Ice Bucket Challenge

I’m assuming at this point that you’ve heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge.

I’d heard about it. And it struck me as something fun and silly. But I didn’t have much desire to participate.

For one thing, I already do a bunch of charity work with Worldbuilders.

For another thing, I live in Wisconsin. That means for about 3 months out of every year just walking outside is like getting a bucket of ice dumped over your head.

I figured I’d be tagged eventually. But my intention was to smile, nod, make a donation, and move on with my life. I’m kinda busy these days….

Then this happened:

If it had been anyone other than Jim Butcher….

But that doesn’t matter, I guess. It was Jim. So I figured it was time to cowboy up.

I know, I know, I only called out two people. Sue me. I had dry ice bubbling around my precious nethers, so I wasn’t operating at 100%. And it wasn’t like we could go back and do a second take.

Who would I call out for my third if I had a chance to go back and change it? Joss Whedon? Felicia Day? Tina Fey? Max Temkin? Molly Lewis? Tad Williams? The Oatmeal?

The problem is I don’t know who’s already done it. I kinda live under a rock, and I’ve been sick these last couple days (I have no idea why.) So we’ll just leave that third one hanging. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to do the challenge, this is it.

So. There you go. Share the videos. Donate. Spread the word….


P.S. I would just like it to be known that I wasn’t responsible for editing together the video. My semi-loyal crew did that. You’d think it would be enough to let them douse me with buckets of ice and water. But no, they had to tuck in that little bit at the end, too….

P.P.S. Don’t goof around with dry ice if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s really easy to burn yourself. Or so I hear….

This entry was posted in dicking around, hubris, Jim Butcher, my dumbness, Oot. By Pat40 Responses


  1. krysteline
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    That was awesome! Way to bring it, and as a sidenote, Oot’s hair is soo long :)

    • Posted October 2, 2014 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

      Cool visualization of the viral spread of this ALS fundraiser:

      (I didn’t have the nerve to try embedding it here – the HTML isn’t among those listed in the “Post Comment” field.)

  2. JJLeggo
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    I Have burned myself with dry ice (I used to work as a biologist, and foolishly picked up some of the stuff before realizing what I was doing), and my very first thought when I saw what you were dumping on your head was that you were going to be in pain for a few days…

    Hope you are okay!

  3. Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    Damn you, Rothfuss.

  4. Ruhne
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    Way to step up! This was pretty damn creative!
    This ALS this has really blown up, makes one think that
    maybe wordbuilders could try to create an awareness campaign.
    I wouldn’t of been able to say no to Jim either.

  5. firebird
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    That was pretty cool. Someone with the resources should try liquid nitrogen, I’ve seen a couple videos of people dipping their hand in it.

    • Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

      Holy moley. That’s a, um . . . I don’t recommend dipping your hand, or anything else, into liquid nitrogen. It’s at negative 70 Fahrenheit.

      Unless you’d like to make a video of using your hand as a hammer to pound in a nail. I think you’d only have time to pound in one nail, if you could keep thinking as the pain kicks in. . .

      I use liquid nitrogen at my work. It’s fun, in small quantities, and it’s really, really good at freezing things. But touching it is to be avoided.

      • Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

        Yeah. I’m going to officially veto this as well.

        If you fuck up with dry ice, you’ll get the equivalent of a mild burn.

        Liquid nitrogen is entirely different. MUCH colder. You’ll fuck yourself up with that.

      • kvhchem
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

        We use liquid nitrogen on a regular basis for cooling traps for our low pressure vacuums. Thinking about the physics is crazy, as the volume of a sample of liquid N2 increases 645 fold from its liquid state to a room temperature gas. I may have (stupidly) seen this first hand as a young graduate student after pouring a small quantity into a sealed coke bottle.

        Also, liquid N2 is much more scary cold, coming in at -321 degrees fahrenheit (-192 degrees celsius). So yeah, no liquid nitrogen challenges.

        • Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

          Oops, shows you how long it’s been since my chemistry classes.

          It’s damn cold. That, I know.

