Thursday, January 15, 2009

January 15, 2009 - A Very Cold Night in January

The temp is a mere minus 7 degrees. Soon to be minus 21. Out my window a great billowing steam cloud rises from the UW power plant. It's really cold folks. So I decided to explore the web for cold subjects. Here's what came across my google eyes.

Did you know there's a phenomenon of hypothermia called Paradoxical Undressing? It seems 20-50 percent of hypothermal deaths are due to this phenom. This typically occurs during moderate to severe hypothermia, as the victim becomes disoriented, confused, and combative. The victim may begin discarding clothing which, well you guessed it, makes them colder even faster. Unfortunately this can lead police into believing that the person has been the subject of a sexual assault rather than a victim of hypothermia.

Two men waiting at the Pearly Gates strike up a conversation.
"How'd you die?" 
"I froze to death."
"That's awful. What's it like to freeze to death?"
"It's rather uncomfortable. At least at the beginning. You get the shakes and you get pains in all your fingers and toes. But eventually it's a very calm way to go. You get numb and you kind of drift off, as if you're sleeping. How about you? How'd you die?"
"I had a heart attack. You see, I knew my wife was cheating on me, so one day I showed up at home unexpectedly. I ran up to the bedroom and found her alone knitting. I ran down to the basement but no one was there. I ran up to the second floor and searched every room but no one was hiding there either. So I ran up to the attic as fast as I could. When I got to the top of the stairs I had a massive heart attack."
"That's so ironic"
"What do you mean?"
"If you'd only stopped to look in the freezer we'd both still be alive."

And a final note: The Ulysses solar probe, after 17 years of studying the sun and solar system, is about to die by freezing to death. The original mission was meant to last only 5 years. Farewell Ulysses. You did good. In fact you traveled over 6 billion miles circling the sun three times, and circling Jupiter. 

So stay warm out there, at least those of you living in the frigid zones. Those of you in warm climates, well don't gloat. You know we are the stronger ones. It doesn't take anything to live in a warm namby pamby climate. m

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