Hot, or not?
August 9 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Hot, or not? | Friday, Aug. 9, 2002

Friday, Aug. 9, 2002

Hot, or not?

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

The front-page article was built around a large picture of children splashing in a river, swimming and playing with a large inflatable dolphin. Words like "sizzling," "scorching" and "unseasonably hot" were sprinkled throughout the story, which was devoted to a heat wave of unusual proportions.

The high temperature on Aug. 1 was 76 degrees.

The newspaper was The Anchorage Daily News.

Two days later, the mercury topped 80 degrees in Fairbanks, sending tour guides into apoplexy and requiring dog mushers to limit training of their sled dogs lest the huskies suffer heat stroke.

The heat wave was the talk of the town.

Of course, overnight lows still dropped into the 40's, and I thought I would freeze during a couple of early morning jogs.

Tar Heels who have sweltered through more than their share of humid days in the high 90's and low 100's might chuckle at their Alaskan friends who are so impressed by an 80-degree day with no humidity to speak of.

But those same northern partners might clutch their sides in glee to hear us describe a 30-degree day as cold and six inches of snow as a blizzard. You don't call off school in Nome just because it's 50 below zero, the wind is howling, and you haven't seen the sun for two months.

The objective temperature is what it is, but our subjective perception of its relative heat or coolness is a function of our own background, experience and what we happen to be wearing. That is a part of the richness of human life on this earth, and I am thankful for it.

We all bring something different to the table, and that's what makes it a feast.

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8/9/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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