The rest of the story

Last week, I told you why I hate cold weather. On Dec. 9, 1950, it was the coldest night in 100 years in North Korea at the Chosin Reservoir, and by cold, I’m talking 60 degrees below zero with 65 knot winds. When we finally came down off the Koto-Ri Plateau and arrived at the sea on on the east side of Korea, we boarded ships at three seaports (Wonsan, Hungnam and Hamhung).

As we were leaving, Navy Seals (UDT in those days) blew up the harbors behind us. This was several weeks after that record-setting temperature, but the thermometer still stood in the high 50-below zero range. The water temperature had to be near freezing even though it was salt water. Those guys were swimming around down there, planting mines and explosives. The cold weather probably affected those guys more than it did us. When they came up to the surface and exposed themselves to open air, the water on their wet-suits instantly froze.

Long story short – About 50 years later I was sitting in a booth at the local Hy-Vee Deli talking to a gentleman over several cups of coffee about my experience. I told him: “Those Navy Seals had to be made of steel, and tough as leather.” Much to my surprise, this man told me he was one of them. He was there. He was down under the water, blowing up the harbor after we left. Would you believe it was none other than Al Shehorn? What a coincidence. Neither of us knew the other was there me on board ship on top of the water and him underneath in the water. I hope I got this story straight. It’s been a few years since we talked about this. To this day, we both hate cold weather. And now as the late Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.” And everybody knows Al Shehorn. Everybody.

Well, that was about 64 years ago; that was a bad “neighborhood” and a bad place and a bad time.

Hot water freezes faster?

Sometimes, yes and sometimes, no. The “Mpemba Effect” is the name for the phenomenon of hot water freezing faster than cold water. This myth first made a splash during the time of Aristotle and since then, scientists have been trying to prove if this theory holds water or if it is all wet. It would appear that this myth boils down to the volume of water used in the experimentation. If you place equal volumes of hot and cold water side-by-side in a freezer, the hot water will evaporate faster and the initial volume will be reduced through steam. Through this basic water cycle process, the water placed in the freezer at a higher temperature will freeze first, because the lesser the mass, the shorter the freezing time. While it is true that the hot water will freeze first, the colder water will yield more ice due to less evaporation loss. Therefore, because of the process of evaporation, this experiment does not compare equal volumes. If you were to make adjustments and increase the volume of the hot water to allow for the loss of volume due to evaporation, the colder water would freeze first because it would take less time for the colder water to reach freezing temperatures. So, the answer to the myth of hot water freezing faster than cold water is not crystal clear, or according to Mary Hall Reno, professor and chair of the department of physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa, “It’s complicated.”

It’s been a while since I had high school physics, and I don’t remember doing that experiment, but I’ll take their word for it. It is what it is. And now you know the rest of that story.

Wild turkey population increase

I’m not sure if this is a fact. I hope it is. In my travels around the country, I’m seeing more and more wild turkeys, and I’m seeing them in places I’ve never seen them before. Judging from some of the letters and phone calls I’ve been getting, a lot of folks are seeing them right out in the open.

Like deer during the rut, we’re seeing them more because they are out moving around more, but overall, the turkey population appears to be on the rise and that’s a very good sign. Semper Fi.

And now have a good weekend.