Monday, February 15, 2010

Zeray Gazette Readers, Put On Your Brain Slugs

Jeff the Baptist is facing a problem: there are huge piles of snow in front of his house. Because of their low surface area to mass ratios, it'll take a long time for them to melt. Since he's an engineer, he's trying to engineer a solution to this problem:

My second thought is to stab some aluminum strips into the heart of the larger piles. Aluminum is an excellent heat conductor and is available in a number of forms at the local hardware store. If I can find some cheap strips (preferably black), I can essentially conduct heat into the heart of the pile. I could put them in in the morning and then pull them when I got home so they wouldn't cool the piles during the night. Not sure if they'd work, but it might be neat to try.

Jeff is soliciting technical suggestions on how to remove the snow. If you have any, you can write them in his comments section. Or for more fun, you could excessively complicated, expensive, and preferably dangerous solutions in my comments.

This is a contest. The most preposterous and/or reckless proposal wins.

WINNER: rocksalive777:

One word: Napalm.
Multiple words: Napalm lit without the aid of time-delayed fuse. Instead, the source of ignition is a torch, which is delivered to the incendiary via an Olympic-style relay. Through bear infested woods.

Of the suggestions, I found this to be the most immediately dangerous, although there would be long-term dangers to smoking/eating Jeff's tomacco.


The Quark Observer said...

I live in Baltimore where the record breaking blizzard happened and it's snowing again. I am so over snow, I use to like it.

BTW love that episode of Futurama.

rocksalive777 said...

One word: Napalm.
Multiple words: Napalm lit without the aid of time-delayed fuse. Instead, the source of ignition is a torch, which is delivered to the incendiary via an Olympic-style relay. Through bear infested woods.

bob said...

You could spray it with WD40 and light it on fire with a match.

I've tried this in the past on car doors that were frozen open. Spray the door liberally with WD40 ignite with propane torch. Thaws the doors right out.

Jeff the Baptist said...

I've decided to sprinkle the drift liberally with various radioactive isotopes. Unlike rock salt, they don't dissolve into the melt and they're quite heavy so they won't be carried off easily by the liquid flow either. They will melt the snow through radiation emission. Best yet, once spring hits I can raise delicious tomacco on that land.

Anonymous said...

Embed a fake fire hydrant in the snow and let the neighborhood dogs do their trick.

Rich said...

Where does Jeff the Baptist live? Depending on the ambient temperature...

but whatever the thermostat says, a good old flame-thrower is always fun. Or a nice welding torch?

David said...

I hear electric blankets work wonders. Get 8 orange extension cords, and 8 electric blankets...those found at thrift stores are likely to work best for this, and turn those puppies on. If it melts the ice great, pick up, dry off and reuse in the next storm. If they light on fire, all the better, as the heat source will also melt the snow. I would recommend a healthy generator to power such an experiment.

Johnny Cat said...


Matt Akins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Akins said...

Three options come to mind :
1) increase the surface area exposed to heat, making the melting more efficient
2) increase the heat, increasing the rate of melting
3) lower the melting point of the snow

combining all three : shoot flaming (more heat) salt/ethanol (both lower melting point) chunks into the snow drifts (increased surface area).

caution : YMMV, and IANASE (I am not a safety engineer).

rocksalive777 said...

Unfortunately, "flaming salt/ethanol chunks" returns zero results on YouTube.

James R. Rummel said...

Sculpt the snow into a replica of the White House, and inform the orbiting death ships from the movie Independence Day (1996) that the President has set up operations there.

Or you can use a lightsaber to melt the snow. It did a Jim-dandy job on a blast door in Episode One.

Now, I am sure that there are some of you who will complain that the technology to make these feats happen has yet to be invented. There are no lightsabers, no orbiting aliens with bad attitudes floating above us with death rays pointed down.

But if Jeff is letting a little something like that stop him, then he is obviously not the sort of engineer I've seen in the movies. said...

Sell snowmen - "Assembly required"

Anonymous said...

use something to darken the snow like a spray on dye (biodegradeble ) to attract heat from the sun.If dirt falling from the air pollution and causes the glaciers to melt why not this ?