how infinite in faculty, in thought and movement how express and admirable.
In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god;
The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals."
When William Shakespeare wrote the above he was marveling over the level of human achievement of his day, just as we as we marvel still over our own achievements.
But, as the first week of January, 2014 has once again reminded us, no matter what genuises we humans are with our amazing intelligence and ability to advance our existence, in the end Nature rules over us.
Microbes rule. The smartest, richest, most powerful person on the planet can be flattened by a virus or bacterium. And however grand our plans, we're all at the mercy of a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or drought. Or a polar vortex, like the one half our country was in the grip of for a few days previous.
If this blog is right now being read by some future archivist searching for historical data, let me tell you, Mr. or Ms. Archivist: In the Midwestern United States on January 6 and January 7, 2014, it was dang cold! Here, for your research, is some pertinent information contiguose to the January, 2014 American Polar Vortex:
1. My daughter Claire, who lives in Chicago where the snow was several feet deep and the wind-chill got down to -45 degrees Fahrenheit, said that while walking to the bus stop to work her tears froze so that it felt crunchy to blink her eyes.
2. Claire, an ICU nurse, said that the Neural ICU floor at her hospital was filled to overflowing: the sudden severe drop in atmosphereic pressure of the polar vortex caused a rash of burst aneurysms and strokes.
3. The temperature on Earth was colder than the temperature on Mars, whose temperature is an enviable -31 degrees.
4. People have been trying this trick of flinging a pot of boiling water into the freezing air so that the boiling water turns to powdered snow upon hitting the air. I tried it. It works. It's neat.
5. On January 6 it was windchill -33 in Columbus, Ohio. People's doors were frozen shut. (I know this because I'm a piano teacher who makes house calls. I couldn't believe folks were making me wait out in the freezing cold night air...but it was because they couldn't get their doors opened!)
6. Dress in as many layers as you own, the cold still seeped in; it felt like it was seeping under your skin into your bones.
7. The weather is all anybody can talk about.
8. Today is Wednesday, January 8, and now that it's warmed up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit it feels right down warm!
9. Three days from now it's supposed to be in the 40's, so go figure. We'll probably all get sick from the bacteria and viruses springing back to life.
10. Just a thought: Nature will always rule, but maybe we could get the microbes under control if we all stopped abusing the antibiotics, as they say we are currently doing. And maybe the wild weather events would calm down if we tried doing something about global warming, which they say is negatively influencing our atmosphere.
11. Well, future historical archivists, how did we 21st Century geniuses do?