Re: Climate Best By Government Test

1

"pleasant" here means the mean temperature was between (55° F and 75° F), the minimum temperature was above 45° F, the maximum temperature was below 85° F means the respondents' mean age was between 65 and 85 and there was no significant precipitation or snow depth they had no tolerance for even the mildest weather event.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:40 PM
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Hmm, the difference between where I was and where I am isn't all that great, which matches my intuition. I always thought the weather there was pretty horrid -- or at least not to my taste.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:48 PM
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Something is off with that site, because it should be like 345 days/year or something for coastal San Diego. Which has the best weather. Also fuck it, let's go full troll: Everybody who inevitably will comment in this threads about how their crappy rain and snow filled place is awesome is bullshitting themselves, whether they know it or not. You can easily travel somewhere to ski or look at fall leaves or do the little nice things that are nice in your shitty place of origin during the 30 days a year that your shitty place of origin stops being relentlessly shitty and therefore feel super special.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:49 PM
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Wait, this thing doesn't factor in humidity, so it's worse than worthless; it's Hitler.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:49 PM
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Yeah, that FL tourism campaign (people sunbathing, a cloud rolls across the sun for a second, they all moan, tagline "A bad day here beats a good day almost anywhere else") always seemed like transparent bullshit to me, and now the data backs up the fact that a lot of FL isn't that much better than New England.
And CA is great except when the earth tries to burn down all your shit or make your house collapse on you or take away all your water.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:50 PM
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I've often wondered if there's an index of pleasantness due to lack of natural hazards. E.g. New England has ticks that try to give you diseases but CA has earthquakes but FL has hurricanes but Texas has formerly third world tropical diseases.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:53 PM
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San Diego is pretty great, if you just want one type of weather. And I'll grant you that it's a very nice type of weather. But so is 45 degrees and sunny if you're in a jacket and raking leaves in the yard, or 20 and snowing if you're hauling the kids up a sledding hill. Or 100 degrees if you're next to a clear blue lake with a dock off which to jump. Therefore, Minnesota has the best weather.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:54 PM
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It seems unfair to set the bar at 85 and exclude Hawaii where Nature's thermostat has been stuck at 86 for centuries.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:55 PM
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The problem with this thing is that they are equating too cold with too hot. Too cold sucks donkey balls. Too hot is fine, it just means you drink lemonade and go for a swim in the pool.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:55 PM
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6: Yes. So many fewer bugs here than in Durham (as far south as I've lived). The cold was hard this winter but I haven't seen a living stink bug since.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:57 PM
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Counter-troll: weather isn't fundamentally that important, as long as it's pleasant enough to go outside some of the time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 5:58 PM
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Plus, Chopper is right about cold. I don't think 40 is unpleasant. I'd certainly prefer it to 80 and humid if I had to do yard work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:00 PM
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9 is so wrong it deserves to be on the supermarket shelf next to the margarine.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:01 PM
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Also, I just got a nice fleece thing from REI. Labor Day sale.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:04 PM
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Countertroll: the ancients who huddle in so-called "pleasant" places are the people who deserve one-way trips on ice floes. Stop weakening the species, pussies.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:10 PM
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So California has mountain lions (bitey ones), earthquakes, near-constant drought, gene-warping sun, mudslides whenever it does rain, endemic wildfires, smog, Californians, and the whole place is run by the prison guards' union, and it's the best place to live? Give me Wendell Anderson and a fish any day.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:11 PM
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Plus, ohmigod, the cockroaches. I have never seen so many roaches as I have in LA. Fuckers are gonna give the prison guards a run for their money any day now.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:13 PM
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That's weird, you must have been staying in a true shithole. We're not a particularly roach-filled city by the standard of cities. Now, ants, I'll give you ants. There are tons of those fuckers unless you pay an exterminator to get rid of them.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:17 PM
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11 is wise. People who care a lot about the weather are either old, or boring.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:17 PM
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this thing doesn't factor in humidity

I'd bet that over the course of a year, precipitation ends up being a pretty good proxy for that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:20 PM
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weather isn't fundamentally that important

There seems to be a personality type (one I admire!) for whom this is true. I do not share this personality type.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:23 PM
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20: Or sales of jock itch powder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:24 PM
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This map just shows how poor "number of nice days" is a measure of weather. Santa Fe comes in at worse than Boston. Surely no one has ever thought that Boston has better weather than Santa Fe.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:25 PM
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20 is not true. Places with winter rain and places with summer rain are totally different in terms of humidity even if they get similar amounts of rain.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:26 PM
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Heh. Jesus gets it right in 1.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:27 PM
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Boston has an impressively large number of nice days, at that (a surprisingly large amount of sunshine!) but a lot of variability and some memorably irredeemable varieties of shitty days (variations on freezing rain!) that make it hard to remember that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:28 PM
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how poor "number of nice days" is a measure of weather

I wonder how granular the data he's using is. If it's daytime high/low/mean, then Santa Fe probably lost a bunch of days because it gets so cold at night. But that doesn't mean "number of nice days" is a bad measure; just that this way of measuring it isn't precise enough.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:28 PM
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And it's all confounded with the cityness of it all. Nobody thinks the cape has shitty weather.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:29 PM
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There are also places that take pride in fooling people into thinking their shitty weather is nice (see FL above) while other places people take pride in telling everyone how they survive the bad bits of weather even though there are lots of good bits (Boston)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:30 PM
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Freezing rain is a pain if you need to go anywhere, but it does lead to some really great YouTube videos. "Pittsburgh Hill Ice" is a good search.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:30 PM
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Places with winter rain and places with summer rain

You're probably one of those people who can keep track of what fruits and vegetables are "in season."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:30 PM
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Chopper is of course also right in 7.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:30 PM
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I guess the point is that Boston has exactly one good season: fall. It's very good at fall, and that's where all the nice days are. It is terrible in the other three seasons.

Which leads to the essential problem with this map: a nice winter day is not the same thing as a nice summer day is not the same as a nice spring day. San Diego is one way to have perfect weather, but another way would be to have pleasant versions of all four seasons.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:32 PM
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But no one goes to the cape in the winter so of course everyone thinks it always nice. My in-laws are living on Nantucket this winter and it's a windy hellhole. The suicide rate goes through the roof.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:33 PM
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The most frustrating thing about Boston weather is the complete lack of spring. It goes very quickly from miserable winter to miserable summer.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:34 PM
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Putting michigan well above Montana is disqualifyingly ludicrous. Michigan is the worst. The worst.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:34 PM
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New England has bitey large cats too!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:34 PM
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weather isn't fundamentally that important

There seems to be a personality type (one I admire!) for whom this is true. I do not share this personality type.

Dude, look where these fools are posting from. Of course weather matters, this is self-justifying delusion. It's like me saying "oh traffic doesn't matter that much." Sure, you get used to it, life goes on, it's probably less important than having friends and family and meaningful work or whatever, but with bad weather there's just a fundamental background level of shittitude, just like there most definitely is in the Northeast between (at least) November and March, plus the quite different shittitude of horrible summer humidity.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:35 PM
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What is the overlap between the sets of people who have lived in coastal California and of people who disparage California weather? Hasn't Chopper attested to having brain damage? I choose to believe so. Why wouldja want soft bred, it don't even sharpen yer teef.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:36 PM
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36: There's a whole song about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:36 PM
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another way would be to have pleasant versions of all four seasons.

That's a legitimate point and an alternate approach; probably only Colorado and Utah get you there in the US. You still have to deal with it being winter though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:38 PM
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Traffic matters much more than weather, this much is true. Traffic is so unbearable. November is generally very nice here. So is most of December. You want to needle a Bostonian, you want March and (usually) April.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:38 PM
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33: I can imagine a pleasant version of summer (80s, low humidity) but I don't see how you get a winter with lots of fluffy snow and no sleet, slush our icy roads.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:38 PM
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You know where the weather was genuinely just sucky? Treasure Island. Never really cold, but never actually warm, and always super windy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:39 PM
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I am so sick of the summer heat. Bring me cold.

This made me laugh though:

It is September! I love September. All of fall is still ahead of us. It's the Friday afternoon of months. Well, it is for those of us who like fall best. For those of us who like summer best, it's the Sunday afternoon of months. And for those of us who like winter best, it's the Wednesday evening of months. For those of us who like spring best, it's nothing.

Anyway, fall is the best season, so obviously.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:40 PM
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43: in the Mountain West you get big snowstorms that melt crazily fast. It is pretty close to that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:40 PM
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Fall is the best season. This is true.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:41 PM
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"Slush our icy roads," said the Southie to the San Diegan.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:42 PM
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that doesn't mean "number of nice days" is a bad measure; just that this way of measuring it isn't precise enough.

"number of nice days" is a bad measure of the most pleasant places to live, because it assumes that one wants to live in a place that's always the same. Come on, now: if it's always the same pleasant 55-75 degrees F, you stop registering it as "pleasant", and just register it as "meh, regular day, whatever".

We register circumstances as pleasant in contradistinction to their alternatives. If you never experience an alternative (which is not necessarily unpleasant, but just different!), you go on autopilot.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:42 PM
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You know why it's called fall? Because of nothing to do with southern CA.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:42 PM
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another way would be to have pleasant versions of all four seasons.

There you go.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:44 PM
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I have to say that I've been totally won over by this whole stereotypical midwestern Michigan/Summer/Lake thing. It's really nice there in the summer. (I'm sure it's terrible the rest of the year.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:44 PM
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fall is the best season, so obviously.

