A Fine Whine
Amazingly, meteorologists are people too. Well, on a good day. We get just as annoyed with lousy weather as everyone else, even though it offers some (perverse) level of job security. Should we be clinical and unemotional? "Just the facts ma'am." Or do we hold up a mirror and reflect some of the weather-related joy, dread & angst we witness all around us? I still struggle with this.
Ron Reimann of Arden Hills has had enough "Debbie Downer" weather updates. "....I’m convinced the depth of our 4 seasons is part of what makes Minnesotans so vibrant and healthy. Each of our 4 seasons demands changes in our lives and keeps us from getting into as much of a rut" he wrote. "Can’t you celebrate that a little more and help make that our mental model here, instead of fostering this “poor us” mentality?....."
Ron has a point. Reacting to extreme and violent weather (that often tries to murder us) has fostered resilience & innovation - it's FORCED us to adapt and improve. I'm usually a glass-half-full guy, but this winter tested my patience too, I admit.
We won't see much of spring into Friday; a chilly relapse gives way to 50s next weekend. Then again, no slush, no early mosquito bites, no blaring severe storm sirens or widespready flood warnings. It could be worse.
I'm trying, Ron. I really am.
Ask Paul. Weather-related questions and comments:
Paul and Todd,
First, I am weather nut and outdoor enthusiast, and so I love your passion for weather and all you do.
But, I find myself developing some sort of complex about living in Minnesota with your column and Tribune summary paragraph constantly referring to winter weather as something to fly to Florida to get away from.
Read your last 10 tribune summaries, how many are like some therapy session trying to console us like we are living here against our will!
I’m convinced the depth of our 4 seasons is part of what makes Minnesotans so vibrant and healthy. Each of our 4 seasons demands changes in our lives and keeps us from getting into as much of a rut.
Can’t you celebrate that a little more and help make that our mental model here, instead of fostering this “poor us” mentality. You can do it!
This is written with a smile and positive energy and with a constructive spirit (and yes I do have a full spectrum lamp on next to me!)
Arden Hills, MN
- Change your password every few months. Because so many of our transactions are conducted online, this is a good practice to have no matter what. But to be extra safe, use , which typically means you need to know a piece of information — like a password — and have a piece of information, like a freshly generated pass code that shows up only on your personal smartphone, before getting into certain sites.
- Be a little leery of public Wi-Fi networks. If you are hopping on the Wi-Fi at Starbucks and other public places, limit your Internet behavior to the things you wouldn't mind people being able to find out and transactions that aren't especially sensitive..."
The Most Dangerous Words In Tech. Government investments (often in military technology) trickle down and become the foundation for "innovative new breakthroughs" in Silicon Valley? Here's a clip of another story worthy of your time at The New York Times: "...Speaking at the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference in Toronto this week, Mariana Mazzucato, a professor at the University of Sussex, described the most notable technology innovations as coming from the government, not the private sector. “What made the iPhone ‘smart’ — GPS, touch screens, Siri, the Internet — was started by the government,” said Ms. Mazzucato. “The National Institutes of Health is responsible for creating the most revolutionary drugs.” Her recent book, The Entrepreneurial State , is about contributions the government has made to innovations Silicon Valley claims as its own..."
* "Fire and Ice" photo above courtesy of Steve Burns.
U.N. Climate Panel Warns Speedier Action Needed To Avoid Disaster. Here's an excerpt of a Justin Gillis article on the latest IPCC climate summary in the New York Times: "...It remains technically possible to keep planetary warming to a tolerable level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found, according to a report unveiled here. But even in parts of the world like Europe that have tried hardest, governments are still a long way from taking the steps that are sufficient to do the job, the experts found. “We cannot afford to lose another decade,” said Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and co-chairman of the committee that wrote the report. “If we lose another decade, it becomes extremely costly to achieve climate stabilization...”
* The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC is here.
Graphic credit above: "Humanity’s choice (via IPCC): Aggressive climate action ASAP (left figure) minimizes future warming. Continued inaction (right figure) results in catastrophic levels of warming, 9°F over much of U.S. The latest IPCC report finds the annual cost of avoiding that catastrophe is a mere 0.06% of annual growth."