Posted by Frank on December 24, 2003
In Reply to: Flash in th pan posted by Ryan Gibb on December 20, 2003
Re gold and mercury - Not so! Impossible that gold and mercury would float to the top of the water in the pan - they are too dense! Ever try sticking your finger into a container of mercury? VERY DENSE! And water would float on it.
In actuality, the "flash in the pan" referred to the "pan" on a flintlock musket, when the powder in the flashpan went off, but it did not ignite the powder in the barrel - so the gun did not fire. "Flash in the pan" means a lot of smoke and flash, but nothing happens.