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Old 10th August 2017, 11:54 AM   #1
ChristianProgressive
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Just how manipulated are we?

Of all the things to make me ask this question, it was a bag of ice. I have to buy ice from time to time b/c like an idiot I forget to refill my trays and run out. The last time I did so (just the other day), I realized that the size of the cubes had been increased in the commercial bag I had bought.

How is that manipulation? Consider: larger cubes means you use more ice/use by volume by default. Yet ice is sold in constant measurements by weight. So you run out again sooner than you would with smaller cubes that would let you reduce the amount per use.

And that's just one of the ways we are manipulated on a daily basis, whether it be by politicians or by businesses. Have we reached the point in society that anything is probably subject to this sort of tampering?
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Old 10th August 2017, 11:57 AM   #2
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Paranoya will destroya.

Around here you can buy bags with different sized cubes. Or even round cylinders. Big cubes for ice chests, little ones for cocktails.
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Old 10th August 2017, 12:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Consider: larger cubes means you use more ice/use by volume by default.
??? With bigger cubes, just use fewer of them at once.
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Old 10th August 2017, 12:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
??? With bigger cubes, just use fewer of them at once.
Actually, he has a point. Bigger cubes will last longer, but cool the drink more slowly, because of the surface area-to-volume ratio. Small cubes have high SA-to-V, so melt (and thus cool) faster. Larger cubes have lower SA-to-V ratios so take longer to melt, and likewise longer to cool.

Now, that being said, how pronounced is this effect? Probably not a lot in the size ranges we're discussing. And really, so you have to wait another 15seconds for your drink to be as cool as you want it, so it really doesn't make much difference. So practically, you're correct. Just wanted to point out there is a difference based on cube size

And a lot of them have the cylindrical shapes with a hole through the middle; the hole increases the SA for the given volume, so it may come out as a wash anyway.
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Old 10th August 2017, 12:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
Of all the things to make me ask this question, it was a bag of ice. I have to buy ice from time to time b/c like an idiot I forget to refill my trays and run out. The last time I did so (just the other day), I realized that the size of the cubes had been increased in the commercial bag I had bought.

How is that manipulation? Consider: larger cubes means you use more ice/use by volume by default. Yet ice is sold in constant measurements by weight. So you run out again sooner than you would with smaller cubes that would let you reduce the amount per use.

And that's just one of the ways we are manipulated on a daily basis, whether it be by politicians or by businesses. Have we reached the point in society that anything is probably subject to this sort of tampering?
mind:blown
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Old 10th August 2017, 12:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Actually, he has a point. Bigger cubes will last longer, but cool the drink more slowly, because of the surface area-to-volume ratio. Small cubes have high SA-to-V, so melt (and thus cool) faster. Larger cubes have lower SA-to-V ratios so take longer to melt, and likewise longer to cool.

Now, that being said, how pronounced is this effect? Probably not a lot in the size ranges we're discussing. And really, so you have to wait another 15seconds for your drink to be as cool as you want it, so it really doesn't make much difference. So practically, you're correct. Just wanted to point out there is a difference based on cube size

And a lot of them have the cylindrical shapes with a hole through the middle; the hole increases the SA for the given volume, so it may come out as a wash anyway.
Cool.

I would never have known it would make any difference at all.
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Old 10th August 2017, 12:38 PM   #7
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Yep. Same reason small children and small animals are a lot more prone to cold or heat injuries than larger ones; the ratio of surface area (that can transfer heat with the environment) to the volume (that stores internal heat) is high.

Same reason (well, related reason) they have you add salt and water to the ice when making ice cream, just FYI. Salt lowers the freezing point, so water can stay liquid at colder temperatures. The water makes more contact with the ice cream container (the surface area between which the ice/water/salt mice and the ice cream can exchange heat) and can stay at 32 degrees, so it more effectively cools the ice cream. A case where something we normally think of as getting rid of ice (salt) is actually used to make the ice more effective
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Old 10th August 2017, 01:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
Of all the things to make me ask this question, it was a bag of ice. I have to buy ice from time to time b/c like an idiot I forget to refill my trays and run out. The last time I did so (just the other day), I realized that the size of the cubes had been increased in the commercial bag I had bought.

