"Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it" Mark Twain mused. Little has changed since 1889. The weather still affects an estimated 30 percent of America's GDP; everything from agricultural yields to transportation, supply chains and tourism.
Why weather? Because I'm not nearly smart enough to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer. And there's the intellectual challenge of attempting to predict the weather AND communicate the implications.
That, and some great toys. Um, tech. Soon, Doppler radar on my car dashboard, Google Glass, maybe my molars?
In my 31 years here in Minnesota I've never seen locals so disgusted by winter. None of us will (ever) take spring for granted again. We needed this warm front.
Expect 60s into Saturday with a growing chance of showers. The atmosphere may be just unstable enough for the first thunderclaps of 2014 by Saturday, heralding the arrival of a cooler, March-like airmass the first half of next week. As long as it doesn't snow I'll be able to walk the dog without looking over my shoulder.
Lake ice is thinning, dirty snow piles shrinking. No bugs, ghastly dew points or severe storm warnings to complicate matters. This year we'll ease into spring.
The Future Of "Made In America" Is Tesla, Not Ford. Quartz has the story; here's a clip: "...The giant F150 topped cars.com’s American-Made index last year, which measures where parts come from, where the car is assembled, and sales. But that could soon change. According to Morgan Stanley, Tesla vehicles could soon claim the top spot on that list, once the company’s much-vaunted $6-billion gigafactory to produce its own lithium-ion batteries is up and running. By then, more than 90% of the stuff used to build Tesla’s cars might be from America, according to Morgan Stanley, compared to 75% for the F-150..."
Swiss Unveil New Solar Plane For Global Flight. Just when you thought you'd seen everything, along comes this story from AP and ABC News: "The Swiss-made airplane built for the first round-the-world solar flight has wings longer than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet yet weighs only about as much as a large car. The Solar Impulse 2, unveiled to the world Wednesday at Switzerland's Payerne Air Force Base, is a bigger and better version of the single-seater prototype that first took flight five years ago. The original plane demonstrated that a solar-powered plane can fly through the night, hop from Europe to Africa and cross the width of the United States..."
In The End, People May Really Just Want To Date Themselves. We're a society of narcisists? Imagine that. FiveThirtyEight has the head-scratching story; here's an excerpt: "...The data reveals a clear pattern: People are interested in people like themselves. Women on eHarmony favor men who are similar not just in obvious ways — age, attractiveness, education, income — but also in less apparent ones, such as creativity. Even when eHarmony includes a quirky data point — like how many pictures are included in a user’s profile — women are more likely to message men similar to themselves. In fact, of the 102 traits in the data set, there was not one for which women were more likely to contact men with opposite traits..."1
Photo credit above: "Beijing artist Liang Kegang poses with the jar of fresh air collected in Provence, France, in an art gallery in Beijing, China. The jar of air has fetched $860." Photograph: Didi Tang/AP.
Photo credit above: " " Credit Olivia Locher for The New York Times.
* You can watch Episode 1 here.
10 Places To Visit Before They're Gone: A Bucket List For A Warming World. Alarmist and premature? I sure hope so. Here's a clip from Grist: "Summer is just around the corner and, after a winter like this one, it’s high time to start making those vacation plans. Of course, our buoyant spirits were somewhat dampened by the latest U.N. climate report. Spoiler alert, it wasn’t real good, well, unless you’re into horrific droughts, monster storms, heat waves, mass extinctions, failing crops, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria, in which case, jackpot!..."