuses at each and every appliance ... 13 amps of fuse ain't going to protect little B1FF and Buffy, should they manage to get lucky sticking a fork into the toaster. (If you're unaware of the specifics, 0.03 amps can kill.)

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          This is my kettle, it is 3kW

          https://www.johnlewis.com/sage-the-soft-open-kettle-silver/p489241

          Almost all of them are 3kw

          https://www.johnlewis.com/browse/electricals/kettles/_/N-aht

          You can filter by wattage, the lowest powered one is 2kW

          1. GrumpyKiwi

            Re: Eh?

            I have a Sunbeam kettle (and toaster - thye were part of a package deal). I gather the name derives from the fact that it would be faster to heat your water by leaving your cup of water in a sunbeam than to try to boil it in this sad pathetic excuse for a kettle. The toaster is no better.

        2. edris90

          Re: Eh?

          You know it's the 60 hertz that makes it so dangerous in the US, right?

          The most likely thing to kill you from getting electrocuted from a wall socket, is that asked that at 60 hertz AC it gets confused with the body's own signals and the heart thinks it's being told to stop.

          Because the British work at 50 hertz, it's not near as dangerous.

          My brother as a baby put a butter knife right into the wall socket and got zapped for a good 3 seconds, other than sore hands and crying for days, he was fine after a week to heal.

          Ended up going to electrician School. Got pretty good at it

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Eh?

            If you're in good shape, your heart will beat closer to 50 Hz than 60 Hz so 50 Hz would be more dangerous.

            The far more important factor is the voltage, twice the voltage overcomes resistance more easily and results in more milliamps potentially crossing the heart. You'd rather be shocked with 120 volts than 240 volts regardless of Hz, though both can kill in the right circumstances.

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              If you've got a 50Hz heartbeat, you should probably call an ambulance now. Tell them tachycardia.

              Average adult heartbeat is generally in the range 1Hz (resting) - 4Hz (exercising very hard).

              1. DougS Silver badge

                Re: Eh?

                Oops you're right per second vs per minute confusion! And hardly anyone can reach 240 bpm no matter how hard they exercise. Maybe a kid on a sugar high at a Disneyland...

                But now I'm really unsure what the guy who claimed that 60 Hz is closer to "the body's own signals" is talking about.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Eh?

                  >But now I'm really unsure what the guy who claimed that 60 Hz is closer to "the body's own signals" is talking about.

                  I think that is probably Troll physiology.

                2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Re: Eh?

                  now I'm really unsure what the guy who claimed that 60 Hz is closer to "the body's own signals" is talking about

                  Here's a hint - they are talking nonsense..

                  The only thing that the human body responds to at ~60hz is the visual system which can get cunfused by things running at ~60hz. The heart (as people have pointed out) has different frequencies depending on loading & health (and thus the frequency of the heart nerves activity will also vary). The brain (if it has an overall frequency) would be ~ 1kKHz.

                  When the woo-woo fringe go on about measuring the 'body frequency' they are most often measuring the local AC frequency since that's picked up quite nicely by the epidermis and the wires of whatever you are using to measure the frequency (even if not in direct contact. Many, many years ago I built a touch-switch that relied on picking up the inducted 50hz of the mains wiring from the end-users finger. It worked surprisingly well).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Eh?

          I saw your arrogance, and raised you snark!

          "The power of a kettle ranges from about 2.2kW to 3kW – higher-wattage kettles are more powerful and so boil faster. Most kettles now have a wattage of 3kW, but we've found that kettles with similar power levels don't always boil at the same speed." https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/kettles/article/kettle-features-explained

          We had RCD (or RCCB - not RCB) over 30 years ago. They have been manatory since 2001 (BS 7671:2001) - anyway, where's your earth connection?

          As for fused plugs, they can be individually rated for each appliance - a 3 amp fuse will protect a dodgy cable to a light from burning if more than 700 Watts is drawn.

