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The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

Posted June 24, 2007 5:01 PM
Pathfinder Tags: challenge questions

The question as it appears in the 06/26 edition of Specs & Techs from GlobalSpec:

You fill up an ice cube tray and put it in your freezer. The next day you open the freezer and pull out the tray to get some ice. A small icicle is protruding upward from the top of one of the ice cubes in the tray. You check to see if something was dripping on the tray but find nothing that could have caused this odd ice formation. What caused this ice spike to form?

(Update: July 2, 10:11 PM EST) And the Answer is...

Ice cubes freeze from the top down. Since water expands when it freezes, pressure can build up if the surface layer doesn't move. Usually the ice layer on top will simply move upwards as the water freezes and expands however sometimes the top layer of ice will stick to the sides of the tray and not move upwards. Pressure builds until the water can penetrate a weak spot on the surface ice. When this happens the water is forced upwards by the pressure through the fissure in the surface ice. An icicle builds as the pressure below forces water to the surface where it freezes. This continues until the ice cube is completely frozen and the expansion stops.

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#1

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/24/2007 8:23 PM

I can't say for sure at this point, but I guess it's one of two things:

1. Something in the water itself caused this icicle to grow.

2. Eddies in the air flow caused it.

An important clue is that only one cube had this feature, which causes me to doubt #1.

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#2

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/24/2007 9:18 PM

Ice forms first at the outer edges and grows towards the centre until only a small hole is left. As more ice forms, the expansion forces water out of the small hole. If conditions are just right* then the water being forced out freezes around the edge, progressively forming a tube. The process stops when the tube freezes through.

Davo

* Most likely to happen with distilled water, ~-5°C and fan forced air.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 12:23 AM

Davo , Have you set a record here ?! Probably.

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#4
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 12:28 AM

I may as well add the Discovery video.

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#5
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 5:34 AM

Jumping Jack Flash!

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#6
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 5:41 AM

The question left me with time for a leisurely change. Indeed it is I , the spring-heeled one !

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#15
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 9:16 PM

It's a gas, liquid, solid (?)

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#81
In reply to #5

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/03/2007 10:48 AM

english rose tell me please what is the meaning of word 'brere'? ncliv2001@hotmail.com.Thx

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#82
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/03/2007 11:50 AM

"Brere" is Middle English form of modern "briar".

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Main Entry: 1bri·ar

Variant(s): also bri·er \ˈbrī(-ə)r\

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English brere, from Old English brēr

Date: 15th century : a plant (as a rose, blackberry, or greenbrier) having a usually woody and thorny or prickly stem; also : a mass or twig of these

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 10:59 AM

I haven't tried it (relatively busy, plus my freezer is fanless), but I imagine that pre-boiling would enhance the effect in some cases.

There are two possible reasons behind this thought: expelled dissolved gas tends to rise, so the surface would be inhibited from freezing first; I also suspect that desorbed gases would adhere to the edges of the tray, making for a soft edge that relieves the expansion pressure.

(N.B. that the water used by Caltech would more likely have been purified including a deionising process than distilled, so that would be likely to be quite low in adsorbed gases)

As you say, salts reputedly reduce the effect but it's not obvious to me that the published explanations are complete. For example, this could be because the salts accumulate at the edges, and this delays the freezing there so the pressure does not rise until the centre has frozen, rather than that the surface tends to freeze over completely once the salts have been expelled?
I think this would also tend to explain why styrofoam insulation reduced the effect - the thickness of the seals at the edges (which probably don't adhere all that well to the walls) would possibly be reduced. Indeed, it could be that a complete box of ice - surrounding liquid water - is required to produce the effect

Fyz

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 12:00 PM

Hi Fyz,

you may be onto something with the introduction of salt in the water .....

I believe icebergs mainly form when "calved" from an ice sheet, but can salt water (left untouched) separate in the cube holder and the fresher top water freeze first and be pushed upward as the freezing process continues until the entire salt "stratified" cube (with higher concentrations of salt on the bottom and fresher water on the top) become solid. Thus forming a small iceberg within a frozen sea (within the ice tray)

Just a thought.

Dwight

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 12:08 PM

Thanks, Dwight - my thoughts exactly - but better expressed.

Fyz

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#7

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 5:50 AM

a)Ice formation starts from the surface, therefore the cube initially forms as a thin ice box with water inside.

Water also contracts as phase change occurs. This effect however is not seen in the formation of the thin ice box. The cracks formed by contraction in the outer shell is compensated by the water inside which freezes as it replaces.

However, after the thin ice cube formation is complete, the water inside starts to change its phase too. The contraction will this time impose stresses on the outer shell, which will induce flakes to form and pop.

b) This may be an explanation, but it may as well be related to the differences in thermal expansion properties of water and the plastic tray.

c) Or, maybe, it has something to do with vapor sublimating and growing on the cube. Because I sometimes find ice, not in but on the tray, where there is no water.

