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Why science education is important

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Apr. 11th, 2009 | 08:48 pm

I put a pan with some onions on the hob just now, turned it on and started chopping something else. A few minutes later I looked at the pan and thought "that's funny, those onions aren't frying at all, they should be at least doing something by now" and found that cleverly I had turned the wrong hob on. In fact, what was being heated was a stack of plates elsewhere on the cooker.

I turned it off, turned the right one on and thought "uh, these plates will be a bit hot now".


I then thought "I'll run them under the cold tap to cool them down." WRONG NO. Things which are heated tend to expand. Things which cool tend to contract. Therefore what happened was that the bottom, hottest plate went "crack" as parts of it contracted before other parts and broke away from each other. So now, I have one fewer plate.

On the other hand, having one fewer plate might mean that I have to wash my plates up more often, thus reducing the likelihood of having stacks of unwashed plates on the stove top.

Ironically I was listening to a Radio 4 documentary about that great proponent of popular science education, Carl Sagan, at the time.

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Comments {4}

The Princess of Id

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from: danaseilhan
date: Apr. 11th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)

At least you haven't ever tried to get ice off a windshield by dumping hot water on it.


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from: anonymous
date: Apr. 12th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)

Just have two of everything - one in the wash and one in use - trust me it's the best way for you to go ...

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Diary of an Ass Monkey

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from: assmonkeydiary
date: Apr. 13th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)

Didn't you ever read the X-Men issue where Pyro superheated Colossus and then Avalanche dumped a truck full of liquid nitrogen on him? It so damaged his metallic body that he could neither move nor convert back to flesh for fear of of dying? I think of that anytime I want to cool down something really hot in the kitchen. Chris Claremont was very educational.

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(no subject)

from: soho_iced
date: Apr. 14th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC)

I caught someone (Chau) pouring boiling water into one of my glasses once: he seemed to think this was an entirely rational thing to do.

I approve of your solution. And yet several people seem to think that as soon as Nick and I get hitched we will magically need 12 of everything. Are they angling for dinner party invitations?

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