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Moving Pictures (Terry Pratchett) - Burning Driftwood
Near the beginning of chapter 1, there is a hermit who lives in a hut on a beach, and who amongst other things keeps a fire burining constantly. Now this fire is described as fuelled with driftwood (washed up on the shore), and burning with a blue flame.
In reality, driftwood is saturated with salt (it's been in the sea, after all), so as anyone knows who knows basic chemistry, it burns with a bright yellow flame...
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Just the book...
Avg. Rating:    1.8 of 10 - (73 votes cast)
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Contributed By:
Eboreg Onxre on 05-15-2000
Reviewed By:
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Comments:
jeano writes:
Well, since this is the Disc World, and NOT Earth, who says their oceans are salty? Who says they can't burn driftwood with a blue flame, or purple for that matter? It's only a book, and not even about Earth, it's Fantasy, so Mr. Pratchett can have blue burning salt if he wants to.
13 of 17 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
MKLowTone writes:
It's the magic! It's like anything on Star Wars that can't be explained is the Force. In the Discworld it's the magic And of course A'Tuin wouldn't fall coz he's in SPACE! The elephants stick to him because of the gravity created by themselves and A'Tuin. And it's the magic
3 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Rissa writes:
Mmmph... PTerry does tend to stick to the laws of physics, in his slightly warp├Ęd way, but if challenged I suspect he would go to the "magic" defense in much the same way that Ponder flees to "quantum".
1 of 1 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
radium writes:
Actually i have burned salty drift wood and it does get blue at the bottom of the flame. The top (the part farthest away from the wood) is just orangey yellow.
2 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Casquivana writes:
Well, it doesn't really make sense for a world to be standing on top of four elephants which are standing on a turtle ... what is the turtle standing on? if there is no gravity, how do the elephants stay on the turtle? magnetic boots? what I'm trying to say is in a world like this I agree with Jeano ... anything could happen.
2 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
J.P. writes:
@sskicker, there are not only 2 directions on the discworld. There are Hubwards and Rimwards, (North and South on out globe), and Turnwise and Widdersherns, (Which would be East and West).
1 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
the voice of pain writes:
I do not agree with Eboreg. I think salt saturated wood can burn on the disc world if it wants. But to Jeano, it says in the book that wood is salty, so that rules out that discworld oceans are not salty - at least not this ocean.
1 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
@ssKicker writes:
Casquivano, do you know how Terry Pratchett got the idea for Discworld? It's because a long time ago, many people believed the world was flat. That's why the only directions are Hub-wards and Rim-wards. And the turtle and elephants are also from a legend. People also used to believe in the turtle and elephants. And Great A'Tuin doesn't fall because a) this is another universe in the multiverse and b) there is no gravity in space. Great A'Tuin is not inside the world's atmosphere itself, it just carries the Discworld on its back.
1 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
pochi writes:
I think Eboreg doesn't get the Diskworld books
2 of 8 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Eboreg Onxre writes:
I just *knew* someone would give a reply like this one! (Jeano's) To me, most (if not all) of the Discworld saga only makes sense if the laws of nature (including physics and chemistry) are more or less the same as on Earth. There is no way any planet could avoid having salty oceans (except by not having oceans); and it makes no sense to me, even on a world with a strong magical field, for cellulose to have exactly its Earthly properties (even unto a tendency to explode at the drop of a hat) and yet salt to be very different.
3 of 12 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes


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