Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

Winter in Japan

January 20, 2018

Think globally. Shiver locally.

February 28, 2015


The Democrat and Chronicle reported that this month will be the coldest month ever recorded in the history of Rochester, New York.

The same probably will be true of many other Northeastern U.S. cities.

Over in Boston, they got as much snow in a month as Anchorage, Alaska, gets in an average winter.

But we upstate New Yorkers shouldn’t mistake what’s going on in our region for what’s going on the the world.

As the map below shows, almost all the rest of the world is significantly warmer than usual.

Worldwide, last month was the second warmest January on record, and this month may well be the second warmest February on record worldwide.  We’re coming out of the hottest 12 months on record globally.

The world really is getting warmer, hard as that would be to believe if you lived on my street.

This is a kind of American exceptionalism I could do without.

NASA1-15-638x399 (more…)

The words for winter

February 25, 2015

winterSource: xkcd

It’s so cold a Jeep leaves its ice outline behind

February 24, 2015


jeep_frozen_sculpture.0Source: WITN, Greenville, N.C. (via Mike the Mad Biologist)

This accidental ice sculpture was created last week by a Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot of Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C., last week.  Evidently the driver warmed up the vehicle before starting it, and the Jeep separated from the ice without melting it.

We’re not used to really cold winters any more

February 13, 2015

coldSource: xkcd

Sestina d’Inverno by Anthony Hecht

February 9, 2011

Here in this bleak city of Rochester,
where there are twenty-seven words for “snow,”
not all of them polite, the wayward mind
basks in some Yucatan of its own making,
some coppery, sleek lagoon, or cinnamon island
alive with lemon tints and burnished natives,

and O that we were there. But here the natives
of this gray, sunless city of Rochester
have sown whole mines of salt about their land
(bare ruined Carthage that it is) while snow
comes down as if The Flood were in the making.
Yet on that ocean Marvell called the mind

an ark sets forth which is itself the mind,
bound for some pungent green, some shore whose natives
blend coriander, cayenne, mint in making
roasts that would gladden the Earl of Rochester
with sinfulness, and melt a polar snow.
It might be well to remember that an island

was blessed heaven once, more than an island,
the grand, utopian dream of a noble mind.
In that kind climate the mere thought of snow
was but a wedding cake; the youthful natives,
unable to conceive of Rochester,
made love, and were acrobatic in the making.

Dream as we may, there is far more to making
do than some wistful reverie of an island,
especially now when hope lies with the Rochester
Gas and Electric Co., which doesn’t mind
such profitable weather, while the natives
sink, like Pompeians, under a world of snow.

The one thing indisputable here is snow,
the single verity of heaven’s making,
deeply indifferent to the dreams of the natives,
and the torn hoarding-posters of some island.
Under our igloo skies the frozen mind
Holds to one truth: it is grey, and called Rochester.

No island fantasy survives Rochester,
where to the natives destiny is snow
that is neither to our mind nor of our making.


A 20-hour snowfall in 40 seconds

December 31, 2010

This was taken in Belmont, New Jersey by a man named Mike Black during the big blizzard last weekend.  He put a camera on a tripod, set it to take a picture every five minutes and produced this time lapse video.

Hat tip to Jason Kottke

Winter, my wonderful car and globalization

February 26, 2010

Nine inches of snow fell overnight here in Rochester, N.Y., and I had to get out and about this morning before the snowplow crews had time to clear my street.  I thought about my car and how it compared to the first cars I owned back in the 1960s.

Back then, you had to think about whether your car would start on a cold winter morning. To be safe, you had to run your car in neutral the night before for 10 or 15 minutes to charge the battery, and then again in the morning. I never even think about it now.  I just turn the ignition in my 2006 Saturn Ion-2, which of course has an alternator, and I take it for granted that it starts.

When I first moved to Rochester in the mid-1970s, rustproofing your car was a big deal.  I unfortunately made the choice of an inexpensive undercoating job rather than a premium service, and lived to regret it. Now, with my plastic card, rust is not something I have to think about.

Under conditions I drove in this morning, I would have expected to get stuck several times.  I was in fact on the verge of getting stuck a couple of times, but my car had good enough traction to keep going.

Compared to the first cars I owned, my present car is like something out of science fiction.  I won’t even mention the Global Positioning System and the other technological bells and whistles I don’t care about.

General Motors Corp., the maker of my car, is losing money and has divested the Saturn brand. Yet back in the 1960s and 1970s, when quality wasn’t nearly as good as it is today, GM was making money hand over first.  That is what it is to compete in a global economy.

When I was a high school student, I got straight As without having to work hard.  When I sent to college, I found I had many classmates who had straight As in high school.  I studied harder and learned more in college than I ever did in high school, but my grades were not as good.

Likewise with the United States in the world economy.  Our industries have to do better just to hold their own than they once did to reign supreme. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hold our own.