Alaska is Having Its Hottest Year Since Records Began - "After a spring that was a full ten degrees hotter than normal, the northern state is on track for the most sweltering year on record." (via) [more inside]
You know this guy? Yeah, him, with the art and the comics. Well, he successfully crowdfunded at least thirty cartoons, to be released weekly. Welcome (back) to the disquieting world of Joan Cornellà. (Warning: the various media contain nudity, violence, drug use and Jimbo the Jam.)
The Lost Sport of Ice Baseball that Originated in Brooklyn: First played in 1861. "The rules to ice baseball were essentially the same as for regular baseball but with certain concessions:" [more inside]
Every winter in Russia's east, the rivers that vein the enormous open spaces of siberia freeze solid. Photographer Amos Chappel joins one group of men who make a living on these frozen highways.
And it’s even easier with a bit of international cooperation: Time lapse video of USCGC Bristol Bay and CCGS Samuel Risley working together to break ice from Sarnia to Windsor, Ontario, in one day. Further inland, Amphibex icebreaking machines are used to break ice on the Red River in Manitoba to prevent flooding from ice jamming ahead of spring. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to icebreaking... [more inside]
I anticipated there would be some ice stacking as the massive sheets of ice met the rugged shorelines, so I headed to Brighton Beach.
Astronaut ice cream is a lie (SLYT)
This short film follows a diver on a search below the ice (SLNYT video). [more inside]
A 3D printed habitat for four Mars explorers from Clouds Architecture Office. Awarded first place in NASA's Centennial Challenge Mars Habitat Competition.
Kelvin Villanueva was almost home one night last June when a policeman stopped him for a broken taillight. From his truck, he could see his longtime girlfriend, Suelen Bueno... Before [she] reached them, the officer had arrested Villanueva. Bueno still had not revealed to any of the children that Villanueva had been deported. ‘‘It’s very difficult, because I don’t know how to explain it to them,’’ she said. ‘‘They’ve never been separated from him before. I don’t know what to say. I just keep telling them that he’s traveling for work, he’ll be home soon.’’ [more inside]
Drone video footage of the largest ice fishing tournament in the world from Gull Lake, Minnesota. (SLYT) There are over 20,000 holes in the ice and just as many anglers.
" Chinese emperors of the Tang Dynasty liked their ice cream a special way: Fermented buffalo or goat milk was heated, then thickened with flour and seasoned with camphor, which made it flake like snow. For good measure fragments of reptile brain were added, along with an eyeball or two." - "It Ought To Be Called Vice Cream" - Austerity Kitchen on the social and technological history of Ice Cream.
Twirl an upside-down soda glass and toss it down a tabletop (somewhat like the hero in the video game Tapper), and the glass will pull off in a direction opposite of the spin. Spin a granite curling stone and throw it down the ice, however, and it will travel in the same direction as the spin. Video blog SmarterEveryDay looks at physics theories that try to figure out why this counterintuitive result happens.
Comparing photographs of glaciers from the 1920's to today: Repeat photography is a technique in which a historical photograph and a modern photograph, both having the same field of view, are compared and contrasted to quantitatively and qualitatively determine their similarities and differences. The following sections depict how this technique was used at a number of locations in Alaska... to document and understand changes to glaciers and landscapes as a result of changing climate. [more inside]
"You may think you know what a snowball is. That conical treat of chunky ice where all of the flavor drips out of the bottom of a paper triangle? Nope, that's a snowcone. That fruity, pureed ice that you have to scrape with a wooden spoon? Nope, that's Italian ice. Or maybe the fluffy bowl of ice with condensed milk on top? Wrong again—that's Hawaiian shave ice ... A classic Baltimore snowball arrives in a Styrofoam cup: shaved ice sloshed with sweet syrup—mostly artificial flavoring and not any of that "real fruit" stuff—and typically topped with marshmallow cream. While the ice is shaved, it's not fine enough to dissolve, leaving the snowball chunky and intact enough to survive humid Baltimore summers." SeriousEats covers Baltimore's delicious regional treat, the snowball. Summertime snowballs have been a staple of the city for many, many years. A little bit of ambient snowball stand audio.
Going Deep with David Rees (yes, that David Rees) is a TV series about mundane things examined in a far from mundane manner. Episodes to date have explained how to tie one's shoes, how to make ice, and how to dig a hole, among other things. In an interview in The Atlantic, Rees explains his philosophy for the show: There are NO fake facts in our show. The humor comes from my interactions with the experts, who have all been incredibly good-natured and (sometimes) silly without compromising the integrity of the information they're sharing with me. That's important to us, because we really do want this show to be a celebration of everything that's right under our noses—and for that mission to succeed, we need to honor the topics by not bullshitting our way through them.
The Art of Antarctic Cooking
What comprises “Antarctic culinary history,” Anthony writes, is “a mere century of stories of isolated, insulated people eating either prepackaged expedition food or butchered sea life.” It helped if some of these isolated, insulated people knew their way around the kitchen. “The cook, however good or bad, is an artist whose simple vocation is to make others lives happier,” observed chef Raymond Oliver. More magician than artist, a cook with an Antarctic expedition ranked as one of its most important members. His kitchen little more than a Primus stove, his ingredients either canned or scrounged, he conjured nourishing dishes as if from the gelid air.[more inside]
Winter on Georgian Bay : “Highlights of a four-month time-lapse taken from a cottage overlooking Lake Huron, during an absolutely epic winter.” [via mefi projects]
"It gets pretty lonely working in the freezer on my own." A beautiful portrait of Anne Marie Taberdo, the only female ice sculptor in the UK.
