There is that iconic fight scene in The Chinese Connection where Bruce Lee fights off 30 people at once. Obviously that's just a movie and the scene is heavily fictionalized, but there is one central truth in there, which I can confirm from the spontaneous bouts of wrestling that occasionally break out in Core77's editorial offices: It is impossible for 30 people to attack one person at the same time. It is a simple question of physics and surface area: When I am trying to put the intern in a Camel Clutch and both the Managing Editor and the Photo Editor are in my way, I can't get my hands in there.
For years people have been messing around with "designer salt," which theoretically provides all of the salt flavor of a grain of regular salt, with less of the volume. The end result is that the consumer gets to achieve the salt taste they want without having to ingest as much sodium, as we only taste the part of the salt grains that are in direct contact with our tongue. "PepsiCo studied different shapes of salt crystals to try to find one that would dissolve more efficiently on the tongue," the Wall Street Journal reported in 2010. "Normally, only about 20% of the salt on a chip actually dissolves on the tongue before the chip is chewed and swallowed, and the remaining 80% is swallowed without contributing to the taste, said Dr. [Mehmood] Khan, who oversees PepsiCo's long-term research."
Design student Simin Qiu's "Swirl Faucet" concept also involves surface area—specifically, the amount of water that is actually needed to cover your hands while you're washing them. Royal College of Art student Qiu's concept would run the water through a double turbine within the faucet, creating a sort of cylindrical lattice of water that would supposedly get the job done, while using 15% less water than your average aerator.
I have no idea if it will work. But once I get the intern to tap out, I'll task him with eating salty potato chips, analyzing that Chinese Connection scene and studying Qiu's schematics to get you definitive answers on all three points.
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I would like to know how Simin Qiu came up with his 15% figure. When you restrict flow area, it increases pressure and speed; when pressure and speed increases, the flow becomes turbulent. Turbulent flow would not give you the sort of water patterns his renderings suggest. Also, his mechanism shows no source for the turning motion; his "turbines" in this faucet aren't actually turbines.
The swirl faucet needs a reality check. None of those graphic renderings of the behavior of water represent the way water actually behaves.
Concept = Con-Artist....
Or maybe people just eat their chips too damn fast ;)