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Great post, lotus, but you drove me to Google with "isi" and I still don't see it. What is it?

Sorry about that.  ISI is the company that makes the ubiquitous whipped cream canisters that chefs use to make foams.  http://www.isi.com/us/culinary  They are most often "charged" (pressurized with) nitrous oxide, but can also be charged with carbon dioxide like a soda siphon.  Depending on what goes in the canister, chefs can use different chemicals (and sometimes vary temperatures) to create different consistency foams.  (And by charging a batter, they can create very airy cakes!).

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