Particularly in SF, where it's summer.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:44 PM
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This is the boringest troll post ever. I'm ashamed of myself for having participated.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:44 PM
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48: what does "the Southie" mean?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:45 PM
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C'mon JP, you know you're dying to throw down some weather knowledge. Just give in and do it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:46 PM
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Once the highs get below 60, I can break out my old-man sport coats. That's always a treat. I'm thinking of buying a bigger one, in tweed, that I can wear over sweaters like winter coat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:47 PM
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41: Right, I haven't lived there but just east of the Front Range in Colorado sure seams to have just about perfect weather. I really like the weather in Santa Fe too. The main problem with the Utah/Colorado/New Mexico area is that Fall isn't quite right because of the wrong kind of trees. But that's getting really nitpicky.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:47 PM
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Even the summer in Michigan never has a clear blue sky. It's at best full of white, not too depressing clouds. At best. At worst, you endure six months of low gray clouds about tree height and all the color is sucked out of the world, and everything exists on a gray-brown scale covered with filmy sludge and the snow disappeared after a day but it's still colder than a witch's titty. Plus in the winter, humid just stings.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:47 PM
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Then the ice weasels come.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:48 PM
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just register it as "meh, regular day, whatever".

This has definitely been discussed here before and Sifu agreed with me, I think, that this isn't necessarily the case--I'd say it's not even usually the case, given how many conversations I had along the lines of "another beautiful day!"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:48 PM
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Anyway, I agree about Colorado, and I'd throw western North Carolina in there, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:49 PM
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The Front Range is great (although I think drought has finally put us off moving there) but you do occasionally get a huge snowstorm or flood.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:49 PM
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Colorado, and I'd throw western North Carolina in there, too

Not even remotely the same, man. Humidity, brah.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:50 PM
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55: isn't a southie what Matt Damon is in that movie with the apples and math?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:50 PM
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The central valley is fine in the winter and spring. The heat in summer (even without humidity) is horrid. I prefer Boston weather.

The Bay Area is different.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:51 PM
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True. Colorado is too dry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:51 PM
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59- I heard they filmed the "used-up world" part of the Langoliers miniseries in Michigan.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:53 PM
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Colorado is too dry

My wife, the other benighted Floridian, also feels nostalgic for air that feels like having urine soaked baby wipes stuck all over your face and body. Different strokes!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:54 PM
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65: he's a guy who is supposed to be from Southie. But calling somebody from there "a Southie" I find grating to the point of feigning incomprehension.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:55 PM
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61: yeah. I definitely noticed pretty much every day in SD that it was beautiful. And yet, I'm far, far happier here!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:56 PM
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That beautiful corn palace.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:57 PM
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I've never been. I have been to Wall Drug. And the mountain with the faces.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 6:58 PM
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2nd tapestry in the series: Halford cowering in a doorway during a light drizzle.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:05 PM
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Not fear, Stormcrow, anger. He thinks he deserves better. Why don't you?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:07 PM
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I didn't realize the Corn Palace was so close to where I grew up. We could have road tripped there anytime we wanted.

I also didn't realize that Pierre isn't pronounced Pierre when you are talking about the city in South Dakota.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:08 PM
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"Let this land be forever parched that I may frolic unsprinkled-upon! So sayeth Khal Halford! Bring my trusty steed Old Guy Cadillac so that I may do donuts on the remains of the planet's rich bounty!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:09 PM
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There is a tension between the desire for pleasant weather and the requirements of life. They should invent a place where it rains only between 2 and 5am.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:14 PM
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"Calling somebody from there "a Southie" I find grating to the point of feigning incomprehension," said the secretary to the bishop, metonymically.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:14 PM
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Santa Barbara only has 152 nice days a year? That is insane.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:22 PM
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There's all sort of place in California that I gather are very large and that I have no idea where they are. Like Santa Barbara or Oxnard or Simi Valley or anything that isn't LA, San Diego, or San Francisco.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:26 PM
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The central valley is fine in the winter and spring.

Yeah, this is just wrong. The Central Valley has really shitty weather pretty much year-round. It's wet as hell -- there's moss on the leeward sides of trees for a reason -- and often biting cold in the winter. It's quite humid and gets very hot too quickly in the spring. Then summer is unbearably scalding. And fall doesn't really exist. It's just a couple of gigantic windstorms that whip all the leaves off the trees and make everyone crazy. The exception to all of the above is a drought year, when the weather in the Central Valley is very nearly perfect -- except for summer, which is still too stinking hot.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:30 PM
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At the very least they should have gone with dew point rather than temperature. Temperature is probably the least indicative of the generally available measures. I mean, would anyone seriously think Bellingham WA (which gets less sun than any other city in America) has a more pleasant climate than Salt Lake City?

Then again the only season in Minneapolis that I don't like is summer so who knows about my priorities. The winters are cold, yes, but they're also bright and sunny which makes a big difference and it's not hard to adapt to cold (you put on more things). I think people with more moderate winters might have a harder time with it, since they end up being damp and it never quite gets cold enough to actually commit to cold weather clothing. Pennsylvania was terrible for me, because you had to choose between just a bit too warm for comfort or not quite warm enough for most of the winter.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:30 PM
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I'm sure I'll regret saying this during the dead of winter, but the weather here seems far more pleasant -- or at least far closer to my tastes, which run to cool and thunderstormy -- than it was in the Central Valley, where I often felt victimized by being thisclose to the Bay Area but yet too far away to really enjoy its good weather.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:32 PM
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81: with the possible exception of LA and the Bay Area, I think it's clear from this blog that the most important cities in California are Santa Barbara and Davis.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:35 PM
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My favorite parts were the hills where they made booze and the tar pits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:36 PM
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If one can afford to live in Santa Barbara, one is a fool for living anywhere else. Were it not for the nuclear reactor conveniently located atop a very active fault in Diablo Canyon -- That's a very good joke you played, nuclear engineers! You guys are a hoot! -- the same would be true of San Luis Obispo.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:37 PM
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And Louisville has only slightly better weather than upstate New York. This is, literally, insane.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:40 PM
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Buffalo has almost 50% more pleasant days than Louisville.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:51 PM
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82: I hate the Central Valley's weather as much as one, and I especially hate that the heat is electric and doesn't work so that you feel colder there than in a well-insulated building in the Northeast.

But I remember sunny, mild January days that were much more pleasant than the summer. Spring in New England is much too short. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware must have lovely Springs.

I think I'd like to live in New Zealand from October through February.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:53 PM
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"one" s/b "anyone" or perhaps "one can"


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:55 PM
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Colorado is a beautiful place, but my skin is always parched and grateful to return to sea level when I'm done with my visit.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:56 PM
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I have certainly enjoyed my time in Buffalo more than my time in Louisville. Lake Erie summers are heaven. Ohio River Valley, not so much.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:57 PM
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OT: I just saw a TV attacking Wolf (Dem for governor of PA). Is that common this early? I own a TV but mostly watch Netflix.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:58 PM
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In Soviet Russia, wolf attacks TV,


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 7:59 PM
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84 may also be mistaking this particular summer's weather for summer weather. This summer has been nice in the northeast.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:00 PM
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Come on, now: if it's always the same pleasant 55-75 degrees F, you stop registering it as "pleasant", and just register it as "meh, regular day, whatever".

False, because

If one can afford to live in Santa Barbara, one is a fool for living anywhere else

...really is true. I thought before I went there that I was not the kind of person who wanted a relentless procession of equally lovely days but GUESS WHAT my body had a different opinion and it was totally fucking great. My baseline contentment was notably higher and it just kept going. It's going to be great in the afterlife when I have my Ohio house and my Berkeley social life and my Santa Barbara weather all in one place.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:12 PM
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84 may also be mistaking this particular summer's weather for summer weather. This summer has been nice in the northeast.

Also true.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:12 PM
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How horrible is it to socialize with Ohioans?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:19 PM
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Best we can do is your Berkley house, your Ohio weather, and your Santa Barbara social life.


Posted by: Opinionated The Afterlife | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:24 PM
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As usual, the map includes neither Alaska nor Hawaii. Not that there's much question how they would score.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:31 PM
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I want my Texas house and friends, with McMansion-sized closets and mud room, and I've never lived anywhere with really great weather so let's just say 10° cooler all year round and call it even.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:36 PM
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I have to say, the weather in Oakland is amazing. I sometimes wish it got a little warmer, but this weekend it actually got a little above 80. And if you want fall, you can go to Berkeley in the evening.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:37 PM
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And I want all of you available online. Kthxbye.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:37 PM
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My Ohio friends and my SB friends are/were both extremely lovely, but the overall social life and opportunities for socially interesting things to do is/was a little sluggish.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:55 PM
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I'm having fresh huckleberries and cream for dessert -- suck it, lowlanders.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 8:58 PM
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To heebie's question: Yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:00 PM
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this weekend it actually got a little above 80

Ugh don't remind me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:03 PM
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If one can afford to live in Santa Barbara, one is a fool for living anywhere else.

Boy, that sure wasn't my experience.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:04 PM
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Boy, that sure wasn't my experience.

It's got a kind of soul-sucking feature available if your soul needs sucking, I'll give it that.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:08 PM
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It wasn't my soul oh whatever, the fact that when shortly after I was offered another year of VAPping it up there I exited my apartment and realized with great clarity that I could not stay without succumbing to the sickness unto death was multiply determined and not entirely Santa Barbara's fault. You know right after I moved there I went to a Califone concert? Why couldn't SB have kept that up?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:12 PM
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On the question of 40 degree days, I agree with Stringer Bell.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:14 PM
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Cold weather is great. Snow is great. Rain is great. Unless you have to drive in the snow and ice.

