What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

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What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby abridgerToNi » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:26 am UTC

Toaster vs. Freezer

My Brother, My Brother and Me, Episode 343, discussing a Yahoo Answers question wrote:Would a toaster still work in a freezer?


Image


I'm sure someone here is or knows someone from Winnipeg, big internet afterall. Can anyone confirm?

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby adonoman » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:44 am UTC

Winnipegger here. The cold has a stronger effect than Randall seems to think. We ran the comparison between indoor (18C) and outdoor (-14C) tonight.
http://imgur.com/a/iwpLM

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:05 am UTC

Regarding:
Image

The match between scissors and toaster might be a draw. Scissors snip power, but scissors-user runs a brief but real risk of electrocution.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:15 am UTC

abridgerToNi wrote:Can anyone confirm?

My family traveled to Winnipeg twice when I was a child. So either we were lucky enough to miss the big segment of that pie chart both times, or my mom and dad are very effective wolf-fighters.

(We're from Minnesota--giving us a racial +5 bonus to exposure vs cold--so I don't think that segment of the chart is very dangerous.)

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby pcb_duffer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:20 am UTC

I spent several years running a small diner; the toasters we used were 240v conveyor belt type. One of those bad boys would be a lot of fun to use for these experiments.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby abridgerToNi » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:08 am UTC

adonoman wrote:Winnipegger here. The cold has a stronger effect than Randall seems to think. We ran the comparison between indoor (18C) and outdoor (-14C) tonight.
http://imgur.com/a/iwpLM

Immensely fascinating. Good science.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby bilkie » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:40 am UTC

Shall we revise Grimm for Canada? The boy who cried Post Doc? Little Red Post Doctoral Student? Those ancient fables are mostly about higher education.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby HES » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:21 pm UTC

adonoman wrote:Winnipegger here. The cold has a stronger effect than Randall seems to think. We ran the comparison between indoor (18C) and outdoor (-14C) tonight.
http://imgur.com/a/iwpLM

Cool.

How does it compare if you use frozen bread indoors vs frozen toaster outdoors?
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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby ThirdParty » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:59 pm UTC

The effect of freezers on bread turns out to be something everyone on the internet has an opinion on, so I try to avoid the subject by just eating all my bread as soon as I get it.
I just popped in to share my opinion on the effect of freezers on bread: they ruin it. No matter what you do to defrost it, it will never have the same texture again. (Nutritionally it will still be edible, so if you're going on vacation for a month this may be the least-bad option for saving your bread since at least frozen bread doesn't turn moldy, but "least-bad" is not the same as "good".)

The freezer harms the bread by making it cold, so presumably bread in a running toaster in a freezer will not be ruined, though I haven't done the experiment.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby speising » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:45 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:
The effect of freezers on bread turns out to be something everyone on the internet has an opinion on, so I try to avoid the subject by just eating all my bread as soon as I get it.
I just popped in to share my opinion on the effect of freezers on bread: they ruin it. No matter what you do to defrost it, it will never have the same texture again. (Nutritionally it will still be edible, so if you're going on vacation for a month this may be the least-bad option for saving your bread since at least frozen bread doesn't turn moldy, but "least-bad" is not the same as "good".)

The freezer harms the bread by making it cold, so presumably bread in a running toaster in a freezer will not be ruined, though I haven't done the experiment.

can not confirm.
i regularly freeze (black) bread and thaw it in the microwave, and it's as good as new afterwards. (well not as good as fresh, but on par with 1 day old)
storing bread in the fridge, otoh, is not recommended.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby The Snide Sniper » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:04 pm UTC

This seems a bit too straightforward. It's pretty much just "the toaster wins, end of story".
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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:05 pm UTC

speising wrote:
ThirdParty wrote:
The effect of freezers on bread turns out to be something everyone on the internet has an opinion on, so I try to avoid the subject by just eating all my bread as soon as I get it.
I just popped in to share my opinion on the effect of freezers on bread: they ruin it. No matter what you do to defrost it, it will never have the same texture again. (Nutritionally it will still be edible, so if you're going on vacation for a month this may be the least-bad option for saving your bread since at least frozen bread doesn't turn moldy, but "least-bad" is not the same as "good".)

