Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Wintry, brrrr.

A satellite image of New York under snow

Well, New York’s certainly taken a bit of a battering lately. In fact, the whole of the Northeast has. The picture above shows a white New York – white because of snow. From memory, the Northeast has had some (literally) killer snowstorms for the past few winters. And we, here in the UK, have had none. Dammit. But every winter, various sites come to our rescue, and a few days ago, it was a MetaFilter poster who linked to the Digital Snow Museum where you can see loads of fascinating and notable snow photos going back to the start of the century.

Lake effect snow events are especially devastating, it seems — just take a look at this photo page of an 86–inch fall. What happens is that winter–storm winds move across lakes (in America, usually the Great Lakes) and they pick up vapour from the warmer water and the vapour freezes and is deposted across the lee shores.

While we’re on the theme of winter stuff, those you who have seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining will know of this short scene:

Hey, wasn't it around here that the
Donner party got snowbound?

I think that was farther west in
the Sierras.

What was the Donner party?

There were a party of settlers in
the covered wagon times. They got
snowbound one winter in the
mountains. They had to resort to
cannabilism in order to stay alive.

You mean they ate each other up?

They had to, in order to survive.

The Donner Party is something I knew about only from the movie, and then leading on from that MetaFilter thread I found another one which points to a PBS site called, appropriately, ‘The Donner Party’. (It’s not about celebrations in which delicious spicy strips of beef stuffed into pitta bread are eaten.) The transcript of the associated programme is fascinating — check it out here, and for more harrowing, cannibalistic goodness, be sure to read more sources around the web.

And with that, good night. Stop by some London Underground station photos on your way out.Update: the patches are working, I don’t feel nicotine cravings at all!, but I still love the thought of a cigarette. Meh.

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