Monday, August 1, 2016

Orange You Glad I'm Not a Scientist?

In writing, as in life generally, it's felicitous to branch out on occasion.
Today, therefore, on this blog (where I hardly post anything anymore anyway), I'm going to take a short break from theologizing and explore a field of inquiry that's always interested me: Natural science.

My young son enjoys "fact books." In perusing one of these recently, we came across this factoid: It is possible to start a fire using only the contents of an orange

Really? I wonder how that's even possible.

(One caveat: Many of the purported "facts" in these books are undocumented and remain, on the face of it, suspicious to me -- for example, this notion that the earth spins on its "axis," whatever that might be. When in doubt, this is my fallback rule: If an ostensible scientific fact is not affirmed in the national Republican Party platform, I don't buy into it.)

(Another caveat: Need I say, don't try this at home, unless you happen to be a Girl Scout, duly supervised, and your parents have signed all the requisite medical release forms?)

But let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that it is indeed possible to start a fire using an orange. When pondering this, something struck me, and I flipped to another page in the book, where we learn that a grape, sliced in half and cooked in a microwave will burst into flames.

Boom. There you have it.

I freaking love science!