19 January 2013

Hottest day in history

Yup, true temps by bobmendo
Yup, true temps, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.

Back in 2011 I was in Kansas City when the summer temp hit a whopping 109, and I could barely move. That's 42.4 celsius and way over the top of usual for that city and for most cities. That said, you will know how blazingly hot and stifling the weather was yesterday here in Sydney when the mercury hit 45.8 degrees in the city at 2.55pm. The previous high of 45.3 degrees was recorded in January 1939 at Observatory Hill.

For your information, 45.8 Celsius is 114.44 degrees Fahrenheit. That's sizzling. And our air conditioner at the office went out a few days earlier and the soonest the repairman could come is Monday to come. So we turned on the fan. We wished for better days, and we carried on.

What do you do when the weather heats up? What do you do in winter when the snow knocks out your plans in Jerusalem (last week) for an outdoor activity? Or when ice and rain ruin something for which you longed? Weather comes and weather goes. That's a guarantee. We can watch it on the TV news and plan a bit, but honestly, when it comes, you are at its mercy.

We call it 'mother nature.' When did that term come into modern use? Although the term "mother earth" is ancient, from the Greeks and other civilizations, according to Wikipedia, "The leaders of the Enlightenment believed that the knowledge must be widely known and must be pondered. However, nature was analogous to God and could not be examined. The believers and leaders of the Enlightenment had to separate nature from God. This led to the feminization of nature, the creation of the word: Mother Nature. Boyle suggested that examination of man is an examination of God. Therefore, nature had to be converted to woman, "a great . . . pregnant automation" to be examined. Bacon suggests that a man must inquisite truth through penetrating into these holes and corners, a sexual metaphor that feminizes nature. When nature was feminized and degraded, Carolyn Merchant suggests that it made possible for people to exploit and study it. Hence comes the word mother nature come in to play. These scientists utilized sexual metaphors to create a feminized nature - mother nature - so that it could be studied and exploited."

Thanks Wikipedia.

That said, 'mother nature', however you understand it, does what it wants to do. The wind blows where it will. You hear the sound of it but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. We make our plans to fly to NZ, knowing that the jet stream usually will make the trip to New Zealand faster than the trip back to Sydney. But you really don't know, do you?

Humility is the only reasonable response to the realities of Mother Nature.

Humility is the only reasonable response to the reality of God.

Humility is my recommendation for you and me today. And if your weather is over 40 (c) degrees, I recommend the museum or library where the air conditioner is still operational. That's also reasonable. I'll see you there!

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