      • mcnamara12
        Posted August 26, 2014 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

        Liquid nitrogen is a lot colder than -70 degrees Fahrenheit; it’s actually about -346 degrees. You may have seen someone dip their hand in briefly, as it boils around their hand and there’s a protective layer of nitrogen vapor around your hand for a bit. If you poured a bucket of it on yourself, it could soak into your clothes and hair, which would keep it around you longer, and increase the chance of injury.
        When I was in grad school, I was a TA for a lab that used liquid nitrogen with a bunch of freshmen college students. I had to deliver warnings about this (and about not drinking it) all the time. We all wore plastic aprons, to keep any spills from soaking into our clothes.

      • firebird
        Posted September 4, 2014 at 4:59 AM | Permalink

        Whays that about mixing liquid nitrogen with piss and it ends up tasting like delicious candy?

    • priscellie
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

      Liquid nitrogen in water is a TERRIBLE idea. Not just because of risk of burning, but because the nitrogen gas on the surface (as we saw the dry ice do) could crowd out the oxygen available for Pat to breathe, and he could pass out in the bathtub.

      The body’s “oh crap I’m suffocating” alarm is based on 1) not inhaling ANY gas or 2) an overabundance of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, so breathing pure CO2 is painful. However, with pure nitrogen (or some other inert gas, like helium), there’s no panic response. You just fall asleep, peaceful as can be. And if you remain in that environment, you don’t wake up.

      Two NASA technicians on the Columbia mission, John Bjornstad and Forrest Cole, died this way, and three more of their colleagues passed out but were able to be revived. When the geniuses at a Jägermeister pool party in Mexico poured liquid nitrogen in a pool, it left one man in a coma and eight others ill.

      You don’t struggle. You don’t panic. You just feel a little sluggish in the forty-odd seconds before you black out and the nitrogen shuts down your brain.

      And that’s why you don’t fuck with liquid nitrogen unless you REALLY know what you’re doing. :D

  6. Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Now Oot will definitely believe you’re a wizard, thanks to the dry ice.

    The coolest Ice Bucket Challenge video I’ve seen, along with the Patrick Stewart’s.

    • SporkTastic
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

      Wait, he’s not a wizard?

  7. LynnA
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    One of the best. I couldn’t say no to those who challenged me either… instead of a well-known person, it was my grandsons; however, my video wasn’t nearly as imaginative. I guess that’s why you’re an author and I’m not.

  8. Thebackpack
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    I have been waiting for an excuse (my dad has ALS) so I’ll claim the final challenge!

    • angledge
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

      I like that! Yes, be the third!

      • Thebackpack
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

        I’ll post the link here when I’m done!

  9. Naruedyoh
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    And this made wothy my day

  10. Eli N. Lockne
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

    I waited day and night for this video, and now i am not able to see it.
    Swedes are always unlucky, ALWAYS.

    • Thebackpack
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

      Really? I could see it just fine.. Are you at work?

      • Eli N. Lockne
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

        Nope. At home. This is really weird, i think.

        • MacBettan
          Posted August 26, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

          I can’t see it either and I’m Swedish! We’re jinxed!!

  11. Gourey
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    Sad day, my phone won’t play the video and I’m not having any luck in finding it anywhere else. I may have to purchase a new computer finally so I can see this amazingness.

  12. Vainilla
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    This was definitely the best bday gift ever!! Seriously Pat, you are an amazing person
    Greetings from Mexico ;D

  13. Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    Countless challenges, but it took this bathtub wizardry to finally take me to the donation site & fill in the form. Brilliant :D

  14. priscellie
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    This is a thing of untold glory. So glad Jim was able to push you over the fence about participating!

  15. avidreadergirl
    Posted August 26, 2014 at 12:34 AM | Permalink

    Great take on the challenge! You are a very good sport and using the dry ice was a genius idea.

    I was hoping to find the link to donate in the blog under the video, I thought that was what you meant with pointing down… not that you’d had it tattooed on your… calves or something like that.

    (trying very hard to keep my mind out of the underthing)

  16. anmari
    Posted August 26, 2014 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

    Videos not visible on iphone from Australia either.

