Life without Google SEC=UNCLASSIFIED

Neptune has been duly revenged, having suffered a thorough sliming and then a fairly painful Camp Quality head shave. We were only too willing to shell out money for the privilege (all to Camp Quality). And several brave souls also had parts of their anatomy shaved – with the top prize going to Cassie for submitting her lovely hair to a number three shave. About $3500 was raised for Camp Quality, which puts the trivia night to shame.

While he could still speak, Neptune revealed that the ritual of smearing foul things on first time visitors to the south dates back to the 1600s and was apparently mentioned in Drake’s logbook.

Now I found this absolutely fascinating and immediately wanted to research it further (material!) but of course I have no Internet. What life is there without Google? The full extent of your personal ignorance is apparent, but at least you can make whatever wild claims you want without someone going off to check it and wreck your story.

On that front – I had to ASK around on the bridge to see who knew about the scale of wind chill in which ‘Bitterly cold’ appears, and eventually I was given a name – one John Raymond – from the AAD in Hobart, and I emailed him to ask what other wonderful adjectives are used when things get very chilly.

John kindly – and beyond the call of duty – took time out of his blisteringly hot 29 degree Sunday afternoon to answer my questions. The wind chill formula, it transpires, came from the Canadian Meteorological Office. John uses a formula to calculate wind chill (if you’re that way inclined, it’s 13.13 + 0.62 * temp – 13.95 * speed^0.16 + 0.486 * temp * speed^ 0.16, giving you an answer in metres per second).

Once you get the wind chill figure, the standard descriptions are:

15 Degrees, Mild

10 to 15 Degrees, Cool

0 to 10 Degrees, Very Cool

-10 to 0 Degrees, Cold

-10 to -25 Degrees, Bitterly Cold

-25 to -55 Degrees, Freezing Cold

< -55 Degrees, Extreme Cold

John also thoughtfully provided the frostbite index for exposed skin:

0 Degrees, N/A

-10 to 0 Degrees, Unlikely

-28 to -10 Degrees, > 30 Minutes

-40 to -28 Degrees, 10 to 30 Minutes

-48 to -40 Degrees, 5 to 10 Minutes

-48 to -55 Degrees, 2 to 5 Minutes

< -55 Degrees. < 2 Minutes

I’m a little disappointed that ‘bitterly’ is only followed by ‘freezing’ and ‘extreme’. I was hoping at least for ‘ravishingly’, or perhaps ‘devastatingly’ or even ‘fatally’. Alas, ‘extreme’ will have to suffice.

I’m off to dinner. Bitterly delicious. Extreme quantities.

Many thanks John.


Jesse xxx

About Jesse Blackadder

Living at the easternmost tip of Australia on the caldera of an extinct volcano, Jesse Blackadder is a novelist, freelance writer and Doctor of Creative Arts. She is fascinated by landscapes, adventurous women and very cold places and has published three adult novels and three novels for children.
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2 Responses to Life without Google SEC=UNCLASSIFIED

  1. Kathy Holder says:

    Howdy. Re: cold. Minus 40 degrees is the same on the Celsius scale as on the Farenheight. Even when it’s “only” bitterly cold a favourite demonstration given on TV by the weather people is to take a wet T-shirt outside and let it freeze in real time – about 7 minutes I think to literally freeze solid. Have fun!

  2. linnie says:

    infatiguably entertaining!!! :):):)

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