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Guide to Making Things That Are Hot Not As Hot Anymore

By ZorbaTHut in Op-Ed
Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 12:41:20 PM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)

NOTE: This guide is for use with the temperature-related definition of hot. Things that would fall under our definition of "hot" include (but are not limited to):

Blocks of solid iron
Small animals (potentially on fire)
Kerosene lamps
Flotation devices

This guide does NOT refer to hot in the sense of spiciness, hot in the sense of electricity, hot in the sense of sexual excitement, or hot in the sense of stolen. However, it is worth noting that in any of the previous cases, the temperature-related definition of "hot" may also stand, for example in the case of a recently cooked pepper, a wire under a bunsen burner, a supermodel on fire, or an illegally obtained Rolex glued inside a jet engine.

STEP 1 - Making The Item Not On Fire Anymore

The first thing to do is often the most overlooked by the novice cooler. First, check to see if the item is on fire. If the item is on fire, make the item not on fire. The practice of this is not part of this guide - it is recommended that you refer to our sister publication, "Guide to Making Things That Are On Fire Not On Fire Anymore".

STEP 2 - Moving The Item

Your next step is to find a way of moving the item in question. If the item is only mildly hot, or only hot relative to something which is, in actuality, very cold, it may be possible to move it with your bare hands. Unfortunately, humans' judgement is often flawed in this regard, and if your own judgement proves so, it is perfectly acceptable to drop the item in question and yell "MOTHERFUCKER THAT BURNS" at the top of your lungs. If the item is breakable be careful to drop it on something soft, otherwise a single hot item could multiply and become many hot items.

In the case of an item that is too hot to be picked up by hands it may be possible to use some sort of "tong" mechanism. Put simply, you use your hands to drive a device that picks up the item for you. We supply a large selection of said devices in our catalog, "Devices You Can Use To Pick Up Hot Items", and this is recommended for perusal by anyone for which contact with things that are hot but shouldn't be is frequent.

Unfortunately, some hot items (for example, superheated boulders, spheres of molten mercury in deep space, or the entire continent of Africa nine minutes after the sun goes nova) may prove impossible to pick up. In this case, skip to Step 4 for in-place heat removal concepts.

STEP 3 - Putting The Item Somewhere Where It Might Not Be As Hot As It Was Where The Item Used To Be In The Place Where It Was Getting Too Hot To Begin With

If you need to get rid of a lot of heat in a hurry, it can often be useful to put the item someplace very very cold. Unfortunately, doing this may also cause damage to the item, generally in the case of things that are either very hard or very soft, i.e. diamonds or children. However, if the item in question is durable enough to handle large temperature extremes safely (i.e. bark or tin foil) it may be reasonable to place the item in something which is cold, for example a sink filled with cold water, or possibly Europa. The item will cool quickly, sometimes with a loud hissing noise and a large amount of gas made up of whatever it is you placed the item in. Please be careful - if the gas is potentially harmful, such as might come from a brick made out of ammonia or Britney Spears, it may be best avoided.

If the item is fragile it may be best to put it somewhere that does not cool items as quickly. On first thought the position is obvious - interstellar space. However, studies have shown that interstellar space conducts heat so poorly that the item will, in fact, cool far too slowly. Instead it is recommended that you place the item in the atmosphere of a nearby planet, possibly away from whatever it is that was making the item hot in the first place.

STEP 4 - Moving The Cool To The Item Instead Of Moving The Item To The Cool

Perhaps the item isn't getting cool enough in its new location, or perhaps the item has proven impossible to relocate. In any case, often one finds it necessary to make an item less hot without moving it. In this case the solutions are limited, but often effective. In general, try moving something that is cool near or around the object. For example, one could do anything from blowing on the item all the way up to blowing on the item really hard. One could also locate an asteroid made entirely out of ice and drop it on the item, or conversely, lightly sprinkle the item with water.

Please keep in mind the possible side effects of the combination, however. While it seems reasonable to cool down a feverish rat with a city firehose, or use a lake frozen by the breath of a superhuman crimefighter to extinguish a burning refinery, you may get a less than optimum outcome from attempting to use the aforementioned frozen lake to cool down a delicate glass sculpture the size of a house, or perhaps using a cold barely subcritical piece of radioactive substance to cool down a slightly hotter barely subcritical piece of radioactive substance.

Forethought is important.

STEP 5 - Making It So That The Thing Which Got Hot Hopefully Won't Get Hot Again Anytime In The Near Future

Once the item is cooled to a more reasonable temperature for whatever that particular item is one may wish to invest in a solution to ensure that the item doesn't get that hot again. Several such solutions are detailed below.

Fans: Build a device to aim a continuous stream of coolness over the item. This solution is often appropriate for husbands or sweatshops. However, this solution may be slightly less effective on pulsars or, sometimes, sponges.

Armed Guards: Do what is necessary to keep the heat producer from being brought to the item that should be kept cool. This approach has had high success with the famed ice sculptures of Bringablowtorch III, the unfortunately named planet attracting far more than its share of pyromaniacs. However, some items prove impossible to guard, such as dust, constellations, or George W. Bush's daughters.

