Posts Tagged ‘water’
I once heard that McDonalds’ coke is better than anyone else’s because they super-cool it. Deciding I wanted to try this at home, I created a super-cooler for beer and canned drinks. It works on the principles of conduction and freezing point depression.
Water freezes at 32F or 0C unless you add a solute (anything dissolved into the liquid). The solute (in this case table salt) disrupts crystal formation, thus making it harder for the water to freeze. With a solution you’ll need a temperature of several degrees lower than 32degrees in order to form those ice crystals.
Peeing is contagious. Okay. . . actually the feeling that you need to pee is what’s contagious. It’s like yawning, and as humans we are highly suggestible. You may already know that you are a lot more likely to yawn if you see someone else doing it. And this should make biological/evolutionary sense: if someone is yawning, then oxygen might be low. Why wait until you feel the effects? Yawn now and stay alive. What’s interesting is that the trigger doesn’t have to be a nearby person – just seeing someone (or something) yawn on TV can trigger you to yawn. This may be why you yawn while watching nature shows (lions, anyone?) It’s not that you are bored or tired, it’s that the animals triggered your ingrained biological reflexes.
Peeing is much the same – only you don’t have to see someone else peeing to feel the need. (thank goodness?) Now, I haven’t really figured out the biological advantage of needing to pee just because someone else is doing it. Maybe it’s a migratory thing. So your tribe is walking long distances, and someone stops to pee. You don’t. Later when you do need to pee . . . maybe you have only snake infested grass in which to go? Or the herd walks on? Maybe you are only allowed to pee when the clan leader says so? Clearly, I don’t have this one worked out yet. But it doesn’t change the fact that as humans we are susceptible to the suggestion to pee.
Though you might not have known this, you may have used this knowledge. Ever run water to help a little kid go? Or you may have been victim to it yourself. Some of us are more susceptible than others. My friend Lina is one of the very suggestible. She used to attend a class that was about 40 miles away from home. There were two routes to class . . . one route was five minutes longer, but the other route went past a urologist’s office about ten minutes after she left her house. This urologist’s sign was blue, and in the shape of a wave. That alone was such a suggestion to her poor brain that she couldn’t make it the remaining thirty-five minutes to class without having to stop and find a bathroom. Lina always took the longer route to class if she wanted to make it on time.
You might think this is a stupid question. Of course you are smarter than a toilet. But pause for a moment: a lot of people thought they were smarter than fifth graders, too. You might not fare as well as you might guess in a head-to-head battle with your toilet. (Okay, sorry. ‘Head to head’ is a bad term to use here!)
I thought I was smarter than my toilet, too. Instead, my toilet has won a number of battles this year. It started with the Nashville flood last May. Though my toilet didn’t experience flood problems, my lower floor did. In an effort to fix the problem we tried to duplicate the flood (I know, crazy idea.) So we ran a LOT of water under our house. But it worked, we figured out the problem and fixed it. Sadly, our toilet got in on the game . . .
When our water bill was high, we didn’t think anything of it – we’d been running a ton of water under the house. The next month the bill was high again. But we’d run the water several times, so maybe we straddled the water bill dates? Putting some of the water use on one bill and some on the next? . . . But the next month the bill was very high again! There was no excess that time. What was going on?
We checked our overall usage. The water-nazi in our house asked if we had been taking longer showers or brushing our teeth about twenty times as often as before. No, the children didn’t suddenly smell better and no one had nubs instead of teeth. New tack, water-nazi!