As if it itsn't cold enough around here... may I present the poor man's cryo-cooler. For this project you will need the following:
Alcohol, the purer the better. Don't use less than 99% isopropyl
A tall soda can (16 oz) (a shorter one would probably work fine).
A plastic vessel the soda can fits in but leaves a little room on the sides.
3lbs of dry ice.
Long pants and long sleeve shirt
Aluminized mylar blanket "space blanket"
The alcohol bath gets down to -77F (-60C). While not as cold as liquid nitrogen, this stuff also doesn't immediately turn to gas when in contact with your skin. Instead it will cling to your skin like cold napalm continuing to burn until it finally reaches an equilibrium temperature.
Do not let the chilled alcohol touch your skin and take great pains not to have an accident. If the alcohol spills on your clothing, remove it without delay. If you are too slow, it will freeze the article of clothing to you. If it does, do not attempt to pull hard; you will only succeed in removing a chunk of meat from the affected area on your body. In any event, seek medical assistance immediately.
Do not breathe the CO2 vapor and do not perform this procedure in an enclosed area. A buildup of 10% CO2 in an enclosed space can kill you in under 15 minutes. If you experience headache, sweating, rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, mental depression, visual disturbances or shaking, immediately leave the area where the experiment is happening, alerting any others in the area of your situation.
After drinking the contents, cut the top off of the soda can with the toenail clippers. The technique is to place the jaws of the clippers over the crimped edge on the top of the can, then squeeze the lever while moving the non-cutting end of the clippers away from the center of the can. When it cuts through the aluminum you will hear a soft click. Work around the top of the can until the whole top comes off.
Rinse the inside of the can to remove any of the original contents and dry thoroughly. Be careful, the cut edge will be razor sharp. To make it safer, I bend the tapered edge inside the can little by little bending it by hand and working my way around. Precision is not required.
Drill several holes in the side of the plastic container at the top and bottom. Place the can inside the plastic container making sure that there is some room for the air to flow around the can inside the container. See the drawn illustration.
We will use the space blanket to wrap the dry ice in for storage. Unfold it completely, then loosely fold it in half 3-4 times. This will yield several layers of the material with air layers between, making it very insulative, denying radiation, convection, and conduction as methods of heat transfer.
Wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt when doing the next steps. Put on the gloves and eye protection. Place the dry ice on a solid surface and break it with the hammer into pieces small enough to drop into the can. If you can, collect the dust that chips off the dry ice and dump that in the can as well. The can will make some haunted house noises as it contracts from the extreme cold, this is normal.
Completely fill the can with dry ice chunks. Place the remainder of the dry ice in the center of the space blanket and wrap it up, keeping the mylar layers fluffy. Slowly pour the alcohol into the can. It will cause the dry ice to sublimate into CO2 pretty violently with the characteristic fog.
DO NOT breathe this. CO2 is not a breathable gas, and it will contain the isopropyl alcohol in an aerosol. This would be profoundly bad for and to you, not get you high.
Keep adding the alcohol until the dry ice is covered in liquid. You will notice that the alcohol does not freeze, but instead gets thicker. As it approaches the consistency of thick motor oil you will notice the bubbling begin to calm down. This is because the alcohol is near the sublimation point of the dry ice, around -77F (-60C).
At this point you can put the assembly into a cooler, and the convection flow around the can will cool the air inside the cooler. Just drop a lump of dry ice in occasionally to maintain the temperatures. I will report the temperatures in the cooler shown over time.
You can also freeze things like flowers or gummy bears by dipping them briefly in the alcohol bath. These will shatter when dropped or struck with a hammer. Most cryo experiments will work reasonably well at these temps, but bear in mind that Methanol and isopropyl alcohols are not food safe. Use pure ethanol for food experiments.
Another good use is to demonstrate the hazards of extreme cold. Take a hot dog and place it in a work glove finger. Place this finger in the chilled alcohol for a couple of minutes. Remove the glove and simulated finger from the bath, shaking off the excess alcohol. Strike the glove finger against a hard object like a wall or steel hand rail. If the glove stays together, there will be cracks, but the hot dog will have shattered in the glove, just as a finger would have.