The POTW: Verse Til It Hurts


POTW #830
(Week of 17 February, 2013)

This came out of a brief conversation I had with our friend George, yesterday morning, before coffee.

The Perfect Coffee Container

The search for the ultimate coffee vessel
Is a bit of an angry greased otter to wrestle
Where transfer of heat is the overarching concern
I know how to make it taste richer and stronger
But what sort of mug keeps the temperature longer?
Or possibly I should be drinking it straight from an urn

Thermal contact conductance suggests for the glass
That you minimize the surface to mass
A perfect sphere, and the largest one you can make
But there are other big factors involved
Lest the coffee conundrum be poorly resolved
Additional calculations avoid a mistake

Take the transfer rate of coffee to drinker
Is the person in question a sloth or a sprinter?
The rate of change in mass is delta C
The half-life of a cup of java
As it dwindles down to tepid from lava
Should correlate to the maximum volume V

As the liquid will reach a point of humility
The Temperature of Unsuitability
Which is written as T sub u and is marked in degrees
The graph may show that the one large imperial
Would better be drunk as two small cups in serial
And acceleration may change when you get to cup three

You should also account for heat radiation
Convection and turbulence, mouth acclimation
The ambient weather, the hour, and papal decree
Wisdom, expedience, lip shape and density
The fact that a sphere has a rolling propensity
Relativistic effects and your mother's trick knee

Uniform, rugose, concave or convex
The mathematics get awfully complex
A melee of numbers and symbols and other debris
Happily, one day, while toting remainders
Pursuing the most perfect coffee container
I came to a sudden epiphany:
I think it's me!

Copyright © 2013 by Dave Grossman

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