Go Boston (just stay away from here)

Snowstorm Heading for Boston Could Break City's All-time Snow Record - Yahoo

"This is in anticipation of another round of snow on the way Sunday evening. Boston has experienced its second snowiest season so far with 102 inches of snow, only 5.6 inches away from the all-time record set during the 1995-1996 season."

(We could get another three inches tomorrow night, but sooner or later it’s got to stop, right?)

Because ice

Wet ice. It was just below freezing this afternoon, but sunny. That makes for wet ice, and lots of it, on the sidewalks. And wet ice is slipperier than, well, ice.

I tried two different routes to the grocery store, gave up on both, and visited the nearest junk-food emporium instead. That's my excuse. Open season on junk food until Monday.

We might get over freezing a few times next week and maybe some of this stuff will just go away.

The not-imaginary month

Coldest Month Ever: Northeast Bids a Bitter Goodbye to February - NBC News.com

"The Northeast woke up to another frigid morning on Saturday. And the first day of March should feel — well, a lot like the end of February. The forecast low for Sunday is 15 in New York, 2 in Buffalo and an even zero in Albany, New York."

Warmer soon, but first one more winter storm, say forecasters.


Not until just now

The Slurpee Waves of Nantucket — Stay Wild Magazine

"Dang! Have you ever seen waves get so cold they turn to slurpee?"

Bye, February

But might not be swimming for a while. 

Back to work after 30 years

Thanks, Charlie!

We're feeling just a little better now

Donald Trump says he's 'serious' about 2016 bid. Shark, jumped? - CSMonitor.com

"Trump will move to Maine and raise beets before he runs for president. It’s not happening, no way, no chance, let’s be real."

A lot of physics in this

The Science of Why No One Agrees on the Color of This Dress | WIRED

"The fact that a single image could polarize the entire Internet into two aggressive camps is, let’s face it, just another Thursday."

We'll settle for some good old DST

Jet Lag Is Worse on Mars - The Atlantic

"‘When we landed the Mars Pathfinder, we did Mars time,’ Trosper said in a phone interview from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. ‘That’s the first time we ever did Mars time.’ They stayed on Mars time for only a month. Having an extra 40 minutes to the day every day quickly added up—the difference between 6 p.m. on Earth and 6:40 p.m. on Mars one week turned into the difference between 6 p.m. on Earth and 11:20 p.m. on Mars a week later. Unlike time-zone differences, where the time on the clock is different but days pass in the same 24-hour increments, the time differences between Earth and Mars compound quickly."

And good news, too

Why Everyone Was Wrong About Net Neutrality - The New Yorker

"It has been a tough year for what once passed as conventional wisdom."

Getting trashy in Boston

Snow hampers Boston’s trash collection - Metro - The Boston Globe

"With weeks of debilitating storms that covered the city in more than 100 inches of snow, trash collection has become a daunting mission. In some areas, garbage bins and dumpsters sit buried deep in snow, hidden behind colossal snowbanks or dangerously perched atop mounds of snow. Drivers must navigate icy roads with remarkable skill and precision to avoid damaging vehicles on the street."

ISIS schoolmarms in Wisconsin

Scott Walker steals the show at CPAC | New York Post

"Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday that his experience taking on thousands of union protesters in his state helped prepare him to take on terrorists across the world."

And this guy they applaud?

We've come a long, long way…

…when we can be happy the President is involved in “no major scandal."

Axelrod: No 'major scandal' in Obama White House | TheHill

"‘I think that says a lot about the ethical strictures of this administration,’ he added. "


The U.S. Congress, of course, is the greatest work avoidance club on the planet

Dem: Believe science or ‘senator with the snowball’ | TheHill

"Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on Thursday…said that you could either believe ‘every major American scientific society,’ the Navy, NASA, and Pope Francis that climate change is real or ‘you can believe the senator with the snowball.…

"Inhofe threw the snowball as part of an effort to dismiss climate change. The Oklahoma Republican said the snowball was from outside in Washington, using cold weather to argue against claims that greenhouse gases are behind an increase in the earth’s temperature.

"'It’s a snowball. And it’s just from outside here. So it’s very, very cold out. Very unseasonable,' Inhofe said. "


Dummy down

Ouch. Cold, dry, dry weather will loosen joints. Don't let this happen to you.

