Friday, February 03, 2006

Mystery Marshmallow

So, Congress is already undermining Bush's unusually-focused physical sciences initiative (no surprise here) but what really bothers me is how enough heat can be transferred fast enough to a tossed marshmallow so it can be eaten straightaway:
President Bush urged employees at a computer chip factory to take their math and science skills into the schools to help the United States keep its technological edge in a global market.

..."America has to make a choice: Are we going to lead or are we going to fear the future?'' Bush said.

...Bush's plan would double over 10 years the physical science research budgets at three agencies: the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology.

To encourage private investment in research and development, a research tax credit for business should be made permanent, Bush said.

He also has proposed training 70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science and bringing 30,000 math and science professionals into the classrooms to teach.

...Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said he doubts Bush can get enough funding for his proposals because the Republican-led Congress already has cut funding to the National Science Foundation and has not fully funded No Child Left Behind.

...Martin, a volunteer at Starbase La Luz Academy at the base, received the president's Volunteer Service Award.

Martin volunteers more than 100 hours per year during lunch hours and some weekends to teach students in the program, designed to encourage New Mexico students to pursue careers as scientists and engineers.

...A lot of Martin's work with children involves a hands-on approach to teaching thermal dynamics. For example, he said he will freeze a marshmallow, then throw it to children, and before it hits their hands, it will be warm enough to eat.

But he doesn't tell the children how that happens.

"I want them to tell me how it happened,'' he said.
"Slow - Children" as the traffic signs say......

I will neither lead the future, nor fear it. But I do want to know more about this rapid-heating marshmallow.

OK, I give up. I'm slow. Real slow. How does it happen? Foams like marshmallows are bound to have low thermal conductivities. There isn't nearly enough time available to heat the marshmallow fast enough to avoid broken molars.

So, what's the answer? They may as well outsource me if I can't puzzle this one out. I must have an answer. I NEED an answer! Aaarrrgghhh!

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