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#8

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 8:27 AM

Could it be that the tray is oddly shaped..... say a Quilter's 9 patch design?

If the tray was 3 x 3 then the center cube would possibly freeze last. This could have additional compression forces, then combined with the "hole" theory of Davo's post #2, a large amount of water could be forced upward.

The question said "protruding upward from the top of one of the ice cubes in the tray" This center ice cube may be the one with the small icicle due to the aforementioned conjecture.

Or maybe not .......

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#10

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 11:23 AM

Surface tension ?

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#13

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 5:34 PM

Despite my initial doubts, it looks like Davo is correct. The one detail still under question is: Why just one cube with a spike?

I have never seen this happen in my freezer, but in this small town where I live, we have hard water, that is, the water has a high mineral content. If ice spikes require distilled water, the hard water I get would not form spikes. But sometimes I fill the trays with hot water that should have reduced mineral content, and still do not get any spikes. I do stack my trays because I need them to fit the limited space in my freezer. Notice the problem mentions only one tray. Consider the video Kris referenced, it points to this phenomenon forming in bird baths. Maybe ice spikes can only form in a shallow open-topped container.

But still, why only one cube with a spike?

I have noticed when I went to empty a tray where not all the cubes were completely frozen, the cubes not finished were still liquid in the middle, and they were usually at one end, or along one side. Obvously, the cubes froze at different rates, beacuse the water for the cubes came from the same source at the same time and spent the same amount of time in the freezer.
The temperature of water coming out of a two-handle single faucet can change. If you run hot water when no one has run water for a while, you have to wait for the water that is in the pipes, that thas has a chance to cool, to run out before the hot water you want comes out. If you run cold water right after running hot water, you only have to wait for the hot water that is in the faucet to run out before the cold starts to come out. I imagine this probably accounts for the one spike.

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#14
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 8:51 PM

Hi 3Doug,

This site has some interesting info on this phenomenon. The probability of getting ice spikes varies with several factors, but it is still a probability only. Try predicting how a snowflake will grow.

If you want to make some ice spikes try freezing some rainwater. In fact try freezing a tray of rainwater ice cubes and a tray of tap water ice cubes at the same time. In fact I might try this myself..

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/icespikes/icespikes.htm

Regards, Davo

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#16
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 9:53 PM

Some people buy devices to purify, distill, or soften there household water supply, and if someone lives close to the water treatment plant, their tap water would tend to have fewer impurities in it than someone who lives farther away. This should explain why some tap waters would prduce spikes.

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#17

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 11:10 PM

The tray had an impurity, salt or soap, in one of the holes.

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#18
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/25/2007 11:12 PM

Possibly slippery sides...

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#19

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 12:33 AM

One had cube had saturated CaSO4·2H2O in it. To form Gypsum. Doesn't need air flow just high saturation and time.

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#20

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 12:44 AM

Ice expands at 5 degrees Fahrenheit

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#21

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 8:33 AM

Molecules of H20 have a 120° bend. In water, they are loosely associated, but when frozen they align. Aligned molecules take more space and cause the ice to need more space than unfrozen water. The effect is cumulative from the sides and bottom of the tray container thus forcing the ice to form a peak in the center.

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#22

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 8:34 AM

I have had this happen on multiple occasions and have never been able to figure it out. Thanks for asking the question.

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#23

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 9:18 AM

Oddly enough, I have seen this happen in my own freezer. We have ice trays that are 2x7 and occasionally I see as many as three or four ice cubes displaying this effect. (Sorry to destroy the theory of only one cube in the center of a 3x3 tray.) Also, we are on "city" water so that also disputes the theory that it only happens with distilled or DI water. I usually joke with my wife that the ice cubes have handles making it easier to extract them.

I wonder if they would form in the opposite direction if I lived in the southern hemisphere? (Before you berate me, this is a joke. A bad one, but nonetheless a joke).

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#24

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 9:28 AM

Those little "icicles" are how you tell the boy ice cubes from the girl ice cubes.

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#25
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 9:57 AM

Thanks for the info. Now I have to go install an icemaker.

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#28
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 12:33 PM

"Those little "icicles" are how you tell the boy ice cubes from the girl ice cubes."

But I've never seen an ice cube with a ...... uh, never mind.

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#29
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 12:44 PM

yeah, those ones in the big ice machines in hotels and stuff. Little square cubes with, well...

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#26

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 10:55 AM

When a hard shell of ice has formed around liquid water in the process of freezing, the pressures due to density changes near freezing temperatures will sometimes cause the water to seep through a small pinhole or weakness in the ice crust on top. As this happens, an inverted icicle forms with a 'tube' of liquid water in its center until all of the water has changed state from liquid to solid.

