Monday, January 21, 2008

We Don't Know What Cold Is

Even with the cold snaps we've experienced the last couple weeks, we'd seem downright tropical to the folks in Yakutsk. That community of about 200,000 people (roughly the size of Amarillo, to put it into perspective) has the distinction of being arguably the coldest city on the planet. Of course, this quote is classic:
I ask Vasily Illarionov, the head of the Yakut Language and Culture Department at the local university, what role the weather played in folklore. "Yakuts have always had a tremendous respect for the world around them and for nature, because they know how powerful it can be," he says. "But cold itself doesn't play a huge part in our traditions. Anyway, it's nice cold we have here because we don't have wind. When it gets down to minus 40C I like to walk to work. I like our weather, but I don't think I could live somewhere windy."
Something tells me that Professor Illarionov would not like the winds in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma.

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