13 July 2006

Frogs and snails and cornstarch

No frog, as far as we know, can read something like the invaluable Bitter Lemons, but then it doesn't seem as if people can either.

Certainly, people don't seem to know that no frog will sit in a pot of water till the water boils, and then passively cook. Even snails, not known for their wisdom, if subjected to the same treatment, flee faster than would be thought possible by those who never think about snails, or if they see them, don't see them.

But try this experiment. No frogs or snails needed, and no heat. You only need a box of cornstarch and water, and your hand.

Empty the cornstarch into a small tray. Mix enough water with it so that all the powder is wet, and the surface goes flat.

Now ball your hand into a mighty fist and punch the daylights out of it. See what happens?

Now, stick your finger in it and stir your finger around.

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"It was one of those still evenings you get in the summer, when you can hear a snail clear its throat a mile away."
— PG Wodehouse

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