And you thought being a Congresscritter was an easy job

Lawmaker's Quest for Cookie Crumbles - Heard on the Hill

"‘Uh oh! Noooo!’ he said, as he looked at an empty cookie rack. ‘Say it isn’t so!’"

Don't let this happen to you (and other chilly stories)

New round of winter weather dumps more snow on the South

"A pipe that burst during Michigan's deep freeze is being blamed for flooding the lower levels of a mostly vacant 38-story building in downtown Detroit with 2 million gallons of water."


The drip cycle


Obama Administration Using Century-Old Racist Case Law to Block Citizenship | Mother Jones

"Over the past century, Congress has passed laws guaranteeing birthright citizenship to residents of US territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. But American Samoa, a Pacific Island chain that is home to some 55,000 people, is the lone exception. American Samoans are classified as noncitizen nationals."

What ever happened to just plain…books?

Book Review: 'A Darker Shade of Magic' By V. E. Schwab : NPR

"A Darker Shade Of Magic reads with the ease of a young-adult novel, with short paragraphs, quick-moving prose, and plenty of action. But it's grimmer even than the current bout of post-Hunger Games YA."

The book in question is described as an adult (as opposed to young-adult) (and also as opposed to “adult,” which is a whole other thing) novel. I am confused.

Fortunately I don’t like “magic’ books much, but still. On what shelf would one put, say. A Tale of Two Cities today? Ancient-adult, maybe.

Dream big

This Is the Best Reason Why a Newspaper Has Ever Withheld a Source's Identity | Mother Jones

Lakes both Great and very cold

The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory is showing total ice cover of 84.4 percent as of Feb. 22, 2015, well above the long-term average and closing in on last year's mark of 92.5 percent coverage on March 6, 2014. This image was taken on Feb. 23.(NOAA / NASA)

Re-thinking a career in physics?

Why a coffee is more likely to spill than a latte - The Washington Post

"Emilie Dressaire, who's now an assistant professor at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, started thinking about the integrity of foamy liquids when a Starbucks employee told her she wouldn't need a lid stopper to keep her latte from spilling. Her colleague Alban Sauret, now a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, had recognized the same difference in foamy beers."

Meanwhile, we have tons for free

Massachusetts man ships snow from his yard cross country | New York Post

"At first he shipped 16.9-ounce snow-filled bottles for $19.99, but he found the snow melted by the time it arrived at its destination.
"So he came up with a new plan, selling six pounds at a time. He tells Boston.com even if the snow melts a little by the time it arrives, the package can still make 10 to 15 snowballs."

Or so we hope

Fitzgerald: Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren; Give us a break | Boston Herald

"The great difference between snowstorms and politicians is that the snow eventually disappears."


Dan Quayle set to co-host super PAC fundraiser for Jeb Bush - The Washington Post


But who's counting?

What happened to the cooked ones?

Raw: animals rescued from private Mexican zoo

Win a few, lose a few

After 8 centuries, rats exonerated in spread of Black Death. Gerbils implicated. - The Washington Post

"It’s always the cute ones you have to watch out for, isn’t it?"


OK then, kick back and relax

Study Predicts Another 5 Years Without Global Warming | The Daily Caller

"But scientists warned of accelerated temperature rises once the global warming hiatus has ended."

For a while.

A winter look at the (Cold &) Windy City

Chicago Just Had Its Coldest Winter In History. Here's Proof.

Oh no, not the kitchen

Woman loses half her border-straddling home in tax blunder | Fox News

"Rosanne Di Guilio’s kitchen, living room and porch now belong to her neighbor Alethea Jacob, 52, who snatched up .2 acres of the half-acre plot for $275 at a county auction after it went into foreclosure in 2010."

Gives new meaning to borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbor. 

But by next week it might get above freezing—and snow again

Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog : Reviewing Last Week's Remarkable Cold Wave | Weather Underground

"Unusually cold air will prevail across most of the Eastern U.S. for yet another week, making some inroads into the central states. Snow and ice continue to plague parts of the South and Atlantic: significant sleet and freezing rain are possible today from northeast Texas into Mississippi. Another round of wintry precipitation is likely midweek across parts of the mid-South, with the focus beginning to shift westward in a long-awaited pattern change by next weekend.

