Roy Exum: Oh, The Boiling Water Trick

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

When the Polar Vortex made much of the United States colder than Antarctica at the start of this week, it immediately became the rage for many to try out the “boiling water trick.” It seems that if you take boiling water and hurl it into the intense cold air, the mass turns instantly into a cloud of snow. The result is pretty cool, to cop a phrase.

You see, if you spray cold water, it clings to tiny sodium or calcium particles and crystalizes like an icicle. But boiling water – which is actually steam when it is heated over 212 degrees -- has a lower viscosity than cold water. The hot water, or steam, breaks into tiny droplets when it hits the frigid air and will vaporize almost instantly due to a high ratio of surface area-to-volume. There you have it -- your have your own snow cloud.

Sadly, you also have a rash of those “Ya’ll Watch This!” yahoos who wind up in the emergency rooms with third-degree burns. The Los Angeles Times, in a stirring expose of mankind, reported yesterday that at least 50 of the silly experiences didn’t work due to what is politely called “the human element.” That’s right; the modern-day Einsteins promptly threw scalding water onto themselves in a marked lack-of-technique.

According to a funny story written by Matt Pearce, our victims had seen the stunt pulled on the ABC Nightly News and other TV stations. Jason DeRusha, a news anchor in Minneapolis, tweeted, “Just threw a pot of boiling water in the air. Kids thought it was awesome. Do it people.”

And soon the cries from the clowns started rolling in. “I’m working in the ER today & this woman just got 2nd degree burns from trying to freeze boiling water in the air!”

Other lines found by the Times’ staff included:

* * *

--  "Blayne and I just did the boiling water thing and I accidentally threw all the BOILING water against the wind and burnt myself."

--  "So I did the thing where you make snow and not all the boiling water froze and now my head is burned."

--  "I did that boiling water thing except I threw it weird so it came back and burnt my hand."

--  "So I did that boiling water snow thing but the wind whipped it back at me and my hands are STILL burning lol I can't hold anything."

--  "so my mom threw boiling water outside and she threw it on herself and burnt herself."

--  "Tried throwing boiling water in the air. Burnt my hand."

* * *

Is America great or what? There is one hysterical tape on YouTube that I’d share if it didn’t have the cussing when the scalding water hits the performer. DeRusha, the Minneapolis TV guy, hurriedly Tweeted, “Sorry that anyone got hurt! I look forward to all the posts from Minnesotans who did this safely.” On Tuesday he issued another Tweet. “None of these people (who got hurt) are from MN or followers of mine.”

Boy, you can’t cure stupid. Anything that involves electricity, ladders, scalding water or blood requires a professional. I’m telling you: just take their word for it.

IN OKLAHOMA CITY a group has submitted drawings of a seven-foot statue to honor Satan at the state Capitol, near where a 10-Commandments statue was dedicated in 2012. The New York-based Satanic Temple said the sculpture will be of Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that's often used as a symbol of the occult. Smiling children will be around his throne. The state’s Preservation Commission said they will consider any application but state Rep. Don Armes, (R-Faxon) told reporters, “I think you've got to remember where you are. This is Oklahoma, the middle of the heartland. I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us, but this is Oklahoma, and that's not going to fly here."

ILLINOIS STATE POLICE have approved over 13,000 applications for concealed-carry permits since Jan. 1 and on Sunday, the first day applicants could file electronically, there were 4,525 requests on the web site.

A WAITRESS AT CRACKER BARREL in Lincoln, Neb., was just being friendly when she answered questions about her life as she served an anonymous couple, telling them she was saving her money to go to Trinity Bible College in North Dakota. So imagine her surprise as they gave her a tip for $1,000 and a check to Trinity Bible College for $5,000 to help with tuition.

A WAITRESS AT TWISTED FISH Restaurant in Seaside, Oregon, was handed an envelope with her tip and it was filled with crystal methamphetamine. Whoops! The cops came quickly and put the two guests in jail.

ONLY ONE IN EVERY FOUR kids between the ages of 12 and 15 meet the fitness guidelines outlined in the Let’s Move anti-obesity program introduced by Michele Obama, according to the government’s Centers for Disease Control.

royexum@aol.com


Northpoint Boulevard Is The Worst Road In Chattanooga

If you drive in Hixson, you too have had the honor of driving the worst road in Chattanooga.  A small portion of the road has signs up as a private road beginning at the entrance to The Home-a-Way going south to the Suntrust Bank. That section of the road is owned by those property owners.   The city of Chattanooga has patched holes over and over, also paying to re-stripe. ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Storm Costs EPB $2.5 Million; Smart Grid Helped Ease The Pain

Tuesday night's fierce storm cost EPB an estimated $2.5 million, President David Wade said Friday. He said the city utility will have to bear all the cost - unlike when it got federal aid after spending $18 million following tornadoes that raked the Chattanooga area in 2012. Mr. Wade said EPB's Smart Grid helped ease the pain, bringing back online about 27,000 affected customers ... (click for more)

1 Killed, 1 Injured In Brainerd Shooting

One person was killed and a second person injured in a shooting in Brainerd on Thursday night. The call was to 3301 Pinewood Ave. at 7:05 p.m. It was reported that a silver vehicle was seen leaving the scene. One of the persons shot, 23-year-old Antonio Baldwin, died during surgery. The injury to William Daniel, 21, is not life-threatening. Police said both of the ... (click for more)

Owls Rally Late To Knock Off Columbia Academy 5-3

(Story will be updated) Every sermon Ooltewah coach Brian Hitchcox preaches from his baseball pulpit at some point stresses defense. After Friday’s five-error effort in its own Ooltewah Invitational at A.C. “Bud” Ball Field, Hitchcox was probably going to be delivering a fire and brimstone speech to his baseball team. Despite the sloppy fielding – and throwing the ... (click for more)

Grundy Co. Gets First Softball Win Over CSAS

Grundy County got its first softball win of the season with a 10-3 victory over CSAS in the Lookout Valley Invitational Thursday evening, but they came up short in the next game in a 10-9 loss to South Pittsburg. The three-day tournament continues with more pool play on Friday at the O’Mary-Conard Field next to Lookout Valley Elementary School while bracket play will take place ... (click for more)