Sounds Crazy, but we love the cold!

(row one) The most snow angels ever made at one time was in Bismarck, North Dakota, 2007. (row two) One septillion, the number of snow crystals that fall from the sky every winter; (row three) The tallest snow person ever built was in Bethel, Maine; The coldest temperature ever recorded was at Vostok Station in Antarctica; (row four) If you answered “the fear of snow”, you win!; 76 inches was the most snow ever recorded in 24 hours in the United States. (row five) Some animals turn white during the winter like this really, really cute ermine; Speaking of cute, this human baby doesn’t change colors but certainly is cute! (row six) You can actually watch a soap bubble freeze in front of your own eyes, see how in the video link below; There’s nothing quite like a brisk winter walk with the one you love. (row seven) And when we’re done with that brisk walk, there’s nothing quite some hot cocoa with marshmallows to help warm you back up.

 

Hopefully you all enjoyed a great holiday break with family and friends.  And I’m guessing, you said out loud the same thing I have over the past few weeks – “wow, it’s cold outside”.  As a native NE Ohioan, I’ll admit I’m pretty used to these low temperatures.  They slow me down a bit when I go out for my morning run, but for those of you who also enjoy a good run in the cold, you can appreciate the frost on your scarf, frozen eyelashes and the clear, crisp air in your lungs amongst other things that freeze!   At KHT, along with the cold outside temperatures, we’re also really happy with our “controlled” inside deep cryogenic freeze temperatures. -300F Our K-LIFE Division is your PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs! problem solution for tool edge retention, toughness and surface wear resistance.  Don’t worry there will be more to come at a later date on this great process! For my trivia buffs, and scientists, here’s some fun facts about cold, temperatures and lifestyles.  And be sure to watch the bubble freezing video HERE  – it’s awesome!

  1. While it seems counterintuitive, Earth is actually closest to the sun in December, even though winter solstice is the shortest day of the year.
  2. The coldest temperature ever recorded was -123° C at Vostok Station in Antarctica in 1983.
  3. According to the Guinness World Records, on January 28, 1887, a snowflake 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick fell in Fort Keogh, Montana, making it the largest snowflake ever observed.
  4. Chionophobia is the persistent fear of snow, especially becoming trapped by snow. The term is derived from the Greek words chion and phobos, meaning “snow” and “fear,” respectively.
  5. Every winter, at least one septillion (that’s 1 followed by 24 zeros) snow crystals fall from the sky, and a single snowstorm can drop 39 million tons of snow.
  6. A New Zealand insect called the Weta freezes completely solid when temperatures drop during the winter. However, when temperatures warm back up, the insect unfreezes, thaws, and resumes its activities.
  7. The largest recorded snowman ever built was in Bethel, Maine, in February 1999. The 113-foot, 7-inch snowman broke the previous record held by Yamagata, Japan, at 96 feet and 7 inches.
  8. Bismarck, North Dakota, holds the record for the most snow angels at one time. On February 17, 2007, several schools joined forces to create 8,962 snow angels.
  9. Even today, the Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia change their names and take on the names of their ancestors at the beginning of winter. They believe this will protect them from the spirits of the dead who return at this time of year.
  10. While the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, seasonal lag means that the coldest period usually follows the solstice by a few weeks.
  11. Snow appears white because snow is a bunch of individual ice crystals arranged together. When light hits snow, it bounces all around the ice crystals and the “color” of all the frequencies in the visible spectrum combined in equal measure is white. While white is the color we see in snow, individual ice crystals are actually translucent.
  12. The most snow ever recorded in 24 hours in the United States was at Silver Lake, Colorado, in 1921 at 76 inches. Coming in second is Georgetown, Colorado, in December 4, 1913, at 63 inches.  Mt. Baker ski area in Washington state holds the world record for snowfall at 1,140 inches of snow during the 1998–1999 winter season.
  13. Millions of monarch butterflies fly to Mexico for the winter. They are the only insect that migrates to a warmer climate that is 2,500 miles away each year. Additionally, they like to hibernate in the same trees every year.
  14. Meteorologists often define winter as the three calendar months with the lowest average temperatures. For the Northern Hemisphere, this is December, January, and February. For the Southern Hemisphere, it is June, July, and August. Winter in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is caused by Earth’s axis in that hemisphere being tilted away from the sun.
  15. Many insects prepare for winter by creating their own “antifreeze.” During the fall, insects produce more glycerol, which gives their body a “super-cooling ability” by allowing bodily fluids to drop below freezing without causing ice damage. Glycerol also lowers the freezing point, which makes insects more cold-tolerant and protects their tissue and cells from ice damage.
  16. The definition of a blizzard is when visibility is reduced to ¼ of a mile and the winds are 35 mph or more. The storm also must last at least 3 hours. If any of these specific conditions is not met, then it is a snowstorm instead.
  17. There is an average of 105 snow-producing storms in the United States in a typical year. An average storm will last 2–5 days and carry snow to several states – We even have a  “bombogenesis” occurring on the east coast this week. Bombogenesis, a popular term used by meteorologists, occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours (a millibar measures atmospheric pressure). This happens when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone – severe cold and high winds.
  18. Thanks to hydrogen bonding, all snowflakes have 6 sides and fall at a rate of 3 miles per hour.
  19. The coldest winter on Earth occurs at the Polar Plateau in Antarctica. The average mean annual temperature is -72.9° Fahrenheit.
  20. Russia hit -96° Fahrenheit in Siberia during ’74 winter, making Russia the coldest country in the world. Canada, Mongolia, Finland, and Iceland round out the top five.
  21. Each year, state and local agencies spend over $2.5 billion on snow-and ice-control operations.
  22. The most common birthday in the United States is September 16th, which means that most babies are conceived during the early winter holiday season.
  23. Some animals possess the amazing ability to turn white during the winter: the arctic fox, arctic hare, ptarmigan, barren-ground caribou, and ermine all change colors.
  24. Some plants, both annual and perennials, require “vernalization” (from Latin vernus, meaning “of the spring”) to flower. This means that a plant needs to experience a period of low winter temperature to initiate or increase the flowering process. Researchers believe this ensures that seed production begins in spring and summer rather than in the fall.
  25. The Chinese plum is one of the very few plants that bloom in the winter. It is one of the most beloved blossoms in Chinese art and poetry. Because its fragrance can be noticed even in the winter, it came to symbolize hope, perseverance, beauty, and purity.
  26. The 2013 Disney movie Frozen is the highest-grossing animated musical film of all time.  In the winter-based movie, there is a scene where two townsmen debate whether to stack firewood bark up or bark down. This refers to an actual debate in Finland after a 12-hour TV program aired on firewood.
  27. My favorite winter moments is when the snow crunches below your feet, you can see your breath, and it’s a quiet, moonlit night – get time for Jackie and I to enjoy a walk together – then back home for yummy hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course!)  So make sure and bundle up if you must go out.  Or…. Stay home in front of a nice warm fire!

 

 


 

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