"In 1805, a twenty-three year-old Bostonian called Frederic Tudor launched a new industry: the international frozen-water trade. Over the next fifty years, he and the men he worked with developed specialised ice harvesting tools, a global network of thermally engineered ice houses, and a business model that cleverly leveraged ballast-less ships, off-season farmers, and overheated Englishmen abroad. By the turn of the century, the industry employed 90,000 people and was worth $220 million in today’s terms. By 1930, it had disappeared, almost without trace, replaced by an artificial cryosphere of cold storage warehouses and domestic refrigerators." [more inside]
It only happens once every few years: a brackish river in New Jersey freezes over, and the iceboats come out. It's happening all over the Northeast, where an unusually cold winter is welcomed with delight by aficionados of this sport. Lightly constructed, beautiful, and fast (the record stands at 84 miles an hour propelled by wind alone), iceboats provide a winter thrill ride like none other. Iceboating or ice yachting has thrived in pockets of North America and Europe since the nineteenth century. When conditions are right, see them sailing and racing in Wisconsin, on the Hudson, in Maine, Minnesota, Prince Edward Island. and wherever else "hard-water sailors" congregate.
Stuck in the Antarctic ice we set out to study - Erik van Sebille of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 describes his fieldwork in Antarctica. The Guardian has extensive coverage of the expedition, including visiting the remains of a previous expedition, how they became icebound, and their rescue.
'Polar Vortex' Brings Bitter Cold, Heavy Snow To U.S. right on the back of WINTER STORM HERCULES that delayed or cancelled flights all over the country, stranding holiday travelers, and dumping lots of snow all over the midwest and northeast. Planes are sliding off runways! Dogs are wearing booties! [more inside]
Siberian Ice Drumming. 'I felt like we were playing on the drums that Nature has left out for us, alone under the sun on the frozen waters of the world's most magnificent lake.'
When we were little, Jaime and I were so much alike that even our lord father could not tell us apart. Sometimes as a lark we would dress in each other’s clothes and spend a whole day each as the other. Yet even so, when Jaime was given his first sword, there was none for me. “What do I get?” I remember asking. We were so much alike, I could never understand why they treated us so differently. Jaime learned to fight with sword and lance and mace, while I was taught to smile and sing and please. He was heir to Casterly Rock, while I was to be sold to some stranger like a horse, to be ridden whenever my new owner liked, beaten whenever he liked, and cast aside in time for a younger filly. Jaime’s lot was to be glory and power, while mine was birth and moonblood.Daniel Mendelsohn in the New York Review of Books on the Song of Ice and Fire as feminist epic. Previously.
A new article in Nature warns that "the costs of a melting Arctic will be huge", thanks in part to the likely release of "a 50-gigatonne (Gt) reservoir of methane, stored in the form of hydrates" beneath the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, "either steadily over 50 years or suddenly". An abrupt release is "highly possible at any time", says Natalia Shakhova of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, who has observed plumes of methane up to a kilometre wide bubbling to the surface in the area. [more inside]
Random Weekend Project shows how to seemingly make magic by creating instant ice from flowing water. [slyt]
"The natural ice from Chimborazo is the best ice. The tastiest and sweetest. Full of vitamins for your bones. But nobody wants natural ice from Chimborazo anymore. They have factory ice. My father taught me and my brothers how to work in the ice mines. My name is Baltazar Ushca Tenesaca. Now I'm the only ice merchant of Chimborazo." El Último Hielero (The Last Ice Merchant), is a short documentary. [more inside]
To complement the rapid political climate change of the past few days, here in Minnesota we have freak ice destruction followed by a gorgeous day of 90 degree temperatures. I've seen the ice out on Mille Lacs Lake many times, but this YouTube video is pretty incredible, and features commentary in authentic Minnesotan.
Wired: DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border [Source policy document]. Americans may find it useful to note that the definition of 'border' includes up to 100 miles from the nearest actual international border line.
Before thawing out their former cold-storage facility, Fulton Market Cold Storage (now Hasak Cold Storage) invited nature photographer Gary Jensen to document their abandoned building full of ice. (Via.) [more inside]
Melting Point Greenland has some sublime hi-def video of, well, Greenland melting. The summer 2012 melt was unprecedented, it alone rose global sea-levels by 1mm. The scientist-run blog Greenland Melting is following. Why Greenland's melting could be the biggest climate disaster of all.
Aaron Peterson is a nature photographer and writer based near Lake Superior on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He takes many photographs of bike trips, like this ice biking series.
The rider, Ryan Labar, chimed in with a technical comment.
More of Aaron's galleries.
The rider, Ryan Labar, chimed in with a technical comment.
More of Aaron's galleries.
"It's like watching 'Manhattan breaking apart in front of your eyes', says filmmaker James Balog. He's describing the largest iceberg calving ever filmed, as featured in his movie, Chasing Ice."