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#27

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 11:37 AM

Well, I read all the postings so far, and it seems that Davo was right. However there is one other possibility:

It is an old, non-frost-free freezer (the question does not specify). A rack above the ice cube tray is held in with long, flat-head, sheet metal screws (to go through the insulation and into a punched hole in the framework or outside shell of the freezer). One of these screws falls out due expansion/contraction from temperature swings and the constant vibration of the compressor. It bounces off something else and lands flat-head down in the middle of the ice cube tray, which has not yet frozen (Million-to-one shot, but it could happen!). As the door is opened and closed many more times before the ice is inspected, moisture enters the freezer and then condenses and freezes on the surface of the metal screw. Soon a thick enough coating has built up, smoothing over the screw threads and obscuring the visibility of the screw inside. For all intents and purposes, it appears merely as an icicle protruding straight up from the surface of the ice cube. This also explains why there is only one of these in the entire tray of cubes!

Which just goes to show you, the "obvious" answer may not always be the right answer, or is it vice versa? Life, the universe, and everything are filled with with limitless possibilities, sometimes dictated only through pure chance. It is only through investigation, experimentation, and analysis that we can discover the real truth!

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#83
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/03/2007 1:38 PM

bars that serve ice cubes that have holes in them do it for a reason. to remind men that they proably have a wife not waiting for them to come home.

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#30

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 6:15 PM

Amazing, I used distilled water all the time to make ice, but have never seen an ice spike. Although, I prechill the water in the refridgerator to about 3 C and have a really cold freezer, sometimes as cold as -30 C. The freezer does have a fan.

I started using distilled water, because I have a water softener and got tired of salty ice cubes.

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#31
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 6:25 PM

Try freezing a tray without prechilling it first.

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#33
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 8:13 PM

-30°C might be too cold, so the surface freezes over before the spike has a chance to grow. The water doesn't have to be 'distilled', just relatively pure.

Davo

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#36
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 4:52 AM

As Davo says: the ice probably has first to form a surround with a hole near the middle of the top, and after that, the hole must not freeze over. The very cold fridge will probably achieve the first, but will then seal any potential tube very effectively (it doesn't take much force to hold back pressure over a small area as in the tip of an ice spike).

Fyz

P.S.1. In most jurisdictions, you are required to have a tap available that delivers drinking water that has not been softened.

P.S.2. If there is so much salt in the water that you can detect it in an ice cube, your water softener probably needs adjusting anyway.

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#37
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 7:14 AM

Does that P.S.1. apply to the UK ? Those in-line water softeners seem to be advertised everywhere , and most houses have 1 drinking water tap. My water is probably as much chalk as water , but I just bang it loose from the kettle every day (honest it's that bad). My assumption is that people lived with it (even if they didn't use boreholes) years ago , and the technology claims look more than a bit suss. Am I nurturing a nice stone do you think ? It could end up painful , even with a bit of sonic destruction.

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#38
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 7:39 AM

I'm not certain if there are regulations as such that apply throughout the UK. On the other hand, every advisory leaflet I've seen (I've moved about a bit, and therefore had several installations) says that when ion-exchange water softening is used, a supply of unsoftened water should (sometimes must) be provided to a separate tap to use for drinking and cooking. (I only have this fitted when I need to have plumbing done for other reasons - the objective being to delay the next occurrence. The advisory leaflets also say that the combination of hard water and soaps can be problematic for people with some skin conditions)

In general, drinking hard (high-calcium) water is good for you - it's the plumbing that it harms. Personally, I prefer our drinking water straight from the mains, as I'd rather have the chlorine than the flavour you get from those drinking-water filter systems.

Regarding kidney stones - high calcium combined with excess vitamin D is said to be an issue, but from this aspect I'd be more worried about eating high levels of saturated fats than drinking hard water (I'll probably say different when I've experienced an uncomfortable kidney stone, though).

Fyz

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#39
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 1:14 PM

Thanks Fyz. My Kidneys will be relieved ( groan ).Until this came up I'd never thought too much about the health issues , mainly the kettle annoyance. I have to take stuff for vitamin D deficiency so my hard water is probably helping if anything. We seem to get a lot of variation in taste , which doesn't do much to convince me of water safety/chemistry. Having said that I've never bought bottled water to use at home - what a waste of money and resource ! I have one of those jug filters somewhere which I've hardly used - the taste seems to improve by just leaving an ordinary jug to stand in the fridge. As you say , the hardness has a pronounced effect on the action of soap. I'm told this is most evident with shampoo.

Kris

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#40
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 1:41 PM

I went to college in a small town that got its water almost entirely from ground wells. The water had a horrible taste, which is why we drank beer most of the time, right?

One of my friends wanted to see what was left after a large quantity of tap water was evaporated, and he set up a chemistry lab experiment to capture the residue by heating the water to just below the boiling point and adding a slow drip for makeup. Eventually, the clear liquid became cloudier, and cloudier, turning a brownish color, which eventually became a pasty goo. With a sufficient amount of semi-solid material, he then placed it into a warm oven to dry. The crusty result he then crushed into a reddish tan powder. Running a few tests, he found that much of it, as expected, since much of the local geology is dolomite limestone based, was Calcite (CaCO3), but another large constituent was Iron Oxide. That explained why few students required Calcium or Iron supplements in their diets, despite notoriously poor student eating habits!