How is that manipulation? Consider: larger cubes means you use more ice/use by volume by default. Yet ice is sold in constant measurements by weight. So you run out again sooner than you would with smaller cubes that would let you reduce the amount per use.

And that's just one of the ways we are manipulated on a daily basis, whether it be by politicians or by businesses. Have we reached the point in society that anything is probably subject to this sort of tampering?
You are buying ice? Don't you own a freezer?

Hans
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Old 10th August 2017, 01:57 PM   #9
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Anti-manipulation implement (patent pending....)

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Old 10th August 2017, 02:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Anti-manipulation implement (patent pending....)

I was thinking the same thing. Someday that technology may be available but it's at least ten years away.
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Old 10th August 2017, 05:12 PM   #11
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Maybe the ice isn't the best example, but yes, companies spend millions figuring out how they can squeeze more money out of us, even via trickery.

The ever-shrinking size of some food items is meant to get us to pay more for less, rather than directly raising prices. They know we are stupid enough to fall for it, or that we just don't care. What happened to the size of a loaf of bread?

Here in Cali (correct me if I'm wrong) PG&E - the main power supplier - can raise it's rates to recoup losses, by law. They are guaranteed a certain level of - I don't know if it's profit or what.

So when people start conserving energy with the incentive that they will save money, PG&E raises their rates to make up for it. That's how I understand it in a nutshell, maybe I'm wrong.

We're stupid. I saw "ph correct" water the other day. I saw 4 bottles of "Smart Water" for $5, on sale. Five dollars for a gallon of Smart Water. That is flippin' priceless man.

We're like many other animals - trainable, adaptable, easily fooled, smart in some ways, stupid in others.

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Old 10th August 2017, 05:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
You are buying ice? Don't you own a freezer?

Hans
Maybe he lost the recipe.
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Old 10th August 2017, 08:26 PM   #13
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I made ice once, but I messed up the recipe and the resulting ice was burning hot with an unceasing heat that never faded or reduced. Unable to think of any possible application for such a thing, I discarded it.
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Old 10th August 2017, 10:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
Of all the things to make me ask this question, it was a bag of ice. I have to buy ice from time to time b/c like an idiot I forget to refill my trays and run out. The last time I did so (just the other day), I realized that the size of the cubes had been increased in the commercial bag I had bought.

How is that manipulation? Consider: larger cubes means you use more ice/use by volume by default. Yet ice is sold in constant measurements by weight. So you run out again sooner than you would with smaller cubes that would let you reduce the amount per use.

And that's just one of the ways we are manipulated on a daily basis, whether it be by politicians or by businesses. Have we reached the point in society that anything is probably subject to this sort of tampering?
Most outfit sell ice in 2 variation : crushed which is so small that you can use minute quantities, and pretty much normal sized - relatively large ice cube.

Have you checked that you took the correct size , or did you jsut grab one at random ?
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Old 10th August 2017, 10:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
Of all the things to make me ask this question, it was a bag of ice. I have to buy ice from time to time b/c like an idiot I forget to refill my trays and run out. The last time I did so (just the other day), I realized that the size of the cubes had been increased in the commercial bag I had bought.

How is that manipulation? Consider: larger cubes means you use more ice/use by volume by default. Yet ice is sold in constant measurements by weight. So you run out again sooner than you would with smaller cubes that would let you reduce the amount per use.

