Monthly Archives: January 2018

Wind Chill and Black Ice

We are just getting over a cold stretch here in Georgia. Over night temperatures in the teens and twenties (F) which is unusual for the southern US. Had about an inch of snow on Tuesday. Since the southern US municipalities are not equipped for snow removal and icy road treatment; everything comes to a halt until it thaws. Schools and government offices close. Luckily temperatures do not stay below freezing for long and the snow and ice melts in a day or so.

I have commented in the past about the media’s penchant for the dramatic for any occasion; even if drama is not appropriate. Our weather event was no exception:

Wind Chill –
When temperatures drop below normal it seems the weather reporters are not satisfied that the actual temperature reading are dramatic enough, they switch to reporting “wind chill” temperatures instead of actual. Seems that they feel that 19 degrees wind chill is more dramatic than reporting the actual temperature of 24. I realize that there is some science behind calculating wind chill by combining temperature and wind speed values in order to express how cold it might feel. But, I do not need them to tell me how cold it “feels” rather than how cold it “is”. Every individual is different and reacts to cold slightly differently. I am the only one who can decide how cold I feel when it is cold out. The weather reporters should stick to reporting the facts and let us decide how cold we feel at a certain temperature.

Black Ice –
On wintry days reporters like to caution against “black ice”. News flash, ice is frozen water. Water is colorless and ice is typically transparent. Pavement is black, regardless of how warm or cold it is. So, when you have a thin sheet of ice on top of pavement and you look at it you see the black pavement beneath the transparent layer of ice. But it is just “ice”! It is not “black ice”! Why can’t they just report that there is ice on the road?

Football and the Consequences of the War on Terror

Big collage football game in Atlanta Georgia last night. SEC final with Georgia and Alabama playing. Sadly Georgia lost. President Trump even attended the game. However, football is not the topic of today’s comments. As I watched the morning news on TV the day before the game, it emphasized how much society has changed in the last few years. When the US president attends any large function, security is heightened as we would expect. However, even before the presidential visit was known, the media was reporting the considerations for anyone attending the game.

The weather forecast was predicting a chance of rain, however no umbrellas allowed. No backpacks or cases of any kind. Anything that you did carry had to be in a clear plastic bag. Every person going into the stadium would be screened individually so expect long lines to get in. There would be bomb sniffing dogs everywhere inside and outside the stadium. Snipers would be on rooftops around the stadium. Police presence would be heavy, both uniformed and plain cloths. Traffic around the stadium would be severely restricted so you must walk to the stadium or take public transit. Remember, all this in the rain with no umbrellas allowed.

The point of this commentary is that all this talk of excessive security at a collage football game reminded me of how drastically different our lives are now, compared to a few years ago. The threat of attack by radical Islamic Terrorists and other madmen has severely altered personal freedoms. Any public place or event must be treated like an armed camp. Sporting events become military style operations. Never again will Americans be able to be free and enjoy recreational activities as they please. Other countries seem to have similar issues. When in a public place all your actions and behaviors must be modified so that you can prove that you are not a threat to others. Of course there is a cost to all this extra security, so now the simple act of living gets more expensive (we all indirectly pay for this extra security).

I certainly understand why all these things must be done. It will likely get even worse as time goes on. I really do not see any logical alternative. But it is still sad to see society go this way. Where will it go from here. All society housed in prison type camps under 24 hour armed guard for our own protection? So sad!