I like being outside in the hot weather, but not in the sun. The sun is exhausting. Maybe the best weather is on the west coast, but certainly not in San Diego or LA where there aren't any clouds.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:16 PM
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Putting Cooke City above Missoula shows the bankruptcy of the methodology. But then it's apparent, since our 40 degree swing Indian summer days are (a) ruled out but (b) glorious. There's an amount of money you could pay me to live in Santa Barbara -- but it's enough for me to have a vacation home in Montana (maybe two), where I'd be more often then not.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:23 PM
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Charley's heart of hearts is littler and harder to find than I anticipated.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:25 PM
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And what is the deal with putting Browning east of Cut Bank? And that spot west of Hamilton that has more "pleasant" days? It's up Blodgett Canyon in the Bitterroots -- a wilderness area because the climate doesn't support human habitation.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:28 PM
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It's just more pleasant days, not better weather.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:29 PM
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Even an uninhabitable hellscape can have its share of pleasant days, apparently.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:39 PM
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I would not want to live in Santa Barbara. It cracks me up that Psych was set there but filmed pretty much entirely in British Columbia (White Rock, with some Vancouver when they needed things like a college campus). Slightly different weather year-round but BC has a fair amount of sun in July and August.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:40 PM
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I think there were 3 days in my 14 months in Connecticut where I thought "it's nice weather today". They were consecutive, in the fall.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:41 PM
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118 to 120.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:42 PM
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119: even with the rain, Vancouver is vastly better than Santa Barbara in every respect.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:43 PM
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I'm looking forward to rain (hopefully at above-drought levels) starting up here. In another couple of months.

CT didn't have nearly enough rain and the sun/snow cycle got monotonous, the only variety coming from the gradual increase in filth packed into or coating the ice-lined roads and sidewalks. Occasionally, after a few days of melt, you would see emerge amidst the muck and mire a layer of trash that had been buried during an earlier storm.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 9:54 PM
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That said, I hate the traffic here but the parts of the Bay Area I'd rather live are too far from work and the nicer, closer to transit places around here are invariably out of my price range, unless I got a 30-40% raise.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 10:00 PM
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Not considering number of sunny days and humidity is madness. 85 or 90 degrees when there's no humidity and often a breeze is a different world from those temps with soul crushing humidity. And the elevation in the mountain west also means it cools off nicely when the sun goes down, not to mention the literally hundreds of sunny days a year.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 10:13 PM
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125: Yep. The methodology seems exceptionally silly.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 10:17 PM
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I mean, I kind of take it for granted at times because I've never lived anywhere but So Cal and here. But it's pretty noticeable to people from other parts of the country, including Cala.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 10:44 PM
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Yeah, I definitely take sunny days for granted, even here in Alaska where they're not very common. I'm quite willing to believe there are people in California who take every one of the 300 sunny days a year as a special gift, but I bet most of them didn't grow up there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 10:59 PM
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125: Is truth, the entire gulf coast is ass for the summer plus a month or two on either side. As is a big chunk for the south, central, and eastern seaboard.


Posted by: Lived there, not going back. | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:06 PM
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There's a difference between taking sunny days for granted and thinking sunny days aren't pleasant just because there are a lot of them. In my experience, people who get tired of sunny days generally have some dislike of sunny days in general.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:15 PM
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Maybe we should all marry hideous, slovenly spouses, just so we appreciate them all the more when they clean up and dress nicely.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:20 PM
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Matrimonialist.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:22 PM
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Just keep swinging at that straw man, guys. I'm sure you'll hit him eventually.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:22 PM
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Pretty sure the straw man is the idea that finding a sunny day pleasant is the same as taking every sunny day as a gift.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:25 PM
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Anyway, the goats are eating him now, in order to prevent him from bursting into flames during the Santa Ana winds and taking whole neighborhoods down with him.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:26 PM
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134: Did I say it was? Look at the comment linked in 127. That's not my my reaction to sunny days, and I doubt it's yours either. I do find them pleasant, but not to the extent that I feel obligated to leave the house or anything.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:29 PM
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And before anyone gets after me, I'm certainly not going to defend the weather in Alaska, which is atrocious by any definition. There are a lot of good things about living here, but the weather isn't one of them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:32 PM
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But the weather in NM is great, even though it snows sometimes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:33 PM
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"Special gift" is in 128. I don't react like it's special when it's sunny, but I don't think "ho-hum, whatever, it's sunny again" either. The claim has been made a few times in this thread that that's how people who live in sunny climates will end up reacting to the sun. I'm sure there are some who do and some who move to get away from it.

However, people I know who genuinely like cold or rain or snow, and I've met people with those preferences in both Connecticut and Canada, often will, if you spend enough time with them, express meh feelings about a stretch of sun and (not particularly humid) warmth wherever it occurs. An extreme case was a few of my Canadian friends who found a couple of weeks in the 80s in Vancouver this year so unbearable they started looking to buy an air conditioner. My friend who ditched Texas for Manitoba I guess doesn't count, though, since both places are extremes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:46 PM
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"Special gift" is in 128.

Well, yes, but that was referring specifically to people who move to sunny areas from non-sunny areas and react accordingly. I'm sure there's a wide range of attitudes toward weather among all people.

Personally, I've never lived in a place where it doesn't snow and I think it would be weird for me to move somewhere like that. I'm sure if I actually did, though, I would adapt easily. I'm one of those people who don't actually care that much about weather.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-14 11:56 PM
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131: A nice day isn't like an attractive spouse. A day can be beautiful without being pleasant, as anyone who has looked out their window and seen snow on the trees has experienced. I met someone recently from Florida who complained that Seattle didn't have thunderstorms. Thunderstorms are shitty weather, but there's a grandeur to a thunderstorm that Seattle's endless drizzle lacks.

A nice day is like a spouse who's easy to hang out with, but doesn't have much personality. Some of us want more out of life.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:40 AM
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Thunderstorms are lovely weather, are you high? Especially Florida thunderstorms, which are dramatic and short and sort of cool things off. They are actually categorically well-loved.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:45 AM
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Is 107 to a question from another thread? I assume you're confirming theme music.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:47 AM
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I've often wondered if there's an index of pleasantness due to lack of natural hazards. E.g. New England has ticks that try to give you diseases but CA has earthquakes but FL has hurricanes but Texas has formerly third world tropical diseases.

6 is a good point. "How, and how hard, will the local environment here try to kill me?" is a valid question.
Relevant:
STAND TALL, FLORIDA!

Yes Californians get an earthquake now and then, yes it snows up north. But only you have decided to shuffle off to an enormous foul poisonous bog afflicted with giant man-eating lizards which is routinely punched from the sky by storm titans who seek to blot it from the very sight of God!

You have recognized that it is Man's Great Destiny to colonize every inch of the planet even - no! especially! - those parts of the earth that are so comically inhospitable that the assembled forces of God and Nature lash out in a concerted attempt to destroy their aged, enfeebled residents on a regular basis! If you liked sunny weather you could have moved to Arizona. If you liked tourist traps you could have moved to Las Vegas. If you liked vast political corruption you could have moved to Chicago. But your Faustian striving for a ranch home in a noxious wind-battered wasteland has driven you to boldly live where no one else would ever want to before!

Giblets awaits the day when humans will build gated communities at the bottom of the ocean, in the heart of the Sahara, on the Moon, inside active volcanos, within the snarling engorged throats of mad and slavering Elder Gods! Let no region, no matter how inhospitable, slow your suburban sprawl! You are the pioneers of tomorrow, and from Giblets's sane and survivable mild north Atlantic climate, he salutes you!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:48 AM
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Confirmed!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:48 AM
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However, people I know who genuinely like cold or rain or snow, and I've met people with those preferences in both Connecticut and Canada, often will, if you spend enough time with them, express meh feelings about a stretch of sun and (not particularly humid) warmth wherever it occurs. An extreme case was a few of my Canadian friends who found a couple of weeks in the 80s in Vancouver this year so unbearable they started looking to buy an air conditioner. My friend who ditched Texas for Manitoba I guess doesn't count, though, since both places are extremes.

Remove "Connecticut and Canada" and you're describing me. I spent a long time researching air conditioners this summer in scorching London.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:51 AM
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Oh and I'm still using a fan at night or else I can't sleep.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:53 AM
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Woah, any place that interprets thunderstorms anything as other than the wrath of God must have truly terrible weather the rest of the time.

Possibly pwned by Giblets.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:53 AM
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146, 147 are a bit surprising from the point of view of someone who also lives in London. Admittedly it's been a warm summer (though not baking) but you're still using a fan? Even, say, last night? Last night was pretty cool. Probably about 15 degrees. Do you live in a flat above a blast furnace or something?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:59 AM
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Yeah, even last night (peak daytime temperatures at the moment - 22 degrees Celsius!) . It was on the lowest setting, though, and I doubt I'll be using it in a week or two.

My flat does a very good job of trapping heat, but generally I'm just very intolerant of heat.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:03 AM
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I'd expand 144.1 to give my own metric:

1: how many days a year is it so hot that it is not possible for you to sit comfortably, fully-clad, for an hour in direct sunlight in the open air?
2: how many days a year is it so cold that it's not possible to go for a run out of doors for an hour in normal running gear?
3: how many lethal or venomous animals are you likely to encounter per day spent in the countryside?

Add 1 and 2 together and multiply by 3. Lower scores are better.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:04 AM
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150: you need an older flat mate. Mine's 19th century (big high ceilings, draughty) and I swear it's five degrees colder than the outside world all year round. Maybe it's haunted.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:05 AM
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147: me too.

148: it must be the case that you are unexperienced.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:07 AM
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an older flat mate

Older flatmates are the worst I reckon.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:08 AM
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147: me too.