And that's just one of the ways we are manipulated on a daily basis, whether it be by politicians or by businesses. Have we reached the point in society that anything is probably subject to this sort of tampering?
......
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Old 10th August 2017, 11:18 PM   #16
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I hate the ones with holes in them; that's the real sneaky capitalist plot. It looks like so much more ice, but then you get it home and you see that they tricked you.
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Old 10th August 2017, 11:39 PM   #17
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Now I'm willing to believe plenty of marketers are manipulating us in bad ways, but must add that all marketing and advertising involves a certain amount of manipulation, whether it is bad or not. Merely informing you that a product exists outside of its marketing space is a form of manipulation, mild though it is, if it induces you to look for a product you would otherwise not have looked for. Making a car look more appealing than it needs to be is. Even the tail fins on a Trabant are. A loss leader or King Gilette's ingenious scheme of giving away razors to sell the blades is, even though we are free to enjoy the benefits without taking the bait. If Bert and Harry Piel (Bob and Ray, if you've forgotten) made you like pissy beer, so be it. You did not have to drink it.

While the ice issue may be a subtle way of making us buy more ice, it might, for all I know, be a response to public demand for bigger ice cubes. Maybe the ice company bought new machines whose cube cutters are inadvertently bigger, or which work more efficiently and allow the ice company to maintain prices they would otherwise have to raise, or maybe it's a nefarious plot to increase profit. I don't think we have enough information on this particular issue to judge.

I would add in defense of power companies, although I have no experience in California: power companies are for the most part private enterprises publicly regulated, which means that although they are indeed allowed to raise prices to maintain profit, they are, owing to their status as natural monopolies, not allowed to raise prices to what the market will bear, nor to apply discriminatory demographic rules, and are obligated to maintain their service to a certain standard, and various other rules of conduct. They can't just walk away from a superannuated nuclear plant, and they can't turn off your life support equipment the day your bill is late, and so on. They live in a private/public zone that is, undoubtedly, sometimes corrupt and exploitive, but unless you prefer a laissez-faire power grid, or government ownership of power, you might have to accept the concept of regulated profit even when the practice goes awry.
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Old 10th August 2017, 11:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Actually, he has a point. Bigger cubes will last longer, but cool the drink more slowly, because of the surface area-to-volume ratio. Small cubes have high SA-to-V, so melt (and thus cool) faster. Larger cubes have lower SA-to-V ratios so take longer to melt, and likewise longer to cool.
Stirring your drink should make up for that pretty quickly.
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Old 11th August 2017, 12:57 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
You are buying ice? Don't you own a freezer?

Hans
We buy ice despite owning a freezer.

Sometimes we need several kilogrammes of ice to keep large volumes of drinks cold and that's not realistically doable in our freezer with its two small, fiddly ice trays.

Usually it's just more convenient to grab some ice from the bag than it is to try and extract the cubes from the tray, refill the tray and try to get it back in the freezer without the water splashing everywhere.

If you want more than three or four drinks with ice in a single sitting then bagged ice is also the way to go.
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Old 11th August 2017, 01:06 AM   #20
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Use re-useable ice cubes
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Old 11th August 2017, 05:31 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by wobs View Post
Use re-useable ice cubes
Those things are seriously annoying though
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Old 11th August 2017, 05:36 AM   #22
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Really? Ice cubes. That's your big "We're all puppets!" moments?
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Old 11th August 2017, 06:54 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
You are buying ice? Don't you own a freezer?

Hans
Re-read my OP. On occasion when I need ice right then but I've forgotten to refil my trays.

The point isn't about ice itself, it's about my realization of just how manipulated people in modern society are. The supermarket is actually a very good exemplar of the concept. Everything in a supermarket is designed to influence you, from the placement of categories in the floorplan to the placement of brands within categories to the design of packaging to environmental factors.
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Old 11th August 2017, 07:01 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Most outfit sell ice in 2 variation : crushed which is so small that you can use minute quantities, and pretty much normal sized - relatively large ice cube.

Have you checked that you took the correct size , or did you jsut grab one at random ?
Only one size available (10 lb bag) where I got it (Wal Mart).

And yes, JoeBently, a bag of ice was what stirred my thought. It could have been lots of other things I could mention, but that was what happened to do it.

