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DOEP (Daily Open-Ended Puzzle) (intermittent): Rivers

This episode of DOEP is yet another excuse for me to be dumb in public. This time, it’s about rivers.

Why does the mighty Mississippi roar? I’m pretty sure it’s not because of that powerful north-to-south gravity that’s so obvious on globes. Well, at least on globes that, in a fit of blatant hemispheric jingoism, put the north on top. Let me generalize: Why do rivers have currents? And if it’s because they come from melted snow rushing down mountains, then why are there rivers in the summer? And how do you explain the Amazon? Or the Nile? Or the Konkapot? Where’s all that water coming from and why is it in such a hurry to get somewhere? Why doesn’t it stop to smell the flowers, Mr. Businessman?

So, to summarize: Why didn’t I take freshman geography?

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9 Responses to “DOEP (Daily Open-Ended Puzzle) (intermittent): Rivers”

  1. Like just about everything else, it’s all down to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: the water in the rivers is gaining entropy by losing potential energy (i.e. height). Ask Rageboy about entropy gradients some time.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics rocks.

  2. In the words of the immortal George Carlin, “These are the kinds of questions that kept me out of the good schools.”

  3. I think it has more to do with that powerful up-to-down gravity.

  4. Don’t forget about the rain in the summer, e.g., in the rain forests around the Amazon.

    Follow the money… I mean, follow the water!

  5. I used to think that the trees made the wind.

    Was I wrong? Or was I simply a brief visitor to a mythical world in which trees did indeed make the wind?

    Dat Ol’ Man River
    He mus’ know sumpin’ But don’t say nuthin’,
    He jes’ keeps rollin’,
    He keeps on rollin’ along.

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  7. > ” why is it in such a hurry to get somewhere? Why doesn’t it stop to smell the flowers…?”

    It _did_ stop to smell the flowers (are there subterranean flowers?) – and now it’s late.

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