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Los Angelenos Don't Have a Lot of Different Words for "Snow"
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Like Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, I’m a big fan of snow and ice at surprisingly low latitudes, such as the fact that there’s a ski hill in Lesotho in Southern Africa. Similarly, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time reading up on things like glaciers in New Guinea.

So I’m pretty fired up that it actually snowed Thursday in parts of Los Angeles (although I managed to sleep through the snowflakes.)

As I mentioned recently in my Taki’s column on the Sapir-Whorf theory, the much argued over claim that Eskimos have a lot of words for “snow” goes back to a 1911 report by anthropologist Franz Boas from Baffin Island. Personally, I’ve always found it plausible, but American skiers, snowboarders, and mountain climbers also have a lot of words for snow. It’s useful to have more words the more you need to deal with the specifics of a phenomenon.

On the other hand, Los Angeles residents often are polar opposites from the Inuit. Yesterday, from the Los Angeles Times:

Xavier Bias walked out of the Whole Foods Market in Pasadena and saw another woman looking to the ground puzzled at the white stuff covering the sidewalk.

The woman wasn’t sure exactly what she was looking at. But Bias, who is originally from the East Coast, quickly set her straight.

It was snow.

“People didn’t know what it was,” Bias said. “I was like, no, this is snow.”

It was that kind of day in some parts of Southern California, where snow dropped at extremely low elevation levels, creating a winter wonderland for a short while. Snow fell in Malibu, Pasadena, West Hollywood, Northridge, San Bernardino, Thousand Oaks and other unexpected places.

Snow level hit the 1,000-foot mark, bringing tiny bits of the white stuff into neighborhoods that had not seen snow in decades. But the show was fleeting, lasting in most cases a few minutes before the sun melted anything that had hit the ground. …

“We’re seeing a little bit of everything out there,” said Eric Boldt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

After seeing the confusion on social media and as residents began calling in to the weather service, Boldt took it upon himself to clear things up.

“Correct, that is snow! Lots of confusion today,” he posted on the National Weather Service’s Twitter account.

He explained that if the precipitation bounces off the ground, then it contains ice, which would make it hail or sleet. If it floats, it’s snow. In many areas, residents reported seeing small slushy balls, which Boldt said is graupel, snowflakes slightly melted and bunched together.

Graupel” — that’s a new word for snow to me.’

Anyway, here’s a question about cold. Currently, it’s 36 F degrees in Valley Village, CA. Yet I expect there to be frost on the roof of my house at 7 AM, even though the temperature won’t quite reach the freezing point of 32 F. When I was a kid in the San Fernando Valley, it seemed to get down to 28 F pretty regularly, but lately freezing temperatures are rare. As far as I can tell, the last time it got as low as 31 degrees F was December 28, 2015.

And yet in both December 2015 and December 2016, my Brazilian Bougainvillea bush was blasted by frost (recovering nicely by spring, fortunately).

My impression is that locally extremely low temperatures roll down off the roof onto the bushes. But how does that work? How does it get colder in some spots in my yard than the overall temperature?

My impression is that Southern California’s famous old orange groves, now largely turned into subdivisions, were sited on sloping foothill land in the San Gabriel Valley because the cold kept rolling downhill past the groves into the bottom of the valleys.

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  1. Clyde says:

    From the Sheriff Dept.

  2. donut says:

    Sometime in the late 80’s on the way from Valdez to LA we had snow on the deck until just before we pulled into San Pedro . The temp. was just at freezing all the local radio guys were making jokes about the snow ( I believe they had snow in Malibu then as well ) . One guy from the East coast saying he wished he’d brought his snow shovel with .

  3. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    The snow in Los Angeles news reminded me of the killing of Christopher Dorner in a ski area.

  4. AKAHorace says:

    We have had over a metre of it in the last month. I will not be happy until I see you guys out with
    snow shovels digging out of the stuff for week or so.

    We hate the West Coast for its good weather.

  5. Frost sinks to the lowest spot.

  6. Dtbb says:

    In my area last February the average high temp was 74.8 degrees. An all time record. This year should be close.

    • Replies: @Dtbb
  7. Dtbb says:

    Edit: Should read average overall temp not average high temp.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    , @Dtbb
  8. sayless says:

    Cold air is heavier than warm air.

  9. @AKAHorace

    ‘We hate the West Coast for its good weather.’

    You hate us for our freedom.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
  10. Cold air is denser than warm air. It rolls downhill.

    LA is not the polar opposite of the Inuit. The polar opposite would be Emperor Penguins.

  11. It “snowed” twice in Mission Viejo during my 15 years there. Good times.

  12. Temperatures cannot “ROLL” off of anything, Steve. Perhaps you meant cold air descending toward your bushes. Is the frost really only on the bushes right next to your house? That would prove something, but that air can’t get colder than the roof just from that effect.

    Nope, your roof will have conduction heat transfer through it from the air at a warmer temperature in the attic (even with good insulation above the ceiling). In the meantime the leaves on the bushes and grass (how many words for grass do you have? – I KNOW Californians know a lot about grass!) lose energy to the atmosphere and space via radiation heat transfer, just as the roof does, but with no input via conduction.

    I’m almost sure that should explain it satisfactorily.

    More than 50 years ago, John and Paul pontificated on that California grass:

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  13. Jkl says:

    Here in NJ, the NW parts of my yard that never get any sun exposure due to trees, structures, shadows etc. are often below the outside ambient temperature listed on Weather apps. I’ve tested this using a thermometer. It persists for days and these areas remain un-thawed even after mild temps for days.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Lurker
  14. Ahaa! I learned something too here. This is why aviation (still abbreviated) forecasts use “GR” for snow pellets. I don’t think the word is originally English, but things went all international (ICAO).

    Anyway, any post without Jussie Smollet in it is like a day without graupel! Enough of that, for crying out loud!

  15. @Achmed E. Newman

    Maybe I didn’t explain this part satisfactorily:

    How does it get colder in some spots in my yard than the overall temperature?

    The “overall” temperature is just the value you got off the news, or maybe from a thermometer in your yard. It could be a couple of degrees colder right near the ground, again due to radiation heat transfer.

  16. You are precisely correct that small scale differences in locations have large scale effects on hyperlocal weather.
    You are also absolutely correct that grove planting was done with an incredible understanding of this phenomenon.
    Apple trees planted on north and south facing slopes objectively taste different (solved by planting different varietals). Cool air does, indeed, pool in low lying areas. The difference can be four degrees where I reside, pretty significant!

  17. prosa123 says:

    A storm on January 19, 1977 brought the only snow ever recorded in Miami and in the Bahamas.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  18. The temperature of a surface can drop below the temperature of the surrounding air if the surface can radiate heat to a dark, clear sky. I think I remember having to scrape my windshield a few mornings a year in the Bay Area, even when the reported air temperature never dropped below 40 F.

