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Cold enough to freeze-fry an egg?

By Stacy St. Clair, Morgan Greene and Tony Briscoe • Feb 3, 2019 at 9:37 PM

CHICAGO – In sweltering summer heat, wacky newspaper editors often send reporters outside to test the expression “It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.”

So what happens when it’s the opposite of hot?

Turns out, newspaper editors become even wackier.

Reporters were ordered outside — where the thermometer read minus 14 degrees — to crack an egg and see how quickly it froze.

Being responsible citizens, these investigative journalists did not crack the egg directly onto the sidewalk and risk the chance of creating a slip-and-fall lawsuit against Tribune Publishing. Instead, they placed a small frying pan on the Stetson Street sidewalk for about 20 minutes before beginning the experiment.

Once the cracked egg hit the pan, it immediately began freezing around the edges, looking as if it had been fried. The yolk was last to freeze, but it didn’t take long.

The eggsicle was fully frozen within four minutes. We flipped the pan upside down, jiggled it around, and it would not move.

Our grand scientific experiment worked, proving it is, indeed, cold enough to freeze an egg on the sidewalk in Chicago today.

But that’s not all we did. We tried to freeze a T-shirt and make maple syrup candy in the snow, both with various degrees of success.

We also left a banana outside for two hours, transforming it into an object solid enough to hammer a nail into Managing Editor Peter Kendall’s wall. We hung an award for best online journalism on said nail, obviously ensuring our victory next year.

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©2019 Chicago Tribune

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