:travel-experience:lifes-important-questions-answered
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A writing pad with scribbles on it.
24 April 2015

Life’s Most Important Questions…Answered

The world loves a good theory. Logic helps things feel ordered. It’s why, with the help of a team of scientists and experts, we’ve created the Avis Driving Ratio to find the World’s Best Driving Roads. But we weren’t the first to theorise about those all-important life questions. Here are six other formulas that, in their own humble way, do the world proud.

 Banner Image Credit: Akash k

How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Tea

Few things are more dispiriting than a poorly made cup of tea. No one likes a tepid, weak, over-milky cuppa. Should you ever be invited for a brew at the British Standards Institution; who make “excellence a habit”, however, you can accept the offer with confidence. Their essential guide to getting it right goes as follows: use a porcelain pot, ensure there’s at least two grams of tea to every 100ml of water and serve it at between 60˚C and 85˚C. Vitally, the milk should already be in the cup. And the optimum brewing time? Six minutes.

Two cups of tea one in a brown cup the other in a beige cup.

Image Credit: DavidMartynHunt

Formula For The Perfect Handshake

Getting a handshake right is crucial. Too damp and limp and you’ll be seen as flimsy yourself. Too bone-crushing and you’ll come across like a frustrated WWE wrestler. Fear not, researchers at the University of Manchester have established a mathematical formula for the perfect hand-to-hand greeting. Taking into account 12 different factors, including eye contact and palm temperature, the ideal handshake should be right-handed, firm (but not too strong) and last for approximately three shakes, with “a medium level of vigor”.

A handshake between two business men.

Image Credit: flazingo_photos

How To Create A Hit Song

Do you remember the Stock, Aitken & Waterman Hit Factory singles of the 1980s (Rick Astley anyone)? If yes, then you’ll be aware that there is such a thing… Further proof – of a sort – comes from a study at Bristol University, which evaluated the Top 40 charts from the last 50 years to find what makes a song a commercial success. The results? Interestingly, it seems the perfect formula shifts from era to era. The 80s was about “danceability”, the 90s was more geared around power ballads, and so on. Oddly, there’s no mention of Bob The Builder or Crazy Frog.

Painting of the Beatles and John Lennon.

Image Credit: Tim Yates

How To Take The Perfect Penalty

Smashing a football into a net from a mere 12 yards shouldn’t be hard. Yet the pressure of the occasion, not to mention the downright inconvenient presence of a goalkeeper, can make a penalty kick a stressful matter. Happily, a Bath scientist has identified two “unsaveable” zones: the two top corners, which are the only areas outside of the so-called “diving envelope” of the keeper. Seems obvious, really. But if this had all been been shared with Gareth Southgate back in 1996 (or Chris Waddle, Stuart Pearce, David Batty, Jamie Carragher…and so on over the years for that matter) – how different things might have been.

Image of a football field with the two players. One trying to shoot the ball into the goal the goalkeeper trying to stop the ball.

Image Credit: GRodal

Formula For The Perfect Curry

If you thought the formula for the perfect curry involved picking up the phone and saying “one lamb rogan josh, one basmati rice and one peshwari naan please”, think again. It’s more complicated than that. Physicist Dr Mark Hadley (the same man behind the Avis Driving Ratio, no less) spent 40 hours establishing the prime balance of ingredients. His findings state that every forkful should include meat or vegetable, rice and sauce in an even ratio of 1:1:1. What’s more, the circle of rice on the plate should be precisely 61% wider than the “hill” of curry spooned on top. So now you can really spice up your life.

Image of a white plate filled with red curry.

Image Credit: perry_marco

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