  19. Bubba says:

    Steve, we need more global warming so that Brazilian Bougainvillea bush in your yard will bloom all year round.

  20. El Dato says:

    My impression is that locally extremely low temperatures roll down off the roof onto the bushes. But how does that work? How does it get colder in some spots in my yard than the overall temperature?

    That’s because cold air is denser and accumulates in low spaces (and conversely, warmer air rises)

    Quite noticeable if you take a walk and pass through a low creek. You may observe accidents as bikers pass through at speed only to unexpectedly hit the local ice sheet at the bottom, which is fatal if they need to apply a sideways force vector to stay on-path.

    • Replies: @Pat Kittle
  21. Ground frosts happen earlier in the autumn, and later in the spring, than air frosts. Air mixes, but the ground can cool very rapidly.

    You can also get grass frosts – when it is cold enough for ice to form on vegetation, but tarmac and concrete are still too warm for this to happen.

  22. We got a day of snow in Pacoima in ’50, ’51. Might be off by a year.

    As to the Eskimo lexicon. I always thought it a joke, as the English explanations of the words were as comprehensive as the translated words.

    • Replies: @Jon
  23. Golf War Zero
    Or: Mitty Rappels For Mussolini

    Pocketa pocketa pocketa…The Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 Drache (English: Dragon[1]) helicopter struggled to gain altitude, but was better suited to the mission than a glider. The enormous risks in infiltrating Otto Skorzeny’s Die Spinne (“The Spider*) unit were well worth taking given that if il Duce could (after rescue from the the clutches of the Campo Imperatore Hotel, a ski resort at Campo Imperatore in Italy’s Gran Sasso massif, high in the Apennine Mountains) be spirited away to the Allies, he could then be recruited to provide invaluable assistance in getting California’s trains to run on time. After wrapping the rope around his body (see Dülfersitz), the golf duffer Steve Sailer abseiled onto the graupel.

    * Spider – See skier Spider Sabich

  24. But how does that work? How does it get colder in some spots in my yard than the overall temperature?


  25. David says:

    Someone might know better, but I think all objects radiate energy according to this formula: 5.67*T^4÷10^8, where T the surface temperature in degrees Kelvin, with the answer in watts per square meter. If the slightly warmer air isn’t able to conduct heat into the surface faster than it’s radiating its heat, the surface will drop below the ambient temperature.

    If the formula is right, your roof surface at 36 degrees is radiating 325 watts per m^2. But of course, lots of other objects around, like trees, are radiating heat towards the roof, too. So the net energy loss will be less.

    I came across the formula in some Richard Feynman book.

  26. Snow ain’t so bad. It’s the ice that comes during and after the snow that causes problems.

    Hockey players and road contractors are two cohorts that like the ice.

    Rumours abound that road contractor guys, in the winter months, watch on the internet the potholes being born and the pavement crumbling in their snowbound business areas while they are sipping margaritas and beer in their Caribbean winter homes.

    Phucking crazy morons who go winter hiking up mountains and then slip and injure themselves should be left to rot until spring makes it easier to retrieve their frozen carcasses.

    Those nutcakes who climb frozen waterfalls are some of the most unhinged bastards imaginable.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    , @donut
    , @JMcG
  27. Longet Invitational Wipeout*
    Or: ‘Snowbody’s Business But Claudine?

    From Wikipedia**:
    1976: Season 1, Episode 18 of Saturday Night Live featured a Weekend Update segment about “The Claudine Longet Invitational Ski Championship.” It parodied the shooting incident, showing skiers making runs down the slopes until they are “accidentally” shot by Claudine Longet, resulting in abrupt wipeouts.[21] [*] Longet’s attorneys wrote a cease-and-desist letter to Lorne Michaels and an apology was given in the next week’s show.

    In 1980, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote a song about Spider Sabich’s death that was intended to be on the Rolling Stones album Emotional Rescue. The song, titled “Claudine,” carried lyrics that painted a graphic picture of some of the more salacious aspects of the affair and killing. However, it was deemed too controversial and was removed, although it was included on several bootleg Rolling Stones albums. In November 2011, the track “Claudine” was released on the deluxe reissue of their album Some Girls.[20]

    See also:

    * wipeout:


  28. Farenheit says:

    Up here in NorCal, we’ve been gettting big loads of snow as well. Unfortunately a fair amount of it is “pineapple cement”, great for its water content, not as great as a skiing surface.

  29. > “Graupel” — that’s a new word for snow to me.’

    To quote the Donald, we have the best words! 😀

  30. riches says:

    Los Angeles snow must be rare indeed, if a snowfall six hours to the north (in San Anselmo) led Van Morrison to write a song about it.

  31. Anon[370] • Disclaimer says:


    I’m several chapters into Bonfire of the Vanities, and all the POV characters, three so far, are unlikable male assholes. And they are all the same unlikeable male asshole, whose internal dialog is like Tom Wolfe writes, in his nonfiction. Does Wolfe have a second or third character type that he can write? Will things pick up?

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Reg Cæsar
  32. Cold does roll downhill, figuratively. Cold is of course merely the (greater) absence of movement, and heat the presence of (more) movement, of molecules, in air as in any other medium. That movement correlates with how densely the molecules are arranged (more movement in a warmer gas has its molecules bouncing about relatively freely; the relatively still molecules of a cold gas are hanging about more densely. The result is that hot air rises, and cold air persists at the lowest point available.

    I feel foolish writing all this stuff, because I feel Steve Sailer and most other reasonably bright and educated people know it, so I suppose and hope I am misunderstanding the questions posed in the primary posting – but I’ve re-read it twice and the questions seem directly to be what I reckon them to be, so I answer them, though I risk seeming a pedantic nitwit misunderstanding the matter.

    • Replies: @anon
  33. @AKAHorace

    “Virgin Snow”?
    Or: Hauling Ashley?
    Or: OK Cupid vs OK Horace Dating Apps*?


    Were you visited (alas, I wasn’t) by some Muse or perhaps the shades of Patrick “Paddy” Fermor and General Kreipe who might have whispered, “Learn to Ode”?

    From Wikipedia:
    The single most famous story about Patrick Leigh Fermor is his kidnap of the German General Kreipe in occupied Crete in 1944. The fugitive party of two British officers and three Cretans spent an uncomfortable night on the slopes of Mount Ida. As the dawn broke, and lit the mountain, Leigh Fermor heard the General muttering the first line of Horace’s Ode to Thaliarchus: “See, Soracte’s mighty peak stands deep in virgin snow.” Leigh Fermor recognised the Latin, and quoted the rest of the poem. As he later put it, “…for a long moment, the war had ceased to exist. We had both drunk at the same fountains long before; and things were different between us for the rest of our time together.”

