Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Do Not Confuse Heat with Temperature!

Any listing of the most notable pedagogues from my past would have to include amongst its upper ranks my high school Physics teacher.  And any listing of the most notable lessons he taught me would have to include the lab and lecture on the latent heat of fusion.  The lecture ended with an admonition that has remained with me all these decades -- "Do Not Confuse Heat with Temperature!"

There is one particular member of our congregation with whom it has been amply shown that I cannot work.  I have nothing particular against him, but he just does not think the same way I do.  The kerfuffles we have gotten into have included, but not been limited to, (A) why is it necessary for me to back into parking spaces instead of going in head-first with my car; (B) why was it necessary for me to take a phillips-head screwdriver and tighten the screws in the shul refrigerator (the handles were coming loose, shmuck!); and why did I have to park my bicycle in the back yard of the shul (did you want me to bring it INTO the shul?).  He sees no problem with New York's firearm restriction laws, he doesn't understand how illegal aliens are costing American taxpayers any money, and when Obamacare first was legislated, he was incredulous that I and a few other individuals were saying that it would actually increase the cost of healthcare.

In any event, for those who have not noticed, there has been a significant amount of snow deposited here on Long Island during the past week or so.  T but today was supposed to be (and in fact was) significantly warmer than the past few days.  I took. the snow shovel and started throwing snow and ice that was on the walkway up to the shul out onto the street, to facilitate its disappearance.  So this fellow congregant whose mental processes (?) are incompatible with my own started with me.  "It's going to be in the 40's today, so it will melt anyway!"

After mentally marshalling the physics lectures regarding how the white snow reflects the sun's rays and their concommitant heat, and how the snow evaporates into the atmosphere with a liquid water stage that is brief if it happens at all, and the latent heat that must be absorbed when water transitions from solid state to liquid state, and how temperature and heat are not necessarily the same thing, and how we need to get rid of the snow and ice, et cetera, I realized that there can be no rational discussion with this man.  So instead of reprising all of those informative and valuable lectures from my high school physics course (and a few from my college physics course -- my Physics 101 professor was no slouch either), I just said to him, "This is what I am doing.  If you don't like it, then report me to the Rabbi!"

Meanwhile, even before today, my own driveway was clearer than almost all of my neighbors' driveways because I took pains to expose the bare black asphalt and let the sun do its thing.  The temperature may be low, but there was plenty of sun for most of the day.  We didn't have much in the way of temperature, but the rays of the sun did deliver sufficient energy to dispatch most of the ice and snow away.  Temperature and heat are not the same things.

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