First, some background.I did poorly in maths and science at school although my failure can't be attributed entirely to the education system: I spent a lot of class time digging holes into lab benches with the spiked end of a compass, or melting ballpoint pens over a Bunsen burner.
It might even be possible that my brain function was reduced by mercury poisoning. The dental nurse at my primary school rewarded us for not screaming blue murder during her ministrations by giving us a drop of mercury in a little plastic box. Returning to class with stretched lips and a mouth full of amalgam, you'd would immediately tip out the mercury for the fun of watching it roll about your desktop.
It was by observing the melting, silvery, slither of the mercury that I learned what “mercurial” actually meant.
I believe that if such connections between real life and taught fact had been forged more frequently in science classes of my youth, I might now be in charge of the Hadron Collider or the recipient of a Nobel Prize for mathematics.
Which brings me back to the incident of the (almost) exploding dog which occurred last week ...