Do you ever have one of those moments when you're walking down the street and you're passing a person on a cellphone who is in deep conversation about some Very Important Deal, oblivious to the rest of the world due to the urgency of his—and it's generally a he—activities, and you are stunned by a wave of sadness as you contemplate how the miracle of evolution has resulted in our becoming a species afflicted with mammoth self-importance and an almost deliberate denial of the reality that pretty much none of what we do will ever really mean anything, that what waits for us is oblivion and yet we're somehow [...]
Final NYC snow total for winter 2011/2012: 4.5 inches. We got 61 inches last year.#WelcomeToSpring
— Pat Kiernan (@patkiernan) March 19, 2012
Spring doesn't start until tomorrow, so maybe NY1 newspaper elf Pat Kiernan is summoning down the forces of nature upon us, but if this holds up (and, yeah, it will) we will remember it as the last time we were surprised by the lack of snow. Because from now on it is nothing but fires ahead.
If the weather were an actor we would all be talking about its phenomenal range. There's a chance of snow tomorrow, and then it will be back up near 50 on Friday. Next week will probably bring temperatures in the 70s and ice storms. It's crazy, I tells ya.
You know, the first ten years of my life were a non-stop barrage of the word "potential," and look at the sorry way I turned out. I wouldn't worry too much about the snow just yet. We're just gonna get stuck with rain and cold and darkness and the inexorable sense that life has been a series of missed opportunities and bad decisions and even though you know who you are it's too late to do anything about it and soon—but not soon enough—you'll be dead. I mean, there WILL be snow eventually. I think this winter's actually going to be kind of brutal. It's just not going [...]
You're born into this world alone And that's the way you leave it It's nothing really to bemoan You'd waste your time to grieve it
You spend your life careening through The happy and the sad Until you finally know what's true: There's much less good than bad
You make your way through gloom and pain You try your best and fail You languish through the fog and rain You sputter and you flail
Are you currently a frazzled mess of listlessness and torpor, dragging yourself through the streets with a thin film of perspiration on your upper lip and an increasingly painful chafing on your undercarriage? Have you found yourself more prone to irritation lately, finding annoyance in the most minor of incidents which would normally go unnoticed? Do you have a small ache in the back of your throat that you know is almost certainly an incipient cold brought about by moving back and forth between air conditioned rooms and offices and the fetid pool of viscous and ceaseless humidity that insinuates itself between whatever piece of clothing you've draped around [...]
So: "A poll due for release on Wednesday shows that a large majority of Americans believe that this year’s unusually warm winter, last year’s blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming. And by a 2-to-1 margin, the public says the weather has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years." Now, to be sure, it is only an online poll, and let's remember that linking specific weather events to "global warming" is what allows "climate skeptics" to pretend that an icy day in April disproves the idea that we are mucking up the climate, but if people really are starting [...]
It being tournament time, pretty much everyone is trying to get in on the action. I'm particularly amused by the Weather Channel's "search for the all-time favorite weather song" bracket, although the exclusion of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today" is somewhat troubling. What's your all-time favorite weather song? Tell etc. in the etc.!
It is rainy and dull out there this morning and not a little bit raw, although it will get warmer. It's Monday, the start of a new week, at the time of the year when we're all doing our best to convince ourselves that things will get better. They won't, but it probably doesn't hurt to pretend that they will. In the meantime, enjoy these curious cows and the puppy that entrances them, because, really, if we can't spend a minute or two appreciating the wonders of nature what hope do we have of even making it to Tuesday?
"International attempts at climate regulation have failed on a number of levels. With CO2 emissions rising much more than predicted between 2009 and 2010, the goal of capping global warming at a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius now seems elusive. But political interest in changing course has waned," reports Der Spiegel, ending with a rather grim quote from Jochem Marotzke, head of the German Climate Consortium: "The laws of nature will continue to function without remorse no matter what mankind does or allows." This is so very true that it seems unnecessary to even worry about anymore.