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#41
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 2:28 PM

I think you're right. We should all play safe and drink beer ! The human body has numerous reflex actions to protect itself , which explains why almost all the sensible people I met at University were in the bar. When a visiting lecturer was there for an evening presentation , we'd always get in kegs of beer . For some reason it was mainly the Engineering departments that had enough sense to do this. It's interesting to note that the only other faculty I observed paying such attention to health, by the drinking of beer , was Medicine. Case proven I'd say.

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#45
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 3:50 PM

It seems that my college was more cosmopolitan - only the religious (specific varieties) and I abstained from beer. My problem was that I was (am) quite severely allergic to some of the additives in most English beers of the time, so I had to make do with wine. Fortunately, the college had understanding staff and an excellent cellar, so it wasn't too much of a sacrifice.

Generally, the medics had the greatest capacity, followed closely by mathematicians and students of literature. We tried to find a correlation between consumption and class of degree, but failed to find anything significant in spite of our best efforts.

Finally, please not to forget - the predominant constituent of beer is ...?

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#47
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 4:03 PM

"the predominant constituent of beer is ...?"

WATER!

followed by alcohol, anywhere from 0-15% (You lucky Brits! Most US beer is only 5%)

Then there are some carbohydrates, starches and sugars, that did not turn to alcohol.

Other chemicals, preservatives, coloring, etc.

I think you can put the label FAT FREE on beer, though, can't you?

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#48
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 4:29 PM

The alcohol is a pretty good bactericide. Sobriety in England possibly only became a serious option with the advent of tea. (Anything else you'd care to blame tea for - other than being a catalyst for a certain long-standing rift?)

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 4:52 PM

No, I love tea, and cannot abide coffee! (How un-American, I know!)

Seriously, coffee has an ill-effect on my abdominal tract. I also down gallons of delicious iced tea during our sultry Midwest summers. Beer has to take a back seat these days, as I am ever frequently chauffeur for my little ones, although I do enjoy a "cold one" at times with the family when my wife is the designated driver and I am enjoying a nice meal of pizza, or cheeseburger and French fries ("chips" to you Brits), or some other tasty treat which goes well with the golden elixir.

Besides, tea was not to blame, even though it "got the axe" at a certain party in Boston, it was the TAX on that tea which was to blame! (That and probably more than a few pints of ale for courage down at the Sons of Liberty tavern!)

Speaking of tea and the "Wonders of Ice", did I tell you about the time I made "Iced Tea" in Scotland?

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 9:12 PM

"The alcohol is a pretty good bactericide."

Fyz,
That reminds me of an old joke.

A chemistry professor, concerned about student drinking, staged a demonstration in class one day. He pulls out 2 beakers and a box of fishing worms. He fills one beaker with water before pulling out a bottle of booze and pouring some in the other beaker. He places a worm in the beaker with water and holds it up for the class to see the worm happily swimming around. Then he holds up the other beaker and drops a worm in it. The worm swims around frantically trying to get out, but to no avail. Soon the worm is just floating.
"Does that teach anybody a lesson?" the professor asks.
One bleary-eyed young man raises his hand and says, "If you drink, you won't get worms!"

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#51
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 4:33 AM

A bit like the young girl who was asked what she had learnt from Bible study that day : " If you run out of Wine , get on your knees and pray to God "*

*disclaimer - My local Vicar laughed his socks off. He'd also just received a Guinness glass by post , telling me he'd drunk enough to fill the font in order to collect tokens for his freebie.

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#52
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 4:49 AM

I don't usually do flattery , but the finer minds in any college do seem to have a higher percentage of wine/sherry drinkers.

My family has a history of being awarded 'Blues' at Porterhouse college , something that I have so far not been rewarded with. I'm sure my humour is the reason for this outrage against destiny.

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#54
In reply to #52

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 5:13 AM

I think that would generally be a statement of economics...
I was definitely not regarded as one of the finer minds in my college - the words "lazy little ****" spring to mind.
Nor was I well-off; however, thanks to the understanding staff, I managed it on a sub-beer budget, as there were often unfinished bottles...

BTW:
Porterhouse: Apparent name - Peterhouse; apparent location - Clare; early liberalisation - King's; Cuisine - Trinity (or possibly Merton, though the blue would be more saturated); Academic record - that would be invidious...

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#55
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 5:45 AM

But Fyz , you jump to conclusions - that's very out of character. You mentioned wine , so I thought it appropriate to comment on the general correlation between choice of drink and academic status. I complement these higher academics on their appreciation of a fine drink. You share their partaking of a fine drink.

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 7:53 AM

I think not - just caution to ensure there were no misapprehensions - particularly in view of your disclaimer including the word "usually".