        4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          @Jake - the 13A fuse in a UK fused appliance isn't to protect you from electrocution (as I'm sure you know) - it's to protect you from fire in the event of a short in the appliance heating the conductors in either the flex or the house wiring. The fuse is in the plug rather than in the appliance so that if it blows because of a live-earth short in the appliance the appliance housing can not become live (if metal and not double insulated, it must be attached to earth).

          A 13A fuse is rated to carry 13A fuse *forever*. The rating is such that the fuse itself does not dissipate more than one watt at the rated current. The higher the current; the faster it blows but it will take 20A (not just 13A) for ever - see graph at https://www.pat-testing-training.net/articles/fuse-operation-characteristics.php

        5. Julz Bronze badge

          Re: Eh?

          The fuse is to protect the wiring not the person who put their fingers across the wires, the RCD is for that.

        6. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          that's RCB to you Brits

          Current UK fusebox regulations require at least two RCD fuses to be fitted - in our house (new fuse box a year ago) we have 6 - one for each of the wall socket ring mains (4 bed house means that each floor is split into two ring mains, one for the left-hand side and one for the right-hand side - hence 4 RCDs for the wall socket ring mains as well as one for the kitchen high-power sockets and one for the main bathroom high power socket).

          We also have a couple of portable RCD sockets that we use out in the garage.

    3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      The us plugs are unsafe:

      They do not block the socket using the earth pin

      The pins bend,

      The earth is below the active pins, so if it is partially inserted and a metal part drops from above, you can get into trouble.

      The pins are full metal, not partly plastic, so a partially inserted plug can shock you.

      US plugs don't have a fuse (I know this is only in part to protect the user in the UK)

      The plugs and circuits in the us are quite limited in wattage, even on amps, and half the voltage.

      True, US voltage is less likely to kill you, but also more likely to touch you.

      As for 230v.. not all 230v is created equal. In the uk it is single phase, in the US it is mostly two phases.. so you have no neutral, both are live and can electrocute you.

      1. quxinot Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        >The earth is below the active pins, so if it is partially inserted and a metal part drops from above, you can get into trouble.

        Then it's installed upside down, actually. If you look at a US-spec outlet and see a face, it's wrong.

        (Nevermind that in practice, basically all of them are that way--they really should go with the single pin skyward.)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          So does that mean they fail code and the inspectors on new builds or re-wires are failing at their job or is it just that it "should" go the proper way up but everyone thinks they look cuter as "faces" and no one bothers about it because the code doesn't actually state the correct way up?

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Eh?

            People expect houses to have the smiley face version

            The code for hospitals and some industrial installations requires earth at the top

            (I'm betting contractors charge more for the earth at the top medical grade installs)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Eh?

            To the best of my knowledge, US code doesn't specify which way up the outlet should go. Traditionally it's been ground-down, but ground-up has been catching on. I don't think an inspector will fail either. (I've also seen sideways.)

            When was the last time anyone dropped a piece of metal between a partially-plugged-in plug and the outlet? Seems like an extremely unlikely accident.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        They do not block the socket using the earth pin

        You can buy sockets that do that here.

        The plugs and circuits in the us are quite limited in wattage, even on amps, and half the voltage.

        Bollocks. There are 15A, 20A, 30A options at 120v, and higher for 240v circuits.

        True, US voltage is less likely to kill you, but also more likely to touch you.

        I dunno, I've been plugging things in for half a century. Never been "touched" while plugging something in or unplugging it.

        in the US it is mostly two phases..

        No, it's not. Like pretty much everything else you've written, it's a load of bollocks. Please stop, you're just embarrassing yourself.

        1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          "They do not block the socket using the earth pin

          You can buy sockets that do that here."

          Those are not standard and most houses do not have them. So no, the point is that they are mostly not used.

          https://www.homedepot.com/c/types_of_electrical_outlets

          As you can see, only new builds from 2008 require

          Limited wattage --> Of course said plugs and circuits do exist, and also you can have 240v circuits. But they are uncommon. Also, normal 15A plugs and 20A plugs are different. Not in the UK.. the standard says max 13A at 240v, although the circuit has more amps available.. but that plug in W is que equivalent of a 26A plug at normal US voltages.

