Wednesday, January 08, 2014

What is There to Say?

About the time this post is published we will probably be above 0 degrees F. for the first time in about 80 hours. It sure has made the news, broken records, closed schools, and given us Minnesotans something more to talk about.

Cold? Eh?

Ya betcha'

Stay warm.
Yes, there were those who brought out the old trope
When I was young...
and proceed to tell us about the two-way uphill climb, at least 5 miles long, in shoulder-deep snow with cold enough to freeze...

...well you know the story.

Don't believe it. It didn't happen. These are called record colds because, simply, they have never happened before. One of our local TV weather forecasters said that the longest streak below zero was 7 days
  • and it was in 1912... 102 years ago.
I know, you remember, like I do, those bitter cold mornings walking to school. I was a school crossing guard the winter of 1959-60 when I was in 6th grade. I swear it was bitterly cold. Frigid.

So, just to prove it I searched for weather records online and found out that, well, it was warmer than I remember it. For example, in January and February the lowest temp was 14 degrees F. on Feb.14. There were three days in the beginning of March when there were single digit lows, but the high temps got almost to freezing.

That may be why it seemed to be so cold. The temps were never all that cold (compared to what we have just been going through.) Many days actually had high temps above freezing, not something that happens around here this time of year. We never got accustomed to the lower temperatures, because they didn't stay around all that long.

Isn't it a shame that our memories are not nearly as perfect as we like to think they are. In fact they are quite subjective. Telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth- but only as I remember it.

Elizabeth Loftus has a TED talk on the fiction of memory.

It's times like this that I believe her.

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