    *OK Horace Dating App: Caution – if it existed, you might get hits like the classicist (so (in)famous that even *I’ve* heard of her – and also mentioned by another iSteve commenter on another thread) Mary Beard. However, given that she’s married and assuming that one is so inclined, she might have to be approached (probably desecrating the “temples of your gods” and the “ashes of your fathers”) via

    Note to self: OK, stupid; titles on comments are off-putting

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  34. Yawrate says:

    The coldest temps on earth are recorded in valleys and depressions in ground or ice.

    • Replies: @David
  35. Technically, LA isn’t really at a low latitude; it’s about the same latitude as Atlanta, which gets maybe a decent snowfall every couple of years on average. Shanghai’s winter climate is similar to Atlanta’s and its at an even lower latitude. But obviously the Mediterranean climate of LA makes it much warmer in the winter months, so I see your point.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Reg Cæsar
  36. Eskimo (Inuit, Greenlandic, etc) languages are agglutinative. So entire sentences can be contained in a single word. And what is a “single word”, except on paper with spaces?

    In English and other languages, there are as many terms for snow as in any language, but they tend to be phrases, not words.

    Q & A: Snow at the Equator ?!?

    For example, Mt. Kilamanjaro in Tanzania, the Mt. Cayambe in Equador, Mt. Cotacachi also in Equador, and Mt. Kenya in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya are well-known for getting cold enough to have snow even though they are right near the equator.

  37. Sparkon says:

    Warm air rises, but cold air hugs the ground, or the floor of your house, so your observation has merit.

    Cold air can also hide in the shadows. Snow on the north side of a house or grove of trees — or in a valley of shadows — can linger on for days even weeks after snow has melted away in sunny areas.

    In the mountains outside L.A. and in the high desert Thursday, there was a period of heavy snowfall — graupel — that went on for about an hour even though the ground level air temperature at my location was 37°F.

    On 2/18/2019, an article in the High Desert Star noted that Palm Springs had broken its record for consecutive days below 80°F – 88 days then, now at 95 and counting, almost certain to go 100 days in Palm Springs without hitting the 80° mark.

    Records in Palm Springs go back only to 1922. The previous record of 71 days below 80° was set between Nov 26, 1969 and Feb 6, 1970. Back then, most of the scuttlebutt was about a possible new ice age. Three consecutive very cold winters over most of the country in 1976-77, 1977-78, and 1978-79 did little to dispel that idea, but soon the magic molecule CO₂ started making up for lost time by clinging to the skirt tail of Maggie Thatcher’s war on the trade unions after the coal miner’s strike in 1984, and we started hearing about “Runaway Global Warming” and Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).

    The simple thing to remember is that warm days are caused by Global Warming, cold days are caused by Global Warming, even snow in LA is caused by Global Warming, because Carbon.

  38. Altai says:

    OT: In the last few years the term ‘overtourism’ has become more prominent to critique mass tourism. There have been a lot of editorials. One I remember had a progressive comfortably calling it ‘social pollution’.

    I find these terms highly relevant for mass migration. Over-immigration, social pollution.

    “I don’t travel like that,” you might say, and of course, no single visitor can be held to account for unsustainable tourism plans or badly-managed development.

    But still, what is ‘mass tourism’ if not a mass of single visitors?

    It’s unavoidable: The problem is us.

    Each man kills the thing he loves, as Oscar Wilde wrote. We have a right to see the world, but the way we do it needs to change. Growth needs to work for locals first.

    Replace ‘tourist’ in any of these with immigrant and suddenly you’re irredeemable. And yet I wonder do old stock Dubs or Parisians feel displaced or concerned with tourists or immigrants?

    • Replies: @densa
    , @Anon
  39. @AKAHorace

    We have had over a metre of it in the last month.

    You must be in Canada. We spell that differently here.


    Still, at 45 degrees north here, we are more north than the majority of Ontarians, and perhaps Nova Scotians. People here are gobsmacked by the amount the Upper Midwest has gotten, but to a Snow Belt guy like me, it’s hardly strange.

    The difference is that, between our lake effect dumpings, the temperature often went above freezing for a few days, so much of the old snow would melt before the new arrived. That hasn’t happened here. It’s piling up. Especially at the mall parking lots.

    • Replies: @Anon
  40. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:

    You’re always talking about bringing back Sapir-Whorf.

    What do you think of the extreme of the other side?

    Jerry Fodor, an extremely smart philosopher (he single-handedly made Rutgers of all places the number one department for anglo-american analytic philosophy) argued that perhaps concepts, as well as syntax, were actually innate.

    Daniel Dennett mocked this suggestion and asked if Jerry thought perhaps “carburetor” was one of these innate concepts.

    Jerry, brilliant as he is, went to his even more brilliant mentor, Noam Chomsky. And Chomsky told him, “Screw him, double down on carburetors. Why not? That’s the interesting question. *Nobody* can define any concept they use. Table, chair, love…just ask them, people are awful at definitions. But they have no trouble learning or using these concepts. Why?”

    Chomsky went on to cite the Nobel lecture of Niels Jerne ( who argued that nobody suspected we already had the material ready for the microbial invaders but we really did.

  41. I disagree. Los Angeleños have lots of words:

    Bump…Candy…Blow…Goofball…Nose…Triple Sod…Yellow Bentines…Boz Boz…Clarkey Cat

    • LOL: The Alarmist
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  42. Lots of names for snow. Many a morning the garage rolls up, I look out and say…”Shit.” Find a shovel and clear it off. The more rare snow is the more endearing you may find it.

  43. There are descriptive words for snow. Packy is when the show falls at higher temperatures and you can form it into snowballs and rolling the snowballs on the ground will make them larger and larger, as the show sticks, and you can then make snowmen or snow forts. Fluffy, is when the snow is very dry and light and will not pack together. Crusty, is when there is snow on the ground, it melts a little and then it refreezes. This snow will not pack but the snow beneath may still pack. Wet, is when the snow is wet and heavy. This usually comes down in huge flakes and is heavy enough, if it falls in great quantity, to take a garage or shed down. Slush is very wet snow that has been churned up by car tires and people walking. Even though it is wet, it will not pack together. there are probably others as well.

  44. Bill P says:

    The reason frost develops when the air temperature is above freezing is that space is much colder than the air, and the blades of grass or roof of a car radiate their heat faster than the air can, which cools them to below freezing when the air is as warm as 38 degrees or so.

    It’s like when you hold something in front of a campfire and it gets hotter than the surrounding air, but the opposite.

    BTW, graupel is usually not slushy, but dry and kind of powdery. There’s even special klister for it.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  45. In the film Battleground, (The movie is about the Screaming Eagles in Bastogne) Ricardo Montabon is a Hispanic guy from UCLA and Los Angeles. He delights in seeing the snow for the first time. The other guys remind him that snow is cold and wet. This character later dies from hypothermia.