The freezer harms the bread by making it cold, so presumably bread in a running toaster in a freezer will not be ruined, though I haven't done the experiment.

can not confirm.
i regularly freeze (black) bread and thaw it in the microwave, and it's as good as new afterwards. (well not as good as fresh, but on par with 1 day old)
storing bread in the fridge, otoh, is not recommended.

Depends on the bread - I find generic sliced white ("plastic bread") comes out of the fridge no worse than it went in, and survives better than in the open. Restoring frozen bread is more of an art-form.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:26 pm UTC

Home-made bread (of various sorts) that I am used to doesn't do too badly, comparing the frozen majority with the 'immediate use' loaf or loaves. There's even a return to just-baked fluffiness and soft warmth when properly microwave-defrosted.

Ultra cheap shop-bought sliced breads are similarly unnoteworthy (I have in the past carefully cracked off a few slices, after a bit of 'tap and unwrap' on the freshly removed from a freezered loaf, to pop straight in the toaster to both defrost and toast the slice, to very little difference from later thawed-loaf slices, or ones straight from an unfrozen version), but I've never really tried freezing shop-bought, non-cheepo loaves. Whilst economies of scale had both the relative who bakes and me-on-a-severe-budget get more loaves than could be decently left to stand unfrozen, I tend to get my current shop-loaves singly during the every-other-day-or-so shop1, so have never tried freezing "decent store-bought loaves" to fill in the gap in experience.


1 Rarely is there a multibuy discount on them, whereas milk costs being unproportional to volume force me to make hard decisions as to what volume of milk is going to be binge-used before it goes unpallatable.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:38 pm UTC

adonoman wrote:Winnipegger here. The cold has a stronger effect than Randall seems to think. We ran the comparison between indoor (18C) and outdoor (-14C) tonight.
http://imgur.com/a/iwpLM


Most excellent! I award you one Gold Internet for that study. Wait, no... that was supposed to go to LaLaLand.


I did notice the uneven heating - which is no surprise given the asymmetric heat loss from the toaster's open top. You can simulate that indoors with a tall slice of bread.
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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:43 pm UTC

On the subject of freezers and bread:

Nothing already baked will ever taste decent after being frozen. The texture dies.

But, if you buy Trader Joe's frozen unbaked croissants, you win. They need to be left out 8 hrs to proof, then bake. The results compete well with any other croissant.
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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Cougar Allen » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:39 pm UTC

adonoman wrote:Winnipegger here. The cold has a stronger effect than Randall seems to think. We ran the comparison between indoor (18C) and outdoor (-14C) tonight.
http://imgur.com/a/iwpLM


How much wind was there?

In my experience of camp cooking wind has a lot more effect than cold. Testing a camp stove indoors you'll find it will boil a pot of water very quickly, but outdoors even when there's hardly any wind it carries away much more heat than you lose from the tiny drafts you get indoors. Even when it's about room temperature outdoors and hardly any wind the same stove will take significantly longer to boil the same pot of water, and if it's a windy day even with a wind screen around the stove it's going to take a lot longer. If you don't have a wind screen you may find the water never boils at all and eventually you run out of fuel.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby HES » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:47 pm UTC

Toast from frozen.
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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby linecircletriangle » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:18 pm UTC

C.O.P. is dependent on the relative temperature of the hot and cold reservoirs (a variation of Carnot efficiency) as the temperature in the "freezer" compartment rises above room temperature the C.O.P. of the "freezer" will rise drastically from the value stated by the manufacturer. It is unlikely that the steady state temperature for comparable wattage "freezers" and toaster will be significantly above room temperature (using this articles definition of significant change in temperature).

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby abridgerToNi » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:15 pm UTC

I suspect, with no evidence backing me, that you people who don't dislike frozen then unfrozen bread are simply fast eaters.

I've been subjected to frozen unfrozen bread before, and let me tell you, for about 3 seconds the bread is nice and soft and good. But once it restores back down to room temperature from microwave temperature, it becomes tough. Not 'hard', but chewy in a steaky way and in a way that no good bread should ever be. Pretty much inedible to my tastes.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:21 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
abridgerToNi wrote:Can anyone confirm?

My family traveled to Winnipeg twice when I was a child. So either we were lucky enough to miss the big segment of that pie chart both times, or my mom and dad are very effective wolf-fighters.

