Snow and Ice Experiment

Recently, all of Portland carried out a most satisfying experiment involving snow and ice.

The storm was supposed to blow into town on Monday afternoon, dumping inches and inches of snow. Businesses closed early and everyone stocked up for the storm of the century. Local TV stations went crazy. The temperature hovered in the teens and low twenties — cold for Portland! The snow began to fall sometime after midnight, and by 6 am there were inches and inches of very dry snow. Schools closed, governments shut down, buses were slowed, businesses never opened. TV was nothing but storm coverage. And it kept snowing. Wednesday was the same story. Snow. Cold. And then the freezing rain showed. Still below freezing, the snow and ice stacked up. The weird roof of the YMCA Pool collapsed. People fell. Idiots drove while talking on their cell phones. Snow plows labored. People forgot to shovel their sidewalks. Parties were thrown. And then it began to melt. But slowly, so there was no flooding.

Two weeks later, piles of dirty snow still hide in corners, but mostly there are only fond memories of the slow week in Portland. And 40s and rain never looked so good!

Office Mug Experiment

Over a three month period, the following science experiment unfolded.

Day One: Visiting employees hold a meeting at an office, drinking coffee and then leaving three used mugs in the sink.

Day Three: Mugs are now full of diluted coffee, dirty water, and Cup-o-noodle soup.

Day Five: Mugs, particularly the glass one, seem to be developing white scum on their surface.

Day 10: Mugs remain in place, liquid is now mostly dirty water and food particles.

Day 13: Mugs seem to be losing liquid to evaporation, but dirty circle is forming on bottom of the sink around each mug’s base.

Day 20: Liquid levels returned to full, apparently from a tomato based soup or dish.

Day 22: The mugs, with their liquid, are moved from the sink and lined up on the left of the sink on the counter. Rust circles remain at the bottom of the sink.

Day 25: The liquid is halfway evaporated, leaving a think patina of nastiness along the inside of the mugs. Particulary disturbing on the glass mug.

Day 30: Liquid appears to be holding steady at about 1/8 of a mug.

Day 42: Mugs are moved, with their liquids, to the right of the sink and lined up along the wall.

Day 46: No change.

Day 55: No change.

Day 73: No change.

Day 88: The mugs seem to have moved in and set up housekeeping. I imagine that even if we tried to move or clean them, they have sealed themselves to the counter and made their grime immovable.

Day 102: Tragically, the mugs were washed, the sink cleaned, and we are now on much tighter discipline in the kitchen. Much more pleasant, but the experiment has been shut down!