Visual thinking for gastrophysicists

[by Naveen]

After spending too much time last week sitting through PowerPoint presentations, staring at math equations, and reading technical papers, I decided on a trio of visualizations for this post:

I. Insatiable curiosity is a desirable trait for a scientist, but can lead to problems in everyday life. Mundane tasks expand to fill valuable time as I ponder what brand of toothpaste or breakfast cereal (or granola or museli) to buy in the store. The psychologist Barry Schwartz has written extensively about the Paradox of Choice (see his TED Talk here), which prompted the idea for this table:

II. Since taking a class at the Harvard Business School this semester, I am more frequently brainstorming for business ideas. Here is one that I had a while ago for a customized mini-muffin bar. It would have the personalized, "just-in-time" feel of a good cocktail bar, since batter could be quickly mixed and baked within minutes. Multi-grain muffins could appeal to the more health-conscious crowd, seasonal ingredients could attract locavores, and decadent chocolate options could draw people from the cupcake demographic. This idea seems full of potential, but I know enough about opening a restaurant (i.e. don't do it), that I'll stick with grad school for now.

III. After outings to several of the numerous beverage establishments in Boston, I see potential for numerous synergistic restaurant co-localizations that capitalize on the modified palate after a night of imbibing. Many types of global cuisine can be tailored for this particular market, as illustrated below. I know it's far from comprehensive or accurate, but I hope it gets people thinking. As diners explore more cuisines, I think that we could see an expanding definition of what is considered "drunk food." I could go for some South African food after my next cocktail adventure, or perhaps just make peanut butter-Fluff-banana sandwiches back at home.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic first visualization - clean, simple, and spot-on accurate. Consider taking a look at some of the farmer's markets that are around Cambridge, too. They're pretty easy to get to if you have a bike or car, though most of them do shut down pretty soon (late october/november)