Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club Blog at Allrecipes.com - 145059

Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club

hit me with your best shot 
Dec. 17, 2009 5:30 pm 
Updated: Apr. 28, 2010 9:34 pm
I remember once in high school, I was heading to the tennis courts with a friend, Tom. And as we were ambling along, we passed another classmate, Jeff, a guy who was kind of a bully, a bit of a jerk, and not really all that bright.

My friend, who's not really a jerk, made a jokey, somewhat jerky move like he was going to whack Jeff over the head with his tennis racket. As jokes go, not a great one. Certainly Jeff didn't think it was all that funny. He stopped cold in his tracks and turned to my friend and said menacingly, "I been hit by worse."

That always struck me as -- well, as either a lie, one, or as not necessarily something to brag about, two.

Anyway, I was reminded me of that story the other day as I was reading an article about which thing is better to be hit over the head with, an empty beer bottle or a full beer bottle.

Doubtless it is far better to be hit with neither. To be hit with nothing. But in any event, one of these has been scientifically proven to be better to be hit over the head with than the other. And since I've got a booze blog going here, I figure it is my solemn duty to share this important morsel of knowledge.

If you’re like me, you might think the full beer bottle would crack the head open with more gusto. A full bottle would seem more solid, heftier, like the club of a caveman. The empty bottle seems all air, just a flimsy outer shell of thin glass that I would expect to shatter like a stunt prop.

Ah-ha! But you see, here's the truth. The full bottle is full of a carbonated beverage. And all those would-be bubbles are exerting pressure on the inside of the glass. So when the glass comes crashing down on your noodle, the pressure that’s constantly being applied from the inside meets the pressure being suddenly and viciously applied from the outside and crash-bang-boom! the bottle bursts, sparing to a certain extent your brain plate. Turns out, empty bottles are a full 1/3 more sturdy than full.

Probably I should have guessed this. Early makers of still wine in the chilly Champagne region of France were often faced with exploding wine bottles whenever the wine would begin an accidental secondary fermentation in bottle (back when the glass bottles were thin shelled). The cellars were like mine fields.  (More on exploding champagne!)

You can confirm the beer-bottle story if you happen to have the April 2009 issue of The Journal of Forensic and legal Medicine laying around the house. Or check out last Sunday's blurb in The New York Times Magazine.

No word yet on whether it's worse to be hit over the head with a graphite tennis racket or an empty beer bottle.
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Dec. 18, 2009 8:31 am
My (now) husband actually proposed to me after I had gotten mad about something and thrown an empty beer bottle on the floor of the kitchen. I guess he should be glad he didn't get hit it the head with it - ha!
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About Me
My wife and I and our two devilish kittens live on Capitol Hill in Seattle. A few years ago, I got a masters in gastronomy. I'm a food/wine writer. I’m also blogging about cocktails.
My favorite things to cook
We cook fairly simple dishes using fresh local ingredients that we pick up at the Seattle farmers market. My favorite thing is making a nice slow-braised or long-roasted something on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I like cooking with wine (in the dish and in the glass...and in the cook).
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom never liked to cook, but she did well despite herself. Her mother, my omi, was from Munich and made delicious rouladen, sauerbraten and other traditional German and American dishes. Always bins and bins of home-baked cookies at Christmas. Wonderful rye bread. And beer. Opa would say, "Brotzeit ist die beste zeit."
My cooking triumphs
We’ve made the signature timpano dish from The Big Night a couple times. And for Thanksgiving 2007, we made Turducken. My wife and I are always volunteering to cook the big holiday meals with the family. We mix a signature cocktail, and get down to it.
My cooking tragedies
I made Thanksgiving Dinner for myself once when I was snowed-in in Denver. I nearly burned down the neighborhood.
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