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3 awesome things civil engineers have done with food

When you find yourself thinking that it is time to delve into the topic of food trivia and admire foody achievements yet again, you are likely to put on a rerun of Khana Khazana  or head to YouTube for a binge-watching session of the Cake boss. Indisputably, these food artists are going to awaken all your senses but did you know there is something you will be missing? That something is a wealth of crazy inventive stories the kind of which only civil engineers can tell and this time, they have decided to tell them with food.

A civil engineer travels the world thanks to pudding

Civil engineers are all about cost-effective and energy-efficient transportation. We have been toying with the idea of electric cars for more than a century and hovering busses are set to make China a less congested place to travel. If these fun facts conjure up a car running on pudding, though, you are underestimating the chutzpa of David Philips, a Californian civil engineer who in 1999 used his planning abilities and strong mathematical background to exploit a limited offer by Healthy Choice to earn 1.25 million airmiles by purchasing loads of their pudding.

These stats are likely to give rise to a slew of questions in the aspiring globetrotters mind so let’s answer them one by one.

Q: How many cups of pudding did Philips need to buy in order to become a traveller extraordinaire for life?

A: Around 12150.

Q: How much did he pay for each of them?

A: 25 cents per cup since he opted to buy them exclusively in stores where they were on discount.

Q: What else did he need for his oddball endeavor?

A: Two things.

  1. A good excuse to fend off any suspicionsthe shop assistants might harbor regarding his large-scailpudding purchases. His solution? He claimed he was stocking up for the Y2K.
  2. A team of people to peel off the barcodes as fast as possible because he knew that, if you sent the barcodes within the first month of the competition, you were entitled to have your newly-earned airmiles doubled. This team was first made up of his family members but when they predictably flagged under the arduous task, he recruited the salvation army to peel off the remaining barcodes and donated a staggering quantity of pudding to them in return.

Q: So, what was the total investment?

A: 2.2000 dollars. If you have been paying close attention to the numbers, you are probably under the impression that I don’t know my maths and you are totally right but here is the catch- remember the salvation army from the last passage? David’s generous donation to this organization secured him a tax deduction of no less than 800 dollars!

Q: Will this guy ever run out of airmiles?

A: Not likely. A person with over a million miles in their account is bound to become a frequent flier and surprise surprise, frequent fliers are awarded benefits of their own. To bring home the point that wealth attracts wealth even more firmly, it is good to mention that, with over a million miles under his belt, David was welcomed into the “American Airlines AAdvantage Gold club” which means flight-related perks for him and his family for the rest of their life. After all said and done, David had over 4 million miles in his various accounts at the time of writing and he had travelled to 20 countries.

So next time you don’t know what to do with the excess cups of pudding, go and ask the nearest engineer.

Chinese engineers build the wall of rice

You encounter rice daily in your idli, pulao or biryani but what would you say if you found rice in your walls? Believe it or not, this is the reality of the most famous wall in the world.

You have probably heard of the terribledeath toll involved in the construction of the Great wall of China and how colossally expensive itwas to build.You might be aware of the myth that the magnificent structure is visible from the moon. Perhaps you have also seen graffiti defacing this historic monument and read stories about its gaps and underwhelming effectiveness but did you know that it was made all the more Stabil with composite mortar made of limestone, water and rice? Drawing upon the organic properties of rice, the old-timy engineers created water-resistant, elements-defying mortar which they used to build tombs, pagodas and other important structures, some of which are still standing today. For even tastier buildings, ancient mortar could also contain olive oil or nopal.

Civil engineers and chocolate asphalt

While India struggles with the surplus of unemployable civil engineers, there are many countries out there who have a hard time persuading children (especially girls) that a career in STEM and civil engineering in particular is a viable option for their future. They try to accomplish this with music, creative competitions and, in this striking example, with scrumptious sweets.

It takes half a second for a perceptive engineer with a sweet tooth to notice the resemblances between the process of paving the road and whipping up a simple no-bake chocolate dessert. Using a few posters of civil engineering equipment as the illustration and a few ingredients which can be found in every kitchen, engineers can demonstrate how asphalt is measured and rolled and how it subsequently hardens. This handy presentation will be a fun day with chocolate for many but for a select few, it will be the first tentative step towards a fulfilling lifelong career.

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