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#58
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 8:00 AM
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#32

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 6:55 PM

As the water formed an ice skin one point didn't freeze, and as the pressure increased because of the expantion of feezing an upside down icikle was formed. I think you have to be very lucky for this to happen. The freezing rate has to be slow and no disruptions.

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#34

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/26/2007 9:10 PM

With a freezer tray in contact with the freezer box the freezing rate from the bottom would be faster than from the top, even allowing for the insulation effect of the thicker ice.

This would under the right conditions cause compression of the water in the center of the cube which would force it up through the thinner ice surface until all water was frozen.

Though why only one cube should have this effect is puzzling.

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#35

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 4:25 AM

Water expant while becoming ice. So it pressurizes the water underneath which finds its way out through a minor pore in the newly formed upper ice layer.

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#42

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 2:30 PM

I have noticed that mine seems to do it when a defrost cycle is happening.

Not sure if that would have anything to do with it.

And our icemaker here at work makes the feminine ice cubes.

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#46
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 3:57 PM

Very probably - the defrost cycle will allow the temperature to rise to near freezing, and circulate relatively warm, humid air. The air circulation will increase the freezing rate at the top relative to the bottom, so the ice will form a skin, and the humidity will reduce the excess cooling of the spike that could be caused by evaporation (this will reduce the likelihood that it seals itself and stops growing).

I wouldn't try anything on with those ladies if I were you.

Fyz

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#43

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 2:41 PM

I have observed this phenom on my cat's water dish outside my door in the winter. One morning the water was frozen solid and a spike of about 6cm had formed at an angle of about 30 degrees from vertical. That was the first and only time I have observed such a thing.

My theory agrees with that of Davo, that the surface freezes first (except for a small hole near the center) and then the expanding water extrudes through that hole and freezes. I have no idea what special conditions (water purity, hardness or whatever) are required for the spike to form. The water in my cats dish was simply tap water or rain water, nothing special. The bowl was somewhat dirty stainless steel.

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#44

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/27/2007 2:44 PM

This phenomenon, known as ice spikes, is very well known to me. In fact, it could be said that I have won the lottery when it comes to this occurance. I have a site, www dot halbertcicles dot com that has many photographs, an explanation, and a lot more questions than answers. Basically, the phenomenon occurs when the presurization of the liquid center, caused by water expanding when it freezes (which starts on the outside of the ice cube), starts to percolate through a hole in the top (which hasn't closed up because of the presurization effect). When the freezing process is sufficiently balanced with the percolation process, the spikes start to form as the outside of the spike freezes while the inside remains liquid and allows for the percolation to continue, thus building up the edges of the spike. Additional pictures of this phenomenon can be found at another site I have: www dot UBtheNEWS dot com. Because I am busy with many scientific projects related to that second site, I am not going to sign up on this site, but people should feel free to contact me if they wish to do so. Both of those sites have contact information. Namaste, Halbert

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#53
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 5:10 AM

Hope you don't mind me quoting Halbert ;

The Urantia Book states that Adam and Eve lived on earth approximately 38,000 years ago and that they were biologically superior to everyone else on the planet. Adam and Eve, along with their progeny are said to have created a permanent improvement in the genetic makeup of mankind. The Urantia Book addresses the nature of the biologic differences that Adam and Eve contributed to human genetics and also the spread these new and superior genetic traits throughout the world.

I like this bit ;

The First Father is known by various names in different universes and in different sectors of the same universe.

It's clear from your sites , that you are very busy in your mission. It is quite probably a blessing.

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#56

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 7:45 AM

Water begins to expand from 4 deg C downwards. When ice is formed in the slots of theice tray, expanding water (I mean if it is filled to the brim) in any one of them will stand out as an icicle originating from the centre.

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#59

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 9:40 AM

The greatest wonder of ice is, the segue that has taken place with the topic.

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 10:26 AM

"segue"

Segue to Segway:

ROFL!

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#61

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 3:34 PM

As someone who has this happen far too often, (see Photobucket page http://s174.photobucket.com/albums/w89/silvaerina/wierd%20phenomenon/ice%20spikes/ ) I decided to actually inquire about it. Usually this happens in an frost-free, air circulated freezer, between the temperatures of -5 and -7 deg C. What happens is the freezing ice expands, reducing the space the water can occupy, ice occupying a greater volume than liquid water. A small portion of the water protrudes out the top, and the outer shell of it freezes, forming a tube. The tube keeps extending so long as there is liquid water available. The only problem with this is it is most effective with distilled water. Most tap water has enough dissolved mineral content that it negates the effect, probably by lowering the temperature at which the water freezes and also affecting the crystallization process. I have no idea why we keep getting them. This is the third time in a row, with varying freezer efficiencies.

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/28/2007 4:07 PM

This is from me... Hadn't registered yet...

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#63

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

06/29/2007 12:50 AM

There is a phenomena that is related* to this question (sort of) . Personally , I find it deeply disturbing.

