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Make That A RASPBERRY Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster
April 22, 2009 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Astronomers searching for amino acids in space have discovered something unexpected -- the center of our galaxy tastes like raspberries and smells like rum.

Scans of the Sagittarius B molecular cloud near the galaxy's center have turned up a good number of ethyl formate molocules; ethyl formate smells a lot like rum, and is one of the components of the flavor of raspberries.

However, alongside the ethyl formate molocules, they also picked up evidence of 50 other interstellar molecules in the vicinity of a new-formed star.

The size and complexity of the ethyl formate molecules suggests that larger proteins could also form in space -- what they'll smell like, though, is anyone's guess.
posted by EmpressCallipygos (41 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've seen this Futurama episode...
posted by lumensimus at 3:57 PM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


We need to organize an expedition immediately.
posted by ...possums at 3:58 PM on April 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


The center of my galaxy tastes like the warm light of a candle and smells like the first soft, sweet breath of a thousand newborn kittens.

Just, y'know, fyi.
posted by dersins at 4:00 PM on April 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


We are all made of star flavors.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:05 PM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Personally, I'm convinced that somehow, somewhere, Douglas Adams is involved in this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:06 PM on April 22, 2009 [12 favorites]


My God, it's full of bars.
posted by cazoo at 4:10 PM on April 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


My God, it's full of yarrrs.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:10 PM on April 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


ALL THESE FLAVORS ARE YOURS
EXCEPT CILANTRO
ATTEMPT NO TASTINGS THEREOF
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:11 PM on April 22, 2009 [32 favorites]


COSMOS HAS A FLAVOR
posted by brundlefly at 4:15 PM on April 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


When Earth was almost used up, the scientists sent our expedition to the stars. We thought to find endless miracles, eternal gardens in the black of space to sustain humankind. And now that we're back, we can report:

The sentient, killer raspberries are real. They are drunk on spiced Admiral Nelson. And they're about three clicks out. Load the guns.
posted by logicpunk at 4:17 PM on April 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


How to celebrate this news.
posted by dragstroke at 4:20 PM on April 22, 2009


Mom?
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:23 PM on April 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


Someone invent a cosmic recipe - baba au rum with raspberries.
posted by Cranberry at 4:24 PM on April 22, 2009


Carl Sagan Ice Cream: BILLIONS and BILLIONS of flavors
posted by brundlefly at 4:27 PM on April 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Which, of course, suggests it wasn't so much a big bang as a big belch.

Further evidence of what I like to call "Stupid Creation," since I firmly believe that there was a God involved in the creation of the universe, but he was neither intelligent nor had a design in mind. Basically, he was drunk and, when somebody pointed out that he'd just belched up a universe, he angrily denied it, insisting that it was the dog what did it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:28 PM on April 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


So God likes his universe like he likes his spirits?

I'm cool with that.
posted by yeloson at 4:34 PM on April 22, 2009


So God likes his universe like he likes his spirits?

God likes Raspberry Orbitz?
posted by clearly at 4:39 PM on April 22, 2009


the center of our galaxy tastes like raspberries and smells like rum

I think we're dating the same person then.
posted by ornate insect at 4:45 PM on April 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


Evidence of the God Party!-cle?
posted by njbradburn at 4:53 PM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am not drinking alone.

I am ingesting the very essence of the galactic core.
posted by The Whelk at 4:56 PM on April 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


I feel it! I feel the Cosmos! Sagittarius rolled up the ethyl formate! So yummy!
posted by Kinbote at 5:04 PM on April 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


It's just aliens blowing raspberries at us.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:05 PM on April 22, 2009


My-gf-the-astrophysicist is endlessly fascinated by what various celestial objects smell like. Titan, incidentally, apparently smells really really bad. Kind of like a giant fart orbiting Saturn.

I am extremely pleased that my tax dollars pay for this kind of thing.
posted by kyrademon at 5:09 PM on April 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


As when I gorge myself on raspberries from the briar patch, so too am I drinking the celestial nexus from which we all stir.
posted by mrmojoflying at 5:11 PM on April 22, 2009


So... that's how the universe was created...

God: Hey, want a raspberry Starburst?
God's sidekick: Sure, why not?
BOOM

God: HAHA!Gotcha! Gotcha!
posted by qvantamon at 5:25 PM on April 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


yeloson: "So God likes his universe like he likes his spirits?"

