Deep cold in Calgary an opportunity for fun

CALGARY — Just about no one likes the way the deep cold makes their face feel. But the extreme temperatures are also an opportunity to experiment.

“It does things we’re not used to, you can freeze things that you’re not usually expecting to freeze,” says self-described weather nerd Chris Ratzlaff.

“You can play around a lot with different opportunities in the cold like this.”

His specialty is freezing bubbles and taking video of the results. He says the trick is a not-so-secret recipe for bubble mix that gives them a chance to last a few extra seconds before freezing solid.

Ratzlaff’s Frozen Bubble Recipe:

  • 200ml warm water
  • 35ml corn syrup
  • 35ml dish soap
  • 2 tbs sugar

Frozen clothes are another outlet for housebound and frost-nipped Albertans — warm water works best. The exploding cup of hot water trick is not new, but yields spectacular results — simply throw boiling water up in an arc and it will rapidly turn to snow, creating a magical effect.

Another cold experiment, which can sometimes get a bit expensive, it to super-cool pure water, then pour it slowly, creating a tower of instantly forming ice. Pure is the key word — even the smallest particle will give the ice something to form on. You’ll have the greatest success with bottled water and even then it can take a few bottles to achieve success.

The temperature in Calgary reached -26 C on Wednesday afternoon and was expected to dip down to -32 C in the evening, while the wind chill made it feel more like -40.

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