Little to say for myself

Friday, September 09, 2005

Global Warming

Last Sunday afternoon, a bit of a scorcher, I popped out of the flat on an errand. When I got back an hour later I noticed the faint but distinctive smell of burnt paper. There was no smoke, and I looked around everywhere but couldn't see any traces of burning. There was nothing outside either - no distant bonfires or anything to explain it. So I forgot all about it.

A couple of days later I wanted to make a salad, and went to get my new large stainless steel bowl - a recent IKEA purchase. I keep it stacked with some other large bowls on top of the microwave, in the window - like this:

This was when I discovered the cause of the burning smell.

I'd chucked an empty eggbox in the bowl, intending to keep it for recycling. The bowl had acted as a spherical mirror, focussing the sunlight coming through the window onto the eggbox, and had incinerated it!

Luckily for me, there was nothing else inflammable anywhere near it, so it must have just burned itself out.

I feel I should write to IKEA and tell them - they could be liable for all sorts of lawsuits in the US unless they print a disclaimer on the bowl...

posted by Plig | 14:39 |

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Forget the sentimental notion that foreign policy is a struggle between virtue and vice, with virtue bound to win.
Forget the utopian notion that a brave new world without power politics will follow the unconditional surrender of wicked nations.
Forget the crusading notion that any nation, however virtuous and powerful, can have the mission to make the world in its own image.
Remember that diplomacy without power is feeble, and power without diplomacy is destructive and blind.
Remember that no nation's power is without limits, and hence that its policies must respect the power and interests of others.
Hans Morgenthau

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts
Bertrand Russell

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one
Albert Einstein

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative
Martin Luther King Jr.

Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man
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I think it would be a good idea
Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun
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Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others
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Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it
Mahatma Gandhi

Always make new mistakes
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