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It's COLD outside

I've been a big baby about the temperatures lately, so haven't yet tried to start the Hot-Rod Newport since rebuilding the valvetrain. With temps in the teens and single digits, MY digits simply don't want to hold metal tools and parts outside... where the car rests beneath its carport. Last week, though, I made some progress: Finished pulling apart the valvetrain, replaced a total of three pushrods, replaced one pair of roller lifters, ground smooth two banged-up rocker arms, adjusted every single lifter-pushrod-rocker team to 1/4-turn of preload (the best I could identify for how my Comp Cams roller lifters should be adjusted), reinstalled a new valley-pan and intake manifold and associated hoses and wires, and replaced the valve covers. ALMOST READY TO START. Here's some of the carnage (those pushrods should be straight, and the loose bits should be attached):

Aaargh, it's painful being so close, yet.... Oh, and I bought a really nice-looking, waterproof, fleece-lined, 7-layer car cover to protect the machine until spring... assuming I can get the thing started, drive it to the car-wash, wax the hell out of it, then drive it home (I really don't want to turn my driveway into an ice-rink). Soon, soon.

Now to put "cold" into perspective: Check out the coldest place on Earth, a ridge high atop Antarctica's East Plateau, where temperatures can dip below -133° F (-92° C) on a clear winter night. Yes, that's NEGATIVE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE DEGREES, aka NEARLY ONE HUNDRED DEGREES BELOW FREEZING in either temp scale:

Of course, that's a balmy-sounding 181° Kelvin. Which would make me sweat just thinking about it. IF MY FINGERTIPS WEREN'T FREEZING OFF.

Maybe this place is what Dante was thinking about when he planted ol' Lucifer in ice he couldn't escape.

Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center made the discovery while analyzing the most-detailed global surface temperature maps to date, gathered using remote-sensing satellites like NASA's Aqua satellite and Landsat 8.

They need to use this level of sensor equipment because thermometers won't even work at such temperatures.

Neither do human beings. Heck, I bet even ice falls apart at temps like that.

Speaking of cold humans, a plug for [personal profile] clevermanka's Etsy shop:

Are you or those you love suffering from chilly legs during this cold snap? Looking for the perfect Xmas gift for your skirt- (or kilt!) wearing friends? Then check out the Bloomershop Etsy shop, which is having a 20% off sale right now! Use the code "TOASTIES" to get the special discount. Lydia makes custom bloomers, too, if you prefer different fabric or trim, or need a special size. Support independent makers for your gifting needs! Plus they're just plain fun.

PS: My favorite weather-watching site, by a former student: The Fucking Weather.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
Those pushrods made me cringe.

The all-time low of -92.3C (-135.8C, 180 Kelvin) found in NASA satellite observations isn't allowed as a record because it wasn't recorded by a ground station, so the −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) reading of 1983 from Vostok Station remains the official record.

For comparison, DRY ICE does not "melt" (sublimate) under -78.9C at sea level. At -92C you could store it outside!
Dec. 11th, 2013 12:52 am (UTC)
They made me cringe, too; the third one looks even worse, completely smashed flat on one end. I don't know how I forgot to photograph the mangled rockers, either. One hopes I do not need to take it apart again to get another shot. Of course, it's entirely possible that - once the two non-running cylinders finally get a chance to fire - I'll discover one of the pistons has been damaged, and I'll have ample opportunity. But one hopes not.

Holy crap, I had no idea that we actually had such low temperature readings! How in the heck? Wouldn't the equipment fail?

Re: dry ice: Whoah. So, one good thing about living at such temps, eh?
Dec. 11th, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
Only crazy and politically-exiled Russians live at Vostok Station ...

100% ethanol won't freeze until -114C (-173.2F). I wonder if they stick their vodka bottles on the porch to freeze out that pesky water.

Edited at 2013-12-11 01:41 am (UTC)
Dec. 17th, 2013 06:30 am (UTC)
Hahaha! Absolut(ly).
Dec. 11th, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)

(I should say this is for Antarctica)

Edited at 2013-12-11 01:31 am (UTC)
Dec. 12th, 2013 07:16 pm (UTC)
But doge likes snow:

Dec. 16th, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
Not every day one sees a Doré print used to illustrate a space-science post. Nice!
Dec. 17th, 2013 06:29 am (UTC)
Ha - indeed; I hadn't thought of that! Mashups are fun.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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