An S.A.T. Question Answered, Sort Of.

Question:

"Tom, is is faster to heat four gallons of cider all at once in one big four gallon pot, or will it heat quicker if I warm one gallon, then add another, and another and finally the last one until they are all up to temperature?"

Answer:

"Heath, I was an English major. Call Fontenot."

(That would be the high school science teacher. I would ask my master's degree in science husband, but he's out trying to kill a moose.)  

The Situation:

I promised Beth I'd bring the hot cider to the Hospice of Haines luminary walk, but I'd dallied a while at the newspaper office (Tom is the editor) after baby sitting my 20 month old granddaughter today, and was walking home, and running a bit late, and wondering what was the  quickest way to get the cider warm.  I had left it in my car over night after choir practice when Beth gave it to me- that means it was 45 degrees. This was probably the SAT question that kept me out of Harvard. (Actually, I applied to Middlebury early decision and got in. But I was a history major and that was a long time ago.) Anyway, it turns out to be a moot point, since I do not have a 4 gallon pot. It took about a half hour to heat  the cider in three big pots on my stove, and now I'm trundling the thermos jugs over to the track. But here's the important thing: while I was at the paper office, fisherman Mike was there, and Darsie, who mines some, and surfs some, and does all sorts of cool things, and Leslie, who was planning her son's 13th birthday, "fishin', shootin' and skateboardin'" as she said-- and Krista who was actually working on a story, and we somehow got on the subject of the Nobel Prize in  literature, and a piece we had heard on the radio about why American writers don't win anymore, and how the critic said it's because American writers can't do (or talk about) anything except writing. Mike said that's why the Chilkat Valley News is better than most papers, because we who write there  know how to do stuff like fish, run marathons, build woodsheds, bike through Europe, and butcher deer. Fontenot used to write a column called Ask Mr. Science but he got too busy building wind turbines and raising children. Maybe we need him back. My cider question would have been perfect for his column.  

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