  46. Anon[397] • Disclaimer says:

    I remember a freak hailstorm, marble sized, and it really piled up, in the late 1970s on LA’s west side.

    I put a bunch of it in the freezer, I recall.

    The book Los Angeles: Ecology of Fear collected up some other weird local weather examples. Mike Davis was trying to make the case that the SoCal climate wasn’t as balmy as advertised, and the chamber of commerce and local pols conspired to hide that so that more Iowa immigrants would move there.

    • Replies: @Anon
  47. Gus says:

    Radiation cooling. Your roof and the bougainvillea are radiating heat to outer space and therefore get colder than the surrounding air. This is also why clear nights get colder than overcast nights.

  48. Poolnet says:

    This is only the second time that I’ve seen the term graupel in print. The first time was in May of 1966 when it was an answer to a question on my SATs. Not that I haven’t seen this type of precipitation itself many times in this part of PA, including last Wednesday. I always tell my wife when graupel is falling, but she just thinks that I’m being pedantic.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  49. Peterike says:

    “and saw another woman looking to the ground puzzled at the white stuff covering the sidewalk.”

    Astonishing ignorance. I’ve never seen a tornado in person, but I’d know what it is. We’re importing people so incredibly stupid that they don’t know what snow is. But don’t worry, they can all learn to code!

  50. Jack D says:
    @Bill P

    You can also have additional cooling by evaporation if the roof is wet and the cold roof cools the air that it near it and the cold air then cascades off the roof and bathes whatever is below it, so this could explain Steve’s frozen landscape plantings even though the ambient temp was slightly above freezing.

    Keep in mind that truly tropical plants are marginal for a climate like LA, which is more Mediterranean than tropical. Your Bougainvillea really would prefer to be near the equator where it never goes below 65 at night. It will tolerate brief periods of frost but would be much happier if it didn’t have to endure them.

    You may want to consider covering them up on really cold nights. This will keep the cold draft off of them and create a pocket of trapped warm air because the ground is a lot warmer.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  51. Pontius says:

    Snow in L.A.. Now I am sad. Another illusion shattered.

    If I won the lottery I would never see another snowflake.

    I thought SoCal would be the place!

  52. captflee says:


    Never hauled crude out of Valdez, but did so from Puerto Armuelles through the ditch up to LA/TEX, lo those many years ago.

    My hat’s off to you for making that run…that stretch of the Pacific is no millpond. Those of us from the other 1.5 coasts, sometimes forget just how cold that water stays year round. One summer working a tug pulling a self dumping log barge across the Gulf forever sated my urge to return professionally.

    Anything other than a dusting of the grass is uncommon here, although I was actually home for the town’s record snowfall back in ’89; 19 inches in the back yard. Now, on the average, drivers here are pretty bad in the rain, of which we get a bit ( >100 inches last year!), and a pure panic on any manner of frozen precipitation, despite some experience with it, (even the carpetbaggers here don’t seem to do at all well in our snowplow free zone), so, Left Coast folk, what would driving in SoCal look like with snow on the ground?

  53. @Charles Pewitt

    Charles, the force of ice is indisputable. Water leaks into small spaces between structural steel on bridges, freezes and expands causing rivets on older bridges to actually pop off. Same with pavement, ice forming in cracks causes the pavement, concrete or asphalt to fracture, traffic lifts the broken pieces out, causing potholes.

  54. @David

    Yeah, that’s the good old blackbody radiation equation, the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

    Few things make better blackbodies than granular stuff on asphalt shingles, and given generally flat angles they can radiate fairly freely in the upward direction.  If the air is cold and clear and not giving much downwelling IR you can generate frost on a roof even when the air temperature is well above freezing.  Of course you’ll also have cold air coming off the roof and falling by convection, freezing whatever is in its path (sort of like a brinicle).

  55. Wilkey says:

    In the arid West we say that beer is for drinking and water is for fighting over. Snowfall means snowpack. Snowpack means spring runoff. Spring runoff means water for showers, pools, grass, and everything else. Aside from that, the difference between a good snow year and a bad one is the difference between staring all summer at a dull brown valley or a plush, semi-green one.

    The real reason we loathe Southern Californians is that the bastards get the benefits of the snow without having to shovel it or drive in it. Yet we will hate them even more if cheap desalination is realized and we no longer have that to hold over their heads.

  56. donut says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    “Unhinged” , that got me to thinking . Even if the deal with Eskimos and lots of words for snow is BS it seems plausible , but how many words or phrases does English have for deranged with slang words included ? There’s come adrift , mad as a hatter , barking mad ,unhinged as Mr. Pewitt used , Barking at the moon , lunatic , madman , going postal , climbing the walls ? , Cloud cuckoo land , Democrat , crack pot, a lot . I think we should add AOC to that list as in delusional . I suppose it would be used as in the sense of espousing some irrational theory as well as to describe an egregiously bad idea as in “Donald Trump ha gone all AOC over Iran .”

  57. densa says:

    I find these terms highly relevant for mass migration. Over-immigration, social pollution.

    Thanks for those useful terms. So far they have framed the debate between love and hate instead of between open, endless immigration and controlled borders. Yet, I see smug Democrats from L.A. who have brought their “we love immigrants” ideology to a place still pleasantly rural and white. Their support of over-immigration is reducing the quality of life in these new-to-them pastures. Soon they will be as socially polluted as where they left. It is also about regular polluted with traffic, subdivisions, shopping centers and freeways. From a globalist perspective, this is why environmentalists had to be turned into global warming zealots. It’s the flyover perspective. Nothing that solar panels in Africa can’t fix.

    • Replies: @Altai
  58. Cold temperatures do roll down hills, but if the air goes below freezing temps you can’t get frost, because the water vapor turns to snow and the air gets dry. You need air above freezing so it has moisture and surfaces below freezing to get frozen condensation.

    The ground emits heat at night through infrared radiation and the surface cools faster than the air, the roof and the plant must be doing the same. During they day they may hit higher than air temps too since air is an insulator and doesn’t heat or cool easily.

    If the air temps go down to 31 or so the frost will stop. If it goes below I would guess 20 you can’t even get snow because it’s all gone by then. I’ve noticed it’s always warm when it snows (by Chicago winter standards), a little below freezing to a little above, and never snows when it’s cold like -20 during a polar vortex, because there’s no moisture in the air left by the time it gets anywhere near that low.

    • Agree: Autochthon
  59. Anon[315] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    They have more words for cocaine.

  60. JMcG says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    Hey, wait a minute! I climbed ice for years and I’m as hinged as the next guy.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  61. Jon says:
    @John Henry

    I always thought it a joke, as the English explanations of the words were as comprehensive as the translated words.

    Yes, I see that a lot. Something is so important in some culture that such-and-such language/people even have a word for X, where X is some perfectly serviceable (though maybe less common) English word for the exact same thing.

