Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mongolia | Fourth of the Nine Nines | Dönön Ükhiin Ever Khöldöne

Update: 40º below 0 F. at 8:00 am on Thursday the 19th and calling for 47º below 0º F. tonight. So the Fourth of the Nine-Nines is living up to its reputation as the coldest of the nine nine-day periods of winter weather.

The Fourth of the Nine-Nines, known as Dönön Ükhiin Ever Khöldöne—Time When Four Year-Old Cows’ Horns Freeze—begins today, January 18. This is supposed to be the coldest of the Nine-Nines, nine periods of nine days each, each period marked by some description of winter weather. It was 20 below F. (–29º C. for you unrepentant Celsius freaks) at 10:00 am, not especially cold for This Time Of The Year. But the forecast for this week is for much, much colder weather, maybe even record-setting. Stay tuned . . . 

13 comments:

  1. By coincidence -40F is -40C. This is seriously cold!
    I hope this is not going to be a repeat of the killer big freeze from a few years ago(2009?)
    Jean-Emmanuel

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  2. 45 below 0ª F. this morning. Yesterday I walked the whole way to town and back (12 kilometers) just to enjoy the invigorating weather.

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  3. If their horns freeze, why doesn't the whole cow freeze? BTW, how DO the critters survive that kind of cold?

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  4. I assume because blood does not circulate as well to the horns and because they are so exposed. The same reason ears freeze first on humans. Herders here actually put blankets on some of their livestock. Even here in Zaisan Tolgoi there are some cows wearing blankets.They tie them on with straps.

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  5. In the West, there is only one description of really cold weather that I've heard: "colder than a witch's teat." One wonders what level of the Nine Nines it takes to achieve that level of cold. Know of any studies conducted on the topic?

    -a mes

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  6. Or is that "colder than a witch's titty in a brass bra"? Sorry - I am unsure of the correct phrase.

    -a mes

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  7. I think either version is acceptable. Yet another variation is “colder than a witch’s hind tit [teat]. However, I prefer “colder than a well digger’s ass.” But then there is the old favorite “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.” Take your pick.

    By the way, I just noticed that I never published your comment about the winter solstice posted back on December 23. Somehow I overlooked it. Believe me, this was not intentional! I never ignore comments by Mesopotamians.

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  8. Those pigs in a blanket are moving "slow as molasses in January." Well, not quite the same. I was going to offer the one about the brass monkey as well. If they made hats for the livestock they would stay much warmer. Socks and leg warmers would help too.

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  9. 'Tis OK about the missed comment. Neglect can be good for character building. : )

    We need to come up with a hierarchy of coldness. I propose, in order of least to most cold:
    1.) colder than a well-digger's ass
    2.) colder than a witch's hind tit (teat)
    3.) colder than a witch's titty in a brass bra
    4.) cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

    And, I'm leaving it up to you, Don, to figure out which of the Nine Nines each of these corresponds to.

    -a mes

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  10. The forecast is calling for 54 below 0 Fº by the end of the week, which is definitely in Category 4. I know I will be guarding my private parts if I have to go out in weather like that. You can buy camel wool mitts which serve the purpose quite well.

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  11. Do you have ski goggles to guard your eyes and a little fog cloth to wipe them? Skiers use them. Then again, even skiers don't ski when it's 54 below. What drives a person outside at that temp? How do they get to the office to work? Does the government close down and announce -"Ok, it's just too darn cold to work?"

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  12. In Alaska schools cancel their classes when it get 40 below 0º F. or colder, but everybody knows people in Alaska are sissies. As far as I know nothing is closed in Mongolia because of the cold.

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