Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Um, Andy Newman? Next Time You Try To Fry An Egg On The Sidewalk, Don't Use A Freakin' FRYING PAN. Sheesh.

So, was it hot enough in New York yesterday to fry an egg on the sidewalk?

We'll never know.

In today's NYT, Andy Newman reports that he attempted to test the old cliche by taking to the streets with an egg -- AND A FRYING PAN.

Newman then placed the frying pan on the sidewalk and attempted to heat the pan to sufficient temperatures to fry an egg.

Didn't work. Why not? Well, we're not scientists but we do know our way around a cliche. And an egg.

The cliche clearly states that the egg must be fried on the sidewalk. Not on a pan. That's because the heat you need to fry an egg comes from under the egg, not from above it. At least, that's how it works in our kitchen!

We'll be happy to stand corrected -- and knowing our eagle-eyed naysayers, we will be within moments -- but it seems unlikely to us that any sidewalk south of, say, the planet Venus would be hot enough to raise a frying pan's temperature to the point where an egg has any chance of turning sunnyside up.

Possible stories for Andy Newman to pursue next: will today be as hot as firecrackers? Will the passengers on his number-6 train be packed like sardines? And come the frigid days of winter, we're seriously hoping he'll tell us, firsthand, whether it's colder than a witch's tit.

28 comments:

matt-L said...

What? Bullshit. I "fry an egg on the stove" by putting a frying pan between the stove and the egg. Any asshole can see that, unless he (nyt picker / asshole) is just looking for a chance to criticize someone who can't criticize back. So: a cowardly cheap shot.

Anonymous said...

Not really a cheap shot at all matt-L. The cliche is "hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk," not "hot enough to fry an egg in a pan outdoors." And the clear image people form when that phrase is used is of the egg, minus shell, sitting on the sidewalk, sizzling.

Simply put, it's one more example of the New York Times simply not getting it. They simply don't understand how to be normal or how to be reporters anymore. The editors have obviously given up (that became clear when Alessandra Stanley's piece about Cronkite got into print with half a dozen basic errors in it).

I suspect that if Newman were to become a rapper, he'd one day say something like, "Oh, yes. I am fully informing you, as advised by our legal team, with this message, of my intention to bust a cap in your backside."

As most sidewalks are made of light gray or off-white materials, you would probably have more success frying an egg on some blacktop.

But whether eggs do or don't fry on the sidewalk, rest assured, the Times will fuck up something as simple as writing a simple little story about it. That's what you get when a bunch of Harvard English majors find employment. Now the MIT crowd would have done it right.

matt-L said...

Excuse my hot words. Probably the principle functional difference between concrete and cast iron is conductivity, and the silliness of this argument is exactly what I'm getting across: by fussing over whether or not a frying pan is fair play, the critic of journalism is complicit in the greater error of the profession, which is triviality. Get out there and find me a scoop. Stuff like this isn't even worth wasting your time proving you're right about - it's just bullying and self-aggrandizement.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware that The Onion took over your website today.

Anonymous said...

You might be on to something here in your trampling diatribe. Subtracting the sententious glitter leaves the dissimilated impression of an inmost desire for deliverance from the tyranny of the mediocre and to make casualties of its despotic custodians.

Anonymous said...

1) It's not even a sidewalk. It's a manhole cover.

2) The endless maw of the Internet has unleashed all sorts of undisciplined entries. In the print era, the constraints of space might have prevented the distribution of such twaddle.

Anonymous said...

matt-L,

This is the first anonymous here. Re: your second post. You are absolutely correct. I have been pissed off about the Times and how it just covers the stupidest shit in the world for several years now. God Almighty, if the Times actually started doing real news again, I think I'd drop dead in my tracks from the shock.

matt-L said...

If a man in green Spandex walked up to you and announced he was Superman, would you know he was lying because he wore the wrong color, or because there is no such thing as Superman? "Fact-checking" an article like this is impossible without consenting to the premise that it is "fact". What's on page 1

Anonymous said...

my gosh this post is catty.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. This isn't being catty. This is finally being fed up with the stupid shit the New York Times is squandering what's left of its reputation and credibility on.

The Gulf Spill coverage has been massively underwhelming. And whatever happened to that "article" about the trillion dollars in mineral wealth -- aka "gamechanger" -- in Afghanistan? Just dropped right off the friggin' radar, didn't it? But don't worry, soon we'll have another installment of "The Puppy Diaries" or whatever bullshit the Times' staff of elites thinks people need to see in a newspaper.

The whole paper is becoming something taken over by the sort of moron who can only achieve climax while thinking about PowerPoint and who thinks six sigma is a way of life.

Not catty. Fed up. Feel free to move along to a Starbucks with your laptop and blog furiously -- somewhere else -- if you disagree.

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny, especially the last paragraph about firecrackers and sardines. So many folks hold the Times up as some sort of sacred tome instead of the rag it's become. His point is worth making and well said..

Anonymous said...

"probably the principal functional difference...." princiPAL..... argh..... work on that first Matt L.

butcher99 said...