          Touch partially plugged connectors: good for you, but it is not a random thought that made the UK and some other places to mandate partial insulated pins, as I know from when I was a small kid. It is an unnecessary danger.

          Phases --> You are simply wrong, I assume that you live in the us.. and you seem to have no knowledge of how power is delivered to your house.

          A link as an example:

          http://www.oempanels.com/240v-single-phase-and-240v-3-phase

          If you have 240v both poles are probably active unless you are on a commercial/industrial building.

          You normal case is called "1P3W" and what we have in the uk and most of western europe as far as I know is "240V Single Phase 2 Wire" with "415Y / 240V 3 Phase 4 Wire (3P4W)" reaching most buildings but just a single phase being used for each individual home/flat.

          Actual voltages do vary depending on countries.. right now most of western continental europe has 230v (used to be 220v) and the UK has 240v, all are 230v with some tolerance (both 220 and 240 are accepted).

          So no, I am not embarrassing myself, even if I am not an industrial engineer or qualified electrician.

    4. sitta_europea Bronze badge

      Re: Eh?

      "There is no discernible difference ... except that gawd/ess-awful monster of a plug you lot are inexplicably in lust with ... "

      It's not inexplicable, but I won't bore you.

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        It's not inexplicable, but I won't bore you.

        Yeah, Type Gs exist as a dual function power plug/home defence anti-burglar caltrop device. This is also the reason why the Danes, with their type Ks, invented Lego. The NRA have been supressing this information for decades

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      adding a circuit for a British-wired kettle would be a lot cheaper than a 5,000W transformer.

      Electricians aren't cheap. Certainly requires pulling a permit and having an inspection. I'd wager it's a minimum $500 job. Probably more like a $750 job and maybe even a $1000.

      Amazon has a 110/220, 5000W step-up/step-down transformer for the low low price of $125.

      OTOH I'd laugh my ass off if the poser only had 15A circuits in his kitchen and had to pay an electrician to add a 20A circuit for the transformer and didn't add a 240v circuit instead.

  5. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    the results have raised eyebrows

    Blimey. That's some powerful yeast if it can do that.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: the results have raised eyebrows

      I was more surprised the results looked like a face. The state of the eyebrows was an unnecessary detail to point out.

  6. Paul Herber Silver badge
    Terminator

    Toaster

    Does an ancient Egyptian talkie toaster speak in hieroglyphics?

    <closest icon I can get to a mummified face>

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Toaster

      No more than yours speaks in the English Alphabet.

    2. Michael B.

      Re: Toaster

      Nerd hat on. We don't know what ancient Egyptian actually sounded like as they didn't, except in certain circumstances, write down the vowel sounds. (I believe that Arabic is the same.) The closest we can get to it these days is coptic which is the direct descendant of ancient Egyptian, and we do know how to pronouce.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Toaster

        write down the vowel sounds. (I believe that Arabic is the same.)

        Pretty much all the ancient languages didn't write down the vowel sounds.. IN fact, I can't think of one that did (apart from Ancient Latin).

  7. Cheshire Cat
    Coat

    Its all in the temperature

    Well, when you being the water up to 100 degrees in America, it's barely warm enough to make a decent cup of tea. UK kettles bring up to a proper 100 degrees.

    1. Duffy Moon

      Re: Its all in the temperature

      Also "Lipton Yellow" is not fit to be called tea.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Its all in the temperature

        Oh God yes Lipton Yellow is filth in a cup. I always bring my own teabags to the USA and Canada.

        1. bpfh Silver badge

          Re: Its all in the temperature

          Same in France, you either ask for a “tisane” which is a herb or fruit “tea”, or if you tell them you are English you get a small packet of Lipton Yellow that the manufacturer has gone out of their way to convince the French that Britain’s preferred tea is made my Thomas Lipton, or “Sir Lipton”. Well, a) that should be Sir Thomas and b) it ain’t, and c) it’s frigging expensive.

