Sunday 23 December 2012

-41C and a cup of tea

I can't remember where I found the video - it might have been on Facebook, I'm not sure. I still haven't worked out the etiquette, actually, of crediting someone on Facebook who's posted something awesome, but only on FB and chosen not to share on Twitter. Am I supposed to respect the fact they've decided not to share on Twitter? Or is it more important to always credit your source out of courtesy? Yes, these are the things I think about.


I found a video. It's this video:

It's just a video of a bloke playing silly tricks with the weather. Right?

But it got me thinking. Up to the point where I watched this video, it had never crossed my mind that it might be -41C in Russia. Well, not in a part of Russia where people lived in apartment blocks in large numbers, anyway. So I learned something new. Then I thought about the things I actually know about Russia, and realised...well actually it's not a lot, you know? Is -41C unusal? I suppose if someone is posting videos about it is.

And then I thought:

I guess pets are right out, unless they're homebound.
If I set my central heating to be 20C during winter to keep warm, but set my air conditioning to 20C during summer to cooldown, then is his central heating set to 20C? How on earth does a heating system even cope with a +60 degree differential?
How do you grab a cup of tea on the way to work? I mean obviously a Starbucks isn't going to last three seconds but is there any tea provider in the world that could insulate a cup of tea that well? Probably not.
Mobile phones say do expose to extreme temperatures. Well I guess that's a testament to Apple engineering right there - or they've got covers made of...what? Sheepskin? What?
Flushing the loo, or turning the taps on. Lagging? What kind of lagging do you put on your pipes in -41C? People live at the North Pole but I've read a book of a girl who trekked to the North Pole - life becomes about survival, about covering skin, about the fundamental things in life. Not about going to work, going to school, visiting your parents for the holidays.
Most of all, I thought, there are companies who create test environments to test their products in temperatures like this. Clothes to go to the Himalayas, for example. And there's a whole bunch of people on the other side of the world who are living in the equivalent of our test environments. To them it's normal. To me, it is monumental.

And then I thought, well hell. Isn't the Internet a truly wonderful thing?

Day after edit to add:

I now know armpits are the best place to store electronics outside. Pipes never go outside buildings, they either go underground or inside a building. Snow gets real dirty when it hangs around for months, especially when coal is burned on fires and then descends again from chimneys. Most importantly, I've been reminded of the existence of the Trans-Siberian railway which a friend travelled on years ago (I remember visas being horrendous to obtain which put me off a bit) and a lovely person is going to show me things which will mean I will probably want to go and ride it even more (photographs).

All of this I learned from people I follow on Twitter. 

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