January 18, 2005

Swedish sayings

'Inget d?ligt väder, bara d?ligt kläder,' means 'there's no
such thing as bad weather, but there is such a thing as bad

'En Svensk tiger' This is a motto from WWII with a double meaning. The first
is that a Swede keeps his or her mouth shut, and the
second is literally 'a Swedish tiger.'

'Mycket snak och lite verkstad' means roughly 'all hat and
no cattle' and literally, 'lots of talk and little workshop'

...and finally, 'up som solen, ner som en pankaka' 'Up like
the sun, down like a pancake.' Kids can be like that (and
politicians). Off to a good start, and then flop.


At January 20, 2005 12:28 AM , Blogger Annie said...

I heard the saying 'There's no bad weather, only bad gear' in Alaska, and a friend heard it in Norway. I have yet to find gear that makes a very windy, wet, and cold day pleasant, but I've learned to enjoy bitter cold through good gear.

At January 21, 2005 9:43 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

That's the truth of it, isn't it? I need an explanation. I've been working on one, along the lines of 'high relative humidity near freezing is better at conducting heat away from your skin than dry air that is much colder' but I can't convince myself why that would be so. But it makes me think of a similar problem given me by a Finn-- why is there a wave of heat in the sauna when you throw water on the rocks?

At January 22, 2005 10:22 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I think I understand it now. The thermal conductivities of dry and humid air must be about the same. So how can wet air at the freezing point feel colder than dry air that is much colder (and it definitely does!)? Water has some unique physical properties and the place where the energy goes must to vaporize liquid water. Liquid water droplets-- fog-- hit your skin and then evaporate, and it takes a lot more energy to turn the liquid water to gas than to turn cold air into dry air. Now, to the sauna: The reason you feel a wave of heat is exactly the opposite. Your body is cooler than the air in the sauna, and when you throw water on the rocks the steam condenses on you, releasing the heat of condensation directly to your skin.


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