TRC #605: Calculating The Mass Of Earth + Subway Bread Isn’t Bread?

This week we bring you two fascinating segments. First our resident planetary geophysics expert, Dr. Stuart Robbins, is back to help us with a listener email about how we calculate the mass of the earth. We also dig into the difference between weight and mass. Adam rounds out the show with a deep dive into whether an Irish court has ruled that Subway bread is not bread asking, ‘what is a sandwich anyways’?

Download direct: mp3 file

Calculating The Mass Of Earth

Dr. Robbins on Twitter

About Dr. Robbins

Subway Bread Is Not Bread?

Subway sandwiches contain ‘too much sugar’ to legally be considered bread, Supreme Court rules – the journal.ie

Bread and bakery products – Revenue – Irish Tax and Customs

JUDGMENT of Ms. Justice Kennedy delivered on the 3rd day of April 2019

Judge Rules Burrito Is Not Sandwich – Lowering the Bar

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2 Responses to TRC #605: Calculating The Mass Of Earth + Subway Bread Isn’t Bread?

  1. Rich W. says:

    The subject of “How can a law call something a {doodad} but then explicitly say that it’s not a {doodad}?” was mentioned in a few videos by lawyer Steven Lehto, though in responding to Sovereign Citizen BS.

    Basically the magic phrase is “being considered as bread under para. (xii) of the Second Schedule,” because laws often have a “…for the purposes of this law” or that “section/schedule/whatever” to focus on what the law is meant to accomplish.

    As an example: If a legislature wants to give farms a tax break for growing more “garden vegetables” but not “fruits”* they can specify that for the purposes of this law a tomato is considered a “garden vegetable” (along with bell peppers, squashes, etc.) – regardless of what scientists and that one obnoxious guy at every party says. The law only clarifies the types of foods they’re encouraging farmers to grow more of, and it doesn’t actually change the definition of a vegetable or a fruit. (No need to rewrite the textbooks or dictionaries.)

    (Whereas if they relied on vague language like, “any edible plant matter that is generally not considered a dessert food or a grain,” it may make the regulators’ lives pretty tough: “I grow grass for my cattle, and most of the flowers in my garden aren’t poisonous so those count too! Oh, and I put weed in my oatmeal, so I get a break on that too, right?”)

    In the Subway case, the law was actually pretty specific about the sugar ratio, and I would guess that Subway’s lawyers knew it was a gamble but decided to try for a huge potential payoff. For better or for worse, “legislating from the bench” is a thing. (Or maybe Subway just wants the public to focus more on the sugar and azodicarbonamide in their bread instead of their past spokesman. Really can’t blame them for that.)

    Anyway, thanks for another great episode. Stay safe and take care.

    • Adam says:

      Thanks Rich. That’s a really interesting insight. It certainly fits with what we’re seeing in this particular case!

      For sure I’m that tomato guy at parties but sort of next level because when someone mentions tomatoes I ask about cucumbers and other fruit that no one thinks of as fruit!

      Actually have been thinking of re-examining the fruit segment and that angle certainly adds to it.

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