I posed this question to Dave, who then sent the above picture of his thermostat on Sunday. He was back at Purdue by then. Here the grip of the arctic vortex has loosened some and it actually made it into the twenties today, but even this relative warm-up is not enough to stay the epidemic of broken water mains that is occurring around town. The lingering cold is causing these pipes to freeze. A real gusher of a fountain popped out of the middle of the street in front of work today. I’ve been running a steady drip on the basement sink to prevent its pipes from freezing and then bursting all over everywhere.
I may have been an unwitting vector in another cold related epidemic. Two Saint Louis children had to go to the emergency room for minor burns resulting from throwing pots of boiling water into the air. I posted a YouTube video of me doing this a few days ago. It is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Apparently, I was not the only participant in this Internet meme, but since then I’ve stocked up on a whole host of other frozen science experiments that I can perform during the next arctic vortex. There is the frozen banana that can be used to hammer in nails. Lt. Dan told me about the fun he and his kids had had with frozen bubbles. Instead of popping the bubbles crack open like an eggshell.
The one thing that this cold weather is not good for is bicycling, but I have seen some hardy cyclists out on their bikes even in this awful weather. I don’t know if I’ve written about this story already, but I’ve gotten a lot of mileage from it at work. It involves the last time that Anne and I went bicycling, which also happens to be the first time that I tried out my new Go Pro camera on the bike. We were riding in the park, when another couple asked us for directions. Noticing the camera, the husband asked me to do a stunt. My rather lame excuse was that I was still learning how to operate the camera.