(We're from Minnesota--giving us a racial +5 bonus to exposure vs cold--so I don't think that segment of the chart is very dangerous.)
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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby speising » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:28 pm UTC

abridgerToNi wrote:I suspect, with no evidence backing me, that you people who don't dislike frozen then unfrozen bread are simply fast eaters.

I've been subjected to frozen unfrozen bread before, and let me tell you, for about 3 seconds the bread is nice and soft and good. But once it restores back down to room temperature from microwave temperature, it becomes tough. Not 'hard', but chewy in a steaky way and in a way that no good bread should ever be. Pretty much inedible to my tastes.

Ah, you are heating it to much, then. You must be careful to get it only to room temperature or less.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby adonoman » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:03 pm UTC

Cougar Allen wrote:How much wind was there?

We officially had a 10 km/h wind last night, but our yard is quite sheltered, so I doubt it was more than 5. I didn't bother to put on a scarf or toque, and wasn't uncomfortable, so the windchill couldn't have been significant.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:04 pm UTC

In my experience frozen-unfrozen bread is best heated by convection oven, not microwave. Or if you're toasting it anyway, putting it straight into the toaster. It's the microwaving that ruins it. Microwaving generally ruins bread, frozen or otherwise.
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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:26 pm UTC

You're not nuking it on the full setting, are you? Even though lesser 'powers' of microwaving are done by PWM (e.g. a few seconds of radiating, several seconds of idling, even while still pirouetting in the light of the internal lamp), it's amazing the actual difference the Defrost setting actually makes in actual defrosting1, compared to just trying to do it on Max to save time.

(Also, all these instructions to microwave things that mention times for 850W microwaves, etc... Mine is an old one maybe 500W, or slightly less (it may say what it is on the back, if I can be bothered to shift it to remind myself). Thus I have to take care to use the right adjustments of time between stirrings for anything I try to cook with it, and test it well.)


1 Probably because it's liquid water that gets the benefit of the zap, rather than the ice.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:53 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If they weren't doing science experiments, they aren't anywhere in the pie chart.

"Can little kids tell southern Canada from the northern United States?"

...I don't think they ever published.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Aiwendil » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:11 pm UTC

As a scientist working on an experiment in Canada, I find that pie chart a little disquieting.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Fishface McGee » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:31 pm UTC

abridgerToNi wrote:I'm sure someone here is or knows someone from Winnipeg, big internet afterall. Can anyone confirm?


I would have to dispute, based on the extensive writings of Winnipeg mycologist AH Reginald Buller in the first part of the 20th century. A brief excerpt from Dr. Buller's discussion of the mushroom Coprinus sterquilinus is in order: "I have obtained Coprinus sterquilinus on several occasions by taking advantage of the fact that the spores can pass through the alimentary canal of horses without injury. The winter conditions of Manitoba are severe: the ground is usually covered with snow from the middle of November to the end of March, and, during this time, the temperature ranges from 0 to -40 degrees C. Horse-dung balls dropped in the streets upon the snow in the depth of winter usually become frozen solid in a few minutes, and in this condition they remain until the spring thaw sets in. The faeces of horses always contain, in addition to innumerable bacteria, the spores of a number of coprophilous fungi. These spores have been swallowed with the fodder and, notwithstanding their passage through the alimentary canal of the animal concerned, have retained their vitality. When, therefore, the dung-balls freeze in the streets of Winnipeg, the spores of various coprophilous fungi which are included in them freeze up too. It was found that, if frozen dung-balls such as those just described are collected from the streets at any time during the winter, brought into the laboratory, and placed in a covered crystallising dish, in the course of a few weeks they alway give rise to fruit bodies of one or more small species of Coprinus..." AHR Buller (1924) Researches in Fungi Vol. III, Chapter VIII. Ergo, I conclude there is plenty of time to start the toaster when one sets out to collect horse dung-balls, and the toast will be ready when the researcher returns.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby yan » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:50 pm UTC

Randall wrote:...[the toaster] would hardly notice...[f]rom the toaster's point of view...

Me: Hm, does Randall have a sentient toaster?

Toaster wrote:Hi, welcome to my house!

Me: Ha, I knew it!

(and it's not even plugged in)

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:55 pm UTC

yan wrote:
Randall wrote:...[the toaster] would hardly notice...[f]rom the toaster's point of view...

Me: Hm, does Randall have a sentient toaster?

