October 7th, 2011



Holy sh*t, I just realized-- having 2 year old daughter means I get to go trick-or-treating again! Nobody will say "aren't you too old for this?" Instead they will coo over Izzy and how cute she looks in her dinosaur costume. "Yeah yeah lady she's adorable. Let's see what you got... Bit o Honey? Sure. Snickers? Two of those. Better make it three to be safe."

F*ckin' water, how does it work?

When I'm giving Izzy a bath, I often imagine that she's asked me how something works, and then I try to give an explanation in my head. A lot of the time trying to explain things makes me realize how little I actually understand of the world around me.

e.g. she has this bath toy-- a hollow rubber block with a tiny hole on one side. I filled it with water and was showing Izzy how to squirt water out by squeezing the block, and I imagined that she'd asked me about it.

Anna, why does the water shoot out of the hole when you squeeze the block?

Because squeezing the block reduces the space inside of it, so there’s not enough space for the water anymore and the water has to go out

But why doesn’t the water just crumple like a piece of paper would?

Because water isn’t compressible. (This is the idea behind hydraulic power.)

Why not?

Because of differences in the molecular structure of the different states of matter. Solids have molecules in a relatively rigid arrangement. Gases have molecules running around randomly (no arrangement). Liquid molecules are semi-structured

What does semi-structured mean?

Just, you know... kind of structured but not totally.

What if I used a supernova powered press with like, 5,000,000,000 PSI to squoosh down the water? Then could I compress it into a smaller space?

No I think the water would just boil (vaporize). Cos pressure and temperature are related so applying high pressure would make the water temp. rise.

I still don't get why solids/gases can be compressed but liquids can't. Why do some molecular arrangements allow molecules to be compressed but others don't?

Because... I don't know. Just look it up on Wikipedia. This bath is over.