It is 102°F in Boston today, according to the NOAA. The heat index says it may effectively get up to 110°F.

This happens routinely in Phoenix, where I grew up. The official response is 'quit complaining, you pussy, and go mow your lawn'. (This may have something to do with the fact that the dominant ground cover in Phoenix is Bermuda grass, which is elsewhere classified as the kind of pernicious weed that might take over the world if you aren't constantly razing it to the root.) I refused to go to my high school commencement for a number of what I still consider excellent reasons, among them that it was being held outside, on a football field, in the middle of the afternoon, in May, when the temperature was already in triple digits.

Even in Flagstaff, which is usually about 20°F cooler, people think nothing of scheduling unwise outdoor activities in the summer. I worked for Residence Life one year -- never do this, they are inconsiderate slave-driving bastards -- and they demanded I go to a mandatory "ice breaker" thing outside, in July, in full sun. I was not the only person who came out of that with a sunburn (sunscreen only works so well) and a mild case of heat stroke. I have no idea how the pregnant lady didn't just snap and kill someone, then go wait for the cops to show up in the nearest air-conditioned building.

The reaction of the city of Boston, on the other hand, is 'holy shit, humans are not supposed to live in this -- everybody stay the fuck inside today'. They consider it an emergency. A smallish emergency, which is easily solved by not being a moron, but an emergency nonetheless.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to guess which approach I think is more appropriate for a civilized society.

Comments

  1. I'm inclined to agree, but I will point out that if it were declared to be an emergency every time it got over 110 degrees in Phoenix, it would be a state of emergency from 9 AM to 9 PM from about mid-June to late August, give or take a couple of weeks. (Into May and September, some years.) 110 is the point at which natives and long-time residents will admit that yes, it is in fact hot out there. Between 100 and 109 is "not that bad." Below 100 is "nice," and it improves up until about 65 when it starts to become cold.

    It was not until I moved to Portland that I started realizing exactly how insane this was. This is my second summer up here and I still don't think it's hot until it's well over 90 degrees. (If you can open the windows or turn on a fan and be comfortable? It's not hot.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just think Phoenix is situated in a spot where Man Is Not Meant To Live. The reason the city is called Phoenix in the first place is that it was built on the site of a previous abandoned settlement. The natives had literally decided it was too hot to live there and gone elsewhere.

      Delete
  2. Ok, so I had to use google to convert F to C. 102 being roughly 38 degrees and 110 F being about 43 degrees. I am melting just thinking about it!!! We panic in the UK when it hits 30 C, (86F), and that's the temperature it's been at for over a week. Also, it's humid here, which I absolutely hate.

    Temps of 30 C plus are considered front page news here, complete the the obligatory photograph of Brighton beach (see here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/14/uk-weather-heatwave_n_3594341.html). I never understood the Brighton beach thing. I've been to Brighton several times. It's a bit of a dump and it's large pebbles/shingle not sand, so it's not like it's comfy to sit on, and when it's that crowded, ugh. Anyway, at least I know not to visit Boston when it's expecting a heatwave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is quite unusual for Boston -- it would be front page news here if not for a bunch of nationally-prominent trials and scandals going on at the mo'. Normally the weather here is quite similar to the UK, i.e., damp, swampy, and prone to unexpectedly pissing rain for three out of four seasons. We even get the fog, at least here on the coast. There's a reason we refer to the place as New England.

      Delete
  3. Very much agreed! This is the kind of weather where I routinely greet friends & housemates with cups of ice water - it's so easy to get dehydrated & so hard to think properly due to the heat that it's better to just make it matter-of-fact ritual.

    *nudges gently* Want to email me a number or other way I can reach you at so we can get the wheels rolling re: a chance for you to come view the room & meet us?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find it's pretty difficult to get dehydrated out here, as compared to where I grew up. It's not physically possible to drink enough water to compensate for the heat if you're outside in Phoenix. At least here, you don't turn into beef jerky quite so quickly.

      I am sorry about dropping off the face of the Earth like that. As you've probably gathered, I have medical problems that periodically rear their ugly heads; when they do, I cook, clean, work, and sleep, and little else, not necessarily in that order. I also normally check my combat-hardened spam filters better than this, but I've only got so many spoons right now. I'll go dig things out of it now that one of the big deadlines has passed, and give you some proper contact info.

      Delete
  4. I realize I'm grateful to you for saying nice things about Boston and New England. It isn't that I'm not proud to be a Yankee, but it feels nice for the parts of my community that work to be be noted and admired, and contrasted against places where they don't work so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The people here do have some puzzling dysfunctions. You lot make like you're going to melt if it rains on you, and six inches of snow for some reason sends everyone out to CVS to panic buy paper towels and Cheetos. This is extra hilarious given how much of the city is built on land that was originally in the Atlantic ocean. But on the whole, I find it a much nicer place to exist.

      Maturity probably has something to do with it. In the course of straightening out my insurance stuff, I ended up with a pharmacy card for Mass General Hospital. I had one of those poleaxed moments when I noticed that, as proclaimed on the logo, MGH has been a functional medical institution for over a hundred years longer than Arizona has been a state.

      Delete

Post a Comment