Well, sure, but you're in Texas, so it's a bit more reasonable.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:12 AM
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Is 107 to a question from another thread? I assume you're confirming theme music.

Yes and yes. I was trying to continue the show but my audience disappeared.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:12 AM
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Older flatmates are the worst I reckon.

Especially when they're 120 years old.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:13 AM
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150: you need an older flat mate. Mine's 19th century (big high ceilings, draughty) and I swear it's five degrees colder than the outside world all year round. Maybe it's haunted.

Yeah, my second to last flat was relatively old, with huge sash windows in my bedroom and no meaningful insulation. It was properly cold in winter (again, by London standards), though it did get a lot of sun in summer.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:14 AM
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Grading Texas according to 151: (120+0)x1=120.

Four months where the heat of the day is unpleasant for sitting (away from the water), may encounter rattlesnakes or water moccasins or brown recuses, but in three very different situations, so only one on any given day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:14 AM
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I don't mind heat on holiday, or if I don't have to commute or be at work. But yeah, I like it when it's what I would think of as 'early Scottish summer'. Pleasant breeze, sunshine until late in the evening, warm enough that you are comfortable in just a t-shirt or light shirt, but not warm enough that you are constantly dripping sweat.

Mid 20s, celsius, maybe? But without too much humidity.

Palo Alto, when I was there in August, was OK. I'd have preferred 3 or 4 degrees cooler, and certainly more shade. All those wide car-friendly streets mean that if you want to hide from the sun, you can't. Just relentless. Which gets old after a while. But it wasn't too humid; locals told me it was actually quite unseasonably humid, but it wasn't London in summer humid.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:17 AM
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Thunderstorms are lovely weather, are you high? Especially Florida thunderstorms, which are dramatic and short and sort of cool things off. They are actually categorically well-loved.

I don't know from Florida, but thunderstorms in the Southwest are awesome. They're pretty much the only rain you get all year, they all come in a period of about three weeks in the late summer, and during that time there's one every afternoon that lasts a couple hours and cools off everything nicely.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:17 AM
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155: I'm using the fan on top of the air conditioning, to be clear.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:17 AM
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Actually the AC probably cycles off overnight. It's probably dropping to the upper 70s outside.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:19 AM
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1: how many days a year is it so hot that it is not possible for you to sit comfortably, fully-clad, for an hour in direct sunlight in the open air?

2: how many days a year is it so cold that it's not possible to go for a run out of doors for an hour in normal running gear?

3: how many lethal or venomous animals are you likely to encounter per day spent in the countryside?

(60+2)*0

I mean, I suppose they do exist in England, but I've never encountered an adder or an angry boar in my life. Does Weil's disease count?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:22 AM
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Grading Texas according to 151: (120+0)x1=120.

Grading Alaska: (0+200)x1-200.

Never too hot, usually too cold, and you probably won't encounter a bear on any given outing but if you go out enough you probably will at some point. Not just in the country either; Anchorage is apparently the only city in the world with a resident population of brown bears. It's not much of a city by the standards of anywhere else in the world, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:25 AM
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That should be = rather than -, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:26 AM
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I've encountered an adder in Oxford. Twice, I think. Both in the same place. Basking in the garden area behind a student house I had. I did watch a cat chase after it, one of those times, and wonder if the cat would come to regret it. But I saw the cat later, unharmed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:42 AM
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When I lived in Glasgow, I used to run in more or less all weathers. It was certainly below freezing a fair bit, but it'd be rare for it to be a lot below freezing for more than a couple of days at a time, and most of the time any really low temperatures would be at night.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:43 AM
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153: I've lived lots of places that have thunderstorms. If you live in a place where you think "Yay! Lightning strikes that can kill me, for relief from oppressive heat that can kill me!", it's too hot.

Plus she was talking about Seattle, which is too hot for like 15 minutes a year.

Christ, Halford is right. You people have developed completely pathological responses to abnormal situations. You probably like gunshots because it's so great when the bleeding stops.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:53 AM
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Yeah, I've seen about three in my life, in the Borders and Perthshire I think.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:57 AM
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Adders, that is. Not gunshots.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:57 AM
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169: I'm not actually scared of lightning. But if I were - I mean, now I see where you're coming from.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:00 AM
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Walt is like a poor puppy on the 4th of July. It's just God bowling, Walt!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:01 AM
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I hate when I finally get sleep about twenty minutes before I need to get out of bed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:02 AM
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SleepY.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:02 AM
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So if you're outside, and there's a thunderstorm, this has no effect on your plans whatsoever?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:07 AM
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It totally sucks if I'm out golfing. Fortunately I've never golfed.

We don't really have that kind of thing here, but I've got a tiny umbrella in my work bag, and a bigger one in the car. I'd probably do something like that, if I lived in Florida.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:11 AM
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But it is so wonderfully nice if you're indoors. I think that's the part you're missing. It's like being immersed in a great book at age ten.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:13 AM
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Cloudy with a chance of great books.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:13 AM
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There goes the alarm. Sigh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:14 AM
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Good morning, heebie! The part where Lee is supposed to get up an hour before I do on days she goes to work early is working about as badly as I expected it to.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:31 AM
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We need a continuity announcer. "Well, good morning commenters. That was teo and Smearcase with The Teo & Smearcase Show, taking us through the small hours with a calm, mellow blend of neurosis, Alaska and musical theatre. And now we've got heebie and Thorn with The Insomnia Show."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:41 AM
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I can concur that I do not tire of beautiful days, nor stop noticing them. Which we've had this summer, oddly enough. It has been surprisingly mild, in the 80's and low 90's for most of August. I don't mind the heat, but the mild was welcome.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:42 AM
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I don't want to live anywhere Skylab might fall on me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:43 AM
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It's actually a reasonable time to be up now here in Eastern Daylight Savings land. That's why I've locked my bedroom door and lounging around reading this, because any minute other smaller people could figure that out and if they don't I'll soon have to tell them.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:46 AM
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Just to clarify, I was talking about Santa Barbara's *weather* above (which I thought was the point of the thread). Even if I had all the money in the world, I don't think I would choose to live in Santa Barbara, tout ensemble, as distinct from Santa Barbara, recipient of near-perfect year-round weather.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 4:16 AM
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YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOVEL HEAT


Posted by: EVERY OPINIONATED TEXAN EVER | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 4:20 AM
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There has to be an interesting, walkable, intellectually stimulating, culturally vibrant multiethnic city with excellent year-round weather, right? It's Buenos Aires, isn't it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 4:27 AM
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Of course BA has excellent weather. It's right there in the name! (Ginger would hate it, though; far too hot and humid.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 4:32 AM
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There has to be an interesting, walkable, intellectually stimulating, culturally vibrant multiethnic* city with excellent year-round weather, right?

Nice. Again, it's right there in the name.

* For certain values of "multiethnic". Marseille scores higher on that dimension, but probably lower on "intellectually stimulating".



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 4:43 AM
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Of course BA has excellent weather. It's right there in the name! (Ginger would hate it, though; far too hot and humid.)

It was OK when I was there, but it was November, which is still spring I think. I wouldn't call it particularly walkable.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 4:50 AM
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Climate change has given us more freezing rain in New England, which is a total disaster as you can't shovel it but only chip it out. Last winter we had freezing rain on top of slushy snow and then it actually got cold. It took two weeks before the driveway was chipped clear.

Still, we do have nice days. The Saturday before Labor Day was incredibly nice. Then we got high 80's temps and 90% humidity.

We never get those days that I remember from MD where you open the door to go out and the heat and humidity hit you like a punch in the gut. Nice thunderstorms though; I like thunderstorms.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 5:15 AM
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Lisbon probably has nice weather year-round. I don't know about any of the other bits.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 5:16 AM
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Let's leave Lisbon's bits out of it, perv.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 5:20 AM
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Nice weather is good. I am pretty sure I would like San Diego the best. San Francisco is nice but it gets foggy a lot.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 6:41 AM
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I am out on the east coast now but am in denial.

Lightning storm yesterday scared the shit out of me though.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 6:43 AM
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Just to clarify, I was talking about Santa Barbara's *weather* above (which I thought was the point of the thread). Even if I had all the money in the world, I don't think I would choose to live in Santa Barbara, tout ensemble, as distinct from Santa Barbara, recipient of near-perfect year-round weather.

Come join me in my lovely afterlife!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 6:48 AM
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Some others: Barcelona, Melbourne, Oakland (much better weather than SF!), and Honolulu (not too hot because trade winds and ocean).

Aukland probably isn't walkable enough. There's a bunch of places that could be the answer in a few decades, but have problems at the moment. Most obviously, Cape Town. High altitude central and south america you can get the temperatures you want just by picking the right altitude.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 6:55 AM
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Still on topic nearly 200 comments in, talking about the weather. You are old people.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:01 AM
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My knees!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:02 AM
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I know some people who lived in Nairobi that the temperature there ranges, year round, between ~50 (as the low on the coldest days) to ~80 (as the high on the hottest). It's also not especially humid, and absolutely crammed with amazing tea. (Though not, apparently, coffee because the people who live there really don't care much about drinking coffee, oddly.) It's the sort of place that causes trouble for people who live there for long periods because if they move somewhere else they're basically incapable of dealing with any real weather.

