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Science Fun - UB Libraries Celebrate Kool-Aid, Maple Sugaring and Escaping the Asteroid

All kinds of science, fruity flavors are just a click away from a book on algorithms

Release Date: June 24, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Academia is not only about barrier containment technologies and the latest literary trends. It's about Kool-Aid.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the marketing of the drink so sweet it can set your teeth on edge and a thirsty, sugar-loving University at Buffalo librarian wants you to know all about it.

Librarian David J. Bertuca of the UB Arts and Sciences Libraries has linked the Web site of the university's Science and Engineering Library to the Kool-Aid home page. You can wade through Kool-Aid's bursts, pops, twists and jammers and sail right into the Kraft kitchens to pick up the five-star recipe for Kool-Aid Super Sour Kool Kubes.

You can also go straight from the SEL site to the biography of Edwin Perkins who created the stuff. Start here: http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/units/sel/

"No, I wasn't around when Kool-Aid first showed up," says Bertuca, "but I know that everyone who lived in the 20th century has enjoyed at least one glass. My favorite flavor is cherry. At least I think it is."

Hey, what about olive?

Bertuca points out that Perkins began his career in soft, sugary drinks at age 11 when he started experimenting with drink combinations in his mother's kitchen.

"By the early 1920s he had developed the commercial product that was the forerunner of Kool-Aid and in 1927 released the first powdered drink packages and became a leader in the beverage industry," Bertuca adds.

He probably took good care of his mom and dad, too -- another reason to encourage science learning in our children.

Kool-Aid isn't the only story on the SEL home page, however.

It can take visitors to a variety of fascinating and fun stories and sites -- from UB science librarian Laura Taddeo's new online exhibit of books by the university's science faculty to a story about UB biologists living under the sea.

There's an assessment of the state of the local watershed and up-to-date stories on the latest asteroid near-miss, computers and women, climate change and recommendations for what to do this weekend.

The SEL site also links to great educational sites like "Eduscape," which offers weekly, in-depth studies on topics from literature, science, history and beyond, designed for all levels of readers, adult and children alike.

Rainy day? Bored? Feeling dull-witted and boring? Head to the SEL Web page. At the very least, with the knowledge you absorb you'll be the center of attention at parties, if not at soccer games.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan has retired from University Communications. To contact UB's media relations staff, call 716-645-6969 or visit our list of current university media contacts. Sorry for the inconvenience.