          Finally some supermarkets packaged cheaper “English breakfast Tea” which is far better, but you needed 3 or 4 teabags to make a decent cuppa - and 2 euros for 40 teabags for 12 cups is still not cheap compared to the £3 quid for 240 bags of Tetley or PG Tips, sometimes on a buy one bag get one free, so I now have a sideline as an international teabag trafficker each time I visit my London office... well teabags, crunichie bars and pork pies....

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Its all in the temperature

            240 bags of Tetley or PG Tips

            I thought we were talking about tea? Not 'floorsweepings masquerading as tea'?

            (Yes, in addition to being a grammar snob and a pedant, I'm also a tea snob. I will, at a pinch, accept Yorkshire tea [loose leaf] but prefer to make my own mix[1])

            [1] 2 parts Licorice tea[2], two parts Lapsang Souchong and one part Darjeeling. It's very nice.

            [2] Standard black tea with licorice flowers added. Tastes a bit aniseedy. One day I'll make some cold-brew tea from it to see what it tastes like. Available from Atkinsons Coffee & Tea in Lancaster - also available via t'wibbly-wobbly web.

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Its all in the temperature

          If you use tea bags to brew tea your opinion on fine tea's simply odes not count.

          You are using what was brushed up from the floor ...

          1. joeW Silver badge

            Re: Its all in the temperature

            Nobody is talking about fine tea - we're talking proper stuff, tea that you can stand your spoon up in before you even add the four sugars. Tea that would tarnish gold. Tea that counts as a meal as well as a drink.

            Tea that makes me (an Irishman) think "Maybe that empire the British used to have wasn't *all* bad".

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Its all in the temperature

        yeah Lipton - not fit to gargle with. I prefer Twinings or Bigelow (usually Bigelow). Twinings 'English Breakfast' brews a nice iced tea. I do a gallon at a time for that. Bigelow has better Earl Grey though, my opinion.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Its all in the temperature

        Also "Lipton Yellow" is not fit to be called tea

        Likewise the Abomiation Called "Orange Pekoe". If that was what they had in Boston in the 1770's, I'm not surprised that they tipped it into the harbour..

        (On my first visit to the US (going to install some dial-in modems in the corp headquarters in Chicago in the mid-1990's) the corporate restaurant manager booked time with me to talk about the sort of tea they should have since "I was British and thus knew all about tea". My response was "heat the water properly to boiling and don't use Orange Pekoe"..)

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Its all in the temperature

      Not only that.there are places where the town or city is so high up you simply can't properly boil a kettle for tea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its all in the temperature

        AND PEOPLE CHOOSE TO LIVE THERE???

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its all in the temperature

      "100 degrees in America"

      Oh, I see where they're going wrong - they work in Fahrenheit, so they're trying to brew tea at barely body temperature. I guess that's why it ends up like gnat's piss.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Its all in the temperature

      Celsius vs Farenheit. off by a factor of 2.

  8. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    Just like Mummy used to make

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Just like Mummy used to make

      Bitty - ah, sorry, wrong sort of mummy.

  9. Blake St. Claire

    What a fucking poser

    UK readers will also be pleased to hear that his kitchen kit includes a 5,000W transformer allowing him to run 230 volts to his proper British kettle in order to make a proper cup of tea

    My electric kettle makes 100℃ water perfectly, using 120v electricity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a fucking poser

      ....eventually!

      Anyway, chill out, it's an El Reg tease, not a declaration of war!

  10. ibmalone Silver badge

    Was there some kind of MS baking circle?

    First Nathan Myhrvold and now this. Next we find out Steve Ballmer makes his own croissants.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Was there some kind of MS baking circle?

      >Steve Ballmer makes his own croissants

      Eww. Sweaty croissants..

  11. Roj Blake Silver badge

    "you get a horrible, black, gross muck for a few days"

    Marmite!

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