Thursday, July 26, 2012

Theory Thursday: Ice Melt

You know that empty space in the back of cabinets where two sets meet? Some people have a lazy susan in a corner cabinet. Others have a big cabinet off the back to utilize that space. We have a mini fridge there. It was in the house when we moved in, and we left it there. Since it's right next to our kitchen table and it's small, we keep our drinks in it. Once a year or so, the freezer portion builds up so much ice that the door will no longer close and we have to defrost it. We usually know when it's time when we walk into the kitchen and find a trail of water running through it. It goes something like this: 

Ugh, there's water everywhere! Who spilled something? . . . Oh, it's coming from the fridge. 
Who left the refrigerator door open???  . . . {push door closed. door pops open. push 
door closed. door pops open.} Aaaaah, the ice is built up again.

I grab towels to soak up the river trickling from the fridge across the kitchen and turn off the fridge. Later on, after it's had a chance to thaw a little, we (and when I say we, I mean Leighton) pull out the ice chunks and clean up the rest of the water.

Our yearly adventure happened a couple days ago. The dialogue was similar to the above. The events follows mirrored the example, as well. But as Leighton was opening the front door to throw the ice outside, I stopped him. We could turn this little inconvenience into a science lesson.

There was no major prep involved. There weren't lots of steps to take to reach the outcome. There wasn't even anything to make a huge mess. 

We simply left the bucket filled with ice in the kitchen.

Exciting, I know.

I asked the kids what they thought would happen to the ice. They knew it would melt, but how much would be melted by morning? All? Some? Here are their predictions:
Jake: "mostly melted"
Alyssa: "all melted"
Zac: "big ice!"

What do you think happened???

Here's what it looked like about 6:00 am, roughly 9 hours after the above photo was taken:

I know it's hard to see and the quality is very poor, but that little part in the middle was all that was left. It was about the size of a regular ice cube.

Jake ran to the bucket when he got up a couple hours later. He looked inside, but didn't say anything. He just walked away. 

Me, already knowing the answer: "So, what does it look like?" 
Jake, grumbling: "It's all melted." 
Me: "Who was right?"
Jake: "I don't really remember." (He does not like to be wrong.) 
Me: "Oh yes you do. You said it would be mostly melted. Alyssa was right."
Jake: "You stuck it in the oven!"

Yes, son. It's all just a big conspiracy. Our sole purpose is to make sure you are always wrong. Silly boy.  We did not tamper with the results. I suppose the result was relative though. Had he gotten up when I did, he technically would have won. But if Alyssa still got up when she did, she also would have won. Technically. It could have been potentially confusing. But it wasn't, and she was quite proud of herself for guessing correctly.  

So, in a year or so, when the ice in the freezer backs up and the door won't close and we find water all over the kitchen, Jake will remember how long it takes the ice chunks to melt. And he'll be right. 

But next year we'll put the bucket in the fridge after he goes to bed so it won't all melt. Because you know, it is all just a conspiracy.

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