Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sublimation baseball

See me miss the balloon?

This is me pitching to Cristen (who did hit the balloon first try)

Is there an Arctic Alligator in this box? Bernard, Cristen and I seem to be very intent on the box of balloons.

Yesterday was pretty darn fun. We played sublimation baseball! For those of you who have not been hearing me go on about how much I have wanted to try this for the past year or so, sublimation baseball involves batting a balloon of hot water with a baseball bat. When you hit it, the balloon breaks, and because the water's hot and it's freezing cold outside (-44C yesterday I think) the water doesn't even hit the ground, and it just makes a giant poof of steam!

At least that's the plan.

Too bad my balloons were too durable. It was pretty funny because no matter how hard we hit them, the balloons wouldn't break! We ended up running around jumping on them because we all tried batting them, but they just ended up bouncing everywhere. We'll have to try again with some lower quality dollar store balloons later.

So that was about the best part of yesterday. After that Bernard and I had to go back up to the lab. We spent 2.5 hours NOT at the lab that day because we came down just in time for supper (after waking up at the lab), sublimation baseball was after that and then it was straight back up the hill! It was worth it though, because it was another great night. We got 8.5 hours of good data, and spent some time on the roof stargazing. That was the second best part of today, although it's not as dark here as you might think. Better than right in a city, but not by any stretch of the imagination the best seeing I've seen. Anyways last night I tried looking for comet Lulin which should have been somewhere near Regulus last night. Couldn't find it though. Apparently with very dark skies, it was visible to the naked eye. I wasn't that hopeful but figured with my little binoculars I might have a shot. No luck though. And yes, I did try looking through my binocs through ski goggles through my glasses and found out quite quickly that it wasn't going to work, and ditched the goggles. It was still nice to be out for a while. There was no wind so I stayed on the roof on my back looking up for a while. That's the first bit of cold I've felt with my snowpants and parka on. Seriously, they are amazing. Standing up, nothing gets through it, but my back felt mildly cool while lying down.

The only downside of 8.5 hours of data means that it's 6am before I go to bed, and then we ended up getting picked up just after 8am to go back to the station where I went straight back to bed for the day.

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