Tuesday, November 2, 2010


To teach us all she knew about combustion, our science teacher filled a tiny aluminium pie plate with granulated sugar and held it over a flame as it slowly turned brown and bubbled, then smoke, then flame until there was nothing left but a brittle black crust.
     But then, instead of explaining to us that all combustion—and indeed most of creation—is essentially a one-way street to maximum entropy, she promised an A to anyone who could find a way to reverse the process, a problem I’m sure one us would’ve cracked eventually had the school board not intervened.

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