Cape Town, however, is the most beautiful city on earth. I've never really been clear on how Southern Africa in general doesn't get much in the way of American tourists because it's seriously amazing.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:08 AM
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It's entirely possible most Americans haven't noticed that Apartheid ended. Also, South Africa is a very long way away and I don't think there are many flights. I've only ever heard of people going there because they wanted to shoot things that couldn't be shot here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:14 AM
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I lived in Nice January-May 1999. My experience was marred by being in a crappy language school and not knowing French at all at first, but it wasn't a great place off season.About as rainy in the winter as coastal CA but colder, at least that winter. It started to get nicer in late April. I don't have any desire to go back.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:15 AM
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Nice January you got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:16 AM
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South Africa is about as far from the US as New Zealand, I would think. NZ is not AFAIK that big a destination for US tourists. And New Zealand doesn't have startlingly high violent crime and murder rates.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:17 AM
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Except for the orcs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:18 AM
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Yeah, I haven't priced tickets, but I think of going to Africa as a genuinely rich person's vacation, or something you'd do because of a strong personal reason like having family there, not something affordable for the middle class.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:18 AM
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I've heard from others that Cape Town is beautiful. But we have friends who live in South Africa, and the crime is no joke. They were held up at knifepoint while they had their baby in a stroller, and the security measures that are part of normal life seem nutso.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:22 AM
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Just pick a random date at the end of the month. I found tickets to Johannesburg for $1,400 and to Christchurch for $2,100. London is coming in at $1,200.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:26 AM
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207: quick google shows flying NYC-Jo'burg is more than twice as expensive as NYC-London at the very least, and takes a lot longer. The cheaper flights take almost two days because you're going via Dubai or something insane like that. There aren't any direct flights as far as I can tell.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:27 AM
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Pwned by Hick, who is clearly planning his orc-shooting safari as we speak.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:28 AM
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I was using Pittsburgh, not NYC. And I'm a bit shocked at how expensive London is. I think the rates to Europe may be cheaper in the summer. At least, I know people who have gotten cheaper flights from here to London.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:29 AM
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Christchurch is about twice as expensive to fly to as Johannesburg from here as well. I assume London would be a lot cheaper (the Johannesburg flights go through Heathrow).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:32 AM
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At least as far as I can tell from this absolutely infuriating site South Africa sits at around Mexico as far as violent crime goes, so I'm not sure that's as helpful (certainly people go to, e.g., Cancun often enough). So, significant yes, but not so much that it disqualifies it as a potential tourist destination. I would suspect that South Africa's reputation has as much to do with the Africa-scary-oh-god-black-people slant you tend to see on the news (I have met more than one not really that racist person whose impression of basically anywhere in Africa was the Sudan).

But also "Southern Africa in general" would tend to include, say, Botswana which is doing just fine as far as cultural indicators go - as far as their index above goes it's, roughly, Italy. That's the one where I was shocked to find out that people really do think that all of Africa is a desolate war zone. (Also, to my amazement, that diamonds from there could possibly, under any realistic description, count as blood diamonds.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:38 AM
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207: ~$2000 off-peak round trip to Botswana, presumably similar for SA, since there's a transfer in Jo'burg. Peak fares are more like $3000 (over christmas is the peak). Once you are there food and lodging is relatively cheap as long as you stay away from the deluxe places.

208: ...the security measures that are part of normal life seem nutso.

No shit! My sister has an electric fence, IR beam external alarm system, guard dogs, barred windows and doors, and internal alarm system. The alarm systems call rent-a-cops who typically show up in about 10 minutes or less. That's not even SA proper. When I was a kid, living in the same area, our security system was a fence about 3 feet high. Since then Zimbabwe has gone to shit and zillions of desperate refugees have flooded into the country, driving the crime rate through the roof. At least that's the explanation I get from the rent-a-cop boss, who is a friend of the family.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:40 AM
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But, I can get to Cancun for $350 dollars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:40 AM
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That's cheaper than I can get to Philly if I wanted to fly there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:41 AM
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Maybe it's just from here, but New Zealand feels like a super common, maybe the most common, foreign UMC tourist destination, everyone seems to have gone there (and I know two, completely unrelated, couples who moved there). South Africa seems to be a place that all rich-ish older people here want to go to before they die, rarer but also pretty common.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:46 AM
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I can concur that I do not tire of beautiful days, nor stop noticing them.

Despite the claims later in this comment, it must be noted that Megan considers 100° with blazing sun "beautiful", which suggests derangement. Deranged people often notice things that aren't there.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:47 AM
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I remember a beautiful fall day when I was in college--sunny and crisp, a picture-perfect New England college day. The people from the Bay Area were complaining, because it was sunny and they couldn't wear shorts. I think that this is what people mean when they say that people in sunny places don't appreciate the weather. They're just spoiled.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:48 AM
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This has been, as noted above, a very mild and pleasant summer here, so I'm trying to force myself not to anticipate too eagerly the coming of fall. But it's September now, and picking apples and cooking them and wearing long sleeves in comfort and being able to cook heartier foods....

Which is to say that today is basically as perfect a CA-style day as one could hope for (sunny, low humidity*, moderate temp), and I can hardly wait for it to be replaced by fall.

*I despise high humidity, but I find CO-style aridity to be almost as unpleasant: waking up in the middle of the night with my passages dried out isn't an indicator of "pleasant weather"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:53 AM
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I remember when I first moved to Glasgow, I lived in a block in the student residence where there were a lot of foreign students. Late April or early May there was a run of nice spring/early-summer days. It wasn't warm, but it was probably 65F and sunny. All of the British students [and a few Scandinavians] were out in light-shirts, or even t-shirts enjoying the weather.

The Italians in our building were walking around in those voluminous puffy quilted jackets, with gloves on, grumbling.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:54 AM
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The people from the Bay Area were complaining, because it was sunny and they couldn't wear short

This describes the perfect weather, as far as I'm concerned. Well, that or a blizzard.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:54 AM
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I was in BA at the very end of summer, and it was utterly delightful. And I spent all of my time walking the city, so I'm not sure why it's not walkable. Maybe almost none of the housing is in walkable places?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:56 AM
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I've always waned to go to South Africa, because we had an exchange program when I was in high school.

A good friend of mine got married there*, but I was out of work and couldn't justify the trip. Plus I had to go to someone else's wedding a week later.

*His mother is from Louisiana, but his father is from Nigeria. She was born in the U.S., but her parents are from Zimbabwe where her mother still lives. They weren't about to have their wedding in Zimbabwe.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 8:59 AM
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214: At least as far as I can tell from this absolutely infuriating site South Africa sits at around Mexico as far as violent crime goes

Yes, and Mexico is really, really violent these days, isn't it? Massive drug gang wars, severed heads being chucked around the place, hundreds of women mysteriously killed every month and dumped in mass graves?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:03 AM
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The sun is out today and this annoys me. It's warm and humid enough that if I walk fast I will get sweaty.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:04 AM
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Maybe it's just from here, but New Zealand feels like a super common, maybe the most common, foreign UMC tourist destination, everyone seems to have gone there

In addition to all the attention it's gotten through LOTR, it has also has the tourism advantage of being full of white people (Maori not occupying even a sliver of USian attention).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:07 AM
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Yesterday was worse. Maybe this is why "winter is coming" is a popular saying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:08 AM
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226:

And yet people go there, yes? Which means that that level of crime isn't necessarily a disqualifying factor (for obvious reasons, e.g., that crime doesn't tend to be evenly distributed, that even relatively high crime rates are still different from open-war-zone, etc.).


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:09 AM
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There aren't any direct flights as far as I can tell.

South African Airways stops in Dakar because their aircraft don't have the range. Delta flies nonstop from Atlanta with a 777ER (extended range).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:10 AM
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230: People go to compound-like all-inclusive resorts there, with very heavy security, and are warned intensely not to leave the compound, I believe.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:19 AM
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Also, I thought the cliche on visiting Africa was that there was nothing going on besides awesome Lions and Elephants and Big Safari animals to see. That there wasn't any acknowledgment of the existence of people or culture, besides maybe a day trip to see a tribal village dance for you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:21 AM
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[Alaska] Never too hot, usually too cold, and you probably won't encounter a bear on any given outing but if you go out enough you probably will at some point.

There are also moose (emphasis mine).

All but della Cioppa's attack took place in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city and home to an estimated 1,500 moose, including a few hundred in the most populated part of the municipality, most of which is wilderness and mountainous terrain. Brown and black bears can also be found in some city parks and neighborhoods near the Chugach Mountains.

Coltrane said more people are injured by moose every year than bears in Anchorage. Surprisingly few people are killed, with rare exceptions that include a man who was stomped to death in 1995 by a cow protecting her calf at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. Students had been harassing the moose before she attacked the man, who was near the cow and its calf.

The Pacific Northwest does very well on the criteria of, "will the environment hurt you?" (not counting SAD). Not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter and very little in the way of insects that are venomous or carry disease.

(Possible pwned, I was just skimming the thread).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:23 AM
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232. That's wrong. Yucatan is fine, both the coastal towns, Merida, and Valladolid at least. There have been a couple of well-publicized visible crimes in Acapulco, but I do not think foreigners got bothered. I don't know Mexico City well, but superficially it seems OK for a visitor-- don't wander into dark alleys.

