It’s amazing how just about any everyday activity has a scientific angle. Even stirring porridge can be turned into a scientific problem, as I found when I investigated the properties of the mysterious “spurtle” that is used to stir porridge in Scotland. With the aid of world porridge-making champion Duncan Hilditch and my physics colleague Jeff Odell, I worked out that this implement makes smooth porridge by creating the ideal stresses to break up lumps but not to disrupt the individual oat grains. “Fletch” would surely have approved. View image of article.