1.24.2017

Water is Pretty Amazing When You Think About It

Have you ever thought about how frickin' cool water is? Obviously, it's essential for life on Earth (although some might call that circular logic). The Fremen on Dune have an appropriately high level of appreciation for water, but they are a fictional people and I don't think most actual people do respect water enough.

I have probably been doing to much thinking lately, as a result of the bonus free time and brain power my social media hiatus has granted me. So I am surely overthinking water here, but it is still cool.

I first started contemplating water's awesomeness last week. Deborah and I were at the gym and I was in the pool there, waiting for her to join me. The word "pool" is telling. Water pools (verb) in a pool (noun) and it will always seek the lowest energy state. When it's stable in the lowest energy state, it is a liquid mass with a flat surface (actually, it's ever so slightly curved, but on small scales like a gym swimming pool, it looks like it has a flat surface). Even at ambient temperatures comfortable for human life, the surface of a mass of liquid water is in a state of flux with the gaseous atmosphere above it. At the liquid/gas interface, water vapor is leaving the surface of the water mass, creating 100% humidity at the surface. Air (gas) molecules are also being dissolved into the water. Interestingly, cold water can dissolve a higher concentration of air molecules, while warm air holds more water vapor. This is why some fish, like trout, prefer colder water. It has more oxygen. Trout will suffocate in warm water, which is why you don't find trout in the south (or north, if you live in the southern hemisphere, as many of my readers do).

You can float a boat on water. You can swim through water. You must drink water to live, but if you breath it you'll die. Water is a solvent and the water in your body dissolves a lot of things, some of which you need. Your kidneys reclaim the things you need from the water and the rest is eliminated as pee, containing the dissolved things you don't need (water soluble waste by-products of metabolism).

For some weird-assed reason I once learned in a college chemistry class and then subsequently forgot thanks to another liquid called alcohol, solid water (ice) is always less dense than liquid water, which is why ice cubes float. However, if the ice is made from "heavy" water in which the hydrogen atom of the water molecule is a deuterium (has an extra heavy neutron in its nucleus), these ice cubes will sink in regular (non-heavy) water. However, heavy water ice cubes still float in liquid heavy water. That's heavy...

A gallon of water weighs a little over eight pounds (I think; someone consult the Giant Internet Brain on that and fact check me if necessary). So you could use two gallon jugs of water as dumbells to do curls, if you wanted to. Conversely, a gallon of boiling water weighs ever so slightly under eight pounds (it is not recommended to do curls with boiling gallon jugs of water, even though they are slightly lighter).

OK, here is a picture of some water containing a pretty girl, for no logical reason.


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