Thursday, January 03, 2008

Frigidology - An Intro Level Course

There's been no warming in our little corner of the globe recently.

This has been one of the colder winters I've experienced in my 20 plus years of living up in the Arctic. The lows at night are dipping into the minus 30s, and with even a bit of a breeze the windchill plummets to near minus 50. I don't think we've been above the freezing point since way back in October. Last night was so cold I set my husky free to warm up by running around all night. And considering the amount of garbage bags he "recycled" in front of our house, he was quite active.

Since many among my faithful readership have not yet had to cope with such temperatures yet, I think a frank discussion of a few of the more popular concepts about cold is in order.
When you relieve yourself outside at extremely low temperatures, your pee will freeze in mid air.
FALSE. USUALLY. Sure, if you pee out the door of an airplane flying at 5,000 feet it probably will be crystals by the time it hits the ground. But under normal urethra to ground ratios you will end up carving yellow holes into the snow. Actually, the real trick about peeing outside at cold temperatures is getting about 1" of extremely retracted organ to stick out through 2" of outerwear.

Things start to break at very cold temperatures.
TRUE. Around minus 35 metal gets really brittle, so unless you are careful it is easy to snap the head off a bolt. Most plastics fare no better: a 25 foot extension cord will try to snake itself back into a 4 foot snarl of coils. And forget about putting up Christmas lights when it gets frigid - better to start in July, the only month up here without snow.

The colder it gets, the less slippery ice becomes.
TRUE. USUALLY. It is actually a thin film of water caused by friction which makes ice so slippery. So it follows that the colder it gets, the less water will be produced by walking over it. The one exception is when I walk on ice - it is slippery no matter what the temperature.

After a really hot sauna, you can roll around in the snow for a few minutes without getting cold.
UNPROVEN. Someone else try it, not me.

Hell can actually freeze over.
TRUE. I can see the proof out my window right now.

Sound travels further in cold weather.
TRUE. UNFORTUNATELY. Now I could go into a lengthy explanation concernig relative air densities and humidity, but suffice it to say I can hear every freaking snowmobile whine up and down the four quarters of this burg. All freaking night long.
So I think I've touched the basics, but if any of you guys have any questions I'd be happy to answer them. In the meantime, be sure to button up - there's to end in sight.

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4 Comments:

Blogger merlinprincesse said...

Wa! I feel hot with my minus 25 this morning... Though my car tires were.... square... Hhehehe... Meteomedia said it's gonna be plus 10 on Tuesday. I HATE THAT!!!!

6:42 PM  
Blogger Fuff said...

Brr.

10:50 AM  
Blogger nanuk said...

merlinprincesse - I hope the warm temperatures won't eat the snow for Carnivale.

fuff - brr, indeed!

3:47 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

It's been snowing off and on for about 3 weeks and now they're predicting rain on Thursday. I hate when that happens.

8:17 PM  

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