After Hours

Noodles in space

A moment of silence, please, for Momofuku Ando, the creator of instant ramen noodles, who died this past week of heart failure at age 96.

Love or hate them, you couldn't get food preparation any simpler—or cheaper. Drop the, um, brick of dried noodles into hot water, add a bit of the allegedly chicken/beef/shrimp-flavored sodium packet and you could have a filling, flavorful meal for a fraction of the price of a single White Castle hamburger. (During my undergrad years, the going price was six for a dollar, or on special for ten cents apiece.)

College students and IT people aren't the only ones subsisting on this marvel of engineering. According to the New York Times, Mr. Ando's company, Nissin, sold 46.3 billion ramen servings last year.

46,300,000,000.

The ultimate in convenience food, ramen noodles went aboard the shuttle Discovery in 2005. Saith Ando: "I've realized my dream that noodles can go into space." Appropriate fare for astronauts who likely lived on his culinary invention during their years of higher education and indentured servitude required for a career in the space program.

That said, Mr. Aldo, when the evening's new, I'll be looking at the moon but I'll be seeing you. Or at least some squiggly noodles.

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