23 Comments

  1. @ Mitch4 – Well, that could have been a really nasty (meaning “deep”) rabbit hole, but I got lucky. There are at least a dozen different saints with the name “Bernard” (six of which have made it into Wikipedia), but I chanced to discover St. Bernard of Menthon (for whom the dogs are named) before I could examine all the others for a possible relationship to distilleries.

  2. Thanks, L**st! I did believe a few parts of the traditional story that stood in need of correcting!

  3. I mean, in Arthur’s time they didn’t have freezers, so that’s gonna happen EVERY time.

  4. Re: the St. Bernard, do any other geezers remember an OOOOLD cartoon where the St. Bernard runs up to an injured skier, stands up on its hind legs, pulls out a shaker and martini glass, makes an elaborate cocktail, drinks it himself, and runs away?

  5. Colorist should have made the fence in the background a color that isn’t so close to the puzzle back. I didn’t see the missing piece at first.

  6. @Kilby – that must have been a moderation delay, but thanks for the info.

    @w00zy – Aha, so that is the video described earlier. Good one!

    @Arthur – I have been using evaporative coolers now for about a year, not reaching freezing but providing cool air in locations or circumstances where actual air conditioning is not workable or is not preferred. I have one fair size standup model, that I really like — mine is branded as Luma but when I was looking up for a friend the name seems to have changed, with New Air as the brand but Luma retained as “product line” or something like that.
    There are also “desktop” models, of which I have some good and some bad experience. The cubes that came from China were very hit and miss – only one of three is working a year later. I have two desktop cylindrical ones that are pretty good; I can’t find the name without spilling the water tank. They are limited in the amount of water held, and hence the time they can cool without refilling; and I think the lip of the filling flap is not really well designed, as I cannot pour the end of a big cup i use to carry the refill water.

  7. Regarding not having freezers in that time period, I can attest that at least in my area, there are no new freezers to be found. It’s like the toilet paper shortage all over again. The worker at the store said it’s because they’re all made in China, but I can’t say for sure.

  8. Freezers became scarce in March for the same reason toilet paper did: People bought them up so they could freeze large amounts of meat.

    The China thing is probably why the stock hasn’t been replenished.

  9. padraig: FWIW, maybe so, but apparently by the late 1600’s ice cream was a popular thing (for the king and his court of course, not regular people).

  10. Thx Woozy. Some day I will have the patience to search video sites. I remember loving how meticulously he makes the martini, twist and all.

  11. The explanation given for the Yakhchāl in Arthur’s link sounds suspiciously like Maxwell’s Demon — either the device didn’t really make ice, only kept already existing ice cold, or it worked by some other mechanism — anyone know?

  12. Thanks Arthur!
    The wikipedia entry for radiative cooling does mention making ice overnight, but the process doe not really sound like the Yakhchāl described above; but I guess the Yakhchāl could make some use of overnight radiative cooling, and I suppose that could sound suspiciously like Maxwell’s Demon, especially if the description is written by someone who doesn’t really understand what he’s talking about…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_cooling#Nocturnal_ice_making_in_early_India_and_Iran

  13. You know, evaporative cooling kind of is Maxwell’s Demon in action, but it only works because you have a very small system taking advantage of a very very large system — the few stray molecules that the small system loses don’t really add much to the temperature of the very large system, but their absence does make a big difference to the small system — the selection Demon is working on the large differential of the probability that any given random molecular movement from one to the other is going to be significant to either system.

  14. Our bedroom ac is not working this year. We tried schlepping the portable ac we us in the living room upstairs (took both of us moving it up a step at a time) and that is not working either. He has been running one or another electric fan. I froze water in old 20 oz soda bottles to put in front of the fan – but so far he has not used them. Latest is we carried the dehumidifier upstairs up stairs (2 flights) from the basements – it blows hot air out the side and has to be put in the open doorway to shoot the heat away from the bedroom.

    Mitch4 – We have evaporation cooling pouches for Robert’s insulin when we are traveling – and a second one to keep Diabetes meters strips cool enough when traveling. (Inside the RV/Chevy Van can hit over 100F when it parked all day in the sun during the summer and the air conditioning in it can not be run.)

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