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    I was working in a scrap yard during summer vacation at an engineering university. I worked repairing construction equipment.

    One afternoon, I was taking apart a piling hammer that had some very large bolts holding it together. One of the nuts had corroded on to the bolt, so to free it I started heating the nut with an oxyacetylene torch. As I was doing this, one of the dimmest apprentices I have ever known came along. He asked me what I was doing. I patiently explained that if I heated the nut, it would grow larger and release its grip on the bolt, so I could then remove it.

    "So, things get larger when they get hot, do they?" he asked.

    "Yes," I said. "That's why days are longer in summer and shorter in winter."

    There was a long pause, then his face cleared. "You know, I always wondered about that," he said.
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