Just a few stories:
Finally, it only took 375 years and satellite imagery, but geologists have demonstrated that New Zealand is on its own continent.
Just a couple passing stories this afternoon:
Finally, Merck and Johnson & Johnson announced a plan to combine production of Covid-19 vaccines, an "unprecedented" collaboration between competitors.
I'm back in my downtown Chicago office after working at home every day for almost exactly four months. It's weird, as I'm once again the only one on the floor, but that will change pretty soon. And I'll still be working from home three days a week.
I did miss the view.
I've already done 8 km of walks this morning, and tomorrow I'm doing another 9. (Tomorrow's will end at Sketchbook Brewing, so I'll be even more motivated.) After being cooped up at home and forced to get my daily steps bundled up like the Michelin Man for a few weeks, I feel a bit liberated. The sidewalks are almost all clear (except for a few buildings whose owners suck, like the Cagan Management-run apartments near me), it's already 8°C outside, and the sky is crystal-clear. Tomorrow we might get a little rain before 9am but the afternoon looks absolutely gorgeous.
Spring hasn't officially begun yet, but it sure feels like it.
I get to turn off and put away my work laptop in a little bit in preparation for heading back to the office on Monday morning. I can scarcely wait.
Meanwhile, I've got a few things to read:
OK, one more work task this month, then...I've got some other stuff to do.
From our local television station, WGN-TV, an amazing video of ice breaking up on Lake Michigan this past Sunday and Monday:
Spring in Chicago tends to produce lots of mud. We can already tell this year will produce epic amounts.
The temperature has stayed above freezing for 30 hours now, hitting 8°C just after noon. So far (at O'Hare, anyway) 12½ cm of snow has melted, and will continue to melt until the temperature goes below freezing again tomorrow night.
The water has to go somewhere. The city helpfully creates massive ice dams where sidewalks meet roads, so most of it just pools there. (I'll have photos maybe tomorrow.) Eventually it gets to Lake Michigan, which is nearly half a meter below its record-setting levels from last February, so it's got room.
I'm just glad to have a full day above freezing. We've needed it.
Yesterday's official high at O'Hare, 3°C, was the first since February 4th above freezing. And yet I'm still not satisfied. I think the 45 cm of snow still on the ground may have something to do with it. Or maybe that yesterday morning it was -8°C.
But really, I think the fact that we haven't had 24 straight hours above freezing since January 7th (day's low: 1°C) might also add to the annoyance.
(I'll have more interesting things to post later today.)
The temperature at O'Hare did, in fact, rise above freezing around noon today. It's now officially 2°C.
Break out the shorts!
We last had a temperature above freezing in Chicago at 7pm on February 4th, 16 days and some hours ago. Yesterday afternoon it got all the way up to -2°C before sodding off to bed. Close enough to give us oceans of meltwater on dark-colored streets and sidewalks, but still not, you know, above freezing.
Today, though, the National Weather Service predicts the temperature will just crest freezing around 2pm, and hover there for about 12 hours. This won't get rid of the meters-high snowdrifts in our parking lots and minor-league ballparks, but it will remind us that spring begins a week from tomorrow.
Meanwhile, at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, their autumn has gotten a bit chilly, with today's noon temperature hitting -50°C with a wind-chill of -65°C.