10 Jan2014

I needed a light moment, so this is post is in honor of all the marketmanila.com readers in the midst of frigid North America suffering from the “polar vortex”. In the 1970’s movie, Dolphy heads to America, and at one point, stops the car and gets out to relieve himself by the side of the road in winter. He returns to Marsha with a long thin yellow popsicle and says something like “it’s so cold, your pee freezes…”. It was a memorable scene and something I think of every once in a while.

So imagine my continued amusement (but truly shock and horror at the ramifications) when several news reports recently stated that it was so cold in parts of the U.S., at say -40 to -50c, that if you threw a cup of boiling water into the air, it would freeze before it hit the ground. Yipes. That means John’s 1970’s observation was actually possible in real life! So for everyone affected by this incredibly harsh weather system, I hope you all stay warm and safe…



  1. andrew lim says:

    In line with Marketman’s humor today, there’s a town in Michigan called Hell. Well, Hell has frozen over. A snowball’s chance in Hell is actually good these days. ha ha ha

    Their town mayor insists there’s a university in their place. The name? Damn U. ha ha ha

    (from the CNN special report)

    Jan 10, 2014 | 11:13 am


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  3. Mari of NY says:

    Thanks MM… have survived the coldest days, bundled and covered and stayed indoors as necessary. It’s still cold but warmer than the past days…it will actually get warm this weekend that am pretty sure we would all enjoy even if it be short lived.

    Actually, I had read on FB that someone in one of the culinary schools here had tested if it was possible to make ice cream in the mixer on our coldest day. He had succeeded! so yes, John’s theory would’ve been true!

    Wishing all your friends, relatives and readers that are in the polar vortex to stay warm and be safe!

    Jan 10, 2014 | 11:45 am

  4. Bobby V says:

    Actually the trick only works with boiling water. Only the steaming vapor would freeze as most of the boiling water will reach the ground (in liquid).

    Jan 10, 2014 | 1:22 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Bobby, hahaha, thanks for pointing that out. Chemistry and Physics wasn’t my strong suit in school, but I did at least know that hot water in ice cube trays freezes faster than cold water… I suppose Dolphy’s thingee might get frostbite before the urine actually froze… :)

    Jan 10, 2014 | 1:39 pm

  6. jay p says:

    theres a video on youtube of a guy peeing outdoors in this US winter. most of his pee turned into vapor before it hit the ground. :)

    Jan 10, 2014 | 2:13 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    jay p, hahahaha, I nearly fell off my chair watching it. Good grief, the things people put on youtube! Amazing. Not something I plan to try myself one day…

    Jan 10, 2014 | 2:23 pm

  8. pixienixie says:

    Have to look up that video! Hahahahaha! :)
    I confess I wasn’t born during the John and Marsha days. Haven’t seen an episode, let alone that movie! But my mom often mentioned the series….

    Jan 10, 2014 | 5:03 pm

  9. jay p says:

    have to agree.

    it sounded like the guy who was peeing was in pain from exposing himself to the wind and windchill.

    i have this morbid curiousity as to wether the “yellow vapor” smells “mapanghe”.

    Jan 10, 2014 | 5:20 pm

  10. EJ says:

    I remember having to do the business in a public loo while in the open antiques market in Beijing. As it was -10C, warm steam resulted ;-)

    Jan 10, 2014 | 11:32 pm

  11. MLA says:

    I was speaking to someone a couple of days ago who actually lives in Fargo, ND, where it was minus 60F — thats’ 60 below 0. Colder than the North Pole some days.

    Jan 10, 2014 | 11:59 pm

  12. Nina says:

    EJ, you sure you were in a public loo? Hahaha, was in mainland China couple of months ago and boy, the things they do there in public, unbelievable! Saw a boy pooing at the entrance of a village market, a man peeing near a shrub in the middle of a busy highway, spitting and hacking in all public places (including airports) and let’s not get started with their whole-in-the-floor toilets. In one of the airports, I saw a maintenance worker mopping a toilet and using the same mop to mop the vanity around the sink! Sorry, for the digression, MM.

    Jan 11, 2014 | 1:10 am

  13. lynn v says:

    Currently, I am living in MN where the polar vortex is an annual reality. I have tried the boiling water trick and it makes me smile on how something that seems ridiculous is true.

    Jan 11, 2014 | 2:46 am

  14. linda says:

    Here Downunder starting Monday the weather forecast says we’re having a 5 day heatwave…..over 40 degrees C and I’m not looking forward to it. :(

    Jan 11, 2014 | 5:14 am

  15. JSmith says:

    I lived in Minnesota by the Canadian border for several years. Minus 40 degrees F does not prevent the people there from doing their daily life activities – going to work, school, grocery, church, etc. Only when there’s a snowstorm that most people stay inside their homes. I remember going to a Catholic Bible Study at -60*F windchill and it’s business as usual. People even go ice-fishing at any minus degrees as long as there’s no snowstorm. (Snowstorm can cause whiteout wherein you can’t see your sorroundings). I have experienced ice-fishing in Lake of the Woods at -20*F but of course, I was inside a nice cozy fish-house.

    Jan 11, 2014 | 7:22 am

  16. natie says:

    MM, I’m sure you remember the blizzards in Manhattan and the New England winters. I think you have winter clothes here still, for those winter travels in the East. You must be glad there were no plans for these months.. Brutal cold. I stayed indoors..

    Jan 11, 2014 | 8:46 am

  17. Lou says:

    We’re having a heat wave. It was actually 41 deg. F tonight. If not for the rain it would have been a pleasant evening. Now the rain will wash out all the snow and will cause flooding.

    Jan 11, 2014 | 10:32 am

  18. Marketman says:

    Glad to hear it is “warming up” a bit, though I always hated the “dirty slush” phase. Natie, yes, I actually occasionally miss the snow and crisp cold New England winter days, and could use a dose of winter (say a week) every other year, but I don’t envy you guys right now, it is roughly 70F and “cool” by Manila standards right now as I type this and it’s perfect for me. :) JSmith, I can understand the attraction for some (my father was an avid fisherman) but ice-fishing is NOT on my bucket list. :)

    Jan 11, 2014 | 10:43 am

  19. Gejo says:

    I certainly remember the movie John and Marsha sa America, where John Purontong joined a TV quiz show, almost won a million pesos ( worth much more during those 70s years), worried the quiz show producers (shades of Slum Dog Millionaire), then eventually missed the final question because he made a mistake with the last digit of his “cedula”, or residence certificate (how could he even remember the rest of the number?!). He and his family were given a trip to the US for his family as consolation prize by the relieved producers.
    Prophetic joke huh.

    Jan 12, 2014 | 8:28 am


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