Heatsinks: The idea of using an item that is designed to get hot to bring heat from items that are not designed to get hot is one that is relatively recent. However, it is also quite efficient. Some objects prove simple to install heatsinks into, such as medium-sized buildings, winnebagos, or smaller winnebagos. However, many others are recalcitrant - examples include goldfish, constellations, stained-glass windows, and most large rivers.

Maxwell's Demon: Possibly the most efficient cooling mechanism yet devised, Maxwell's Demon operates by placing all the hot molecules on one side of a barrier and all the cold molecules on the other side. Unfortunately, Maxwell is currently on trial for breaking the laws of thermodynamics, and the lawsuits seem likely to extend for years. Maxwell himself was unavailable for comment, though his lawyers said he would likely be acquitted completely.

We hope this guide has come in useful for your purposes. If this guide has been helpful, we recommend you check out the rest of our fine self-help guides, including the "Guide to Stepping Over Obstructions Less Than Two Feet In Height", the "Guide to Stirring Decaffinated Coffee", and our ever-popular "Guide to Doing Things Without Causing The Complete Destruction Of The Universe".


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What is your favorite cooling technique?
o Wind tunnels 4%
o Janet Reno 18%
o Cubes of frozen boron 9%
o Anglerfish 4%
o Super Smash Bros. 11%
o Copper heatsinks immersed in the molten sulfur lakes of Io 18%
o Martial law 23%
o Linoleum 10%

Votes: 143
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by ZorbaTHut

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Guide to Making Things That Are Hot Not As Hot Anymore | 40 comments (16 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
Spinoffs (5.00 / 13) (#9)
by Scrymarch on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 07:28:44 AM EST

It's a good introduction, but you've really only scratched the surface of this topic.  The article should probably be expanded to a handy reference guide that ordinary people can feel comfortable using around the house.  I also suggest a video introduction to Making Things That Are Hot Not As Hot Anymore, with a healthy young aerobic instructor demonstrating techniques.  The invaluable synergistic website accompaniment would involve interactive realtime community polling, at http://www.amimakingahotthingnothotornot.com .

Aerobic Instructor (4.66 / 3) (#23)
by ZorbaTHut on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 05:20:08 PM EST

I thought of that, but then I'd need to hire an aerobic instructor, and I just don't have the budget.

Plus at some point I'd have to set her on fire and that really wouldn't be good for insurance rates.

[ Parent ]

alternative (4.80 / 5) (#28)
by martingale on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 08:30:48 PM EST

If you can't afford an aerobic instructor, why not go for an anaerobic one instead? Moreover, you'll have extra oxygen around to spare to feed the flames.

[ Parent ]
Your link sir... (none / 0) (#33)
by adewhite on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 11:38:41 PM EST

...is not working. Now I'm hot with perspiration running down my right hand to my mouse and... URGGHHH!!!

[ Parent ]
You have changed my life (4.91 / 23) (#10)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 09:06:24 AM EST

How many times have I picked up something hot, only to exclaim "HOW CAN I MAKE THIS HOT THING NOT AS HOT???" Just yesterday I was making some bacon in the old cast iron frying pan. I reached into the pan to retrieve the bacon, and much to my surprise it was hot! It really, really hurt. If only I had known that I could have put the item somewhere where it might not be as hot as it was where the item used to be in the place where it was getting too hot to begin with. I wish I had known there was some way to avoid all these third degree burns.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
Tears streaming... +5 comment (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by MickLinux on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 05:28:38 PM EST

Yeah, I liked the article.  But you were funnier...

I was aspirating in such pseudo-random burts of motion that small millimeter droplets of water followed each other in rapid succession down my cheeks.

And I can't do it as well as you.  I'm going to shut up now.

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.
[ Parent ]

Thanks man (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 10:59:24 PM EST

Glad you enjoyed it.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
this is too (3.00 / 3) (#17)
by VoxLobster on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 02:24:47 PM EST

temperature centric... :)

VoxLobster -- Nothing says cool like living at the bottom of the ocean...

I was raised by a cup of coffee! -- Homsar

Two Major Problems (4.42 / 7) (#27)
by Cant Say on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 06:35:41 PM EST

In a heroic attempt of self-restraint and word economy, I am only going to address two flaws.

First, the entire manual abstracts the process of determination of temperature relative to the being or object interacting with said temperature producer. It's all well and good to demonstrate half a dozen (or so) ways to make things that are hot not as hot any more, but it fails to assist those that need to know whether or not things are hot or not in the first place. Now, this objection is mute in the face of appropriate literature regarding the determination of effective temperature. Unfortunately for the astute reader, such literature is unavailable. Great! Now we can solve a problem which doesn't exist until it's too late: after said being or thing interacts with a temperature producer outside said being or thing's tolerance!