  62. fitzGetty says:

    … the word is sleet — it was SLEET …

  63. El Dato says:

    This is the formula for a perfect blackbody (something that perfectly absorbs infalling radiation and emits it in “throroughly mixed fashion” only dependent on its temperature and the laws of radiation). Most objects are not like that.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  64. dearieme says:

    “My impression is that locally extremely low temperatures roll down off the roof onto the bushes. But how does that work?”

    Gentlemen, he’s just teasing.

  65. tr says: • Website

    I imagine Angelenos have quite a few words for motor vehicle.

  66. What? People in LA don’t recognize snow?

    Are these people retarded? Have they never seen snow, I dunno, on the teevee?

    Was this the one Spicoli in SoCal who doesn’t snowboard? My whole life I hear people from California bragging about surfing in the morning and skiing in the afternoon. Though none of them have ever actually done that.

  67. How does it get colder in some spots in my yard than the overall temperature?

    My $7 indoor-outdoor thermometer’s instructions tell me explicitly to keep the outdoor unit out of the sun and other elements.

    Much of the engineering, or in Chinese, feng shui, behind “passive solar design” is based on differences in temperature in various parts of your lot. Eg, the eaves or awnings are set at such an angle that they shade the big windows most of the day in the summer, and let the sun in for much longer in the winter. East and west windows are smaller so the rooms on those sides don’t overheat in the morning and evening, respectively.

    • Replies: @Anon
  68. prosa123 says:
    @Jack D

    Bougainvillea takes its name from the 18th century French explorer Louis de Bougainville. Also bearing his name is Bougainville Island off Papua New Guinea, whose inhabitants are the darkest skinned people in the world.

  69. @reactionry

    Blimey, I had no idea Mary Beard was married with kids – she’s so woke I’d always assumed she wore sensible shoes and shared a house with three dogs and a crop-haired lady companion in tweeds and stout brogues.

    It’s also snowed in Las Vegas, where I gather it’s more common than in LA – once every decade or so.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Anon
  70. @Colin Wright

    Good weather means freedom of movement and freedom of plans. Of course, this means you get less freedom from traffic and crowds because everybody else wants to exercise that freedom too.

    Still, as a Californian, I can’t ever see myself living in a place where there’s snow on the ground for months at a time. A friend from Connecticut said it snowed some time in November and it never completely melted until April. That sounds like too much of the year is uncomfortably cold.

  71. AndrewR says:

    The west coast weather ain’t worth dealing with the people.

    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    , @Marty
    , @Anon
  72. AndrewR says:

    Are you in the southern hemisphere?

  73. anon[166] • Disclaimer says:

    Here in the comments, you’re not alone with this kind of take.

    It’s that of pseudo-academic vs. practitioner. The atmosphere has properties that (non-technically) resemble fluid dynamics. What’s so far fetched about a slope facilitating an artificial accumulation?

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    , @Reg Cæsar
  74. … there’s a ski hill in Lesotho in Southern Africa.

    I want to see a Winter Olympics held in August, somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.

    This picture is from 1962, the same year snow last fell in LA, but a different season– it’s Johannesburg:

    Excuse the metric, but this gives a clear picture of the “lake effect”:

  75. @Jkl

    I’ve tested this using a thermometer.

    You mean just watching the snow hang around a week longer on one side of the garage didn’t convince you?

  76. @YetAnotherAnon

    Las Vegas is at something like 2,700 feet elevation.

  77. Dtbb says:

    Tampa bay area.

    • Replies: @interesting
  78. TWS says:

    Had a friend from Eritrea who was convinced they had painted the city white.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Mr. Rational
  79. @Lars Porsena

    In Chicago, if you get up on a morning in January and the sun is shining brightly, it’s usually scary cold.

    But how does my roof get below freezing if the air never quite gets below freezing?

  80. OT,and I do apologize but if you’re not thoroughly sick of black male hijinks here in my beloved birthplace of Chicago , (Though if I visited my childhood home on Marshfield on the south side,umm,I’d probably be killed so..) R Kelly is going down,no pun,hard.
    They got da tape. The camera was pointing the right way this time.
    This fool w as back to his old tricks with the young and I do mean young,ladies.
    He is trying to raise bail as I write. Sitting in Cook County. I doubt the appeal of young girls foremost on his mind right now.
    Eddie Johnson is said to be “devastated.”

  81. @Hippopotamusdrome

    Some of those terms come from London. Not that LA isn’t full of the stuff, too:

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    , @Clyde
    , @Anon
  82. @TWS

    Had a friend from Eritrea who was convinced they had painted the city white.

    Hey, it worked for the guy’s capital city… thanks to literal Fascists:


    Asmara, by the way, is closer to the sea than is San Bernardino. Yet it’s almost as high as Mammoth Lakes, California’s highest point, and 2,000 ft higher than Denver.

    • Replies: @captflee
    , @Mr McKenna
  83. @Steve Sailer

    In Chicago, if you get up on a morning in January and the sun is shining brightly, it’s usually scary cold.

    Clouds keep the heat out in the summer. They keep it in in the winter.

    • Agree: Mr McKenna
    • Replies: @Autochthon
  84. @Steve Sailer

    Not snow-related, but I’d forgotten that Mary Beard was the author of the notorious post-9/11 London Review Of Books piece which said that in her (Cambridge, academic) community a common sentiment was that “however tactfully you dress it up, the United States had it coming“.

  85. @Steve Sailer

    Apparently just infrared radiation. Which as far as I understand is like invisible photon heat rays. After the sun goes down, on the whole, the earth just radiates the heat left from the day into space and cools down. Water vapor in the air will reflect it or absorb it and air will absorb some as heat but overall it shoots mainly through the air (and from the air I guess) out into space.

    If the earth suddenly stopped spinning, the lit half would get hotter and hotter where noon never ended anymore, temperature rising for months until it got ridiculous, and the dark half would lose something like 10-20 degrees a day, depending on things like cloud cover, maybe beyond -110 Fahrenheit when carbon dioxide would start snowing out of the air as dry ice.

    If there were still air currents that might spread a little of the heat around but only for some places. And pretty slow, air movement at ground level is under highway speeds.

    Depending on the material it’s made of some things lose the heat faster than others.

  86. @AndrewR

    Move 20 or 30 million immigrants out and it’d be a fine place.
    Like it was 60 years ago.

    Xavier Bias said: “I was like, no, this is snow.”

