A postcard from winter, word of the day: Derecho, the gay anchor, the drive-in, and the worst in workplace jargon.
1) A POSTCARD FROM WINTER
Back in the mild winter, you might’ve been one of those people — like me — who said, “July is going to be rough.” Welcome to July.
Here’s a little something to watch while we’re waiting for the highway pavement to explode…
More than 40,000 daily heat records have been broken around the country so far this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Last year was the ninth warmest on record, and only 25,000 local records were broken then, LiveScience.Com says.
New record highs are outpacing new record lows in the U.S. by a two-to-one margin.
Dry soils, in part a product of the dry winter, exacerbate the heat. “If the soils were wetter, more energy would be absorbed by the water and the daily high temperatures wouldn’t be as warm,” (climatologist Jake) Crouch told OurAmazingPlanet. For example, southern Georgia and Florida, drenched by Tropical Storm Debby, haven’t been as hot as areas to the north in the last week or so.
Unfortunately, the heat doesn’t look likely to dissipate soon, with the National Weather Service expecting warmer-than-usual temperatures to continue for the remainder of the summer across much of the country. The southwest and Rocky Mountains could be in for a reprieve soon, however, thanks to the beginning of the North American typhoon, which is predicted to start bringing moisture and cooler temperatures into the area later this week, Weber said.
In his Washington Post column today, Eugene Robinson says it’s time for the most ardent non-believers to believe what’s happening…
As repair crews struggle to get the lights back on, it happens to be another sunny day. Critics have blasted the Obama administration’s unfruitful investment in solar energy. But if government-funded research managed to lower the price of solar panels to the point where it became economical to install them on residential roofs, all you global warming skeptics would have air conditioning right now.
This would be a good day to practice science…
Meanwhile, the initial photos from Jay Cooke State Park in the wake of the flash floods there last months suggested there was no way one of the most popular state parks in Minnesota could reopen this year. The photos appeared to be right. The park manager says it will be closed for the summer. Reporters will get their first look at the damage later today; look for more photos.
Related: The climate scientist who basically “discovered” climate change, is running out of time.
2) THE WORD OF THE DAY: DERECHO
Meteorologists like to use words nobody really understands and this week’s favorite word is derecho. Pronounced: “de-RAY-cho.” What is it? Remember the Boundary Waters blowdown? It was 13 years ago tomorrow…
3) THE GAY ANCHOR
Anderson Cooper revealed yesterday that he’s gay, a fact that doesn’t surprise a lot of people and the importance of which is certainly up for debate.
I work with several people who are gay and there’s no possible way I could care less and the big question is why should you? Do gay journalists have any responsibility to reveal their sexual orientation to the audience? That, too, apparently is a debatable point this morning.
On the Poynter blog, Kelly McBride says a reluctance to reveal personal information to you is an example of “old school” journalism, suggesting it’s an outmoded practice…
There were also darker reasons that journalists didn’t talk about their personal lives. We wanted audience members to attach to their anchors with a level of commitment. It’s a lot easier to feel a close relationship to someone who is Just. Like. You. And if you don’t know anything about that person on the screen, then you’re likely to fill in the blanks with your own assumptions.
In the LFPD, no one is divorced or widowed, let alone gay. Everyone has 2.5 kids, who are all “above average” and play piano and baseball. No one gets cancer, suffers from addictions or even a bad sunburn. Nothing that could be moderately unappealing to anyone is ever acknowledged.
The Land of Few Personal Details was a deliberate device meant to lull the viewer into a false sense of camaraderie. It is a vestige of a time gone by, when we assumed the audience was in fact a homogenous group that could be reduced to its lowest common denominator.
“The great thing about Cooper being out and on the record, is that it really doesn’t mean anything at all,” McBride says. Irony.
4) THE DRIVE-IN
Get it while you can. The Cottage View Drive-In isn’t much longer for this world…
5) “TAKE THE INFORMATION SILOS AND ELASTICIZE THE BUNDLES”
The bosses are all off on vacation, so the rest of us can drill down on the issue of workplace jargon. Boston.com gives us a boost. Yes, it’s page-view streetwalking, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Add your own below.
Bonus I: Ten ads that really love America.
Bonus II: The publisher of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal says the health care law is a snoozer.
Bonus III: Wind farms often have to pay to have electric companies take electricity they don’t need. (Midwest Energy News)
Most of the state will experience dangerous heat index levels through Thursday coupled with high humidity. Today’s Question: How is the record-setting heat affecting your life?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The benefits of more “dirt” in the diet.
Second hour: The business of supplying blood to hospitals.
Third hour: How have sports been a positive or negative catalyst for change over the years?
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): From the Aspen Ideas Festival: David Rubenstein on why we should celebrate Independence Day on July 2.
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The Political Junkie.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - The music of coming to America. All this summer, NPR is digging into parents’ record collections, to hear how the music of moms and dads shaped our tastes and our lives. Next in the series: a listener who left South Africa to live in the United States, and the well-worn record his father played for the sendoff.