Since you have now all looked - This can be done with all manner of liquids , so I have perhaps needlessly traumatised you. Don't panic too much - it will thaw , and no sensible Brit runs any risk of this occurring. I think it has something to do with the presence of small particles that are required to initiate ice formation (similar to the way in which coffee ,heated in a microwave oven , can display a volcano effect when picked up). Upon being agitated , the particles .. (well I dunno !)

Sort of - the bottle doesn't break etc.

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/02/2007 11:29 AM

"no sensible Brit runs any risk of this occurring."

That's for sure! I was on a tour of England one summer and we had stopped to explore the seaport of Bristol on the Southern coast. It was a very warm day and I developed quite a thirst walking around, taking in the sights. I stopped into a small "takeaway" shop to get a sandwich and asked the lady behind the counter if she had any good cold soft drinks. She said, "Oh, I have got a lovely Orange Squash." So I said "Great, I am really thirsty!" Watching her remove a can from what looked like an old horizontal soda pop machine, I was anticipating down a nice frosty beverage. Pop went the top and I guzzled it down. To my surprise, the beverage was warm, about room temperature, which was none too pleasant as the shop had no A/C, only a slow moving ceiling fan.

Like something out of Monty Python, I asked the lady, "I thought you said the drink was cold?" and she replied, "So 'tis, dear-ie!". "But it seems to be room temperature!" I protested. "Well," she replied indignantly, "I didn't heat it up, now did I?"

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#65
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/02/2007 11:48 AM

I hope Kris was referring to beer. The ideal temperature for real ale is about 13-degreesC, which is what "sensible Brits" drink (except that I have to be very careful, as there are so many of these products that have traces of additives that provoke a violent reaction - maybe it's my foreign heritage).

Fyz (not too much of that in the beer either, please)

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#69
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/02/2007 12:59 PM

You hope correct Fyz. Apart from traditional ales tasting a lot better , the company to be found in places selling it is much more enjoyable. The sanitized keg-u-like lager has destroyed a big chunk of Brit culture. Those CAMRA types can be a bit OTT , but I haven't seen any clogging up Hospitals and Police stations . I'm not really sure about the ingredients in relation to allergy .

If I knew more about thermodynamics and medicine I'd try to explain that iced beer is not the most cooling way to drink. Maybe (STL Eng) the blood vessels contracting would diminish the cooling effect. Whatever the science , I'm going to risk all and continue with nice warm stuff !

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#66
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/02/2007 12:00 PM

No Bristolian would have said dear-ie - and Bristol is NOT on the south coast!

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#67
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/02/2007 12:16 PM

I was assuming he was in Bristol County, Massachusetts, New England. When did you last say New Labour?

Fyz

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#78
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/03/2007 6:04 AM

Don't you mean Nu Labour?

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#79
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/03/2007 6:50 AM

Sounds tu pretentious to me - given how few of that generation actually studied classics?

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#80
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/03/2007 8:11 AM

It's an insult - based on the mis-spellings that have become poplar in skools thees days, innit.

(and for the record, I was right to think he meant Bristol, England...I've never heard an American refer to New England as just England, and although New England has some south facing coasts, would they really be described as "South Coast" when the state is on the Eastern seaboard? And interesting semanitic diversion there I think. We have "wrongly facing" coasts in Britain, but I would never say the north facing coast of Norfolk was part of the North Coast - it's still part of the East Coast of Britain. Discuss)

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#84
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/03/2007 2:43 PM

The North folk are in the Norfolk , and the South folk are all in the Suffolk. My roots are in Essex , so I'd probably best shut up.

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#94
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 4:16 AM

Of course - I'm suitably chastened. And they're all Angles (as opposed to Jutes or Saxons)

Question: Did the Angles ever settled further west, into the rest of England? If not, why are Norfolk & Suffolk collectively known as East Anglia? i.e. was there ever a West Anglia? Or is it just that they were know as the Angles of the East?

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#95
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 4:51 AM

Having giggled at the thought of you being 'chastened' , I went looking at Wiki for some kind of reply. I gave up , as I was again giggling at how quickly GB's name had popped up there. It wont be long before the use of GBH takes on new meaning all over the press.

That aside , my historical knowledge is rhubarb. The whole history of settlement is such a mish-mash that meaningful interpretation is fuzzy to say the least. A program not long ago looked at analysis of teeth in old skeletons. They can be analysed to show where individuals lived (based on isotopes and comparison with water sources in different areas) , and the results indicated a much higher level of mobility and mixing between tribes than had been thought.

Perhaps the land of West Anglia (like Norsex <smirk>) was subsumed into Mercia . I don't think that get's a separate East part.

Oh well , that which we call a Rose.....

I must dash to spend some money on 'No Smoking' signs and assorted paraphernalia. If the postman steps inside my house it becomes a shared workplace and therefor I must comply. Nanny knows best.

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#97
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 5:13 AM

Would that make them "Angles of Mercia"?

