Ice skating, without the ice

    Listen
    Look Mom

    Look Mom

    Understanding the ice surrounding us and why, exactly, it makes us slip.

    In this winter of our discontent, traction has become a focal point of how we dress, how we drive, and even how we walk. But we’ve been noticing something counterintuitive when it comes to the slipperiness of our commutes in the past month or so. On the warmer days following a snow, as the ice melts, releasing the frozen sidewalks and streets from its frigid grip, things actually get more slippery.

    Wouldn’t one assume that the coldest day would be the least traction-friendly? We asked our reporter in Fishtown, Drexel medical student Avir Mitra, to see if he could track down an answer. He started his counterintuitive quest at an ironic location: an artificial skating rink in Northern Liberties, where kids of all ages don skates and glide gracefully to and fro without the help of ice.

    Click on the yellow audio icon above to hear the full story.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.