lean neck and thick hair and a stain of ink, a snail’s bed


As the founder of Ironic, a meteorology company based in Brooklyn, Mr. Leavitt, 33, knows how temperatures and atmospheric conditions can sometimes affect weddings. […] Mr. Leavitt, who said he has conducted weather advisory for more than 2,400 events, now works as a consultant to wedding planners and venues, with fees starting at around $2,500. […]

While we can’t predict if there will be rain that day, what we can do is look at the historical weather data. We look at a specific mile in a location around the country over the past 30 years, and analyze the information. Say it’s rained three out of seven days, five out of seven days or seven out of seven days — that tells you a lot. If you know it’s going to rain five out of seven days, it’s a good idea to find a venue with an indoor option. If it’s raining once out of seven days, you can plan for an outdoor wedding.

We’re tracking every radar possible, every reporting data possible, and creating a clear picture of what the weather will be on a specific day. […] For a wedding in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., we used marine data to look at the wave height to determine when boats should transport guests for the easiest ride with the most peaceful, calm waters. At what time will people become less seasick? We did it in Lake Como, Italy, too.

For a Florida wedding on the beach, a couple wanted to get married outside in the afternoon, but didn’t want guests to be sitting in direct sunlight or holding up parasols and blocking the view. We produced a sun study — looking at the topography of the land, trees on the property, angle of the sun, height of the house and the sun’s path — to choose the precise time to start the ceremony with the most shade.

As meteorologists, we should never ever suggest what people do with their hair. But we can give you all the information on wind, speed, humidity and temperature, so you can take that to a hair stylist. If someone has naturally frizzy hair in a humid climate, or they’re more likely to sweat that leads to oily hair, we can give them the context so they can plan.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

art { Ellen Gallagher, DeLuxe, 2004–5 (detail) }

‘I love the sun but don’t have the time to get a good tan and keep it year-round, so I am a huge fan of tanning products.’ –Kim Kardashian


In the US, the normal, oral temperature of adults is, on average, lower than the canonical 37°C established in the 19th century. We postulated that body temperature has decreased over time.

We analyzed 677,423 human body temperature measurements from three different cohort populations spanning 157 years of measurement and 197 birth years.

We found that men born in the early 19th century had temperatures 0.59°C higher than men today, with a monotonic decrease of −0.03°C per birth decade.

Temperature has also decreased in women by −0.32°C since the 1890s with a similar rate of decline (−0.029°C per birth decade).

{ eLife | Continue reading }

acrylic on vinyl tarpaulin { Keith Haring, Untitled, 1983 }

Just bees and things and flowers


Hot temperatures do not have a significant effect on sexual activity on a given day. […] we found that temperature does not influence sexual activity on subsequent days either. […]

the relationship between temperature and sexual activity might be a mechanism of minor importance in the relationship between temperature and birth rates.

{ Demographic Research | Continue reading }

‘I shall not speak, I shall not think: But endless love will mount in my soul.’ –Rimbaud


To test the relationship between ambient temperature and personality, we conducted two large-scale studies in two geographically large yet culturally distinct countries: China and the United States. […] Our findings provide a perspective on how and why personalities vary across geographical regions beyond past theories (subsistence style theory, selective migration theory and pathogen prevalence theory). As climate change continues across the world, we may also observe concomitant changes in human personality.

{ Nature | Continue reading }

photo { Dana Lixenberg, J 50, 1993 }

What’s to be expected is 3 minus


The unavoidable truth is that sea levels are rising and Miami is on its way to becoming an American Atlantis. It may be another century before the city is completely underwater (though some more-pessimistic­ scientists predict it could be much sooner), but life in the vibrant metropolis of 5.5 million people will begin to dissolve much quicker, most likely within a few decades. […]

South Florida is not the only place that will be devastated by sea-level rise. London, Boston, New York and Shanghai are all vulnerable, as are low-lying underdeveloped nations like Bangladesh. But South Florida is uniquely screwed, in part because about 75 percent of the 5.5 million people in South Florida live along the coast. And unlike many cities, where the wealth congregates in the hills, southern Florida’s most valuable real estate is right on the water.

{ Rolling Stones | Continue reading }

related { Global warming has slowed. The rate of warming of over the past 15 years has been lower than that of the preceding 20 years. There is no serious doubt that our planet continues to heat, but it has heated less than most climate scientists had predicted. | The Economist }

The whole series of my life appeared to me as a dream; I sometimes doubted if indeed it were all true, for it never presented itself to my mind with the force of reality.


They found that people high in the psychological attribute called attachment anxiety (a tendency to worry about the proximity and availability of a romantic partner) responded to memories of a relationship breakup with an increased preference for warm-temperature foods over cooler ones: soup over crackers. Subjects low in attachment anxiety — those more temperamentally secure — did not show this “comfort food” effect. […]

The fact that individual differences in a relationship-oriented trait (attachment anxiety) are related to a person’s sensitivity to unconscious temperature-related cues speaks to the “under the hood” unconscious mingling that occurs between our social perceptual system and our temperature perception system. Though people predisposed to worry about their relationships seem to be more sensitive to these cues, we are all predisposed to the blurring of different types of experience. Similar recent experiments have demonstrated, for example, that briefly holding a warm beverage buoys subsequent ratings of another’s personality, that social isolation sensitizes a person to all things chilly, that inappropriate social mimicry creates a sense of cold, and that differences in the setting of the experimental lab’s thermostat leads test subjects to construe social relationships differently.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

photo { The Sydney Justice & Police Museum | Mugshots from the 1920s }

‘Science advances one funeral at a time.’ –Max Planck


Over recent years a body of research has accumulated showing the psychological benefits of nostalgia. For example, reminiscing about the past can combat loneliness and off-set the discomfort of thinking about death. Now a team led by Xinyue Zhou has shown that nostalgia brings physical comforts too, making us feel warmer and increasing our tolerance to cold.