Like this one?

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:43 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
yan wrote:
Randall wrote:...[the toaster] would hardly notice...[f]rom the toaster's point of view...

Me: Hm, does Randall have a sentient toaster?

Like this one?

Well, it is cold outside...

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby meridun » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:32 pm UTC

There is one aspect of this thought experiment that hasn't really been discussed very much, which is the efficiency of heat dispersal.

While the point that the toaster is much more powerful in terms of heating than the freezer is true, the other aspect is that the heating elements of the toaster are much closer to the toast than the freezer's cooling system. In addition, air (and many gasses) aren't very efficient at conducting heat, so this difference in distance is very significant.

A different way to look at this is to consider a candle in a house with an air conditioner. The air conditioner will have no problem dispersing the heat of the candle throughout the whole house, but it will never be able to stop the candle itself from burning or the air above and around it from being very hot.

However, if someone was to increase the rate of convection greatly by making the air circulate very fast, or change the medium of convection by substituting a different gas or using a liquid, this would quickly change. The idea of toasting something in water doesn't really work, but part of that is due to the fact that the water is MUCH more efficient at dispersing heat.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby SAI Peregrinus » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:15 am UTC

Of course the toaster wins. If it's Photonicinduction's toaster then the toaster REALLY wins.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby kodiac » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:20 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
yan wrote:
Randall wrote:...[the toaster] would hardly notice...[f]rom the toaster's point of view...

Me: Hm, does Randall have a sentient toaster?

Like this one?

If Talkie Toaster was operating in either compartment of a smart fridge, would the fridge go insane?

Or perhaps TT would use the fridge's internet connection to spread its offers of toast world-wide.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Fratink » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:30 am UTC

I'd really love to have a science in Canada shirt, or an "I survived Winnipeg shirt". That would be just wonderful.

I was going to comment that Winnipeg isn't that cold, but then I looked at the data. Turns out that it's 0.3C colder over an entire year than we are in Saskatoon (Sources=Wikipedia). My condolences.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby jello34543 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:07 pm UTC

If the freezer isn't cold enough, I'm curious how a toaster would do in LN2. Probably want to stand well back though, it's likely to be exciting when the N2 stops being L. Substituting LO2 may also be unwise.

My solution to the frozen bread problem has always been to go straight from the freezer to the toaster. Microwaving is sure to make your bread awful, regardless of being frozen or not, as others have mentioned.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby punned_it » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:50 pm UTC

The categories "Dead of Exposure" and "Eaten by Wolves" are not, in practice, mutually exclusive. Wolves prefer scavenging to taking on adult humans, even if they ARE only armed with toasters.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Maat Mons » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:50 am UTC

I don't live in Winnipeg, I'm closer to Fargo actually, but I feel you're overstating the danger of wolves. In the entire time I've lived in Minnesota, I've never even seen a wolf. No one I know has. … By the time you see one it's too late.

Hah! I kid! I actually went to elementary school with a guy who had a saw a wolf up close. The thing didn't hurt a hair on his head. Took his left arm, yes. But his head was fine.

I kid again, sort of. The wolf was in a cage. He tried to pet it. That's not any kind of testament to a wolf's ferocity. That just natural selection not managing to follow through.

But no, seriously, I don't expect 5-year olds to understand that sort of danger. … I'm probably a dick for making jokes about his tragedy.

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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby cellocgw » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:07 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
yan wrote:
Randall wrote:...[the toaster] would hardly notice...[f]rom the toaster's point of view...

Me: Hm, does Randall have a sentient toaster?

Like this one?


No, more like the cellphones in what-if number 5.
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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby SDK » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:57 pm UTC

I was once going for a pleasant winter walk in Regina when I decided to inspect the thickness of the ice on Wascana lake. I walked out onto the frozen water and brushed away the few inches of snow there to reveal the ice beneath. Before I could make any estimations on thickness, a wolf padded out from the island just off-shore, about 20 meters away. He looked at me, sat down in the snow and just stared as if saying, "I'm sure you're not foolish enough to try and publish the results of this test. I only sit here as a warning." After a minute or so with our eyes locked on each other, I stood up and backed away. No science was done that day.
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Re: What-If 0155: "Toaster vs. Freezer"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:03 pm UTC

Not by you, but can you say the same about the wolf?


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