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Hebron, October 28 - Scientists at Ramallah's Bir Zeit University have made a surprising revelation, discovering this week that the stabbing implement known as the knife can potentially be used to cut food, and perhaps other objects that are not the body of a Jew.
Researchers applied the blade of a knife to certain readily-available, everyday, edible substances such as meat, cooked eggs, hard cheese, vegetables, fruits, and pastries, and found that depending on the shape and blade type of the knife, it performed well in cutting, slicing, or chopping the foodstuffs. In some cases, said the scientists, knives could even be used for peeling such produce as apples or raw carrots, and even for non-cutting-related food preparation activities such as spreading peanut butter or soft cheese on bread. The results of the study will appear in the upcoming issue of the journal Scientific Testing And Beyond (STAB).
"This discovery has the potential to revolutionize our view of the knife," said lead researcher Lasr Reyt. "There are of course significant cultural obstacles to overcome before such unorthodox uses of the bladed instrument become widespread, or even accepted in our society, but the promise of such a common, simple object having useful application far beyond its current role is exciting."
In the STAB article, the Bir Zeit team describes their experiment involving two each of eight types of blades, one set of which served as the control group. While the control group was placed in the hands of teenagers who were sent to attack Jews, the remaining set was given to people preparing or eating various kinds of food. Some instruction was necessary to train Palestinians how to hold a knife for cutting food, since the grip, orientation, and positioning of the implement differs markedly from the standard way a knife is wielded: the standard grip on a knife, explained the researchers, has the tip pointing down for effective, forceful stabbing, whereas for cutting or spreading foodstuffs, the implement is turned "upside down," so to speak, while the user effects a cutting motion with the long edge of the blade against the food.
The results, the article says, were unmistakable: with a little practice, food could be reduced to bite-size pieces, all but eliminating certain choking hazards. "Further study is necessary to determine the scope of innovation that this discovery heralds," write the authors, sounding a note of caution. "This is not to suggest, Allah forbid, that any knives be diverted from their essential purpose of stabbing Jews. However, this study does show that once the Jews are eliminated, any surplus blades can serve other important roles."
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