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Jul. 06, 2015

Take the Science Friday Lollipop Challenge!

by Luke Groskin

Click to enlarge images
Hello Science Friday fans and candy enthusiasts! It's time to officially and scientifically answer one of the universe's greatest mysteries: How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
 
That profound conundrum is the subject of our newest video, "The Lollipop Postulate," in which several researchers at NYU's Applied Mathematics Lab set up an elaborate experiment involving lasers, flow tanks, and high-speed cameras, in hopes of answering that question.
 
...Actually they were aiming to study how pills dissolve or landscapes erodebut the math and physics apply to lollipops as well. Watch the video to find out how.
 
Now it's time for you to test their results. You don't need this high-tech set-up or a Ph.D. to try this out on your own. Here's how you do it:
 
1. Select your favorite flavor of Tootsie Pop. (We take no responsibility for any blue tongues.)
2. Unwrap Tootsie Pop. (This is critical. Do NOT skip this step.)
3. Gently apply tongue to unwrapped Tootsie Pop. 
4. Count each lick. (This can be done out loud or using pen and paper.)
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you see and feel the center of the pop, which is whenever you reach the Tootsie Roll.
6. Come back here and tell us how long it took.
 
Don't worry if you lose exact countyour results will be used to produce an average number of licks. And if you by chance you bite on the pop prematurely or cannot finish, let us know that too! (So we can taunt you endlessly about lack of self-control.) We'll analyze the data and reveal the results in a few weeks.

About Luke Groskin

Luke Groskin is Science Friday's video producer. Follow him @lgroskin

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.
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Code:
line 1: package tmpevalpackage;
line 2: sub doEval { 
line 3: 	my($parent);
line 4: 	
line 5: 	if($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'SEGMENT.nickname'}) {
line 6: 		$parent = $LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'SEGMENT.nickname'};
line 7: 	}
line 8: 	elsif($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'VIDEO.nickname'}) {
line 9: 		$parent = $LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'VIDEO.nickname'};
line 10: 	}
line 11: 	elsif($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'DOCUMENT.nickname'}) {
line 12: 		$parent = $LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'DOCUMENT.nickname'}
line 13: 	}
line 14: 	
line 15: 	if($parent) {
line 16: 		my(@books) = &Database::SelectClause('BOOK',"parent = $parent");
line 17: 		if(!@books) {
line 18: 			$parent = '';
line 19: 		}
line 20: 	}
line 21: 	
line 22: 	if(!$parent) {
line 23: 		my(@sel) = &Database::SelectClause('GLOBAL','record all ""');
line 24: 		if(@sel) {
line 25: 			$parent = 'GLOBAL.' . $sel[0];
line 26: 		}
line 27: 			$main::ENV{'reading_header'} = "FEATURED READING";
line 28: 	}
line 29: 	
line 30: 	 = '';
line 31: 	
line 32: 	if($parent) {
line 33: 		my(@books) = &Database::SelectClause('BOOK',"parent = $parent");
line 34: 		0 = 0;
line 35: 		my $dots;
line 36: 		foreach(@books) {
line 37: 			my(%data);
line 38: 			&Database::GetRow($_,'BOOK',\%data);
line 39: 			my($status,$title,$author,$url,$image,$width,$height) = &SciFri::Schema::getAmazonItem($data{'isbn'});
line 40: 			if($data{'title'}) {
line 41: 				$title = $data{'title'};
line 42: 			}
line 43: 			if($data{'author'}) {
line 44: 				$author = $data{'author'};
line 45: 			}
line 46: 			if($status eq 'ok') {
line 47: 				 .= "<div class=\"box-2x1-item box-slide\" data-href=\"$url\">";
line 48: 				 .= "	<div class=\"box-2x1-item-photo\">";
line 49: 				 .= "		<div class=\"image-wrapper\" data-jsclass=\"imageWrapper\" data-align=\"right\">";
line 50: 				 .= "			<img src=\"$image\" data-width=\"$width\" data-height=\"$height\">";
line 51: 				 .= "		</div>";
line 52: 				 .= "	</div>";
line 53: 				 .= "	<h4>$title</h4>";
line 54: 				if($author) {
line 55: 					 .= "	<p>by $author</p>";
line 56: 				}
line 57: 				 .= "	<div class=\"box-2x1-more-button\"><a href=\"$url\"><img src=\"/images/v1/icon_text_more_white.png\" width=47 height=15 border=0></a></div>";
line 58: 				 .= "</div>";
line 59: 				++0;
line 60: 			}
line 61: 		}
line 62: 	}
line 63: 	if($parent eq "GLOBAL.1") { $main::ENV{'reading_header'} = "FEATURED READING"; }
line 64: 	else { $main::ENV{'reading_header'} = "RELATED READING"; }
line 65:  };
line 66: &doEval();
line 67: 1;

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