I’m working on some server upgrades for a client, and kind of twiddling my thumbs while I wait for some of the processes to run. So I took a jaunt over to my favorite site for learning new and interesting things, Wikipedia.

Tonight’s fascinating thing I learned: there are fifteen different types of water ice. They’re all different “phases” of ice, formed at various temperatures and pressures (and transitions between temperatures and pressures, as it turns out).

In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle he invents something called Ice-9, and as it happens there actually is a substance called Ice-9– although thankfully it’s not the civilization-ending beastie Vonnegut describes. Some of the later phases of ice were discovered only a few years ago… demonstrating that there’s always something new to learn, even about things as seemingly commonplace as ice cubes.