markpasc (markpasc) wrote,

I'm hiding. After a vaguely chaotic morning at home, and discovering the Radio problems on campus, and the drab threatening weather, I just skipped class and came home.

But I did stop at the library to check out Fast Food Nation:

Conveyer belts took the wet, clean potatoes into a machine that blasted them with steam for twelve seconds, boiled the water under their skins, and exploded their skins off. Then the potatoes were pumped into a preheat tank and shot through a Lamb Water Gun Knife [which "uses a high-pressure hose to shoot potatoes at a speed of 117 feet per second through a grid of sharpened steel blades, thereby creating perfectly sliced french fries"]. They emerged as shoestring fries. Four video cameras scrutinized them from different angles, looking for flaws. When a french fry with a blemish was detected, an optical sorting machine time-sequenced a single burst of compressed air that knocked the fry off the production line and onto a separate conveyer belt, which carried it to a machine with tiny automated knives that precisely removed the blemish. And then the fry was returned to the main production line.

The first part of the book, The American Way, is about the business and social considerations. The second, Meat and Potatoes, is about--well, yeah. It's an interesting read so far (page 131 of 270).

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