Parts of northern Mexico have terrifying crime rates, and I would not go hiking in Sinaloa. But most places americans visit are fine, Tijuana possibly excepted, I followed advice not to go there whan I was in SD.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:27 AM
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Tijuana is the only place I've been to in Mexico. I was a kid and went with the whole family. I think it was much safer than.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:29 AM
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234: SAD might really hurt you. I genuinely don't think that I could make it through a winter in Alaska for just that reason.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:30 AM
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235: Sure, I don't think it's right. But I think when someone has a destination wedding in Mexico and doesn't think about it too hard, that's what you get.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:30 AM
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LA-Auckland wasn't much different than LA-London in price or time when I looked back in 2005. I've always kind of regretted going with London/Europe for that trip because I've still never been to NZ but have been to Europe a few times.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:47 AM
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235: ah. So maybe the difference is that there aren't any safe bits of South Africa - the violence is generalised.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:49 AM
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Surely somebody could make some safe bits at a reasonable cost if there was the idea that tourism would follow. I just think it's too far from any area with a large enough middle class population to make it a go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:52 AM
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Laredo is now the 19th safest city in the US!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:53 AM
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||

...and then a dog ate them, your Honor. No seriously! And please ask the plaintiff's council to stop making that CHA-CHING! noise.

|>


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:53 AM
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Anyway, I went to Kenya in 2003 and I was musing that now I might be frightened to do so, what with Boko Haram. Maybe that's narrow-minded, but there's no one feeding me news about how safe it is, in a practical sense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:57 AM
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In the 80s, I went to Africa, blessed the rains, and came right back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:00 AM
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240: That would make South Africa literally different from every other place on earth, so I doubt it. Their advice is, roughly, don't go to the bad bits of town, especially at the more dangerous times (like late at night), don't wander around gawking at things and waving money in the air like an idiot, and also if you're mugged/carjacked just give them your stuff seriously they will go away because that's what they wanted. Also Johannesburg is maybe not the most peaceful place (but why would you want to go there anyway?)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:03 AM
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246: more generalised, then? I've only visited once, but I travelled around a bit and I didn't see many areas where the kind of security precautions described in 215 weren't in operation.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:05 AM
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Perhaps the way to disambiguate this is that violence in South Africa is nationally homogenous but locally inhomogenous, like pretty much everywhere else on earth, but violence in Mexico is nationally highly inhomogenous but, to a surprising degree, locally inhomogenous (if you are someplace a cartel is having feelings, it just sucks everywhere in that town).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:10 AM
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247: My guess would be that it's as cultural as anything. I mean, the murder rate is lower in general there than in, say, Detroit, but you don't tend to see that level of security precautions there.

Also the crime rate/danger really was impressive back around the end of Apartheid, and it wasn't that long ago. The murder rate country wide was (per 100,000) 66.9 in 94/95 and 31.9 in 2011, so you'd expect to see those sorts of habits stick around for a good long while.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:14 AM
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(if you are someplace a cartel is having feelings, it just sucks everywhere in that town).

What do you mean by "having feelings"?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:16 AM
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248 uses long words and convinces me (I think that the last "inhomogenous" should be "homogenous" though, right? Not all towns are bad but a bad town is all bad?).

249 uses shorter words and also still convinces me.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:17 AM
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We were in Buenos Aires in 2001 and one night asked the guy at the hotel desk how to get to San Telmo which is where the tango bars are. He said, literally, "I beg of you, do not go to San Telmo at night." I guess locals go there but tourists are a target. We had a nice dinner closer to the hotel though.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:18 AM
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Whatever it is, though, I strongly doubt it's a thoughtful consideration of the most reliable crime statistics involved. 228 points out a pretty reliable factor in that sort of calculation.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:18 AM
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What do you mean by "having feelings"?

Well, bg, when two Mexican narcotics organisations are operating in the same town, they can develop certain... urges. It's all very messy and slightly unhygenic and embarrassing and you should ask your mother about the details.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:19 AM
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251.1: shoulda been, yup.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:20 AM
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The sort of terrible and offensive narrative I've heard about South Africa is that Apartheid was not the nicest thing ever, but the Blacks weren't ready to be in charge when they took over. There were beautiful, well-run hospitals, and the country was well off and now it's not safe for anyone.

(I've heard this from Canadians.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:21 AM
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To qualify 253 - it's necessarily not that the people worried about crime in SA are racists. But there are a lot of racists, and news about Africa tends to portray it in very particular ways both because of that and because of, well, inertia. (It was very violent in the past). There was also a great deal of "now that they're everything in society is going to break down" around the time of the transition which is probably having lingering influences.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:22 AM
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"they're" should be "they're in charge".

Or just what 256 said.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:23 AM
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Juarez is maybe the only place I've purposefull avoided due to violence, so saying its no worse than Mexico isn't all that convincing. Anyway, I'd like the "admitted to raping someone" numbers to drop from 25% to more like 10% before I'd feel comfortable vacationing in SA.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:30 AM
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Botswana, though much safer, doesn't have Cape Town. So it's less appealing to me. For a nature-y trip Ethiopia is higher on my list than Southern Africa.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:36 AM
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South Africa finally banned leaded gas in 2006 (wtf?!), so we should be headed for a crime drop around 2030 or so.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:43 AM
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Kevin Drum has already set the alert on his calendar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:44 AM
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There were beautiful, well-run hospitals, and the country was well off and now it's not safe for anyone.

The kernel of truth in this narrative is that the liberal anti-apartheid activists who foretold a world where everyone would be better off were wrong, and the apartheid defenders who said that gains for the majority would come at the expense of the white minority were right. Now a principled liberal would say (correctly), "That's a price worth paying. The whites enjoyed an artificially high standard of living because of their exploitation and political domination of the blacks, and you can't correct that injustice without making at least some white people worse off than before." Alas, principled liberals are a minority of the white population, so the sense of having been sold a bill of goods is widespread.

An instructive example is electrical power. Apartheid era South Africa had such an abundance of generating capacity that they literally didn't know what to do with all the power. They built aluminum smelting plants despite not having any aluminum ore; they imported bauxite and exported aluminum ingots just to make use of surplus power. Fast forward to the late 1990s, the formerly disenfranchised 85% of the population now expects the same access to electricity that the white minority long took for granted. Suddenly, the electrical infrastructure can't keep up with demand, and brownouts are endemic.

Education and healthcare suffer from parallel shortcomings, and they are much more difficult to correct. Fixing electricity is relatively straightforward: all it takes is money to add generators and wires (fuel being already abundant). Building enough schools and hospitals to serve the entire country at the standards previously enjoyed by the white minority is literally beyond the capacity of the country to accomplish for at least another generation, even if they didn't have rampant corruption, which of course they do. (Parenthetically, corruption is not a new phenomenon; graft was rampant in the apartheid state. The only thing that's new is that a broader cross-section of the population is in on it.)


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:46 AM
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260: Botswana isn't much on the cities count, but I'm surprised it isn't higher as far as nature-y stuff goes. Northern Botswana really is kind of magnificent. The Okavango is the most famous bit, but Makgadikgadi is the bit that really blew me away. (See, e.g., the photos at this somewhat excessively enthusiastic site, and at the bottom specifically. It's kind of a 'there's a glitch in the matrix' place.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:52 AM
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Not to make excuses for criminality, but there is an element of "reap the whirlwind" in the post-apartheid crime wave. The townships were violent places under apartheid, and the internal security forces placed low value on protecting the security of blacks, and in many instances even encouraged internecine violence as a means of divide and rule (and also as a means to stoke the fears of the white population). South African whites were able to avoid the consequences of the regime's neglect and misfeasance because of passbook laws and the like that made physical proximity of whites and blacks possible only under tightly controlled conditions.

Take away those barriers, and whites are suddenly exposed to all the mayhem and insecurity their black compatriots had to deal with all along, only worse, because the whites have more property to steal, and because they are readily identifiable as having property because of their skin color.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:57 AM
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Crime in South Africa, so many things to say!

If you are a tourist in Cape Town on well trodden routes, you will be fine. You might get pick-pocketed, but that's it. But believe people when they tell you where/when not to go. It can really suck living in a place where there's very little area that you can safely walk around after dark.

Crime has declined substantially since the end of apartheid, but become somewhat more evenly distributed, so rich/white people don't feel the decline, even though they are still less likely to be victims than poor/black people are.

Policing is a mess - obviously, the history of apartheid meant that the country went into 1994 with very fraught relationships between the police force and the rest of society. That hasn't changed; the rates of police shootings are very very high, and in 2008 the Deputy Safety and Security Minister went on record telling the police force they should "shoot to kill." At the same time, many of the areas with the worst crime have the least police resources. Look up the "Khayelitsha Commission" if you want sickening detail on policing failures.

256 - That narrative is not 100% wrong; the actual problem was deciding (in some sectors, not all) to fire many of the racist white engineers before there was enough time to get sufficient black folks through the educational system to replace them. And then the educational system became a complete disaster so now there are fewer of those black engineers than they anticipated. Plus, given the insane private wealth in South African business, many of the smartest black kids are not going to go into public service. It's a real issue in academia too - my black friends getting Ph.D.s in their humanities get lots of pressure from their families to do something more renumerative, to help ensure that the overall family makes it into, or stays in, the middle class.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 10:58 AM
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That's not uncommon here, regardless of race.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:00 AM
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Hm, 263 is also substantially wrong, though. White people, on average, have more money now than they did in 1994. Some public services have gotten worse (hospitals, for sure) but 1) that is also because of the HIV/AIDS burden and 2) people with money go to private hospitals anyway, which are excellent.

There's a strata of formerly-lower-middle-class white South Africans who are now actually poor, because the state no longer privileges ending white poverty over ending black poverty, and can't afford to do both. But the average white South Africa is better off economically now than in 1994. The combination of the end of sanctions and the mining boom have made up for the loss of a privileged legal position.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:02 AM
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264 is very right, though! White South Africans who think that pre-1994 was a low-crime era have no fucking idea what black South African life was like then.

Anecdotally, in rural areas, there's also an element of the black middle class that mourns the perceived loss of authority over youth now that traditional leaders are under some pressure to pay lip service to human rights. People love to tell me about how it used to be better when you could take your nephew who raped that girl down to the traditional court to be whipped, and now someone will probably lose the docket before he ever gets put on trial and anyway, you're his family so you don't actually want him to go to jail, just to get taught a lesson.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:05 AM
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Late to the thread. We are having slightly autumnal weather and I'm weirdly thrilled about it. I was also perfectly happy in 90+ weather in Austin, though. Less so when it broke 100.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:07 AM
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the actual problem was deciding (in some sectors, not all) to fire many of the racist white engineers before there was enough time to get sufficient black folks through the educational system to replace them

Not just the racist ones, either.

