How many licks does it take?

I walked in from class today and slumped into my favorite chair to watch a little tube-o-vision. I flipped on the History Channel and they had this show called Modern Marvels on. It’s a pretty neat show. They talk about different technologies that are current in today’s civilization and discuss their origins and how they came to be. The marvel they were covering this time was snack food tech. Snack cakes, chips, candy, what have you. They ended up getting to that incredible, edible favorite, tootsie rolls. The head honcho started talking about the famous question, “How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?” She then brought up the fact that many people had sent the company their finding on this, and goes on to mention that students from Purdue University built a machine to test how many licks it takes. That caused my ears to perk up. It was kind of neat to hear your university mentioned on the History Channel. It turns out some chemical engineers built a sort of “licking machine.” I looked into it further and the blueprint was actually on the tootsie roll website. The picture and website can be found here. They say that using the machine it takes an average of 364 licks to get to the center. The only real reason I’m writing this is because my university was mentioned and that was kind of cool. I wonder how many more age old questions science will answer?

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