Third Sentence Thursday, Jan 12

Not a novel, today, or even an essay. Today’s Third Sentence is from an article in the December 2011 issue of Scientific American.

“That is a shame, because a microwave oven, when used properly, can cook certain kinds of food perfectly, every time.”

According to the authors, W. Wayt Gibbs and Nathan Myhrvold, most people woefully under-estimate the usefulness of their microwave ovens, which can do so much more than boil water, pop popcorn, and warm tired leftovers. Gibbs and Myhrvold give a procedure (an excellent example of technical writing, by the way) for a tilapia main dish,  as well as sauteeing parsley, drying beef jerky, and calculating the velocity of light using cardboard and slices of Velveeta.

The scallion and ginger tilapia prep sounds absolutely delicious. Of course, this method requires more than just following a standard recipe from or The Food Channel. You need to know the power rating (number of watts) of your microwave oven, and then calculate the power setting (10 to 100%) needed to cook the fish at exactly 600 watts for 6 minutes.

This intrigues me, a former R&D chemist, and I think it will interest my retired-science-teacher husband. Yes, THAT husband. The food-obsessed one who has cooked every dinner in our home for 40 years, except when he was in the hospital. The one who was overjoyed to receive Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter for Christmas <>.

I’m really looking forward to dinner!

About Kat

Cat lover, singer, early music addict, reads a lot. Former R&D chemist with an obsessive need for variety. Now active as a freelance technical writer and editor, web designer, photographer, computer coach, and trainer. Owner, MasterWork Consulting (
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