With 2021 in the rear view mirror, it's onward to 2022. You'll see all sorts of prognostications trying to predict what the coming year will bring. However, if the last two years have taught us anything, it's that trying to make predictions and hitting your noggin with a ball peen hammer produce pretty much the same results. 


Do not despair, however. Be assured there are some things coming in 2022 that will be interesting and even enjoyable. One will happen as soon as next week. 


I am happy to report that Oreo is debuting two new flavors this coming Monday. One is the Ultimate Chocolate Oreo, made with “white, milk, and dark chocolate cremes sandwiched in between the traditional Oreo cookies.” Three layers of chocolate! This will be a limited edition available only for a short time. 


The second flavor is Toffee Crunch, “a toffee-flavored creme nestled sweetly between two Oreo cookies.” This cookie will be a permanent addition to the Oreo lineup. (https://www.thekitchn.com/oreo-two-new-flavors-2022-23273458)


You can debate the best way to consume these – one bite, twist off and eat the layers one at a time, dunk in milk. TheKitchn.com suggests air fryer cooking. “Dipping them in pancake batter is a far superior method.” See the recipe at: 



If you can't get to a store to snag some Oreos, a scientist may have invented an alternative way to taste them (that could be available in the future). “A Japanese professor has developed a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate food flavors. 

The device, called Taste the TV (TTTV), uses a carousel of ten flavor canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a particular food.” 


The scientist says: “"The goal is to make it possible for people to have the experience of something like eating at a restaurant on the other side of the world, even while staying at home.” Fine, but I wonder who cleans your TV screen after your friends and relatives have slobbered all over it. (https://www.reuters.com/technology/lick-it-up-japan-professor-creates-tele-taste-tv-screen-2021-12-23/)


Sticking with taste treats, 2022 may be the year of blue food. “We'll begin to look at algae and other blue foods. With uncertainty to our food production system, a food crisis is looming. Aquatic plants, mussels and algae may offer a key solution.”

Blue foods offer both nutritional and environmental benefits. “Algae and seagrass can even be used as an alternative to rice.” I don't know. Red beans and segrass just does not have an enticing ring to it. (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/29-big-ideas-change-our-world-2022-linkedin-news)


In order to eat all this stuff, you have to be able to chew. Luckily, another team of scientists have found a helpful body part you didn't know you had. In short, this new part is responsible for more chewing power. 


“Press your fingers behind your cheeks and clench your teeth. What you're feeling is the masseter muscle, a key muscle allowing humans to chew and eat. Researchers say they've discovered a deeper layer of the masseter, which is attached to the muscular  process of the lower jaw. Although it's generally assumed that anatomical research in the last one hundred years has left no stone unturned, our finding is a bit like zoologists discovering a new species of vertebrate."



The body is a marvelous thing and sometimes it surprises us. BuzzFeed recently ran a list of “Nineteen Simple Facts About The Human Body That You Probably Didn't Realize Until You Just Read Them.”


Some of these are pretty revealing. “If you say 'haaah' your breath comes out warm, but when you say 'woooh' it comes out cold. You can’t swallow if you put your tongue to the left or right side of the mouth with your mouth closed. If you squirt cold water into someone's ear with a syringe, their eyes will automatically turn to the side that you squirted the water. If you use warm water, their eyes will automatically turn to the other side. Your forearm is about the same length as your foot." The whole list is at: https://www.buzzfeed.com/lyapalater/weird-things-about-the-human-body-that-you-can-test-for


Finally, there's a way to get your kids into a 2022 winter activity that's fun and free. “Ski areas across Michigan have teamed up to provide skiing to fourth and fifth grade students with the Cold is Cool Ski and Ride Passport App. Kids with a passport can ski for free, up to three times, at each of twenty-nine participating ski areas.” All the details are at goskimichigan.com and  coldiscool.org. Local ski areas participating is Cold in Cool are Crystal Mountain and Caberfae Peaks. 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews