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Sorry, I keep forgetting about what us Yanks refer to as abstract British humor.
A covered pot boils faster than an uncovered one, due to less heat loss from the open top of a pot. A pot needs a second accessory (the cover) to accomplish this. A kettle doesn't because, save for the spout, the rest is covered. For a tea drinker, it is a faster way to get the hot water they need, sometimes even with a low-tech whistle indicator to let them know that the water is as hot as it's going to get. This way, unlike a microwave,you don't need to pretend that you can set a precise time for a multi-variable process (water temperature, cup temperature, ambient air temperature, amount of water) to go on and then still have to check and see if the water is as hot as you want. It is a low-tech way to accomplish quick water heating. Although not as fast as a microwave, you can still save time by multitasking (making the rest of the meal, or reading through mail) and using the whistle as an indicator that it is time to get back to the water to make the tea.
Kenneth nailed it when he mentioned UV light. We first got a hint of this with foreign car convertibles with flexible,vinyl rear windows in the 1950's which turned hazy over time. You can also see it in discolored white/yellowed plastic fluorescent fixtures, where the UV light has attacked the plastic. In Arizona and Hawaii, especially if your car has no garage and has to sit parked out in the open, UV in sunlight is responsible for the hazing and yellowing of the plastic lens. When polishing, unlike other solids, plastic feathers out in micro fine strands and doesn't cut well like you could, let's say, polish glass. Even then, there are waxes that you can apply to harder solids to fill the scratches and give the appearance that it was molded that way from the beginning. Not so much with the harsh conditions we want our plastic headlight lenses to endure. We need a liquid filler to penetrate and bind to the plastic, and optically bind the micro fibers together so that light refracts easily between and through them, minimizing loss due to light scattering. Our headlights need to beam a light ray, not fill the area with scattered light like a fluorescent or frosted light bulb. The UV resistant paints and coatings have already addressed that in their development.
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