Sunday, January 20, 2008

The "Siberian Express"

the “siberian express” has arrived in kentucky,
causing temperatures to plunge and freeze any kind of moisture in its path. it is rare in the middle of winter (it’s january for goodness sake) that fairbanks, in the heartland of alaska, is warmer than danville, kentucky. This phenomena called the pacific-north american circulation, is happening more frequently the past 11 years according to scientists. another sign of global warming? it doesn’t come every winter, but when it does it can have disastrous consequences, like the challenger disaster of 1986 which liftoff after such a blob of icy weather moved away from florida, but the cold damaged some o-ring seals, which later malfunctioned and caused the fatal explosion..

it’s saturday night and I am cozy inside a warm house, eyes squared after watching two excellent character-study dramas back to back on tv. afterwards i took a quick peek at the thermometer on the porch. outside it’s currently 12 degrees fahrenheit / -11 degrees celsius. add the wind chill from the breeze and it feels like -2 degrees fahrenheit / -19 degrees celsius. this is serious cold weather for kentucky. i am sure i am bound to lose several plants that won’t be able to stand this cold for long. and as the night wore on and with no cloud cover to trap any radiated heat from the earth it will get even colder tonight. good night for watching tv!

the “siberian express” has nothing to do with siberia or russia. It is a term the weather people use to describe the blobs of frigid artic air that escapes the north pole and the artic circle, race down the eastside of the rocky mountains towards the mexican gulf, where it turns north again, and run up the atlantic coast. it is caused by warm air pushed north from the equator, passed hawaii, which cause the jet stream, that band of winds that blows about 3 miles above earth’s surface, to wobble and move over the north pole, picking up the frigid artic air and carry it down south into the usa and canada.

after dinner i perused the movie guide and found the ballad of jack and rose with daniel day-lewis and camilla belle. good movie. excellent soundtrack too, which includes the likes of bob dylan, nina simone and john mayall. day-lewis in his usual uncompromising and intense manner is brilliant. this is only his 5th movie in 11 years. the man doesn’t work too hard, but when he does he is outstanding. really one of that weird, gets-under-your-skin kind of movies that pushes the envelope on some emotional issues.

so from one movie with a disturbing, jealous daughter to another about a rebellious daughter’s fling with a disturbing, real mental case, urban cowboy, in down in the valley, starring one of my favorite actors, edward norton. both movies do a good job of illustrating the fact that the world is made up of all kinds of different people facing similar common life challenges such teenage rebellion, death, and broken dreams.

my challenge is to stay warm tonight.

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