Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Frozen eggs and water

Sometimes there is nothing funnier than TV news. Take last night for example, as the television news reporters were stumbling all over themselves to try and describe how cold it is going to get here over the next few days.

For the many readers in California, especially the ones who have never experienced a real Michigan winter, we are in the beginning of a major cold snap.

This morning it was -14 degrees (actual temperature) on our deck. For a point of reference that's colder than your chicken breasts are in your freezer there in Santa Cruz, Danville and Los Angeles.

As if -14 degrees wasn't cold enough the television folks like to embellish the misery by adding the "windchill" which is the mathematical factor that makes -14 into -30 or -40 if there is a breeze or wind blowing through.

Trust me on this, once you get to the minus numbers, it doesn't really matter how fast the wind is blowing, it's just major league cold. Note they never use the windchill factor when it's 90 degrees and the wind is blowing.

"Folks it may be 90 degrees out here, but with the 20-mph winds it really only feels like 70," the reporter should say.

Anyway back to the tricks of the television trade. This morning, on two different stations, I watched with amusement as one reporter cracked an egg on the sidewalk and then timed how long it took for it to completely freeze. (Not long). Someone should tell this intrepid reporter that eggs should only be broken to show how hot it is, as in a 100-degree summer day in Tucson.

Later, another reporter poured a bottle of water into a plastic ice tray to show how quickly you could have ice cubes in the cold temperatures. As if anyone wants a nice cold drink with ice cubes when it's -14 outside. Here's what I propose, open your mouth until your tongue freezes and you can't talk. That I'll watch.

Tonight there will be obligatory story on keeping your pets warm and to make sure you carry a blanket, a shovel and enough food to feed West Covina in your car in case you break down in the cold.

Note to TV stations: We get it. It's cold outside. Any responsible pet owner knows that they must care for their pets in this arctic weather. The other kind of pet owners are likely watching reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies on a cable channel and not your news show.

Yes, it's cold. Yes, it's Michigan. Move on, nothing to see here.

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