    And they won’t be talking like that any more, if I have my way.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  87. captflee says:
    @Reg Cæsar


    That is an interesting bit of information there! Spent an excess of time (that would be ANY) down in Djibouti, which was then, in the dying days of our pre- Middle East Forever War, surrounded by warfare, with Somalia ridding itself of the last vestiges of a functioning government and Eritrea nearing the end of its decades long war for independence from Ethiopia. No such architectural gems to be found there, as I recall.
    Had an anxious evening transiting southbound offshore as the Ethiopian Air Force bombed the crap out of Assab, with flashes from afar and the distant roar of high performance jets. Riots were frequent in Djibouti, as the mass of the locals had tribal allegiances to the contending parties in Somalia, so events there would produce reactive mayhem locally. Which would result in a sortie of elements of 13 DBLE out of garrison to enthusiastically and assiduously crack heads.
    Good times…

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Reg Cæsar
  88. @Reg Cæsar

    Wicked cool constructions there! Wasted on them, I fear.

    Let it never be said that there aren’t benefits to being colonized by Italians!

    Thanks also for the geography & topography lessons–seriously–love that stuff.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  89. Logan says:

    My impression is that locally extremely low temperatures roll down off the roof onto the bushes. But how does that work? How does it get colder in some spots in my yard than the overall temperature?

    It’s radiative cooling.

    Materials can lose heat by convection, evaporation of radiation. The latter is when a warmer surface radiates heat toward a cooler surface without the intervening fluid warming up. We’re all familiar with being able to feel the heat of the sun as warm even when the air is very cold.

    At night, if it’s clear, surfaces radiate heat towards space, which is of course very cold indeed. Air and especially water vapor interferes, which is why radiative cooling works espeically well at high altitudes and in dry climates.

  90. @Reg Cæsar

    I reckon as Clown World looms ever larger and everyone completely abandons mumeracy, literacy, and the ability to bother forming coherent and complete sentences even when speaking, all communication will be in forms currently recognisable as universal resource locators, thus:

    KTLA anchor Chris Burrous died overdose crysyal meth anus.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  91. @David

    I think all objects radiate energy according to this formula: 5.67*T^4÷10^8, where T the surface temperature in degrees Kelvin, with the answer in watts per square meter

    There’s a little bit more to it than that, David. It all depends on what that surface is radiating toward. The heat transfer is a function of T-hot ^4 T-cold^4, Now, if most of the area “seen” by the radiation surface is night sky, that T-C could be on the order of 0 K (absolute 0) or close enough to where the way you wrote it works.

    There’s more than that, as we have an atmosphere. It becomes a calculus problem if one were to try to calculate how much heat transfer is to the continuous layer going outward of various molecules in said atmosphere.

    To get back to reality, it also matters whether the surface, such as grass or the leaves on Steve’ plants see almost all sky or some other house walls and such (that are at T’s much closer to those leaves). That kind of calculation requires the use of “shape factors” Problems can get complicated right quick.

  92. @Poolnet


    A. shard:pottery
    B. schlemiel:woke
    C. aggressions:micro
    D. reparations:bupkis

  93. @Ghost of Bull Moose

    After he wrecked his crying-game friend’s Camaro, Spicoli wasn’t able to make the ski slopes before the lifts closed, after surfing at dawn:

  94. Clyde says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    OK I read your link and what a warped way to go…as in die.

    During the death investigations, officials were told Burrous, who leaves behind a wife and young daughter, did not have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, and apparently only used drugs recreationally.
    Burrous’ companion was cooperative throughout the investigation and no foul play is suspected in his death.

    Omitting the part where he inserts meth rock up his Uranus for Jussie type sex. This took place in LA? I am so surprised!

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  95. Marty says:

    Reminds me of a TNR editorial from around ’85 in which the writer said, “California is too good for Californians.”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  96. Lurker says:

    Those weather apps are just taking a temp for your area from some locally designated source. Your particular location might vary quite a lot.

    The only way to know is to have your own thermometer in position. Except, as you’ve noted, even that doesn’t tell the whole story.

  97. @anon

    There’s naught far fetched about “a slope facilitating an … accumulation” – hence the first sentece of my comment: “Cold does roll downhill figuratively.”

    Am I now misunderstanding your question? Becausw it seems also to be so elementary as to be rhetorical (I don’t mean this derogatorily; I am genuinely confused like, I expect, the fellow who simply wrote “Seriously?” is. I feel as though I might were we having an extensive discussion about how come photosynthesis does not occur in darkness or how come friction causes heat.

    It’s weird.

    • Replies: @anon
  98. Altai says:

    It gets more interesting because ‘social pollution’ doesn’t only mean more traffic and higher rents, it’s meant to evoke the disruption of the local ‘culture’ (read: population) being able to be alone with itself and have ownership of it’s own public space and territory.

    It’s like going home every night to your family and having strangers walking in and out of your house, you’re never allowed that shared group intimacy.

    • Agree: densa
  99. @Lars Porsena

    Having lived in snow country for all but ~2 years of my 5+ decades and counting, I can say with authority that you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Frost formation does not stop at 30F, or even 20F; frost will form whenever surface temperatures fall (a) below freezing and (b) the point at which the relative humidity goes above 100%.

  100. @Reg Cæsar

    Most people don’t realise that, after sunset, the air is heated (or not) by heat radiating from the Earth, as it releases heat it absorbed from the sun during the day. Thus, atmospheric cover like clouds or smoke will indeed help contain the heat radiating from the Earth, and even the old trick of covering delicate plants with blankets can help them survive for the same reasons covering mammals or birds helps them – the insulation slows the loss of heat radiating from the Earth into the air.

    Tuck in your bougainvillea under a nice down comforter, all you zombies in Hollywoo, and they’ll be okay. Maybe bring them so cocoa. With a marshmallow.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  101. @Steve Sailer

    how does my roof get below freezing if the air never quite gets below freezing?

    The air isn’t a really great absorber/emitter of thermal IR compared to its heat capacity; your roof is a vastly better one, with far less thermal mass.  Given a clear sky, your roof radiates much more of its heat to space than the air above it does.

  102. prosa123 says:

    Backyard fig trees are quite popular in many Northeastern states such as New York and Connecticut even though the climate is too cold for them to survive naturally. People wrap them in multiple layers of burlap in the winter.

  103. About a month ago my wife and I were taking a walk on the beach down here in Florida. It was a warm, blustery day and we were dressed in short pants and shirtsleeves. We noticed a squall line moving in off the Gulf and as we didn’t want to sprint for our car in the parking lot we decided to just wait it out beneath a palm tree. Generally, the rain would be short lived and pretty warm and not that unpleasant.

    As the squall came in the wind picked up dramatically and the air temperature dropped. We lined up behind the tree trunk like bicyclists in a pace line. Now the wind really began to move things around and we crouched closer thinking, “Wow! This is a real front coming through!” Then the wind got so strong that I had to hold onto the sides of the tree trunk just to stay in close. Hail began pelting my clenched hands. The sound of the wind was a continuous low roar.