14 billion years old and full raspberry rum?
posted by Science! at 5:27 PM on April 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I knew it.
posted by monospace at 5:41 PM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


And, apparently on earth, they have these little seedpods that totally taste like Sagittarius B! Those crazy Earthlings.
posted by GuyZero at 5:42 PM on April 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


This is just one huuuuge misunderstanding. A few MIT astronomers threw a party in Boston a while back. One of them was poking around and was so fuckin' high that what he thought was an abstract from the Journal of Astrophysics was, in reality, the liner notes of Grateful Dead from the Mars Hotel. Some embarrassing comments were made and to cover some asses a press release was issued because nobody would really ever figure that shit out anyways.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:44 PM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've always known the universe was drunken, but I'm surprised to find that it's such a sissy drunk.
posted by klangklangston at 6:14 PM on April 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


If God exists, he must looooooove Cosmotinis!
posted by jonp72 at 6:51 PM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Uh, no. The centre of our galaxy is, by all accounts, chewy nougat.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:42 PM on April 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Kind of like a giant fart orbiting Saturn.

New favorite insult.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:56 PM on April 22, 2009


So our galaxy is really a giant cocktail which God is mixing, and when he's done he'll drink the whole thing down, us included.

Fair enough.
posted by homunculus at 11:28 PM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I imagine the journalist was just going through the motions until ethyl formate was mentioned. The journalist probably lit up at the words, remembering past classes on food chemistry, and asked, "like raspberries?" The astronomer shook his head, "it does happen to give raspberries their flavour, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries." Space raspberries! The journalist was too excited to listen to reason, and began inquiring about the type of raspberry and if they'd be any good with cream, or if they would be better on their own, you know, kind of a bit too sweet for the cream and sugar treatment. What about cereal? Is there a nearby cereal cluster? "No", the astronomer said firmly, "No, ethyl formate is in a lot of things besides raspberries, some alcohols for instance--", "Rum!" Ethyl formate also makes rum smell like rum, by god, this was science-- His mind ran through the endless applications of space rum flavor extracts, and if space has raspberry rum flavors, what else could be out there, the journalist grabbed the astronomer by the collar and demanded to know, "What else have you found!?", "So far we have identified around 50 molecules in our survey, and two of those had not been seen before." FIFTY MOLECULES!!!?!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:34 AM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Apparent map of the center of the universe.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:41 AM on April 23, 2009


"- the center of our galaxy tastes like raspberries and smells like rum."

I thought it tatsted and smelled a lot more like explosive decompression, myself... which I guess is kind of blood-flavored.
posted by markkraft at 4:52 AM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Galactus isn't testing life for a higher purpose! He's looking for bar munchies. After a raspberry rum fizz, I'd need an inhabited world or two to settle my stomach, too.

On another note... now that they're finding clouds of organic molecules in space, maybe they should be looking for chemical compounds within that are waste products of metabolism. Maybe life doesn't need a planet to evolve into higher forms.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:23 AM on April 23, 2009


I imagine the journalist was just going through the motions until ethyl formate was mentioned. The journalist probably lit up at the words, remembering past classes on food chemistry, and asked, "like raspberries?" The astronomer shook his head, "it does happen to give raspberries their flavour, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries." Space raspberries! The journalist was too excited to listen to reason, and began inquiring about the type of raspberry and if they'd be any good with cream, or if they would be better on their own, you know, kind of a bit too sweet for the cream and sugar treatment....

I'm assuming you were kidding, but in all seriousness you may not be too far off. Most science doesn't attract the attention of the general public unless it's "news of the weird" trivia like this -- then it gets blasted all over the damn place because it's just wacky. (Hell, the way I heard of that link was because Neil Gaiman had it on his blog.) I'm reminded of the time that a good friend of mine, who's a high-school physics teacher in Ireland, once lamented that she couldn't really get kids' attentions unless she packed a lot of experiments involving explosions or "how to make stink bombs" into her classes. "My life is all bangs and smells," she grumbled.

Personally, this kind of wacky detail is precisely why I like science itself, because there's just so MUCH wacky detail like this, but for the most part it's the only kind of detail that grabs the attention of the population.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:06 AM on April 23, 2009


Joe Michaels: God was reading over my shoulder, and started getting rather angry! But I explained why it was funny, and at least, He giggled, a little. But He wants you to know, He no longer gets drunk! He gave that up about 2k years ago (He was a mean drunk) when his Son ran away from Home. Now he only smokes good herb, and everythings cool, man.
posted by Goofyy at 7:15 AM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


The galaxy is a girly drink?

I CALL BULLSHIT ON THAT.
posted by Mister_A at 8:11 AM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


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