The second major flaw is almost a child of the first one. Maybe it's the first problem's second cousin, twice removed. And it is this: in attempting to move said "hot" (remember, we don't know what that means) object to a "cooler" location, there is no decision procedure. "Is this an appropriate time to use motive assistance?" "Is location B significantly different in temperature from location A? And if it is significantly different, is it significant in the correct direction?" "All other things being equal, will this hot object expend its heat harmlessly if left alone, or should I risk dismemberment and death in an attempt to move said object?" Such important questions are within the scope of this pamphlet, and yet remain unanswered.

What is the local eschewer of hot objects to do? I don't know what he or she or it can do, but one thing it shouldn't do is use the "Guide to Making Things That Are Hot Not As Hot Anymore".

Try this website (5.00 / 3) (#31)
by roiem on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 09:01:54 AM EST

You might try submitting the object in question to http://www.hotornot.com in order to determine how hot the object is. This may take some time, however.

90% of all projects out there are basically glorified interfaces to relational databases.
Parent ]
Wholy un-useful (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by Nyarly on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 01:46:26 PM EST

Firstly, it's my opinion that your first objection is in error: the author clearly declaimed the process of determining if a thing is hot in terms of the bounds of hotness of the mover of the object; namely, that if the object is outside said bounds of hotness (i.e. too hot) the mover ought to drop said object and scream at maximum volume "MOTHERFUCKER THAT BURNS." This being accomplished, the "amount of hotness" (apologies for technical jargon) has been determined, at least with respect to the bounds of the mover.

On the other hand, if the mover is delicate or valuable, perhaps another "test" mover might be employed (with a promise of lunch, or perhaps candy), and their reaction to lifting of the possibly hot object be noted. Afterwards, however, it may be neccesary to apologize, or perhaps rebuke the test-mover for their use of language outside the realm of professionalism.

Alternatively, there's been much research in recent years regarding transferance of heat via electromagnetic radiation and the detection of such radiation. Be advised, these processes may require lead shielding as a protection from the radiation.

However, I concur that the article entirely fails to address differences in levels of hotness. Moreover, the article fails to address objects like suns and active electrical curling irons which are inherently hot rather that being made hot by a source of heat. In these cases, many of the techniques outlined in the manual will fail, usually with significant damage to the hot thing, the cooling thing, or the mover, or all three.

For these reasons and others, I'd advise that a disclaimer be appended to the manual indicating "WARNING: Entertainment only. Contains larks vomit."

"The believer is happy. The doubter is wise" --Hungarian Proverb
[ Parent ]

Reminds me of "This Morning with Richard Not (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by craigtubby on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 10:55:20 AM EST

A program in the UK that was on a couple of years ago, had a great sketch called "Things that fall out of cupboards and spill or smash".

Which was generally tragic stories about things that fell out of cupboards and spilled or smashed - and infidelity.

Although not as good as classic "Consider the lilies" sketch.

try to make ends meet, you're a slave to money, then you die.

* Webpage *

This reminds me of university thermo (none / 0) (#37)
by hatshepsut on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 04:13:27 PM EST

We got an entire lecture (50 minutes, 2nd year chemistry course) that could be summarized as: heat flows from hot to cold.

Having taken the course (and even passed it!), I am delighted to say that, as far as you have covered the topic, it is perfectly accurate. Please consider seeking a position teaching 2nd year thermogodammits^H^H^H thermodynamics.

I look forward to futher additions to this series:

Guide to Making Things Less Wet

Shelves: The All-Inclusive Guide to Vertical Storage

How to See in the Dark: What That Switch REALLY Does

What about... (none / 0) (#38)
by Ming D. Merciless on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 10:15:02 PM EST

Superman's super blow, um, rather, breath?

Of course, this would necessitate having 1 or more of the following handy at any given time you needed to make something not hot so as to ensure Superman's prompt arrival:

  • Lois Lane placed precariously near the hot object
  • Jimmy Olsen (see above)
  • Lex Luthor unleashing a fiendishly villainous plan (perhaps involving the hot object)
  • A little girl with a kitten up a tree (Superman is a sucker for tree trapped kittens)

Please note that any kryptonite (regardless of color) in the immediate vicinity may invalidate this plan.

How about hot as in... (none / 0) (#39)
by Ruidh on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 04:28:46 PM EST

..extremely popular?
"Laissez-faire is a French term commonly interpreted by Conservatives to mean 'lazy fairy,' which is the belief that if governments are lazy enough, the Good Fairy will come down from heaven and do all their work for them."
Caution (5.00 / 1) (#40)
by hypno on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 12:48:10 PM EST

While the making objects which are hot less hot than they are is a noble and worthwhile occupation, it must be noted that attempting to cool down some objects may prove dangerous and foolish.

Indeed, our very survival is dependent on hot things being hot. If all hot things became cold, as would happen with the rampant and unregulated cooling of objects which you seem to be championing, it would be sorely regretted.

Guide to Making Things That Are Hot Not As Hot Anymore | 40 comments (16 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
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