Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Pouring water, hot and cold

Around 8 or 10 years ago, an odd thing happened to me.

I was trying to fix one of those instant soup cups. This particular cup was made of heavy paper, and I was supposed to peel the lid back halfway, fill the cup with boiling water, stir, and then put the lid back on and let it sit for a few minutes.

I had a tall electric pitcher to heat water in, so I heated the water until it was boiling rapidly and steam was pouring out. I decided to hold the soup cup over the sink while I poured, in case I spilled something. The paper lid wouldn't stay back by itself, even when folded, so I had to hold it open while I poured. I was trying to hold the cup in one hand, hold the lid back with my thumb, and pour the boiling water into the cup without actually spilling any on me. It was very awkward. The heat was coming through the paper sides of the cup and burning my fingers, and I was trying to pour the water in quickly so that I could set the cup down, when all of a sudden I poured the water over my fingers.

Oddly enough, it didn't hurt. It just felt cool. The heat from inside the cup was burning my fingers too much, though, and I had to set the cup down.

The outside of my fingers, though, where the water had flowed, seemed fine. There was no pain and nothing was visibly wrong with them. I turned the faucet on and ran some water over them, but it didn't seem to make any difference.

The water inside the cup had been so hot that the cup was too hot to hold, but the water poured directly on my fingers, other than the sense of coolness, had had no effect.

Somebody must have been watching over me. Again.

NOTE: Don't try this at home.

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