Popping and collapsing steam bubbles

Cecil uses a decidedly fuss-budget attitude to deride the teeming millions when they mess up. I can’t work up the energy, so I’ll just point out that steam bubbles collapse. Why he stated several times that they pop I’ll just chalk up to post-election malaise.


LINK TO COLUMN: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/847/why-does-a-tea-kettle-get-quiet-just-before-the-water-boils

In this case, as far as I can see, “pop” and “collapse” are synonymous, and “pop” is more to the point.

nolaman: I’m not sure what column you’re referencing, I’ve added a link to my best guess. Please let me know if you meant a different column and I’ll edit the link.

General comment: when starting a new thread about one of Cecil’s columns (or a staff report), it’s helpful to other readers to provide a link (in the first post) to the column. Saves searching time and (sort of) keeps us on the same page. No biggie, but it’s nice to be helpful.

Why would he have had post-election malaise in September of 1986?

Also, one presumes he “stated several times that they pop” because he was addressing the sound that the cavitating steam bubbles make when they collapse. “Pop” is onomatopoeia for that sound.

Cecil wouldn’t and didn’t. The column was written in Sept 1986, as you note, and was re-run this week as a “classic.” I suspect that nolaman saw it on the front page and assumed it was current, but that’s just my WAG.