PC 85 A Conundrum * ?

*“A confusing and difficult problem or question, often asked for amusement.” Or just some of the minutiae of life that runs around inside my head.

I lie on the floor wondering about this and that, sweat dripping onto my already soaked mat. Hang on! This PC is not, as you might be beginning to think, about yoga …… but about the application of scientific knowledge and guesswork …..  so read on.


My iced water

In common with most people who do any form of exercise, I find it useful to have a bottle of water standing by in case I get thirsty. I know that it’s a C21st sight these days, every tourists wandering around the attractions with a bottle of water as if their life depended on it – but I think we can all acknowledge that, as the body is about 60% water, it’s important to keep hydrated. Practising yoga in a hot environment, the requirement is no different, except that one is encouraged to drink as little as possible during the class, so you try to be well hydrated before it. Drinking during class asks too much of the stomach for one thing, those muscles that you want to help you attain a certain posture are also being asked to help the digestion process for the water you’ve poured in! But like most people I do drink, but not for the first hour.

I can’t abide drinking warm water and after 45 minutes in the hot room the water in an ordinary bottle is warm; so I have developed a taste for iced water. This is very personal and I’m told it’s bad for your tummy, gives you a headache and all sorts of other old wives’ tales (you know what I mean huh ) – so what!! So I go into the hot room with a water bottle I’ve taken from the freezer (see above). After an hour it’s melted somewhat, enough for me to be able to take a couple of gulps before starting the floor series. At about 75 minutes into my session, with 15 minutes to go, it’s melted further …… and this is when I have my conundrum????

By the by, if you have someone directly behind you, it’s good etiquette to have the bottle on its side, so that person can see the mirror when necessary but if you don’t …….

The ice has melted enough for it to be about half the size of the bottle, a 4cm thick cylindrical shape; the water comes up about a third of the way. By this time I am anxious that I have enough melted ice to use at the end of the class so want to encourage the melting process. Do I lie the bottle on its side, with the water about half way up the side of the iceblock, or have the bottle upright, with the bottom third of the iceblock in the water. Which position will increase the melting of the ice faster?



Or this


There are some constants here. As soon as I type the word ‘constant’ names come flooding from my memory: Planck ……. and Avogado ……. and Pi (You remember? The ratio of the length of a circle’s circumference to its diameter) (see below)

The amount of water inside the bottle is constant, whether the bottle is upright or prone. And you can dismiss the temperature as that has a constant effect on the bottle, whichever way it stands, right? But what about the fact that in the prone position its long side is in contact with the warm floor – and does this make a difference – you can see how this conundrum gets more and more complicated?

In the vertical position, the ice has more surface area in contact with the air inside the bottle whereas lying down is looks as though the block has only 50% in contact with the air. Does the plastic/air interface conduct heat better than the plastic/water interface?

So I guess now we get into which surface area is greater and is that in contact with a material (water or air) that has a greater conductivity that the other.

Just seems like a lot of hot air to me, sometimes, at others I am really curious to determine whether one position is better than the other. A packet of Maynard’s Winegums or Basset’s Liquorice Allsorts to someone who comes up with the most plausible answer.

Real (inane?) scribbles these ……

Richard 10th December 2016

PS Planck’s constant links the amount of energy a photon carries with the frequency of its electromagnetic wave. It is named after the physicist Max Planck. It is an important quantity in quantum physics.

In chemistry and physics, the Avogadro constant (named after the scientist Amedeo Avogadro) is the number of constituent particles, usually atoms or molecules, that are contained in the amount of substance given by one mole.

The number π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi“.

One thought on “PC 85 A Conundrum * ?

  1. Richard,

    All those definitions! You must have been a Gunner!!!!

    I hate warm water too and am always being told that iced water is not good for you (particularly if it comes with whiskey).

    All the best,


    Sent from my iPhone



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