    It didn’t seem possible but things just got worse by the moment. The wind’s strength seem inexhaustible. Hail was streaming past us horizontally. My hands smarted from being blasted by hail and from the cold. My wife scrunched as close to the tree as she possibly could while I was pressing in close behind her, hugging the torn old branches of the palm with my reddened, smarting hands. She’s petite and I knew that if we were torn away from our protected lee, she wouldn’t stand a chance.

    And still the wind increased.The hail was like bullets. I couldn’t believe it. I’d been through 90 mph storms in the Puget Sound area but this was beyond that. I literally didn’t dare move a bit to the right or left for fear of being snatched away by the wind. I’ve been through winter storms on Lake Michigan where we could just let our bodies fall forward and let the wind catch us and hold us suspended in free fall but this was in a different league. I couldn’t believe how strong the wind had become, nor how it blew for what seemed an interminable time. Would our tree topple over or be uprooted?

    Of course it finally relented, grudgingly easing off. We came out from behind our sanctuary and just looked at one another and laughed. We’d made it! What a bizarre occurrence! Like nothing either of us had lived through before. But I knew what it was, because I’d read about it. It was a White Squall. Deadly for boats, especially an unsuspecting sail boat with any sail up because it would knock them flat in the water on their side and then they’d swamp and sink. The cruise ship Albatross may have been sunk in just such a freak weather phenomenon.

    We began walking back towards the parking lot. Ran into a couple with two children. They were a muddy mess. What had happened? Had they been on the beach or further inland, in the lee of the trees? They had been on the beach, hadn’t gotten up the bank behind the palms and had been smacked right on the nose. The kids took shelter behind behind what they could on the beach. The mother was knocked down and began rolling away. The father had had to run after the mom and lie on her to stop her. She couldn’t hold her ground against the wind.

    White squalls have a mythological status. Are they real or just a sailor’s yarn? I am convinced that they are entirely real and capable of doing an incredible amount of damage in a very short time.

    Anyway, there’s my snow (or hail) in warm weather story.

  104. @Ghost of Bull Moose

    My whole life I hear people from California bragging about surfing in the morning and skiing in the afternoon.

    That would be an extremely long day. It’s 82 miles from the Santa Monica Pier to Mountain High ski hill on the north side of the San Gabriels. (It’s only 63 miles to the small Mt. Baldy ski hill, but that’s open only intermittently.)

    • Replies: @Jack D
  105. @Steve Sailer

    I think you just want to see “black bodies” written over and over again.

  106. @Marty

    Reminds me of a TNR editorial from around ’85 in which the writer said, “California is too good for Californians.”

    Cribbed from the classic “Paris is wasted on the French.”

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  107. @Clyde

    … no foul play is suspected in his death.

    Just foul foreplay.

  108. @prosa123

    January 1977 was peak “Coming Ice Age” hysteria.

  109. Dtbb says:

    One of those hit a hi-rise I was building in Tampa. Freezing cold in middle of the summer. Tower crane operators were…. Needed clean drawers.

  110. @ThreeCranes

    My wife scrunched as close as … she possibly could while I was pressing in close behind her, hugging … with my reddened, smarting hands. She’s petite and I knew that if torn … she wouldn’t stand a chance.

    We could just let our bodies fall forward….

    I .. blew for what seemed an interminable time.

    Of course it finally relented, grudgingly easing off … came out from behind ….

    I knew what it was, because I’d read about it. A muddy mess.

    You forgot the salutation “Dear Penthouse…” and a signature “The White Squall.”

    Talk about “licky boom boom down.”

    Say, can I be on the editorial board of The New York Times now?

    Anyhow, the Snow in Canada is vwry differenr from the Snow in Mexinchifornia:

  111. anon[166] • Disclaimer says:

    > hence the first sentece of my comment

    I believe I hadn’t yet had my coffee at the making of that comment.

  112. prosa123 says:

    Western Hemisphere snow: according to some Google research I have done, snow has never been recorded anywhere in the Caribbean or Central America except for some rare mountaintop snow in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. There is a disputed report of snow flurries in Cuba in the 1850’s. Finally, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, there was a small amount of snow in the Bahamas during a freak storm in January 1977, if you count that as Caribbean.
    South America proper is a different story. Thanks to the Andes the only completely snowless countries are Guyana and Suriname, plus French Guiana if that counts. That being said, snow is extremely rare in Paraguay and rare in Uruguay, while in Brazil it’s limited to a few highland communities in the southern part of the country.

  113. @Steve Sailer

    All of NV is pretty elevated. It doesn’t feel like it because you’re often driving on flat areas looking up at mountains. It just doesn’t have much water, so we think of deserts, which don’t make us think of snow.

    Prescott, AZ, which is quite the desert, has gotten buried during the last few days.

  114. Why did you write “Los Angelenos” Steve?

    I’ve never heard anything other than “Angelenos”, but then I don’t talk to outsiders. (Come to think of it, it really is amazing how we native-borns keep to ourselves, at least among the LA Country Club types I know.)

    Maybe you were thinking that the outsiders would have to think twice before realising where you were talking about?

  115. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Without traffic jams (e.g. when the freeways were first built) that would only be an hour and a half trip to Mountain High – completely doable. Compare that to say Miami . What’s the closest ski hill to Miami Beach? Cloudmont in northern Alabama is only a quick 800 miles jaunt from Miami.

  116. prosa123 says:

    What’s the closest ski hill to Miami Beach? Cloudmont in northern Alabama is only a quick 800 miles jaunt from Miami.

    The much larger Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain ski areas in far western North Carolina are only slightly further, and probably a quicker drive. They’re outside the city of Boone, which is the only city in the South with a concentration of ski-related businesses, not to mention the highest elevation of any city east of the Mississippi River.

  117. @Reg Cæsar

    Not to mention “youth is wasted on the young“.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  118. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    ktla5 is the only news I watch. Really it’s more like I don’t turn it off in loathing and detestation.

    It’s non political, not PC no sermons about the evils of Whites. It’s just what happened that day around Los Angeles. It’s a good mix of kids , crime, mountain lions attacking dogs road conditions on the freeways in winter no heart warming immigrant stories and most of the news readers are White.

    No stories about dey mammas of black thugs weeping and wailing that the thugs were arrested. No anti Trump anti White discussions. Unlike Fox no blacks pontificating. Reasonable amount of ads instead of the 50 50 ratio ads to content of most TV news. And I think only one black news reader.

  119. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    Everybody’s unlikeable. Wait till you get to details of Mcoy’s wife and girl friend. One thing, the wife’s excessive spending was very New Yorkish but not WASPISH.

    I loved the book. It’s very true in the way liberal Whites work with blacks to hunt down and destroy other Whites.

  120. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    We’re warmer than Atlanta because we’re near the ocean which keeps us warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

    I once kept an eye on the car thermonter driving from Pasadena low 9os downtown LA closer to the ocean mid 80s then going west a few degrees lower every few miles then Santa Monica on the ocean 69.