And for all the people snarking about ice recipies, etc. It isn't about ice itself. The ice is just the item that spawned the mini-"eureka" moment.
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Old 11th August 2017, 07:12 AM   #25
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In a tiny little office somewhere, there is someone calculating the optimal cost-benefit ratio for an ice cube. Taking into account the time and energy needed to freeze it solid, the shape and volume that will make shipping most efficient, but consumption highest for any given weight or volume of ice.
Or maybe it's all done by computers now. The Matrix is real, but they're not using us as batteries, but to optimize money streams.
Wake up sheeple, and buy some delicious bags of ice!
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Old 11th August 2017, 08:54 AM   #26
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Most ice in bags where I am is in the form of pieces of fractured 1/2 inch sheets. I have also seen little cup-like cubes. I am not sure size has anything to do with it. Rather, how much energy they can save while freezing the water would seem to be the bottleneck that engineers primarily work on to reduce.

For that matter, I'm not sure if the cup-like cubes are that way because it's an efficient freeze design, or because they want "superior" ice to cool drinks faster by increasing surface area, another potential selling point.
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Old 11th August 2017, 09:14 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
Only one size available (10 lb bag) where I got it (Wal Mart).
Well, THERE'S yer problem. Did it come from China?
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Old 11th August 2017, 12:06 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Yep. Same reason small children and small animals are a lot more prone to cold or heat injuries than larger ones; the ratio of surface area (that can transfer heat with the environment) to the volume (that stores internal heat) is high.

Same reason (well, related reason) they have you add salt and water to the ice when making ice cream, just FYI. Salt lowers the freezing point, so water can stay liquid at colder temperatures. The water makes more contact with the ice cream container (the surface area between which the ice/water/salt mice and the ice cream can exchange heat) and can stay at 32 degrees, so it more effectively cools the ice cream. A case where something we normally think of as getting rid of ice (salt) is actually used to make the ice more effective
Note to self: Do NOT eat Hellbound's homemade ice cream.
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Old 11th August 2017, 12:31 PM   #29
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I need to post again with a clearer head.

Last night I thought of a good example of manipulation. I mean isn't all advertisement manipulation? All marketing?

Anyways - Netflix.

They will try anything to make me watch shows that I am not interested in. Why? Because they don't want to spend money for better ones.

Almost every recent change Netflix has made is in their favor and makes the user experience more aggravating.

My case (I use PS3, your experience may be different):

They recently removed "user preferences" (for everyone), which is where you can customize what kinds of movies and shows will be presented to you. This was Netflix major selling point - movies based on your interests. That is gone.

Now when I select a movie to read more about, the movie begins playing automatically, as if I may as well just watch it! It is very annoying. I am reading the description and the movie starts playing.

The "New Releases" category is nothing of the sort. Some movies have been in new release for a year and a half.

"Recent Additions" = movies we already had and removed but have now put back on Netflix. Recent additions = Police Academy.

My Queue is sometimes at the top of the list, sometimes it's in the middle of the page, which means I have to scroll past all the other categories in the hopes I might want to watch something.

The "Watch It Again" category - pathetic.

We can't rate movies with 5 stars anymore - only thumbs up or thumbs down.

I wish they would offer a more expensive streaming package with better stuff. The movies suck. There are very few blockbusters even from 30 years ago or more.

Anyways, I feel like a sucker with Netflix sometimes, except that it's still cheap and I definitely get my $10/month out of it. But I definitely feel manipulated.
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Old 11th August 2017, 12:57 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
And that's just one of the ways we are manipulated on a daily basis, whether it be by politicians or by businesses. Have we reached the point in society that anything is probably subject to this sort of tampering?
Short answer: yes.

You might be interested in [Consumerist] website, which is the site managed by Consumer Reports. They have running categories for popular marketing tricks, such as sales that are just the regular price with SALE! stickers, and changes to quantity in a package/pricepoint ("[shrinkray]").
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Old 11th August 2017, 01:30 PM   #31
Elagabalus
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
We buy ice despite owning a freezer.

