Yesterday was the first Halloween in a couple years that didn't have snow or
freezing temperatures in my area. But whether it was cold on Halloween or not,
the temperatures are going to start dropping really soon.
I'm sure most of you readers have experienced below freezing temperatures and
snow and ice, unless you live somewhere that is warm year round. But how much do
you really know about ice and snow? Here are some facts about what makes ice
Ever wonder why ice floats in water? Things float because they are less dense
than whatever they're floating in. But wouldn't you think that ice would be
denser than water, because ice cubes look like water compressed into a cube? But no, ice
is actually less dense. It has more volume, meaning it takes up 1/9 more space than
liquid water. The formula for density is mass divided by volume,
which ends up with
1.12:1. At about 4 degrees Celsius, water is at its maximum density. It slowly
drops until the density falls sharply when the water hits freezing, or 0 degrees
At the Skater game, you learn the dynamics of spinning. But did you ever
wonder why you can spin on ice with ice skates, but it doesn't exactly work on a
wooden floor? One of ice's other interesting properties is that it melts under
pressure. When the blade on your skate pushes against ice, it melts the ice
slightly. This helps the skater glide along. After you move away, the
water will refreeze.
(These facts were found at
A white blanket of snow is often a metaphor heard in stories or poems. But is
snow always white? Everyone knows not to eat yellow snow, but are there other
colors? During the 1930s, homes were heated by coal. Coal dust would go up the
chimneys and combined with the clouds. When the snow fell from these clouds, it
was often gray. In parts of the world that have red dirt, the dirt is
occasionally blown up into the clouds. When the snow falls, it is pink.
(This fact was found at http://members.aol.com/kitecd/snow.htm.)
Have you ever told your little brother or sister to stop eating that snow? Or
have you yourself been told that? Well, snow is edible. But in urban areas, there
may be pollution in the snow. It's probably such a small amount in the snow
that it couldn't do you any real harm, but just to be safe, it might be best if
you only ate snow in rural areas, where there isn't as much pollution.
Most people thinks of snow as one of the coldest substances on earth. Yet it can
also keep you very warm. Snow is actually usually made of 90-95% air, making it wonderful insulator.
The air can't move, so it can't transfer heat. That is why an igloo can actually keep you warm instead
of making you freeze to death.
(These facts were found at http://nsidc.org/snow/faq.html.)
I hope this article made you huddle under a blanket with hot cocoa. Personally,
I'm hot. Right now I just looked at the thermometer and it's 70 degrees out.
Maybe cold weather isn't coming so soon after all....
This is Hermionez, signing off to go put on some sun screen.