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#103
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 7:25 AM

Blooming heck! I used to live there (in Bedford itself) and I never even knew!!

Thanks Kris

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#104
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 7:49 AM

You're welcome. I should have known myself, having lived in Woburn Sands and Milton Keynes ! Can't see the wood for the squirrels and roundabouts.

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#105
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 8:00 AM

And muntjack deer! Ah! memories of the Mall in MK - and the walking shop at Stoney Stratford (know which I prefer!)

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#106
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 8:22 AM

The mall -eugh . Nice pubs in the general area of MK though.

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#86
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/03/2007 3:09 PM

You are keeerect! I was in Bristol, England. New England is not a state anyway, but a region, so we would never say Bristol, New England, but Bristol, Connecticut. New England is also sometimes referred to as "the Northeast".

New England would never be just "England", just as "New Hampshire" is never just "Hampshire", "New York" would never be just "York", and New Mexico is never just "Mexico" (although Mexico is sometimes referred to as "Old Meh-he-co"). Curiously though, New Jersey, by contrast, IS often referred to as just "Jersey", or "Joiz-ee" in the vernacular, and in particular, its seashore is "the Jersey Shore".

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#96
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 4:56 AM

Thanks STL - and sorry about the invention of a new state - mea culpa!

And we still serve room temperature drinks as cold drinks - the definition is that you haven't heated it up. You'd need to ask for a chilled drink!

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#114
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/05/2007 9:26 AM

Aha! A "chilled drink"! Next time I am in Britain I shall certainly do so! BTW, if you visit the US and want a "cold drink".....well, you are likely to be out of luck. Possibly your host will say, "Well, I have some soda pop, but it is room temperature, is that OK?". We often save space in our refrigerators by storing soda pop at room temperature. If you are in a restaurant, ask for your drink "with no ice". Served in an unchilled glass, it will warm up soon enough.

Another popular drink is a variation of iced tea, called "sun tea". This is made by placing tea bags in a very large glass jar or bottle, usually capturing the tea bag strings by placing them over the mouth of the jar and screwing the lid down tight. Sometimes people will then invert the whole bottle/jar, setting it down on its top in a window that has a sunny exposure. As it sits for several hours, the sun warms the tea, releasing much of the color and flavor but little of the acid and bitterness one gets when tea is brewed with boiling water. These jars may then be left on the counter or placed in the refrigerator for "chilling". If you want a "cold drink" that is not "chilled" and your host has "sun tea" on the counter, they may be able to accommodate you! Personally, I like to make my Sun Tea with a standard Orange Pekoe (like Lipton's) and a spiced tea called "Constant Comment" (4-to-1, OP to CC). It has a delightful, mild flavor!

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#115
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/05/2007 9:45 AM

"This is made by placing tea bags in a very large glass jar or bottle..."

Ok, for you nit-pickers out there, I forgot to say "...filled with water"!

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#116
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/05/2007 10:06 AM

You make tea with bags? You really should try leaves - much better. And tea should be made with first-time still-boiling water, so there is some free oxygen to react with the tea. When it has extracted what you like, let it cool slightly; you certainly don't want to cook the tea so long that unwanted tannins come out into the water.

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#117
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/05/2007 12:37 PM

"you certainly don't want to cook the tea so long that unwanted tannins come out into the water."

Precisely. That is the whole idea of "sun tea", to produce an extremely mild, yet flavorful tea that is excellent served "chilled".

We are simple folk here in the American Heartland. We like our tea in bags and letting the Sun do our brewing, with little heating of the kitchen on a warm, sunny day when we like to drink our "iced tea".

I guess I am just not a tea "con-a-sewer"! Bags are just fine with me.

Nowadays many like the powdered "instant iced tea", for the convenience, but I cannot stand it. It is too easy to make wrong and add too much "tea", or too little, bad tasting either way.

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#118
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/05/2007 12:52 PM

5 , 6 ,7 ,8 ... now I'm going to percolate.

You could get tea-balls STLEng !

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#119
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/05/2007 1:42 PM

Yes, my mom had one. My Dad like to try many different teas, sometimes bringing some back from his travels to Europe and Japan. The problems I remembered, at least with the "tea-ball" we had, was that it would often come open, spilling the tea leaves into the drink, or the very fine, powdery, tea would escape through the holes, which doesn't happen with finer mesh of paper tea bags.

Outside of restaurant "iced tea" and our home-made "sun tea" I rarely drink it anymore. But I do like a nice hot drink in the winter and I don't drink coffee, so I should drink more tea.

Your link shows a metal tea-ball exactly like the one my Mom had. I see on the same website you linked to there are also metal mesh tea-balls as well as empty tea bags that allow you to "bag your own". That would be great, especially for travel. What is wrong with teabags, versus a tea-ball or going "bare" as Fyz seems to prefer (based on his comments about using teabags)?

