From: "Roy C. Lackey"
Subject: Re: (urth) Lupine Humor: A Challenge Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 02:08:57 -0500 Blattid wrote: >> "Do you know, I read just today that open fires don't actually heat a >> building? It seems they draw in more cold air than they warm; just think >> of all those ignorant people who froze themselves to death, and never >> realized it, for thousands of years." > >Huh. And I took it as more of a dig at Lisa -- because she's right as >far as she goes, but Wolfe is enough of an engineer to know that "they >draw in more cold air than they warm" is actually true for a house with >any kind of central heating ... having an open fire in one room of the >house can actually way raise your heating bill. That reminds me of the professor who, about thirty years ago, _proved_ mathematically that the Apollo moon landings were a physical impossibility. :-) Ann Schindler was cold and wet. As she and Wrangler drove to the "rambling fieldstone building" where Lisa and the girls stayed, she imagined a "red-hot pot-bellied stove in a bunkhouse". When she entered the house, what she found instead was "a wide rustic room, one wall of which was mostly fireplace; it held a bigger, redder, hotter fire than Ann could ever have imagined". Ann said she wanted to sit by the fireplace, which is when Lisa made her comment. I have no doubt whatsoever that Wolfe was ridiculing the author of the assertion Lisa read about. I doubt seriously that that ranch house had any sort of central heating; and I know for a fact that all those "ignorant people who froze themselves to death, and never realized it, for thousands of years" didn't. For uncounted generations all that kept people from freezing to death in the winter _were_ the "open fires" in the hearths of their homes. I am even more certain of that than I am of Neil Armstrong. -Roy --