Weather wimps (5×8 – 1/10/14)

The Associated Press today confirms what many people have suspected based on the anecdotal evidence: We’re kind of wimpy when it comes to the weather. Its analysis shows that there are fewer cold snaps than there were years ago and, if the logic holds, more whining about them now.

“These types of events have actually become more infrequent than they were in the past,” said Greg Carbin, who works at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. “This is why there was such a big buzz because people have such short memories.”

Monday morning’s breathtaking — and much ballyhooed — temperatures didn’t break any records, and ranked 55th on the coldest-day list for the Lower 48, pretty much a case of “weather meh.”

Nine of 11 outside climate scientists and meteorologists who reviewed the data for the AP said it showed that as the world warms from heat-trapping gas spewed by the burning of fossil fuels, winters are becoming milder. The world is getting more warm extremes and fewer cold extremes, they said.

“We expect to see a lengthening of time between cold air outbreaks due to a warming climate, but 17 years between outbreaks is probably partially due to an unusual amount of natural variability,” or luck, Masters said in an email. “I expect we’ll go far fewer than 17 years before seeing the next cold air outbreak of this intensity.

And the scientists dismiss global warming skeptics who claim one or two cold days somehow disproves climate change.

“When your hands are freezing off trying to scrape the ice off your car, it can be all too tempting to say, ‘Where’s global warming now? I could use a little of that!’ But you know what? It’s not as cold as it used to be anymore,” Texas Tech University climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe said in an email.

Another scientist says we whine about cold weather more now because we’re not as use to it as the species once was.

Related weather:
Stacking ice on Lake Superior.


When my Twitter notifications were overflowing this morning, I knew a big story probably had broken overnight. Indeed, it had. Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to Minnesota, Northland News Center reports.

Of course, we’ve been down this road of heartbreak before, so a word of caution is in order. The news is only that Dunkin’ wants to expand to the region — having put a shop on every other zip code in the world. It doesn’t say anyone has stepped forward with the $250,000 (per store) franchise fee or the $500,000 walking-around money the company demands of its franchisees. There’s no indication that anyone with deep pockets has stepped forward.

Still, America runs on Dunkin’. But Minnesota runs on hope.

Related: Want Dunkin’ Donuts in Minnesota? Prove it. With money (Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal).


AP Photo/Tony Dejak/File.

Twitter fired up a report this week that the Cleveland Indians were in the process of retiring its racist logo — Chief Wahoo. The report, in a Cleveland alt-weekly, noted the Indians were moving to a simple “C” block letter.

Armed with the opportunity to take a meaningful step forward in racist mascots, however, the Indians demurred yesterday (Cleveland Plain Dealer).

“The fact of the matter is there’s no change to our approach at all,” Danburg stated. “We have three logos. We have script Indians, we have block-C and we have Chief Wahoo. You will see the same logos in the same place on the uniforms this year. There’s no process to eliminate Chief Wahoo.”

“It’s a nature of changing the, maybe the designation that you might see that Major League Baseball uses in their style guide, which is a more of a discretionary change. It’s nothing to do with the approach in locally how we use it or anything to read into.”

When asked if there were any long-term plans in phasing out Chief Wahoo, Danburg said, “It’s not even being talked about at the present time. It’s certainly a hot issue, especially with what’s going on in D.C. with the Redskins and we are certainly monitoring that. There are no immediate need or thoughts to change our approach.”


Whatever happened to the bullying issue? It’s disappeared from public attention since other issues came along, it just hasn’t disappeared from people’s lives. The Fargo Forum today follows up on the story of Emily Kjonaas, of Moorhead, who revealed her school bullying in 2012.

Here’s the description of the children some of you are raising:

She knows what it’s like to be mistreated. Growing up in Moorhead, she was constantly bullied in middle school for her appearance. Classmates called her “Godzilla” and spit on her locker. Some threw garbage, rocks, ice and snow at her. The bullying was so severe that as a teenager, Emily spent time in psychiatric units and contemplated suicide.

She’s an adult now and says she still hears occasional bullying.

“Every now and then, I fear that something will pop up, but I know better now how to work through all of that,” she says. “I haven’t been truly clinically depressed since early high school. I haven’t had anything major happen, so I think that period of my life is over.”


“The bloody mission to wrest Falluja from insurgents in November 2004 meant more to the Marines than almost any other battle in the 12 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the New York Times writes today. “Many consider it the corps’ biggest and most iconic fight since Vietnam, with nearly 100 Marines and soldiers killed in action and hundreds more wounded.”

And, like Vietnam, it was all for nothing.

“There is a rising drumbeat of anxiety/angst among our Marines concerning the state of Falluja/Ramadi today,” one senior active duty officer wrote as part of an email chain circulating among Marine officers discussing how to respond to the inquiries they were receiving from Marines and their families about Falluja.

The officer cited what he called the Marines’ success in helping foster the Awakening movement — where local tribesmen turned against jihadists and partnered with American forces — and said that “without these victories, we might still be there today.”

The officer added: “What the Iraqi forces lost in the last month, four years after transition, is not a reflection of Marine efforts. If it is a reflection of anything, it is the nature of the Iraqi social fabric and long-suppressed civil discord.”

Bonus I: Target: Stolen information in data breach involved up to 70 million individuals.

Bonus II:Souhan: Add Rubio to the list of Wolves draft mistakes (Star Tribune).


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The Daily Circuit Friday Roundtable will look at the environmental movement. What is its future and where does it go? Who makes it up?