Sometimes we need several kilogrammes of ice to keep large volumes of drinks cold and that's not realistically doable in our freezer with its two small, fiddly ice trays.

Usually it's just more convenient to grab some ice from the bag than it is to try and extract the cubes from the tray, refill the tray and try to get it back in the freezer without the water splashing everywhere.

If you want more than three or four drinks with ice in a single sitting then bagged ice is also the way to go.
Get a proper full-size "American Style" Refrigerator* not one of those sniveling Eurotard compact abominations!! Have they even figured out how to do "Frost Free" over there yet? Is that why you're running out of room in the freezer? You haven't defrosted it in years, have you, The Don? Mods, take this man away!!!


*With the ice maker, of course!
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Old 11th August 2017, 01:32 PM   #32
Hellbound
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Stirring your drink should make up for that pretty quickly.
Well, to be fair, I did point out that it's not really a practical issue at this level

Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Note to self: Do NOT eat Hellbound's homemade ice cream.
Dude, you don't know what you're missing.

I also have Possum surprise!
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Old 11th August 2017, 01:48 PM   #33
Crawtator
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I knew we were being manipulated 15 years ago when I went to buy a 3 liter of Coke at the store and it was advertised as, and I quote:

"Now 50% more!!!"*

And in small print:

*A two liter.
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Old 11th August 2017, 01:54 PM   #34
blutoski
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Originally Posted by Crawtator View Post
I knew we were being manipulated 15 years ago when I went to buy a 3 liter of Coke at the store and it was advertised as, and I quote:

"Now 50% more!!!"*

And in small print:

*A two liter.
It's always about the baseline.

Gluten Free! Zero Fat! Vegan! Coke.
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Old 11th August 2017, 02:43 PM   #35
Civet
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I'm highly susceptible to advertising that encourages me to eat meat-based foods. I've been very happy with the results I've gotten from this.
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Old 11th August 2017, 03:16 PM   #36
bruto
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As I sit here sipping my gluten free nut free cage free RBST-free free range organic fair market shade grown artisanal coffee (being, as you can see, utterly resistant to marketing hype), it occurs to me to wonder about shrinkage of ice during shipment and handling - including the transition from the store's cooler to the household - and to wonder if an argument could be made for the larger cubes' actually resulting in a greater quantity of actual product making it into the buckets, coolers, and drinks of the consumer.

On the other hand, we may actually have uncovered a nefarious conspiracy here, as it might turn out that the secret enlargement of ice cubes is part of the organized plot of Big Ice to deny the reality of global warming.

We need a study. We can't trust Government, but look for my upcoming GoFundMe campaign. I need equipment and a laboratory. I believe it will be necessary for the laboratory to include at minimum a new band saw, a full format digital camera with tilt and shift lenses, travel vouchers, a large quantity of stainless steel decking screws, and a Bridgeport milling machine.
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Old 11th August 2017, 09:56 PM   #37
Roboramma
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Well, to be fair, I did point out that it's not really a practical issue at this level
Yep, and to be even more fair, I find the issue that you brought up to be extremely interesting in many different applications. Scaling effects are all around us.

I'm mostly just annoyed that you mentioned if before me.
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Old 12th August 2017, 04:29 PM   #38
Trebuchet
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
As I sit here sipping my gluten free nut free cage free RBST-free free range organic fair market shade grown artisanal coffee...
Wait a minute! Was it brewed from a K-cup? Did you use natural spring water? Was the filter made from non-bleached hemp-based paper?
Quote:
and a Bridgeport milling machine.
I'll drink to that!
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Old 12th August 2017, 04:54 PM   #39
casebro
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
......
I'll drink to that!
Way oil latte I presume?
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Old 12th August 2017, 04:57 PM   #40
novaphile
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I made ice once, but I messed up the recipe and the resulting ice was burning hot with an unceasing heat that never faded or reduced. Unable to think of any possible application for such a thing, I discarded it.
I'm with you brother.

I accidentally made some ice-9 the other day, and we all know how that could have ended.
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