Archives for posts with tag: ice
Photo: Gregory McDonald

I asked for a Coleman Steel Belted Cooler last Christmas after seeing Greg’s in action on our various trips. It keeps food and ice cold for about 3 days, from what I’ve heard, as opposed to about the day our old cooler could manage. I asked for the stainless steel model on the premise that it would reflect more heat than a dark-colored one. It’s got a tight-fitting lid and a drain spout. Very nice.

Greg also offered me this tip: these plastic shoe boxes from The Container Store fit perfectly within the cooler, resting on an internal lip. If you keep the ice and water level below the bottom of the boxes, any food within them will stay dry. And cans of your favorite adult beverage will still fit underneath the suspended plastic boxes. Brilliant!

Thanks again, Greg!

You don’t see this every day…

The New York Times reports that a Russian research team has drilled through 4 km (2-1/2 miles) of Antarctic ice to reach one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes. The lake, about the size of Lake Ontario, had been sealed off for at least the last 15 million years.


If it’s confirmed that the lake contains microbes—according to the article, some were found but it’s not yet clear whether their source was the lake or the drilling fluid—hopes would be raised that Jupiter’s moon Europa, with its liquid water surface encased in ice, and thin, oxygen atmosphere, might also harbor life.

The above video, produced by BBC2 in 2000, is a bit out of date. The technique used to keep the lake water pristine was to pump the drilling fluid out of the borehole so as to reduce the pressure in the shaft. When the surface of the lake was breached, the lake water, itself under pressure from the weight of 4km of ice, shot up through the shaft pushing out any remaining fluid, then refroze at the end of the borehole, forming an icy plug.

Here’s a link to the New York Times article:
Drilling Reaches Lake Vostok, Long Trapped Under Antarctic Ice Sheet

Here’s a link to a Wired article:
Russian Drill Penetrates 14-Million-Year-Old Antarctic Lake