January in the Twin Cities is just like any other month in Minnesota, except there aren't boats or mosquitoes.
Or mosquitoes on boats... buzzing the lakes for the Winter Carnival medallion.
January 2010 -    
<<    JANUARY 2010     >>
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1   New Year's Day 2   Steve Miller Band
4 5 6 7 8 9
10  Carnival China Style 11  WWE Raw
12 13 14 15  Rural Alberta Advantage
16  Brad Paisley
17 18  Martin Luther King, Jr
      Diversity Job Fair
19 20 21  Nick Jonas 22 23  Coolio
      Underground Revival
25 26 27 28 29 30  Art Sled Rally
full moon
31  Unite for Haiti

January 1 holiday

New Year's Day
Saturday January 2 rock music Steve Miller Band, Mystic Lake Casino, Prior Lake, MN (8pm)
Jan 4, 9, 23 gymnastics Gopher Women's Gymnastics, Sports Pavilion
Jan 8-10, 14-17,
21-24, 28-31
play We Gotta Bingo, Hennepin Stages
Jan 9, 23, 26 basketball Gopher Men's Basketball, Williams Arena
Sunday January 10 play Carnival China Style, Chinese New Year, Orpheum Theatre (7pm)
>> Stage perfomance sampling Chinese music, dance, opera, and acrobatics.
Monday January 11 wrestling
WWE Monday Night RAW, Target Center (7:15pm)
January 12-17 musical Dreamgirls, Orpheum Theatre
January 13-17 kids Elmo & Friends - 1-2-3 Imagine, Target Center
January 15 folk music
Rural Alberta Advantage, Cedar Cultural Center (7pm)
January 15-16 comedy Larry the Cable Guy - Tailgate Party Tour, State Theatre

January 16 country
Brad Paisley, with Miranda Lambert, Xcel Energy Center (6:30pm)
January 18 holiday
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Diversity Job Fair, Minneapolis Convention Center (9am-3pm)
Tuesday January 19 jobs Minneapolis Job Fair, Holiday Inn, 3 Appletree Square, Bloomington (11am-2pm)
Thursday January 21 pop music Nick Jonas and the Administration, State Theatre (7pm)
January 20-24 show Boat Show, Minneapolis Convention Center
January 21-31 fair St Paul Winter Carnival, The Coolest Celebration on Earth
Jan 22-24, 28-31,
Feb 4-7, 11-14, 18-21
musical The Light in the Piazza, Schneider Theater, Bloomington Arts Center
Saturday January 23 rap music
Coolio, Fine Line (9pm)
Underground Revival - A Gospel Play, State Theatre (8pm)

January 23-24 flowers
Orchid Society Flower Show, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Como Park
Jan 26-31,
Feb 2-7, 9-14
musical Virtuosity - A Song and Dance Revue, Pantages Theatre
Jan 29-Feb 6 play We Gotta Bingo, Hennepin Stages
Jan 29-Feb 6 musical Virtuosity - A Celebration of Song and Dance, Pantages Theatre
Saturday January 30 sports Art Sled Rally, Powderhorn Park (1pm)
January 30-31 show Healthy Life Expo, Minneapolis Convention Center (10am-5pm)
Sunday January 31 jazz benefit Unite for Haiti, American Refugee Committee, Dakota Jazz Club (6pm)

32 degrees F - water freezes (at sea level)
20 degrees - cloud point of #2 diesel (see below)
10 degrees - road salt (sodium chloride) refreezes
10 below - blood flow to your extremities is reduced
20 below - 10w30 motor oil turns to sludge, road salt (calcium chloride) 
refreezes, skin freezes within 5 minutes
30 below - 5w30 motor oil turns to sludge
40 below - soap bubbles shatter like glass Christmas ornaments, mercury freezes in the thermometer, antifreeze freezes; cloud point of #1 diesel (see below)
50 below - skin freezes within a minute, metal turns brittle and snaps like wood
60 below - cold on an unprotected forehead can knock you unconscious in minutes
70 below - skin freezes in seconds, frozen breath hangs in the air
80 below - people's voices can be heard four miles away - it's called Temperature Inversion

(Celsius - Fahrenheit converter)     

Cold Car Batteries
If the car doesn't start in winter, the culprit could be a failed starter or a flooded engine, but most likely, it's the car battery. There are 3 reasons the battery should be the problem.
1. Power Available - In car battery terminology, it's called Cold Cranking Amps (CCA), which is the amount of electric current a 12 volt (technically 12.6) car battery can deliver for 30 seconds at zero degrees F while maintaining a minimum terminal voltage of 7.2 volts. If at 80 degrees, a car battery has 100% strength, at 32 degrees, it has 65% of its strength. At zero, it has 40% of its strength. At 32 below, it's down to a quarter of its strength.
2. Power Needed - Even though the battery has less power, it needs more power when the motor oil is cold. At zero degrees, when the battery has only 40% power, it needs 210% of what it would need at 80 degrees.  At minus 32 degrees, it would need 350% or three and a half times what it needs at 80 degrees.
3. Power Restored - Meanwhile, a cold battery is harder to recharge than a warm one. Low temperatures increase the resistance of electrolytes which both reduces the battery's cranking power and increases the time it takes for the engine (through the alternator) to recharge the battery.

It's a wonder that cars work at all.

When the Minnesota lakes freeze, especially with a steep drop in temperatures, the ice will Boom loud enough to be heard miles away. The tone and pitch depend upon the size and shape of the lake basin and the ice thickness.

Diesel Cloud Point - Pour Point - Cold Flow Plugging Point
Petroleum-based diesel and biodiesel fuel doesn't exactly freeze, but the paraffin wax in fuel begins to crystallize, giving it a cloudy appearance, known as the cloud point. The cloud point of #2 diesel is between 20 and 4
F. The cloud point of #1 diesel is -40º F. The key to the cloud point is that the fuel filter starts to clog. Pour point is the point when any liquid doesn't pour. But trucks and school buses conk out from fuel line clogs prior to reaching the pour point. The operational threshhold for winter diesel is the Cold Flow Plugging Point (CFPP) developed by the ASTM, which measures diesel's ability to flow through a fuel filter. Based on the CFPP, the location, and the month of the year the fuel is being sold, diesel fuel is blended to withstand extreme winter temperatures. In Minnesota, the month & temperatures are October (-4º F), November (-18º F), December (-30º F), January (-34º F), February (-31º F), and March (-24º F). Anti-gel additives are available for both diesel and biodiesel fuels. Diesel fuel purchased in September or in Arizona, without additives, may not get you where you are going in January in Minnesota.

Ice Thickness --  Minimum Thickness For Going Out On The Ice
Here's a handy Ice Thickness card to determine if the ice is thick enough to walk on or drive over. And every winter these charts are spread all over Minnesota. One problem: how do you know the thickness of the ice? You would have to break the ice to measure its thickness. And then you would know the thickness at the open spot -- it's zero! So now you'll need Ice Claws to get yourself out of this ice hole.

Tree Motion
The lakes aren't the only thing cracking; some species of trees crack like a rifle shot, due to being unevenly warmed by sunlight. Maple trees and other thin barked trees are more susceptible than aspens, black spruce, and jack pines.

The snow around hardwood trees on sunny days in February can be peppered with tiny black specks that jump! These are snow fleas! It's true; I'm not making this up. They fall out of the tree and hop about. Snow fleas aren't fleas. They are springtails: ancient herbivorous bugs that eat microscopic algae, bacteria, and fungi. Snow fleas spring off from trees uncontrollably in the spring. And that's why it's called Spring.

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Twin Cities Calendar 2010  -  January  |  February  |  March

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