His headline, for all you nitpickers reads "fry and egg on the sidewalk". It does not read in a frying pan on the sidewalk.
Everyone knows you put the egg on the sidewalk.
On the other side, If you leave the black frying pan out there it will get hotter than the white sidewalk so should would better.

Iconoclast said...

Being from Oklahoma, where eggs fry on sidewalks three months per annum, I can say the pan was a bad idea. The pan has not been warmed for days or weeks on end and takes some time to absorb the necessary heat. If you had set the pan out for several days prior, there may well have been better results. Sidewalk egg frying must take place on the sidewalk.

The Kat said...

As someone who grew up with 100°F+ temperatures each summer, this clichĂ© has been tested often on local news.

The hood of a dark green or black car with a slight spritz of Pam works best. The egg white cooks and the yolk firms up a bit.

But I do have to laugh at the man for trying this one. The comment about residual heat... that would help, too. The evening temperatures are high in the Valley of the Sun!

Anonymous said...

I read this yesterday before reading the paper and was surprised when I didn't see it. Maybe it didn't run in the National Edition? I asked myself. Now, checking on the Web, it appears that this was an online posting in an nytimes.com blog. It seems like you could make this clear, instead of writing that it was "In today's NYT ..." This might be terribly old-fashioned but I think for a lot of us, the NYT is a printed newspaper, the nytimes.com and all its related material is a Web site.

Anonymous said...

I read this yesterday before reading the paper and was surprised when I didn't see it. Maybe it didn't run in the National Edition? I asked myself. Now, checking on the Web, it appears that this was an online posting in an nytimes.com blog. It seems like you could make this clear, instead of writing that it was "In today's NYT ..." This might be terribly old-fashioned but I think for a lot of us, the NYT is a printed newspaper, the nytimes.com and all its related material is a Web site.

Anonymous said...

To the blogger who generate critical contagion: this is no way of life. Aren’t you tired of getting animated over deceptive reconstruction of gathered facts over and over again? Take a break and try an EiscafĂ© at your own expense.

Michael said...

You can bake bread in a gas tank on a hot summer day in North Africa.

My grandfather has told me the stories and photos.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 7:54 ("Fed up"):

Your fed up and indignation seems, as so often the nytpicker posts tend to do, to want to defend the honor of the grey lady by attacking the things that would cause others to cast dispersions upon her. Hmmmmm. You doth protest too much, me thinks.

Why? What gives?

IMHO, a little crudity and clutter of what the web presents is good for the Times, and should remind us of the ebb and flow of value ascribed to the paper and other institutions like it. More trash and less "class," please. Maybe eventually people will stop assuming that the NY Times is the "best" we have to offer.

The field of journalism isn't a citadel on a hill that is worth defending, and the desire to protect it (and presumably the professional identities of our critics here) seems an odd undercurrent to the ideas presented on this site.

Claire N.
New York City

Anonymous said...

You’re barking up the wrong alley NYpick. Let fudge have its fill and take your coercive guilt tripping to the private sphere.

Anonymous said...

What’s a good boy like Newman doing writing about nothing? He seems qualified to don a Barry Diller uniform faster than a cannonball, and head to where he’ll be revered for his irrelevance.

Anonymous said...

To mineral wealth @7h54: O honey don’t bust them children out of their chance at self-delusion, let them keep getting e-vited to the ambassador’s cocktail shindig where they get to look tall and static in pursuit of the latest scoop on divide and conquer out in the boonies.

Anonymous said...

You are right about the cliche, but apparently clueless about cooking eggs- there is no difference at all regarding heat source- it comes from the sidewalk, frying pan or not.

Anonymous said...

It is a wonder this capacity of a handful of impostors and impersonators to parade the cumulative tally of a daily fare’s errors and inflict irreparable harm; it is most lovely to do away with litterers and loiterers.

Anonymous said...

I love you kittens. Never change. You can't heat the pan up sufficiently to fry the egg because the pan is a different temp than the ground. The heat must pass from the source through the pan to the food to heat it. The heat on the ground isn't hot enough to pass through his metal pan for the short duration of contact to fry anything. So yes, he would have had a better chance on say a metal sheet that had been in high direct sunlight all day. But even that mightn't be hot enough.

Anonymous said...

http://www.post-gazette.com/food/20020609wolke0609fnp4.asp"At high noon it was 100 degrees in Texas. He discovered that blacktop gets hotter than concrete, but neither approached the 158 degrees needed to set an egg's white and yolk. As for those Mojave Desert sidewalk egg-fryers in Oatman, Ariz., Wolke writes that they "allow such gimmicks as magnifying glasses, mirrors, aluminum deflectors. ..."

Emma said...

Silly Yankees. We Southerners know, because it gets in the 90s EVERY SUMMER here (Atlanta: it's been over 90 since basically the beginning of June, with few exceptions), that you don't put a dang fryin' pan between egg and pavement! You're not meant to eat the thing after it's fried. It's just something a local news anchor might do for some cheap laughs on the weather report. (Our weatherman has moved on to using a thermometer and measuring really hot places, like a car left in 95-degree heat all day, the top of a roof and the smoke coming off a barbecue grill.) Duh.