That's pretty clever!
I think I heard intelligence described as maintaining a certain average... for example, you're presented with a random variable, your task is to come up with an offset to maintain a certain average. You won't get it perfectly right, but if your average has lower variance than the original random variable, then you're doing well. In other words, you take input, and adjusting to it...
For example, a cell maintains it's state such that metabolism continues to happen. Environment gives it varying inputs, and it must adjust to maintain state to keep chemical reactions going (when it stops doing that, it dies)... (usually by having a lot less variation inside than outside presents it with).
For a cell, that `maintenance' logic could've been achieved via selection (evolution, cells that weren't good at maintaining state didn't live long).
Extrapolated via evolution all the way to human beings, we maintain our state (eat, drink, avoid cars, work, etc.,) to avoid dying (maintain our life to keep it going). Along the way we find more clever ways of `specializing' to obscure features of the random variables we're presented with by the environment (such as building rockets to go to the moon, etc.)
In that sense, a thermos really is `intelligent'---it maintains its ``life'' while conditions remain favorable (hot stays hot, cold stays cold, etc.,). Environment outside could get hot/cold much more frequently than the maintain internal state, etc.