Up until a few years ago – and I literally mean about 2010 – I thought “they” couldn’t make ice until we started using electricity. I mean historically. Again, like the “no waves in winter” one, it was a deduction based on an observation: if the power goes off at home today, the ice in the fridge melts.
By compressing a gas – I assume using steam machines – they could create a ‘heat exchanger’ and thus cool water down below freezing point. Wikipedia points out there were functioning and patented ice-making machines in the 1850s. Edison wasn’t doing his stuff with electricity until about the 1880s.
Just watching a documentary on the Murray River paddle-steamers prompted me to remember something. Something that – at the time – seemed perfectly logical, but now I smile and nod wisely. To myself.
I was about 10 or 12 and it is the first in my list of Things I Once Thought.
#1 The Murray River must flow downhill
Looking at the map of Victoria, with the Murray defining the topmost border, it clearly would have to run downhill, that is from left to right as you look at it. I mean check it out yourself :
It’s obvious – to a 10 year old budding scientist – that the slope is falling away from left to right. As in (somehow) it’s a profile view (I hadn’t thought that bit through). So it followed the mighty river flowed from Mildura towards Echuca.
It was a genuine shock to discover it goes the other way.
# 2 There are no waves at the surf beaches in Winter
We hardly went to the beach at all. If we did, it was in Summer. Somehow, by a pre-teen exercise in Boolean logic, I deduced there were therefore no waves in Winter. I can sort of see where I was going. Sort of.