The present procedure for measuring the hotness of chillies in the food industry, using subjective taste testers, is considered far less reliable. Oxford University scientists have devised a new way of measuring the hotness of chillies. The process, which works by measuring the level of capsaicinoids (the source of the chilli’s hotness) in the chilli sauce, is called Adsorptive Stripping Voltammetry (ASV). This new method can precisely determine the level of hotness more speedily and cheaply than ever before.
Two Oxford graduate students solved a so-called “impossible” puzzle – while enjoying their dinner at a popular Oxford eatery.Freshly refurbished Japanese chain-restaurant Wagamama challenged customers to solve a complicated cipher written on its window, in honour of Albert Einstein’s birthday last month.Oxford students Klaudia Krawiecka and Vojtech Havlicek solved it in one night over some teriyaki chicken.The puzzle required the students to decode a sequence of numbers into letters of the alphabet, then into three words related to Wagamama.Krawiecka, a first-year graduate studying cybersecurity at Keble, told the Oxford Mail: “We were having dinner at Wagamama when we found out about the competition.“We had some spare time while waiting for the food and decided to give it a shot as we both enjoy solving puzzles.”Kraweicka and Havlicek, who is pursuing a DPhil in quantum computing at Keble, were undaunted, with Havlicek saying that solving puzzles is the pair’s “daily bread.”“We solve riddles on a daily basis in both personal and professional lives.”First, they employed frequency analysis, an information security technique involving analyzing how often certain letters or numbers crop up in a cipher.Krawiecka told Cherwell they “initially assumed that the most popular numbers in the sequence would denote the most common letters in the English alphabet.”This led to a dead end, however, as the sequence was too short to apply the technique.However, they then decided to break down the numbers into their constituent prime numbers. After that move, they noticed that each of the numbers in the puzzle was made up of a distinct set of prime numbers, prompting them to translate them into binary.From there, they went to the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) table, a standardized table for encoding information, and checked which binary numbers corresponded to which letters.The puzzle’s answer was ‘Wagamama Ramen Teppanyaki’.Wagamama rewarded the pair’s efforts with a £500 voucher to its restaurants. Havlicek said: “We will be well fed for a while!”
The Oxford Homeless Project celebrated its fourth anniversary on Monday (November 11) at the Asian Cultural Centre in Cowley. Sabir founded the enterprise in 2015 after her experience serving dishes to the homeless during Ramadan. Sabir and and her friends gathered at Gloucester Green in the evening when breaking their daily fast, inviting homeless people from across the city to celebrate Iftar. Following this, Sabir was inspired to do even more to help those without a roof over their heads, and decided to gather a group of volunteers to create a long-term project. Since its formation, the project has served home-cooked meals to the homeless every two weeks. The project continues to be run by volunteers and has now amassed more than four thousand likes on its Facebook page. Discussing the future of homelessness activism in the city in a statement ahead of their anniversary, the project said: “Whilst we still feel worried about our friends we do however feel things will be better for our rough sleepers this year. We do feel Oxford City Council have made some exceptional progress in tackling and addressing homelessness in Oxford.” Sabir told Cherwell: “It’s always very humbling to know the city of Oxford has no shortage of care or compassion. Whilst such a service shouldn’t be needed we believe it’s important for our guests to know they’re not alone and the community does care.” The event was also attended by Lord Mayor of Oxford, Craig Simmons, as well as Labour and Cooperative politician Anneliese Dodds, who has served as the MPfor Oxford East since the 2017 election. Sabir added: “We are here not only to give rough sleepers a hot meal; anyone in need is welcome to a community style lunch. We want to ensure going forward that people always have a place they can eat and feel welcome.” The Muslim community project, led by Shabnam Sabir and Tayyaba Hameed, is dedicated to providing fortnightly meals for the homeless, as well as other necessities such as sleeping bags, clothing, tents, and haircuts. Food donated by the community is served every other Monday lunchtime at the Asian Cultural Centre. Over a hundred people attended the anniversary lunch, from families and residents to college and university students. Children from St. Francis Primary School helped to decorate tables and creating posters with messages of solidarity for the event, while a group of pupils gave a choir performance. Students from EMBS Community College also got involved, cooking, serving and setting up, with volunteers also sharing pizza round at the event.