  121. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    City of Venice is considering an entrance fee in the summer like an amusement park. Also to limit number of people entering the city like bars restaurants have those fire department regulations of no more than a certain number of people.

  122. @Dtbb

    So it sounds like pretty much normal weather then.

  123. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Are your snow removal people running into problems of where to put all that snow?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  124. @Anon

    As ever, Santa Monica rules.

  125. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t think there is a word of truth in any of Mike Davis’ books. He seems to have disappeared thanks be to God

    Maybe he wasn’t anti White enough to get published any more.

    • Replies: @Anon
  126. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I have that in my house in LA main rooms face west and get warm in winter so I never have to turn on the heat. In summer the sun doesn’t come in till about 3 and goes behind the house across the street about 5 so it’s only hot about 2 or 3 hours a day in summer.

  127. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    Is this the historian Mary Beard married to Charles or someone else?

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  128. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    I agree with that. They are a lot lot worse than they were 50 years ago and getting worse and worse

  129. Anon[214] • Disclaimer says:

    No, Mike Davis is really a bright guy and made some fascinating observations in his books. He’s very much a “noticing” kind of guy, even though he notices many things that the political left also likes.

    He was slimed by political opponents for some errors and plagiarisms in his books that, if you have ever researched and written a longer piece of work, you would recognize as the stuff that slips through if you are not a Type A OCD super organized person and you don’t have a research assistant to keep things straight.

  130. @captflee

    Djibouti was French Somaliland, Punt and/or Somaliland was British Somaliland, and the rest of today’s Somalia was Italian Somaliland. There is also significant Somali “spillover” in Ethiopia and Kenya.

    Many Somalis came to the West already speaking passable, and sometimes excellent, English. With two million cousins in Kenya, they had an excellent opportunity to learn the language via bilingual near-native speakers.

    Actually, the Kenyan government forced them to learn English as a condition of waiting for resettlement in those camps. Because that would make them easier to resettle. Kenya already has enough Somalis of their own.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  131. @Mr McKenna

    Wicked cool constructions there! Wasted on them, I fear.

    Not so. Eritreans may hate the Fascists, but they love the buildings. A mixed view, but a proper one.

    Also, how many African capitals offer a reason to visit?

  132. @captflee

    I met a couple from the Dakotas who were teachers in Eritrea and had just been evacuated during a flareup of troubles with Ethiopia. We had an Eritrean teen working for us, so I introduced them to him.

    We also had a slightly older African working for us, and he was standing by listening. So the couple ask him, “Are you Eritrean, too?”

    “No. I’m Ethiopian.”

    “And you’re not fighting?”

    The two Africans hug. “No. We’re best buddies!”

    What a difference an ocean makes. Added to half of two continents.

  133. @Anon

    The other day we saw a large municipal dump truck, in a small town, with a mountain peak of snow well above its rim. I don’t know where they dumped it, but we’re in the Mississippi watershed, so it’s not as bad as, say, Grand Forks in 1997.

    My kid climbs up a snow mountain yesterday, and his feet are above my head. So I join him. He goes farther up, and again his feet are above his head.

  134. @Reg Cæsar

    Kenya already has enough Somalis of their own.

    The USA has at least tens of thousands, which from the evidence of Minneapolis and Lewiston is some tens of thousands too many.

  135. @El Dato

    It was well above freezing on a late winter afternoon as I rode my motorcycle through downtown Denver, when I was rudely slammed down spinning sideways along the pavement.

    While spinning I spied the horrified face on the driver of the spinning station wagon right behind me.

    A tall building’s shadow made a black ice microclime.

  136. @Anon

    I’m several chapters into Bonfire of the Vanities, and all the POV characters, three so far, are unlikable male assholes. And they are all the same unlikeable male asshole, whose internal dialog is like Tom Wolfe writes, in his nonfiction.

    You should try Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying.

    Really, I don’t know how they made the story into a movie without ruining it. Then again, I’ve never seen the movie, so maybe they did ruin it.

  137. @anon

    The atmosphere has properties that (non-technically) resemble fluid dynamics.

    Er, the atmosphere is a fluid, isn’t it? So that’s like saying Brooks Robinson “resembled” a third baseman.

  138. @Hapalong Cassidy

    Technically, LA isn’t really at a low latitude; it’s about the same latitude as Atlanta, which gets maybe a decent snowfall every couple of years on average.

    Atlanta is 1050′ above sea level, and downwind from higher elevations. Los Angeles has a few peaks of 5000′, but the city’s mean elevation is only 285′. It’s altitude, not latitude.

    It also makes you wonder about the second half of Hank Aaron’s career. Babe Ruth and Sadaharu Oh played at almost sea level, as did Barry Bonds for most of his career. Though Bonds got a head start in Pittsburgh, which is higher than Atlanta.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  139. @Anon

    We’re warmer than Atlanta because we’re near the ocean which keeps us warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

    I once kept an eye on the car thermonter driving from Pasadena low 9os downtown LA closer to the ocean mid 80s then going west a few degrees lower every few miles then Santa Monica on the ocean 69.

    We did that in our rented Cobalt on the way to our honeymoon in Duluth. I think it went down to -18°F. But I don’t think it went up at all as we approached Lake Superior.

    By the way, pick up your rental car after the wedding. That way, both of you can drive it.

  140. @Reg Cæsar

    If anything should make you suspicious about Bonds, it’s that his home run totals increased when he moved from Three Rivers (732′) to Candlestick Park (59′), then Pac Bell (15′).

    He averaged about 25 home runs a season in Pittsburgh, then led the league with 46 in his first season at sea level. Yeah, right.

    Was the Candlestick wind blowing straight from home plate to right field?

  141. MarcB. says:

    When I was a kid in the San Fernando Valley, it seemed to get down to 28 F pretty regularly, but lately freezing temperatures are rare.

    It could be the result of the City Heat Island effect. Cities and outlying areas in the South Central region now have milder Winters and Falls and longer, hotter Summers after metro areas expanded out into surrounding counties/states with the growth of exurbs. The range of Armadillos was relegated to the Deep South back in the 1980s, but are now a pervasive pest well north of I-20.

  142. JAU says:

    Steve, for information on backyard micro climates, check out David the Good’s book “Grow or Die.” In it he details how to grow tropical and subtropical plants in temperate zones by strategically locating them at various hot spots around the yard.

  143. @Anon

    No, this is the classicist/historian Mary Beard married to Robin. Probably more well known on this side of the pond. Famous/notorious not only for her 9/11 statements, but her presenting of a BBC history cartoon series showing black Romans which caused some controversy (IMHO Romans from North Africa were not ‘black’ as depicted).

  144. @Autochthon

    and everyone completely abandons mumeracy

    Mummeracy is alive and well in at least one city:

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