{ BPS | Continue reading }

And all that sort of thing which is dandymount to a clearobscure


The question now, as humanity pours greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at an accelerating rate, is not whether Antarctica will begin to warm in earnest, but how rapidly. The melting of Antarctica’s northernmost region — the Antarctic Peninsula — is already well underway, representing the first breach in an enormous citadel of cold that holds 90 percent of the world’s ice.

{ Environment 360 | Yale | Continue reading }

photo { Tony Stamolis }

Warm beer and cold women, I just don’t fit in


Cryogenics is the study of the production of very low temperature (below −150 °C, −238 °F or 123 K) and the behavior of materials at those temperatures.

The word cryogenics stems from Greek and means “the production of freezing cold”; however the term is used today as a synonym for the low-temperature state. It is not well-defined at what point on the temperature scale refrigeration ends and cryogenics begins, but most scientists assume it starts at or below -240 °F (about -150 °C or 123 K).

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

She’s not going out with the sweat rolling off her back, is she? Her fancy, flashing. The bright air.


Yawns help cool the brain?

We don’t yawn when we are out in the sun, when our body skin temperature is probably higher than the core temperature. We may inhale higher temperature air and that doesn’t seem to be required to cool the brain. So we don’t yawn?

But does the air we breathe normally reach near the brain or anywhere near it to cool some parts of it? No it is not air that reaches the brain, but cool blood.

{ Unruled Notebook | Continue reading }

And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbor, she shows you where to look between the garbage and the flowers


It’s hot outside.

But there is hot and then, to use the scientific term, there is hot. There is also hot as we experience it today, of course, in our super-chilled buildings and ventilated apartments, and hot as it was felt a century ago when an indoor breeze meant your cousin was blowing on your belly.

Take, for example, July 3, 1901, when 200 deaths and 300 cases of heat prostration were caused in New York City as the temperatures reached — and one could be excused for adding “only” here — 99 degrees.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

related { Fort Tilden State Park feels like the city’s best-kept secret—an unspoiled island oasis, tantalizingly close to Manhattan. Even on a weekend at the height of summer, you’ll get a 50-yard stretch of beach to yourself. }

‘Nothing lasts. You can’t count on anything but yourself.’ –Dashiell Hammett


Giant ice sheets in Antarctica behave like mirrors, reflecting the sun’s energy and moderating the world’s temperatures. The waxing and waning of these ice sheets contribute to changes in sea level and affect ocean circulation, which regulates our climate by transporting heat around the planet.

Despite their present-day cold temperatures, the poles were not always covered with ice. New climate records recovered from Antarctica during the recent Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) “Wilkes Land Glacial History” Expedition show that approximately 53 million years ago, Antarctica was a warm, sub-tropical environment. During this same period, known as the “greenhouse” or “hothouse” world, atmospheric CO2 levels exceeded those of today by ten times.

Then suddenly, Antarctica’s lush environment transitioned into its modern icy realm. In only 400,000 years — a mere blink of an eye in geologic time — concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide decreased. Global temperatures dropped. Ice sheets developed. Antarctica became ice-bound.

How did this change happen so abruptly and how stable can we expect ice sheets to be in the future?

To answer these questions, an international team of scientists participating in the Wilkes Land Glacial History Expedition spent two months aboard the scientific research vessel JOIDES Resolution in early 2010, drilling geological samples from the seafloor near the coast of Antarctica. Despite negotiating icebergs, near gale-force winds, snow, and fog, they managed to recover approximately 2,000 meters (over one mile) of sediment core.

{ ScienceDaily | Continue reading }

photo { Alessandro Zuek Simonetti }

Warm beer, cold women


Women are up to nine times more likely to suffer from cold hands and feet than men, I read last week. We feel changes in temperature and the seasonal chill more. Did this surprise me? Not a bit . (…)

There are many theories as to why women suffer from this problem. Women have more evenly distributed fat layers, providing internal insulation. But while the result is that our blood supply favours protecting our core organs and trunk over our extremities, it means less blood flows to the hands and feet.

Men on the other hand have more heat-generating muscle mass, better supplied by blood vessels, increasing blood flow and, therefore, warmth.

Foot expert Margaret Dabbs says another reason why women’s feet in particular get colder than men’s is because our skin is thinner. (…)

Avoid alcohol or caffeine as both increase blood flow to the skin, so while you might feel warmer, your body is losing heat. (…)

Mood can influence our temperature - people who are lonely or socially excluded feel the cold more.

{ Daily Mail | Continue reading }