Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The biggest, greatest, most villainous brain teaser ever!

Here's one for you. This afternoon, I was sat dining with Jess (that's my girlfriend, on the off chance I have any readers who are not close personal friends wishing to humour me, who don't know). It was some sort of pasta tomatoey concoction. Nothing out of this world, but nourishing and enjoyable nonetheless.
 Then came the good news; her mother stands up and announces that there is a small amount of Ben and Jerry's ice cream remaining. Now, this blog has never been, and most probably will not be given to product placement (oooohhh look, my brother just walked past drinking a delicious, refreshing looking bottle of Coca Cola, generously priced at £1.20 in the co-op. See their website for details and promotional offers. Don't visit the one Bernice works in though), but the fact is that whomsoever Ben and Jerry happen to be, they make Ice Cream from an entirely different league to any other ice cream manufacturer before or since. If you disagree, you may post me samples of alternatives.
Anyroad, I was very excited by the prospect of this tasty-and-surprisingly-good-value dessert, and it was brought forth from the freezer. The lid was peeled back to reveal a pot of brown mush. OK, it wasn't all that bad, but I would not describe it as 'freezing'. My preferred adjective might be 'a bit parky'. (That means quite cold, if you're foreign or stupid.)

We were a little alarmed by this, and Jess observed that a few things had come out of that freezer not quite frozen.
'Perhaps the freezer needs to be turned up a bit' Suggests her mother. And then it hit me. The brain teasing conundrum of this fledgling century:

When you make a freezer colder, are you turning it up, or down?

No, don't turn your computer off! Read it again! Because there is a good case for both sides.
In order to make the freezer colder, the power must presumably be turned up.
But in the very act of turning the power up, you are turning the temperature down!
And if you wanted to increase the temperature, you would turn the power down, in order to turn the temperature up!

Well, as you might imagine, this has blown my mind completely. Of those whom I have asked to provide me with some sort of answer, 99% don't care, 0.5% abstained, and each side earned 0.25% of the vote. So I am asking you my readers (who either like this blog, and may care, or otherwise have stumbled across it and don't. If you're in the second category, leave this page now, go on with your daily life, preserve your sanity, pretend this never happened) to decide! Answers on a postcard or a comment, I get very few of either.

Sorry for the recent glut of posts by the way. They're like buses you know...
(I mean you wait ages for one then 2 come along at once, in case you were in any doubt. If you were, you're a dipstick.)


  1. Turning it down because yes while you are turning the power up the main reason for your action is to make the freezer colder thus turning the temperature down :) but what if the feezer doesn't have a dial and you press buttons instead...then are you turning anything at all?

  2. Just because you don't get many comments I decided I should leave one. I just checked the freezer and it's currently at -19 degrees. I have pressed 'power freeze' in the hope that this will make it colder, if not ill press some more buttons to investigate further. I'll keep you updated on the progress ;) Jess xx

  3. Easy, you are turning it up.

    An oven, by design, gets hot when you turn it on. A fridge, by design, get cold when you turn it on. Whatever the appliance, when you want it to do more of what it was designed to do you turn it up. Like a stereo, designed to generate sound, when you want more sound you turn it up, when you want more heat from your oven you turn it up. Ergo, when you want your freezer to be colder you turn it up.

  4. David, nobody has ever used the word 'ergo' on my blog before. You'll have my clientelle going through the roof!
    I take your most valid point, but what if the dial is a temperature, rather than a power dial? You turn the dial down (or press the minus button, for Becky's sake). You see! I told you it was a good one!

  5. this made me laughh, i dont know why, but it did. it was interlectual comedy

  6. Pure comedy genius.

  7. It all depends whether you are turning up the temperature or the dial. It's all because the temperature is inversely proportional to the direction of the dial, (sorry, had to use those words) so I'd say you turn it up, because that's what a freezer is designed to do :)