Joseph Thiebes portland, ore. | science | art | food | politics


Boiling : Sublimation :: Evaporation : Infralimation

Liquids become gases by two processes: evaporation, which happens at the surface only and occurs at any temperature as long as there is room in the atmosphere for the liquid to go; and boiling, which happens all over the volume of liquid at once and occurs only at the boiling temperature for the liquid at a given pressure.

Solids can become gases in these two ways as well. A block of CO2 (dry ice) or water ice will gradually evaporate, even at cold temperatures. This evaporative process in solids is called sublimation and occurs at the surface of the solid, almost like rock being weathered by the wind, but on a molecular scale.
This is why your ice cubes gradually get smaller if you leave them in the freezer long enough. The molecules of water are swept away in the microscopic movement of air molecules, and end up being deposited somewhere else in your freezer as frost.

In the case of CO2, if you heat it uniformly, it will reach a temperature at which it will become gas all at once, similar to the way liquids do when they boil. In solids, this is also called sublimation.

This ambiguity is a little bit of a problem, for reasons described in the excellent and captivating video below. The producer of the video suggests that there should be two terms to describe the two processes, and that one of the processes could be named after his YouTube channel. I agree that two terms would be a useful disambiguation.

I think "sublimation" is a good word for the solid analog of boiling. From sub (up to) + limen (limit), thus "up to the limit."

For the solid analog of evaporation at the surface, I suggest "infralimation," from infra (below) + limen, thus "below the limit."


A Humble Proposition

Militarized law enforcement as entertainment

Militarized law enforcement may provide a valuable form of entertainment. Get the t-shirt!

A Humble Proposition
for preventing the unemployed in the United States of America, from being a burden on their country, and for making them beneficial to the public

It is a melancholy object to those, who walk though the great city of New York, or travel to nearly any other city in this great nation, when they see the parks crowded with unemployed youth, veterans of combat, and aging drug users, granola crunchers, and brassiereless females, all in soiled, malodorous clothing and harassing every passerby (Roberts et al.). These people instead of working for their honest livelihood are content to employ all their time complaining about the accomplishments of others and beg for debt relief while they thieve and rape for want of work and love (Lomax), or they may indeed leave their dear native country, to fight as terrorists against civilized society (Vermillion).


Comical Candidacies: Controversy in Political Satire

Joseph Thiebes and Vermin Supreme after the AC2012 debate

Joseph Thiebes and Vermin Supreme after the debate

Three hours later than planned, after a 6-hour flight and a hurried drive through the suburbs of Boston, I finally arrived in Salem, Massachusetts to find the media team nearly ready for the event that had been anticipated jokingly as perhaps “the most important political event of the year,” (Bernstein) and would later be called “the best fake presidential debate Massachusetts has seen in a generation” (Carioli). I donned my newly fitted black tuxedo with a red bowtie and matching pocket square, and sat down at a table on stage next to a man in the process of fastening a boot to his head. It was Halloween weekend, but the boot was not exactly a costume. Hearing the excited cheers of audience and members of the media team, Vermin Supreme acknowledged that this trademark fashion accessory brings more media attention than any of his other antics.