It is cold and grey and dull out there and the rain soaks you through and leaves you uncomfortable once you finally get indoors. You feel the weight of it all settling into your shoulders, burrowing under you skin, filling you with a sadness so severe it makes Duane Reade at dusk seem like a surprise party where all the people you love have gathered to tell you how much you mean to them. I could try to cheer you up by telling you that the rest of the week won't be too bad, but I think we all know that that's not going to keep you from [...]
If all goes according to plan, tomorrow will be the day that the weather finally catches up with the calendar. That weird sense of unease that we've all felt while waiting for the season to assert itself will finally be lifted, and we will be thrown headfirst into autumn. Finally, the feeling of promise we always have at this time of year—now we're going to get serious, this is when it's really going to happen for us—will settle in alongside the lower temperatures, the smell of smoke, playoff baseball and warm alcoholic drinks with breakfast. The feeling will last until, oh, the end of October, when the Christmas [...]
Confession: Some mornings when I am laying in bed and trying to soothe myself back to sleep in an attempt to forestall the inevitable horror that the day will bring once the cruel tyranny of the alarm clock forces me to admit defeat, I treat myself to a fantasy where everything ends. Now this is not some kind of apocalyptic vision; the cleansing fire promised by the Lord never appears. Instead, it is a simple but total cessation. Think about it: You stop being. The place you live in stops being. The people around you stop being. It all stops being. Your entire history disappears. The things you've done—the [...]
"Everybody has this uneasy feeling. This is weird. This is not good. It's a guilty pleasure. You're out enjoying this nice March weather, but you know it's not a good thing." —National Center for Atmospheric Research climate scientist Jerry Meehl discusses the unseasonable weather we have been experiencing recently. To wit: "Temperatures in the lower 48 states were 8.6 degrees above normal for March and 6 degrees higher than average for the first three months of the year, according to calculations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That far exceeds the old records." The good news is that at least we get to ride out our few [...]
You may be tempted, particularly with the lovely spell of weather we'll have over the next few days, to believe that everything is going to work out. That, not only have you gotten away with it, you've deserved to get away with it. I understand. Warm temperatures, the coming of spring, the slight hope that maybe the economy is turning around, the idea that after a certain point things can't get any worse and thus must get better: these are all reasons for optimism. Do not be fooled. No one ever gets away with it, we deserve nothing, the weather will grow cold again, whatever recovery we have will [...]
Tomorrow will be the darkest day of the year, but that is just a planetary distinction, as "it's the shortest amount of time between sunrise and sunset. This is caused by the Earth's relation to the sun, as well as the angle of the Earth's tilt." Really, the darkest day of the year is the day you wake up in the morning and realize that life's crushing meaninglessness has so insinuated itself into your very being that even the awareness of the mundane brutalities which characterize the empty actions that occur continuously as you're putting one foot in front of the other is no longer enough to register [...]
"Along with the now-familiar candles, downed trees across the driveway and the thawing hamburger meat taken from the freezer and tossed in the trash, the region’s latest freak storm, which left three million people without electricity, has left something else in its wake: increasing unease about just what is going on and what it means for the vast majority outside the relative stability of an underground urban power grid. No one can know for sure if this is just the eternally unpredictable chaos of weather on earth or it is something more ominous; call it the new abnormal. But in recent years, suburban and rural residents have found themselves facing [...]
Here’s this morning’s weather map, straight from the Weather Channel website. What do we see? Well, it's going to be a purple line in California, typical for this time of year. Mountain West will see a lot of Hs—how nice for them! And the lumpy, blue-and-red line down the East Coast will stay for the remainder of the week into the weekend. Wait, what? Okay, so maybe when you look at a weather map you have a vague sense of what's being indicated. Like, "hmm, those green clouds look ominous." But how did they get there? And what's going on with those other lines, letters and bumps?