The Weight of Smoke

Legend has it that Sir Walter Raleigh once bet Queen Elizabeth I that he could measure the weight of smoke. To win the bet, Raleigh placed a piece of tobacco on one end of a balancing scale. He then filled his pipe with an equal amount, smoked it, and carefully tapped the ash onto the other end of the scale. The difference in weight, he said, was the weight of the smoke.

Elizabeth promptly paid Raleigh his winnings, declaring that she had seen many men turn their gold to smoke, but she had never before seen smoke turned into gold.

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