While there is no question in my mind that some sort of heavy-handed state intervention was necessary to counteract the economic injustices of apartheid, the efficiency costs of Black Economic Empowerment should not be underestimated. All the pathologies that American conservatives claim about affirmative action - go to South Africa and you can observe them first hand.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:10 AM
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And the white people who did end up somewhat worse off as a result of the fall of Apartheid only ended up worse off in comparison to how things were at exactly that moment: if it had continued it's likely they would have ended up quite a great deal worse off than they did.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:13 AM
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There's a strata of formerly-lower-middle-class white South Africans who are now actually poor, because the state no longer privileges ending white poverty over ending black poverty, and can't afford to do both.

That's what I was getting at. Like the fact that state-owned enterprises are no longer operated as sheltered workshops for uneducated Afrikaaners. As a white person without tertiary education, your labor market prospects are incomparably worse today than before 1994, even if per capita GDP is higher.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:15 AM
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264: It's less that Bostwana is low, as that Ethiopia is very high (for idiosyncratic reasons). I also have a friend who lives have the year in Nairobi. So I think right now Ethiopia, Morocco, and Nairobi are all higher on my to go to list than anywhere in Southern Africa. (With the possible caveat that it's conceivable that I could go to Stellenbosch for work, which would easily be combined with a Cape Town vacation.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:20 AM
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But the thing is, it's not just that per-capita GDP is higher, it's that *white people* in particular are doing better than they were. Not all, but most. See for example http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/06/chart-of-the-week-how-south-africa-changed-and-didnt-over-mandelas-lifetime/


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:46 AM
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275: Sarabeth, why did the Asians start to do so much better than the mixed-race (Coloreds?) in the mid 70's?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 11:53 AM
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275: I don't think we are in disagreement here.

Some public services have gotten worse (hospitals, for sure)

Also universities. And while not all middle class whites South African are affected by the condition of public secondary schools, they are very much affected by taxation, which is up by about a fourth (as a % of GDP) since the apartheid era, with most of the difference coming from personal income taxes overwhelmingly paid by whites, and most of the benefits perceived as flowing to the nonwhite population.

I am basically untroubled by the redistributive measures (which were pretty mild, considering the scale of the oppression), but I can understand where the sense of grievance comes from. The U.S. has not been immune to backlash in the post Civil Rights era, and our racial disparities were small by comparison.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:10 PM
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This was some high-value commenting, thanks Sarabeth+Knecht.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:11 PM
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Last week I drove, with my father and sister, from the Bay Area to Columbus Ohio, to move her there. I learned that I don't want to have to move from California, but if I do, I never, ever want to move to Kansas. The 8am heat and sunlight almost made me vomit.


Posted by: Saheli | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:13 PM
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279: I saw that after you'd gotten back. If you ever visit again, I will come see you. And you and Lee can trash-talk Kansas!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:17 PM
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Further to 277, I think I see the phrase that set off your B.S. detector: "the apartheid defenders who said that gains for the majority would come at the expense of the white minority were right". This is overstated as a general matter. I'm thinking of a particular archetype of apartheid supporter - landless working class Afrikaaner, who feared that the end of political privilege would come at his economic expense, and turned out to be right.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:19 PM
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Anyway, I went to Kenya in 2003 and I was musing that now I might be frightened to do so, what with Boko Haram.

Do you mean Al-Shabab? I didn't think Boko Haram was doing much outside of Northeastern Nigeria and thereabouts.

Agreed, good comments on the state of SA.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:27 PM
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||

So I have a sort of conceptual mathematical question for people here. It may be unanswerable, or it may be the answer is staring me right in the face.

Suppose you have a bottom-line number, the most important number for practical purposes, A = M * P. Then both M and P are increased by known increments, so you get A' = M' * P' = (M+n)(P+q).

The goal is to be able to say "__% of the increase in A' over A is due to M increasing and the remaining __% of the increase is due to P increasing."

Algebraically:

A' - A
MP - (M+n)(P+q)
MP - MP + nP + Mq + nq
nP + Mq + nq

nP clearly represents change due to the increment n, and Mq is change due to q. But how do I slice up nq in this framework? It's both increments interacting. If either increment were 0, it wouldn't exist.

As it is, I can only say something like, "70% is due to M changing, and 15% is due to P changing", and if someone asks about the remaining 10%, I don't have a good answer without going into the math, which would not be appropriate.

Any thoughts?

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:44 PM
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This might not work depending upon accounting practices and traditions in your area, but instead of representing it as M'=(M+n), think of it as M'=M*x, where x = (M+n)/x. Similar P'=P*y=P*(P+q)/y. Then you can say A'=M'*P'=M*x*P*y = A*x*y, and then you can talk in multiplicative percentages.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:49 PM
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err, x = (M+n)/M and y = (P+q)/P. d'oh


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 12:50 PM
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xerox equals Man over Mandy equals pack over Playdoh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:11 PM
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As it is, I can only say something like, "70% is due to M changing, and 15% is due to P changing"

284 is a good response. I would also say that you could just divide the shared element proportionally. So, with those numbers you could look at it one of two ways (which reach the same conclusion:

1) M contributed 4 2/3 times as much as P. Dividing 100% based on those proportions you get M = (100/(5 2/3)) * 4 2/3; P = 100/(5 2/3). M = 82.35% ; P = 17.65%

2) Same idea, different formatting: M = 70 + (15 / (5 2/3)) * 4 2/3); P = 15 + 15 / (5 2/3). In that way of thinking about it you've explicitly given them each credit for their individual contribution and then split up the remaining 15% between the two of them. You'll get the same answer doing that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:13 PM
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283 sounds like a linear regression with two variables.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:13 PM
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288: It does, but everything looks like a linear regression to you. I'm starting to suspect the medical statistician from Nebraska thing is just a cover for you being an online machine learning algorithm.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:16 PM
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286: That sounds suspiciously like those number-to-phoneme mappings people use to memorize digits of pi or whatever, meaning I will never forget that dumb comment ever.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:18 PM
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Whoa. Things got intense here.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:18 PM
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It's ironic that in my work, I'm nearly always using logistic regression or something related.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:19 PM
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That dumb comment being *my* dumb comment, sorry. No malice intended.

I don't really remember any math, but isn't the regression part of logistic regression just a linear regression with coefficients interpreted as values of a logistic function?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:22 PM
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I agree with 284. If your quantity is a product-y thing, then you should be measuring change in a product-y way rather than a sum-y way.

A good related situation is error analysis. If you want to multiply two things you care about the relative errors, not the absolute errors.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:22 PM
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293: That's BETTER.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:24 PM
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289: A common problem. I think there's a joke about physical chemistry being defined as "that branch of chemistry that attempts to fit everything in the universe to y=mx+b".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:24 PM
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There's a story that gets floated around math circles about a journal article in some prestigious science journal about a couple of biologists who figured out a way to approximate the area under a curve, using rectangles. They had an application for why you might want to do so and everything.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:27 PM
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293.2: Yes. Because mostly what I predict to are 0/1 variables.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:27 PM
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||
My adoptive home. *Sigh*.

|>


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:27 PM
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297: This?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:29 PM
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That's only one EdD. But I think the journal is reasonably prestigious for specialists.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:31 PM
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297, 300: I love that story so, so, so much


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:32 PM
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280: I hadn't realized how close you are, though it's true this trip was too packed with packing and unpacking to do much of anything interesting. I do hope to visit her and being able to hang out with you all would be a big incentive. I never really understood how terrible my sense of geography of east of the Mississippi was until this trip. Kentucky and Ohio and Illinois and West Virginia being all up in each others' business is something I never really grokked before. I did get the sense as I drove through Missouri and we made our way through southern Illinois that it gets more pleasant, at least more forested, after Kansas.


Posted by: Saheli | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:32 PM
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297: I aver that it's important to note that we're talking about MDs, here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:33 PM
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297: This one?

298: Dumb but mildly relevant question: I have a sleep tracking app that lets me track a lot of custom 0/1 variables and tries to figure out how much that affected my sleep (which it measures with a bullshit score based on how much I tossed and turned at night, but anyway). I'm assuming it's doing a multivariable logistic regression under the covers. Most things I'm interested in are continuous, like how much coffee or alcohol I drank. I've tried splitting that up into multiple mutually exclusive binary variables e.g. "no alcohol", "1-2 drinks", "more than 2 drinks". I that going to cause bogus correlations that make the overall data more bullshitty? I'm thinking no but don't have the chops to be sure.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:33 PM
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... or, apparently not? Don't listen to me I'm... I dunno, not a mathematician. Anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:35 PM
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Pwned, but I linked to the damn thing.

Honestly it would have been better if they had suggested a method by which one could 3D print (or mill) a physical representation of your graph, so you could then dunk it in a tank of water and observe the volume change.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:36 PM
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307.2: We did that in chem lab, only not a 3d rep. We'd cut out peaks on an nmr or whatever and weigh them to get the relative abundances.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:38 PM
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305.2: It might be linear regression, depending on what the bullshit score is. The dependent variable matters, not the independent. As for how you code your data, there's really no good way to know without looking at the distribution.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:38 PM
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309: The score is a percentage in [0,1]. So, err, yeah, you're right about that. Anyway it seems to think that stressful days and drinking too much are good for my sleep, while exercise is bad for it, so I'm going to go with that. Because...science?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:40 PM
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You should maybe not exercise right before sleep.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:45 PM
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Nothing about math, but wanted to respond to two of the upthread SA things. knecht, yes, that was what I was responding to. In agreement that there is a particular type of white person who is worse off now that civil service jobs mostly go to black people rather than white Afrikaners.

