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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 17, 2014 / 17 Adar I, 5774

Weather generates a torrent of talk

By Reg Henry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Because the citation is disputed, Mark Twain may or may not have said that everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it. But clearly this clever saying has to be updated: Everybody who talks about the weather does something about the way it is talked about.

The people who most visibly talk about the weather are on TV. This winter has provided a lot of weather for them to talk about.

One of the great gifts to meteorological conversation lately has been the polar vortex. The term polar vortex is not new. A quick search of the trusty Post-Gazette electronic library, steam-driven for user comfort and convenience, found five references to the polar vortex from 1990 to the end of 2013. That compares with 36 mentions just since the new year started.

It's been a shy one that polar vortex, lurking up there in the Arctic, hidden from everybody's attention except for occasional cameo appearances. But being a vortex is essentially public work and its icy aversion to notoriety was never going to last. Not with the nation's weather persons seeking to jazz up their weather reports.

You have probably never given it much thought, but consider a job where you have to describe the same basic themes — rain, snow, sun, clouds — in the same basic vocabulary every day. That's a prediction for boredom.

Eskimos reportedly have a hundred words for snow. Those Eskimo weather forecasters must have it easy. I suppose the polar vortex is old (fur-lined) hat to them.

In the lower 48, it's not so easy. The challenge of making interesting broadcasts is heightened by the challenge of critics complaining about forecasts often being wrong. "They'd be better off looking at the entrails of goats," you hear the critics say. That's not fair. It's hard to get fresh entrails these days and the frozen ones from the supermarket are no good for predicting the future.

As one who has made many absurd predictions in editorials and columns over the years and has developed a frisky style to cover these lapses, I have some sympathy for the meteorologists.

Indeed, my early journalistic teeth were cut on weather stories. Where I lived in sub-tropical northern Australia, it never snowed and the weather came mostly in two varieties: Hot and wet or hot and dry, but always good weather for drinking beer.

But sometimes storms would bring hail and we cadet reporters would struggle to describe how big the hailstones were. Of course, the hail was as big as golf balls but that became hackneyed fast.


Then one day a colleague wrote: "The hail was as big as a pullet's egg." Pullets are young hens and there is a question whether a pullet is still a pullet once it becomes old enough to lay eggs. That quibble aside, the phrase struck me as genius, not the least for assuming that our readers had a thorough knowledge of poultry raising.

Enter now the polar vortex, which strikes me as pullet of another feather in its attempt to engage the audience. What a chance to inject new life into the weather conversation!

For one thing, it sounds like something alien out of "The Thing," the 1982 sci-fi horror film that had an extraterrestrial arriving in Antarctica and terrorizing a research station. The Thing had a shape-shifting ability, which made some viewers suspect it was a politician from outer space.

I believe we may miss the polar vortex once it has gone — not the miserable cold it brings but its chilling name. But you can depend on America's TV weather people to find new words for standard phenomenon as surely as spring follows winter.

In fact, this column was inspired by a reader who looked at local TV weather forecasters and made note of what she heard: "a fetch of moisture," "dirty warm-up," "overspread," "a weather front that overproduced," "a pop-up storm," "a nickel and dime storm," "a kitchen sink storm" and "a moisture-starved cold front."

As for snow, forecasters described "a swath," "spits and dribbles," "popcorn snow" and "broom or shovel snow." These descriptions took me back to when I worked in Monterey, Calif., and the local forecasters began referring to the "marine layer." The rest of us knew it as fog.

There has not been any mention of pullets so far this winter, but I live in hope. As it is, we are stuck in a vortex of colorful expressions, enough to envelop the mind in a marine layer.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Reg Henry is a columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.



Previously:


Don't nod off --- this is the Winter Olympics

Save us all by shunning your urge to selfie

Let us now commemorate anniversary fatigue

New diet juices juicer sales but is hard to swallow

His philosophy on bar fights? Kant win(s)

Andy Warhol's grave exceeds 15 minutes of fame

All the right stuff? Not when downsizing

It's hard to get behind law on saggy pants

What makes U.S. so unhappy anyway?

Talking points? Raise your voice in protest

Yahoo! I don't have to telecommute

A sequestration only a Sasquatch could love

A quote! My kingdom for a good quote!

Super Bowl leaves dark stain on U.S. image

A confession to sin of shopping omission

Undecided voters are clearly in the wrong

These words can be irritating? Really?

A father's message is something to laugh at

Dear Friends: Facebook is, like, so lame

High Tide: the detergent drug dealers dig

It's funny how scary side effects can be

Must we meet so much? It's transparent

Why America needs a proper curmudgeon

A new grandfather's coming-of-age story

America still shows the power of the individual



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