Monday, January 18, 2010

Two Liter Bottle Caps

Welcome to 2010 on The Heaping Teaspoon blog! I promised myself weekly posts this year, and I am already off to a bad start. Oh well. Better late than never.

I distinctly remember a conversation I had back in my youth about how best to screw on the cap of a 2-liter bottle. The issue was which thing to turn: the cap or the bottle. My siblings and I debated this for a while and decided that it was easier to turn the bottle than the cap. This seems to make no sense, but for some reason it felt more natural to us to turn the big bottle instead of the little cap. We couldn’t explain it.

My current house gets its water from a well in a corner of the property. So, the water isn’t fortified with fluoride, and my kids’ dentist recommended that they use Act every night to get some extra protection for their teeth. This weekend, I watched my daughter screw the cap onto the Act bottle by twisting the bottle, not the cap. She did it again the next night. I asked her about it and all she could say was, “I don’t know.”

So, here’s my thought. I think it’s easier to twist the big bottle rather than the small cap for two (related) reasons: the gripping surface area is bigger and the turning radius is larger. The first reason means that you do not have to grip as strongly to secure the cap. The second reason means the motion is more linear than circular. The action is therefore more like a big pipe wrench than a needle-nosed pliers.