Bostoniangirl, on the Coloured/Asian difference, there are a couple of things. 1) The Asian community has been much more concentrated in urban areas, which have in turn done better economically (there are a lot of dirt-poor Coloured farmworkers in the Western and Northern Cape). 2) most Asians are Indians who speak English as a first language, while most Coloured people speak Afrikaans as a first language; the former have been much better positioned to take advantage of the educational opportunities that opened up post-1994. 3) restrictive legislation pre-1994 meant that, particularly among non-whites, significant differences in education did not necessarily translate into significant differences in income. Asians were always better-educated, and now that matters a lot more for income. And 4) the particulars of how pre-1994 jobs restrictions worked meant that Asians were more likely to be small entrepreneurs and/or professionals while Coloureds benefited from preferential (compared to black Africans) jobs policies in the Cape that got them working-class manual labor positions. Again, post-1994, having a small business and/or higher education has served people much better, particularly now that those job preferences no longer exist.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:46 PM
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310: Because overfitting more likely. That is, if you don't have much data (maybe a few hundred days?) and a bunch of variables (tens?) trying to find a relationship is fairly bullshit at this point.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:46 PM
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This is also of interest: a bunch of mathy type people are dicks to Tai, and she responds! What's amazing to me is she claims that she figured it out quickly while still a student, and only published it over a decade later--you'd think the whole trapezoid rule thing would have come up by then. She also claims that she didn't choose to name it after herself, but that was just the convention at her hospital for introducing it. And finally, she claims the precision of applying Tai's rule/model is absolute, which in a certain silly sense it is but why would you look at it that way?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:47 PM
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Thanks, this all helps. So I can put it as "Change in M increased A by __%, and then on top of that change in P increased it by another __%, and the total absolute increase was __."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:48 PM
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The issue where people wrote in to complain about the article in 305 and the author defends herself is here. Her reply to Bender is a good demonstration of the concept of dodging the point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:48 PM
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And that's pwned by 314.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:48 PM
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I'm still a thousand comments behind and still on the weather.

if it's always the same pleasant 55-75 degrees F, you stop registering it as "pleasant", and just register it as "meh, regular day, whatever".

Sorta yeah sorta no it turns out. We sometimes laugh in an "I'm about to say something stupid" way and then say "it's really nice out!" I'd be glad of some actual summer, but I'm also actively, deeply grateful for the lack of winter. Granted, it was apparently a weird* year here and there were only a few days of rain.

*weird: portending of doom, death by horrible drought


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:50 PM
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I'm fairly sure the climate I grew up in is the ideal according to that graphic, but I don't feel like the Southern English climate is really 'worse,' and we have snow (for a few days a year, maybe) & proper season changes to boot!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:56 PM
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||

I suppose this is marginally related to the OP, but Mrs. K-sky has proposed a Resilience Rating System to the LA2050 grant challenge, and would you please click and vote for it?

The grant would fund her part-time for a year to develop a system for developments, campuses and other buildings to become more energy efficient and organize communities in ways that improve ordinary life, not just prepare for disaster.

She had a surprisingly strong start & is at 6th place in the competition despite one of her institutional partners falling through, so we're hanging in there.

Thanks! Lurkers encouraged, bots discouraged (but thanks in advance for offering, botters).

|>


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 1:57 PM
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146, 147 are a bit surprising from the point of view of someone who also lives in London. Admittedly it's been a warm summer (though not baking) but you're still using a fan? Even, say, last night? Last night was pretty cool. Probably about 15 degrees. Do you live in a flat above a blast furnace or something?

It's cooler outside of the city and yet we sleep with the window open and fan on every single night. Some of us need to be cold to sleep properly. Most of this summer I did not sleep particularly well, because it was too feckin' hot.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:15 PM
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The Romans had central air, but the English have never managed to recreate it. Or maybe that was just central heat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:16 PM
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322: That would be pretty impressive of the ancient Romans if they had central air conditioning.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:20 PM
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I would suspect that South Africa's reputation has as much to do with the Africa-scary-oh-god-black-people slant you tend to see on the news

I am not finished reading the thread so perhaps this has been addressed, but my distaste for South Africa has far more to do with the scary fucking white people. For whatever reasons - and they're probably unfair - I have a deep unease about visiting South Africa because of apartheid.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:41 PM
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And now I see there's loads of wonderfully informed and excellent commentary re: contemporary South Africa & I feel chagrined. But I do think that there is a group of white American liberal tourists who do feel weird about visiting SA for similar reasons. And like I said - totally not rational. You might as well never visit New Zealand because of the Maori wars, or Germany or Japan because of WWII, etc.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 2:48 PM
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It's a bit different, in Germany you rarely run across people old enough to have been Nazis anymore.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 3:52 PM
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The most amazing thing about the "Tai's model" paper is that it's been cited over 200 times.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 4:30 PM
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There was a nice PBS documentary on RFK's visit to South Africa, including his speech to a deliberately racially integrated crowd at the airport: "I came here because of my deep interest and affection for a land settled by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century, then taken over by the British, and at last independent; a land in which the native inhabitants were at first subdued, but relations with whom remain a problem to this day; a land which defined itself on a hostile frontier; a land which has tamed rich natural resources through the energetic application of modern technology; a land which once imported slaves, and now must struggle to wipe out the last traces of that former bondage. I refer, of course, to the United States of America. But I am glad to come here to South Africa."


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 4:31 PM
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328 sort of to 324-6.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 4:34 PM
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The genius of RFK on that trip was that he spoke openly about America's own troubled history with race, disarming the charge of hypocrisy and building an empathetic rapport with South African young people. In this day and age, Fox News would have branded it an "apology tour". But by the end of the trip, he was challenging his audiences with an overtly anti-apartheid message: his final speech at the University of the Witwatersrand contained unmistakable echoes of Harold Macmillan's "Wind of Change" speech from six years before.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 6:38 PM
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The documentary is A Ripple of Hope and I think I went to bed before it was over when we ran across it, but it was fantastic and the interviews with South Africans were great. I should see if it's on Netflix.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 6:55 PM
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320: Done!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:13 PM
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234: Yeah, moose are dangerous too. Not as dangerous as bears but more numerous so you're a lot more likely to encounter one. You didn't quote the best part of that article, though:

"The best practice around moose is to go away around a moose. Assume every moose is a serial killer standing in the middle of the trail with a loaded gun," said Coltrane, urging people to treat them with more respect.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:32 PM
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Assume they're a Ferguson* police officer. And you're not white.

*Or surrounding community.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-14 9:36 PM
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|| Piketty summary emailed. It's really late and I have to work tomorrow. Sometimes I question my life choices. >|


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 3:18 AM
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That would be pretty impressive of the ancient Romans if they had central air conditioning.

The classic Roman villa has a big open pool of water in a courtyard right in the middle of the house (the impluvium) with large doors opening onto it from all sides. That's sort of central air conditioning. It would have a cooling effect, anyway, and was definitely central.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 3:27 AM
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Assume every moose is a serial killer standing in the middle of the trail with a loaded gun,

Mutatis mutandis, one should assume that every serial killer is in fact a moose.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 3:28 AM
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re: 336

Ditto Arab houses in Spain, too. Viz the Alhambra, but also the smaller domestic houses in Granada and elsewhere.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 3:43 AM
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335: I don't have it. Resend? Elizardb at hotmail works if something went wrong with Lizardbreath at unfogged .


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 4:12 AM
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328: Oh, I recognise the hypocrisy & irony in an American feeling that way about South Africa. It's ridiculous!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 4:16 AM
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Sometimes I question my life choices.

Not me! I'm quite certain I've never misstepped even once!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 4:16 AM
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330: like the joke about VP Richard Nixon visiting a newly independent Ghana and asking a random nearby black guy "So, how does it feel to be finally free?"
"I wouldn't know, Mr Vice-President. I'm from Alabama."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 4:18 AM
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On a much lighter note, I've finally learned to tell the difference between South African and Australian accents. (Don't laugh, I know it's obvious to most.) Both tend to do that uptalking thing, where sentences rise & sound like questions, but with South Africans this makes them sound deeply skeptical and with Australians it makes them sound Californian. Our really lovely accountant at work is South African and I've only finally just figured out she's making statements, not constantly doubting whether or not I've done something.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 4:31 AM
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342: That's a true story. The random black guy was part of MLK's entourage.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 4:35 AM
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343: The pronunciation of the word "yes" is another litmus test. I can't render the difference in IPA or anything, but it's noticeable.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 4:45 AM
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343: My South African coworkers get a lot of guesses that they're Australian. You're not alone.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 4:52 AM
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339: Never mind, got it. The Lizardbreath address forwards slowly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 4:56 AM
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344: delightful. I thought it came under the heading of "too good to check".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 5:08 AM
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There is a tension between the desire for pleasant weather and the requirements of life. They should invent a place where it rains only between 2 and 5am.

Way late, but this is a pretty common pattern in Hawaii. Rain like hell before dawn and pleasant by sunrise.

South Africa is about as far from the US as New Zealand, I would think. NZ is not AFAIK that big a destination for US tourists. And New Zealand doesn't have startlingly high violent crime and murder rates.

The US is a big place. I'm several hundred miles closer to Auckland than Boston, and the shortest route to South Africa would be via Australia.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 09- 4-14 3:01 PM
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