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#120
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/05/2007 1:56 PM

I didn't know about the 'make-your-own' bags until I saw them. If I buy loose-leaf speciality tea I use a pot , otherwise I just use normal bags (current gizmo's include pyramid shaped ones , and bags with an integral draw string to squeeze flavour out ). I almost always drink Coffee. The metal ball things look a bit pointless to me , but I'm no expert. A discussion on tea-making would probably lead to endless debate - I wouldn't dare to tread there. Fyz , ER , where are you both , cooo-eee.....

Now I'm going to run !! ( If they fall for it , have a big pot of coffee ready )

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#121
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/05/2007 4:30 PM

Fell for it - clunk - coffee all over the shop, pot dented. Loose tea is more exposed to the oxygen - probably not an issue with sun tea, where the radiation might just activate things nicely.

My real objection to tea-bags is generally the quality of the tea in most of them. My unreliable informants tell me that a proportion of this is the earliest form of instant tea in the first place***... DIY would probably be fine if I could persuade someone else to do the work for me.

Tea-balls are fine in principle, as long as they are sufficiently porous. I once knew a Swiss connoisseur** who preheated the tea-balls above boiling, and poured water that was not quite boiling onto them to start with, so there would be the maximum oxygen available.

Fyz

**Perhaps the word should be fanatic. Apropos nothing, in spite of Switzerland's small size, more of the top-quality full-leaf is consumed in Switzerland than an any other country. They refer to the finer powders that are made from the larger leaves as "floor sweepings".
***Very finely ground leaves of the coarsest sort

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#122
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/06/2007 5:49 AM

Morning! - nearly time for elevenses!

I've never liked coffee, so, despite my Mum's best efforts to persuade, cajoal (sp?) and bully me into it, I've never drunk it. I used to drink tea, but when I turned 19, it started having undesirable effects on me (no, I'm not) so I stopped drinking it. I do like fruit and herbal teas - mostly I use the bags, but they're not a patch on a freshly picked stuff! I have spearmint in the garden - freshly picked and washed (to remove the added proteins) - half fill a tea pot, add tbspn sugar and boiling water...heaven in a glass! (very morrocan!)

Fresh Yarrow tea is nice too - delicate flavour and good for the blood.

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#123
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/06/2007 6:50 AM

...washed (to remove the added proteins).

Our resident LOL cat is conspicuous by his absence ! Mint tea in Morocco - nice. Not too keen on herbal stuff , but the fruit infusions are nice (especially the mixed ones). Do you reckon the flavinoid stuff about tea is all rhubarb ? It's not as if you're escaping much caffeine , and all that tannin can't be good (?). Coffee clearly hasn't harmed me .

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#124
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/06/2007 7:35 AM

What's wrong with tannin? Red wine too, for that matter. Must be lunchtime, shame about the incompatibility with hay-fever palliatives (the ones I can tolerate, that is)

Fyz

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#125
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/06/2007 7:47 AM

added proteins - I was thinking in terms of the green- and black-fly residents of the mint bush.

The caffeine in tea tends to be sequestered, so your body doesn't get much of it (so I'm told) a bit like the copious amounts of iron in spinach. Don't tannis line the gut, stopping it working or something...like scale deposits on kettles....

<don't mind me, it's nearly time for the weekend>

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#126
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/06/2007 3:35 PM

Hey , I was just about to tell Fyz that tannin covered up the green film on my teeth. eeeeugh. Keeping up appearances for our American chums is a labour of love. Anyway , everbody in Corrie and 'Enders drinks tea - need I go on ?

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#98
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 5:35 AM

Of course I knew he meant Bristol, England - just my attempt at humour. And yes, the US Americans do indeed refer to Bristol County, Massachusetts as being South Coast.

Oh, and having lived in Norfolk, we did refer to Cromer as being on the North-Norfolk coast, sometimes abbreviated to "North coast" so we can't put this down as a purely American aberration. (But then many place names had only two syllables, regardless of spelling).

Fyz

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#101
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/04/2007 6:06 AM

When I was taken to Cromer as a kid , I thought of it as ' that **** windy place '. Skeggie doesn't really compare for 'bracing' .

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#68
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Re: The Wonders of Ice: Newsletter Challenge (06/26/07)

07/02/2007 12:40 PM

Pardon my geography! I guess I should have just said, "a seaport in Southern England", or will you pick more nits and tell me that it is not in the South but the SouthWEST?

My point was that it was warm and I was thirsty and it was NOT the North of England or in Scotland, where I could have expected people to be more in favor of warmer beverages. Like my cousins in Edinburgh I visited during the same trip, who were repelled by the thought of "iced tea" and kept only one small tray of cubes in their freezer, just enough for only one large glass of iced tea!

And whether or not the lady who served me, IN BRISTOL, was a native "Bristolian", I could not say. Perhaps my memory does me a disservice and she uttered some other term of endearment, I cannot say for sure.

Hey, whatever happened to poetic license?!

<grin>

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