Saturday, May 9, 2009

Science Saturday

Do you know what makes the steam come out of an iron?


Neither do I.

My iron stopped working a couple of weeks ago. The steam stopped coming out. Instead it oozed water all over my clean clothes with an occasional pathetic gasp of sizzling.

My first response was to give it some time. Maybe it's just going through something. If I let it sit there for a bit and give it some space, it will work out whatever issues it is struggling with. This tactic almost worked. I was nearly able to finish the pair of pants I had been working on. One bottom part of the pants leg to go and it started spitting out water again.

So then I did what every good American consumer does - I went out and bought another iron. This one has Smart Grip AND a self cleaning feature. Ooooooh - fancy.

But I kept wondering what could make an iron break? How many moving parts could there possibly be to wear out or malfunction?

I decided to try and find out. I used the time-tested scientific method called - Rip It Apart and Look At Stuff.

A couple of screwdrivers and a wrench and here's what you get. So what did I discover?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

There were no obviously broken or corroded parts or disconnected wires and that is the limit of my mechanical detective skills. If it doesn't LOOK broken, my scientific exploration ends. I considered plugging it in while it was in its disassembled state to see what would happen. But my common sense and rapidly fading interest in this project stopped me from going that far.

But the good news is now that I've ripped it into slightly smaller chunks, it will only take 6 million years to fully decompose in the landfill instead of the normal 10 million.

Here is a man who tried to go for one year without throwing anything out.


Bobby said...

Glad you didn't plug it in....Electricity me on this one

Bethany said...

Oh my gosh, this made me laugh out loud. That's my Kathy!

Anne Leddy said...

I can't tell you how many things I have taken apart over the years. They were all with same result. After a while I realized the futility of doing that and I don't bother any more.
Our town is very green. I have numerous plastic and metal boxes and old remotes and tv antenas that we have previously used in the past. I called our resource recovery person in town and they will pick them up along with an old console tv that was your grandmothers. As you can see our town is in good shape. I may even buy one of those composters. Mom