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A brainteaser ?

It's a brainteaser for Simpleton the Kid, not for you, reader, who are a nice GGuser.

Simpleton the Kid (1) who lives in Hoût-si-Ploût (2) gets a phone call from his twin-sister who is on vacation (3) in Nigeria (4).
- "Well, Nit(5)", she says, "things are hotting up here.(6)"
- "Gosh, Sis. It's scorching weather over there. You are in a sweat?"
- "No, Nit. I was talking of the Boko Haram islamists who are killing people in their hundreds. But, yeah, Nit. I'm pouring with sweat. The thermometer is reading 40 degrees Celsius here."
- "My God, Sis! It's twice as hot as we are here. We have a bare 20° at the moment."
With that, Simpleton's sister gets laughing her head off.
- "You are pretty hot at joking, Nit. Would my place be twice as hot as yours, I'd be turned a heap of ashes."
- "I see you coming again with playing your Miss Know-it-all. I have had it, Sis. Leave me alone."
Disenchanted Simpleton the Kid right up hangs up the phone.

Would you be so kind, dear fellow-GGuser, as to help Simpleton the Kid understanding why his twin-sister gets laughing her head off?

(1) Simpleton the Kid is a moniker, just as we had a Cassidy the Kid.
(2) Hoût-si-Ploût is a hamlet in Wallonia (Continental Europe). It's a Walloon name meaning 'Listen a bit if it's raining'.
(3) on vacation. Up to you to decide why she is not on holiday.
(4) in Nigeria. It's up to you to tell why the hell she chose Nigeria for her vacation resort.
(5) Nit, short for Nitwit, which is pretty much the same as simpleton. She uses that nickname for her twin-brother because it suits him pretty well.
(6) for beginners only: 'Things are hotting up' means, either that the atmosphere is growing lively, exciting, or that the atmosphere is getting strained, tense, rebelled.


  • Let's leave the political situation and all lewd expressions or idioms ("twice as hot" ) aside for a moment and concentrate on plain Physics:

    Translate the temperature to the absolute temperature scale of Kelvin (K), which has its absolute zero point of 0 at minus 273 degrees celsius, a physical state of a body with no molecular Brownian motion at all, then you have a notion what twice the temperature of 20 degree celsius (293 Kelvin) really is: Not 40 degrees Celsius but, alarmingly, 313 degree Celsius (586 Kelvin ) - provided we can consider the Kelvin scale with an absolute zero point a proportional scale for the physical entity of 'heat on which we can say "a body with a temperature twice as such and such is twice as hot".

    On the Celsius scale, however, twice the temperature is assuredly not twice the heat. In Physics, you don't compute and calculate with Celsius (let along Fahrenheit), but always with Kelvin.

    But one question remains: What's the temperature at which human flesh starts to catch fire? If it's significantly above 313 degrees Celcius, then sister has no reason for being so smug about her brother.
  • Dear Head Gasket,

    I thank you for your kind and clear explanation. I passed it on to Simpleton. Your notes are the fact of a clear mind that seems used to popularizing scientific topics. Your say is so much clear and plain that Simpleton himself managed to understand. As you wrote "... the temperature is assuredly not twice the heat." , he even told me that he quite understood that the temperature had nothing to do with the quantity of heat that is not only related to the speed of the molecules movement but also to the number of molecules and particules at stake. "When my bathtub is full of water at 45°," he said, "if I take a cup of that water, the temperature of water in my cup is 45° too, but the quantity of heat is much greater in the tub than in my cup." Say, he is not that much a nit, that Simpleton.

    About that question you ended with, I told Simpleton's sister, who is back from Nigeria, that you found her so smug towards her bro. A startling fact as she spoke of 'a heap of ashes'! She smiled and retorted. "I'm nothing of a physicist, nothing but a shop assistant. So I can't tell at which temperature a composed stuff as a mamal's can catch fire, but, as you must know, there in Africa, if temperature would rise up to 586K (313°C), a human body would first undergo dessication and later, as the bush would be on fire all around, the body would burn altogether."
    At the same time, I had the opportunity to get to know Simpleton's sister. She was 'on vacation', not on holiday, not for being an American or an America-fad, in such case she would have used the Fahrenheit scale, that non-sense scale that only USA are lagging behind with using it. She was on vacation because, as a confirmed unbeliever, she can't stand seeing holy things everywhere. - She went on Nigeria because she is originated from that country where she pays regular visits to her relatives.

    I am filled with admiration for your talents of a communicator and scientist, Head Gasket. You seem to be the best gasket at providing fellow-GGlearners with silliness-tightness.

    It is only one thing that keeps breaking my heart? You said I had used 'lewd expressions'. I wonder where and when. I thought something was lewd if being lustful or obscene. If it was, it's unwillingly.
    Anyway, thanks a lot for your follow-up.
  • Thanks - somehwere in all your babbling is a hidden insult. But I haven't figure out where it is.

    Everybody know exactly why they don't reply to your
    bullshit. You are a prick and an arsehole - that's why you write in this forum.
  • Well copied, Buddy. I am so sorry you take so.
  • I wonder who is insulting.

    To AhQ:
    I, for one, don't look at your brainteaser as at a bullshit. Quite the reverse! I find it funny, all the more so that you put it as a tale. But maybe some brainy rulers cannot appreciate poetry, unable they are at any metaphoric language.
    Why wouldn't you launch a thread of brainteasers? Just like tuba started a thread dealing with music. The first aim is not the question that's brainteaser in itself as we write here for the sake of improving our English, but it is an inciter.
  • Hi Sandy, nice your are back.
    How are you doing with your choir?
    If you think brainteasers would be worth a thread, it's up to you to start it. Mine was somehow a blunder, so, I won't do it but I'll try and follow up yours.
  • Hi,
    I arrived to the end of this thread with difficulties because many words are missing in my personal dictionary.
    And when I came to the last answer of Head Gasket, I really get lost : it sounds like "second degré" to me, after all what is written before, but you don't seem to take it so, and as he doesn't reply, I come to think he was serious.
    Uneasy to catch what is back in a discussion when vocabulary is poor...
    I hope nobody is neither insulting nor angry, and that everything is fine !

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