Ask LH: What Do The Numbers On The Toaster Dial Represent?

Hey Lifehacker, What do the numbers on the toaster dial represent? Thanks, Browned Off

Picture: JD Hancock

Dear Browned Off,

It would be lovely if the numbers on the toaster dial represented what we think they should: the extent to which our toast will be cooked. Unfortunately, what experience teaches us is that this is rarely the case. Even using the same bread and the same setting two days in a row, you’ll find one piece charred and the other slightly underdone. This can be irritating at times, but it is the sad reality of the modern toaster. We can send a probe to Mars, but we can’t always brown bread evenly.

Ultimately, what the numbers on the toaster dial represent is our imperfect control of the universe. We cannot dominate all circumstances; we cannot be sure how everything will turn out. We can only do our best. And at least we have toast.


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