"Apart from these events--and the record snow burying most of New England--it’s the cold that’s made its mark on the eastern United States this winter."


Policy update

"Upon checking in with the Greenfield, MA weather report, the Seattle staff has instituted a new policy. The Seattle desk will offer no more reports of “flowering plants” until further notice.

"Staff has decided to refer the this change as The Shut Up Policy."


It was more fun in the old days, when at any moment you could get your ears blown off by a nuke

Obama, facilitator-in-chief - Yahoo News

"These days, the presidential summit is more like an extended photo op with some speeches and a dinner thrown in. This week’s ‘Summit on Countering Violent Extremism’ (a response to the run of terrorist attacks from Paris to Copenhagen) closely follows similar White House summits on community colleges, early education, cybersecurity, football head injuries, ‘working families,’ college opportunity, national service, youth (as in young people, not the fountain) and so on."

Underwear news that's not from the Oscars

Overly tight cheap underpants force Canada MP out of his seat - Yahoo News

"'They had men's underwear on for half price and I bought a bunch that was clearly too small for me. I find it difficult to sit for any length of time,' he told the chamber to guffaws and applause from fellow legislators."

It's a brave new world

Japanese LED traffic lights just too cool when snow falls - Yahoo News

"Tokyo (AFP) - Energy-saving LED traffic lights seemed like a cool way to cut back on electricity costs, but Japanese police said Monday they might just be too cool -- because they don't melt snow."

But we're past the point of who cares

Flights Grounded in Texas; Arctic Air Returning to Northeast - ABC News

"Meanwhile, Arctic air is returning to the Northeast, with chilling temperatures expected later today from Boston to Washington, D.C., following a milder Sunday reprieve."

Really. It’ll stay below 20º today but the sun is out and it’s pretty comfortable (if slippery—this kind of weather makes the ice slick). Anyway, it’s the last week of February. It’s been a record-breaking winter but there’s not much more it can do. I’m just hoping the snow gets all dirty and grimy pretty soon because I’m sick of all the white.

Yes! I've been wondering…

Why the world needs a wearable tomato machine 

This has got to be the best brush-off ever

Mars One mission: 'My boyfriend is cool with me going to Mars' - Telegraph

" The astrophysics PhD student at Durham University hit the headlines when she was chosen out of over 200,000 hopefuls for a 100-person shortlist to take part in the privately funded mission. After undergoing another round of assessments later this year, she has a one in four chance of being chosen to leave Earth for good."

Although, for an astrophysicist, going to Mars might make a pretty good term paper.

Hire this girl

San Jose: Girl Scouts selling cookies robbed of cash - San Jose Mercury News

" At least one clever young entrepreneurial San Francisco Girl Scout has been selling cookies outside a pot dispensary. No robberies have been reported there."


Spare us the purple prose

Is nuclear war looming in the Senate? | Fox News

"There are fusion bombs. Fission bombs. All sorts of urnaium-235 and plutonium-239. They’re all loaded onto Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s), bombers and rockets. A suitcase nuke or two is probably stowed in the Ohio Clock near the Main Senate door - long incorrectly said to have been the locale where senators stashed hard liquor during Prohibition.

"You see, there’s talk again of a nuclear war in the Senate."

The most useless information we've come across in a while

Pain Really Is All In Your Head And Emotion Controls Intensity : Shots - Health News : NPR

"When you whack yourself with a hammer, it feels like the pain is in your thumb. But really it's in your brain."

So you might as well just whack yourself in the head and get it over with?

Either spring or the January thaw we didn't get in January

Whatever it is, it's nearly 40. Degrees. There's a little melting going on, but it's not over yet.

Not Opening Day
The pile of snow at the end of the driveway is 7 feet high (and there's more in the forecast) so it'll probably take a while yet to melt.

I spent all morning doing deeply geeky stuff to an old, second-hand, not yet ready for the scrapheap MacBook. But I did find time to splash through a few puddles this afternoon. Felt good.

Only three new inches last night

So no big deal. What's more, it was warm. Mid 20s by dawn. Now, even warmer. Feels like spring. A little bit.