Second hour: A Wall Street Journal investigation unearthed records that show that the US government lobotomized roughly 2,000 World War II veterans. These men suffered from diseases ranging from schizophrenia to depression to psychosis. Some men who identified as homosexual were also lobotomized.

Roman Tritz, who describes himself as “mentally injured, not mentally ill,” received his lobotomy on July 1, 1953. He’s now 90 and lives in La Crosse, Wis. Why did the US government lobotomize him and so many of his fellow veterans? And why is it only coming to light now?

Third hour: Recent data indicates there are fewer teens getting drivers licenses and fewer teens on the road. We look at why and what the implications are for families, towns and transportation policy.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm) – The new national ambassador for young people’s literature, Minnesota writer Kate DiCamillo .

Science Friday (1-2 p.m.) – A look at how colder temperatures might be help kill off bugs that are eating away at forests. Plus, think Ernest Shackleton never lost a man? Its not quite true. Photos frozen in ice offer a peek into an Antarctic expedition gone wrong.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Biographer Seth Davis has the highest praise for his subject, UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. He calls Wooden the best coach in the history of American sports. But some of the Wooden legend is just that. NPR will profile the new John Wooden, biography.

  • Eric Chandler

    We aren’t a specific kind of wimp. We are becoming wimps.

  • MikeB

    Do we whine more now or are we aware of more whining due to
    social media and other outlets. We’ve always been a grumpy sort

    • This was the first thing I thought. It’s easier to make whining public now.

  • MrE85

    Some wimps can’t live without Dunkin’ coffee and Chief Wahoo.

  • John Peschken

    #5 We should not let sunk costs determine future behavior. The important question as I see it is; Can we change “the nature of the Iraqi social fabric and long-suppressed civil discord.” at the root of this? I’m not convinced that sending in the Marines again can do that.

  • Fred Nauer

    I think you mean Dunkin Donuts is coming back to Minnesota. I remember there used to be one on Robert Street. Of course that was over 40 years ago!

    • Kassie

      There was in Brooklyn Park well into the 90s. It was by my high school and we went all the time.

    • There was one on Central Ave/Hwy 65 near 694 when I was younger, too. I used to make Dunkin runs with my college buddies periodically.

  • David

    I don’t believe the Indians’ brass. I think they are slowly pushing out the Chief. It is becoming a smaller and smaller presence with each revision of marketing materials and uniforms. The block C is becoming the focus.

    I’m sure Bob is familiar with their history but for others it is documented here:

    • They’ve tried to push Wahoo out a few times. A few years ago they adopted the scripted “I” (which I wear now) and I thought that would catch on, but it didn’t. Later they brought in the block “C.” I understand the question of the Wahoo was on the fan survey that they sent people who bought tickets last year (I threw mine away without reading it) so clearly they’re “monitoring” the situation. But the team does not wear the Wahoo cap much anymore as they once did and I think over the next few years they’ll continue a VERY slow transition that is very clearly underway and has been for a bit.

  • Jeff

    Can someone explain to me why Dunkin’ Donuts has a dedicated fan-base? What’s so special?

    • MrE85

      Mick told us that we can’t always get what we want. We frequently want what we can’t get, though. For me, it’s Steak ‘n Shake.

      • Kassie

        Waffle House for me. Though for a long time I was hoping for a Trader Joes and now that they are here, I’m not disappointed.

      • We have Culver’s which, to me, is a better version of “Steak ‘n Shake.”

    • The lure of Dunkin’ is actually the coffee and the legend. Originally, the donuts were made right in the store. It was quite a place. Now they’re baked somewhere else and trucked in. So that part of the legend is dead. The coffee is great. Not for the upper class, though like a Starbucks or even a Caribou. It’s working person’s coffee. It lets you know when you’re done drinking coffee.

      Sadly, I believe Dunkin’ is trying to be more like Starbuck’s, which is too bad. But if you roll your eyes at the pompous, precious nature of Starbuck’s, you’re a likely Dunkin’ person.

      • Also when you’re done, a cup should look like this.

      • Dave

        In my opinion, their coffee is good because I heard somewhere that it’s good. Classic example of the emperor having no clothes.

        We occasionally stop there because my wife believes the hype about their coffee. To me it’s the same as everybody else’s weak burned coffee.

  • jon

    Can I get a chart showing the supposed increase in weather whining?

    I suspect we have much shorter memories, than suggested above, and we just don’t remember how much people complained, last year, or 17 years ago, or 50 years ago… or even about how hot it was last summer.

  • AndyBriebart

    1. Yes we are weather wimps. I blame the TV newscasters and the people who believe in the religion called Climate Change.
    2. Dunkin’ donuts, gone in 5 years
    3. I believe the Indians got their name because they had a couple of Native Americans on their team, the Cleveland Red Stockings was their formal name.
    I still have my Chief Wahoo cap when he had the big teeth. Went to Jacobs field about ten years ago and the only hat big enough to fit my melon head was a 1950’s old school Chief Wahoo. fitted cap. It gets lots of comments.
    So, is the centerfield drummer being run out of town too? I hope not!

    • The Red Stocking were from Cincinnati. The Indians were the Forest City Spiders. At various times as the team folded and was reconstituted, they were the Blues, Broncos, and Naps, before becoming the Indians. Louis Sockalexis, the native american, was LONNNG gone by the time the Indians name was chosen. He’s usually used as an excuse for the name, but that’s pretty much a myth.

      As for John Adams, he’s not going anywhere.

      • AndyBriebart

        I got my picture taken with him too.

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    Well they’ll have an offensive logo or a butt ugly one. Flip a coin.