    • christie
      Posted August 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

      It worked on my iphone when I clicked the link posted in the twitter feed on the right of the blog.

  17. Karissima
    Posted August 26, 2014 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    This cheered me, greatly. More cheer than hot tea and a new book (excepting a few awaited books, of course).

  18. Brady Dill
    Posted August 26, 2014 at 6:51 PM | Permalink


    I’m contacting you here because I know this is the one place you’re sure to read comments–in the Madrid Espacio Fundacio Telefonica interview, you said that Sanderson wrote 11 books and then published the 11th, but he actually wrote twelve books and then published the 6th. That’s why he published so fast at first–he had a backlog of six unpublished books he had already written.

  19. Posted August 26, 2014 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    Very nice version of the ALS ice thing! I’m sort of surprised that no one mentioned that dry ice is carbon dioxide which is a poisonous gas, when in the gas phase. And putting solid carbon dioxide in warm water causes it to sublimate rapidly. If Pat had dunked his head below the lip of the tub and took in a deep breath, it could have been very bad. It’s a good thing CO2 is more dense than air.

    • Moryndia
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

      I hope I don’t sound mean, I don’t want to be mean but I like when I learn things so here goes: asheft, you do realize you breathe in some CO2 on a regular basis right? You consume it in soda and you exhale a lot more of it? It is not poisonous exactly and Mr. Rothfuss bending down an inhaling one breath would not put him in a world of hurt provided he sat up and took in a breath of regular oxygen rich air.

      According to About Education, “Ordinarily, carbon dioxide is not poisonous. It diffuses from your cells into your bloodstream and from there out via your lungs, yet it is always present throughout your body. However, if you breathe high concentrations of carbon dioxide or re-breathe air (such as from a plastic bag or tent), you may be at risk for carbon dioxide intoxication or even carbon dioxide poisoning.”

      So your premise that gaseous CO2 is poisonous is wrong, a stream of too much of it for too long is bad also. You get 1/2 points?

      • Brady Dill
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

        …”However, if you breathe high concentrations of carbon dioxide…you may be at risk for carbon dioxide intoxication or even carbon dioxide poisoning.”

        Of course CO2 isn’t poisonous in everyday concentrations. asheft’s point was that the CO2 at the lip of the tub was extremely concentrated, so breathing it directly, without oxygen, could have been harmful.

      • Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

        Interesting fact: (to make up for my ignorance about the actual temperature of liquid nitrogen)

        If any of us were to start holding our breath, there are two alarms that go off. The first is from the rising CO2 level in our blood, and that’s what generally regulates our breathing. However, that one can be ignored. Maybe there’s a bad smell, or you are swimming. . . The second alarm is from the falling O2 level in the blood, and that one can not be ignored. Even a drowning person will attempt to inhale, at the end.

        Human babies less than (roughly) 12 weeks old don’t have the CO2 alarm. They have the oxygen alarm, but not the carbon dioxide alarm. This can lead to some funky breathing patterns where first the baby breathes too fast, and then too slow, even coming to a halt sometimes. I was told in my pediatric residency that for a newborn, up to 12 seconds without taking a breath is not “apnea,” it’s “periodic breathing.” However I challenge anyone to look at a newborn who is not breathing and wait for anything longer than 3 seconds before becoming alarmed!

        I was told that the lack of reaction to high CO2 levels in newborns was due to “immaturity.” My non-scientific theory as to why this is involves the time spent not respiring during the birth process. I wonder if newborns don’t have the CO2 alarm to save most of them from getting PTSD just from being born.

        Anyway, the lack of a CO2 alarm is why we advise to put little babies to sleep on their backs. The key is to have lots of fresh air around their face. If you put a newborn into a position where they are rebreathing their own exhaled air, this easily leads to suffocation, because they don’t react to the rising CO2 level (sort of like the situation with pure nitrogen gas described above).

  20. manchuwok
    Posted September 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    I enjoyed this video, but Pat you missed an epic opportunity to slowly raise your arms out of the depths, the trailing wake of swirling mists revealing the wizard that you are.

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