January 24, 2013
Winter science

Apparently Ottawa's heating system is broken (how else to explain a 60C degree differential between inside and outside the past few days???)


This is good for the canal, except that it is just too cold to go outside to enjoy it! It was so cold that our ABS and traction control systems were non-operational. The suspension was frozen. The seats were rock hard (no give in the foam, because it was frozen!). When Brendan took his foot off the accelerator, the car stopped without coasting - too much friction from ice and frozen fluids. At least our car started though - our poor neighbours drive a diesel. I hear it needs a tow someplace warm to thaw out the gas.


The upside to -30C (-40C windchill) is an opportunity for some fun science. I decided we should do two winter experiments. Unusually, they both worked, though at first I thought the winter bubbles looked remarkably like summer bubbles. This was partly because the warm air from my breath was keeping the bubbles from freezing right away. Apparently they freeze faster if you make the bubbles by waving the bubble wand around.


Also, if you haven't ever boiled a kettle and poured it outdoors when super cold, it's very impressive. Elizabeth hypothesized that the hot water would melt the ice. She was quite surprised to find out what really happens! I want to try it again with food colouring!

On January 27, 2013 at 08:34 am
Grandpa H said:
OK so maybe there can occasionally be reasons to go outside when the temperature is approaching that of the stratosphere...

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