With the large mass of cold air sweeping across most of the country this week, the already overworked term polar vortex is being dragged out again to boost the storm’s promotional potential. Here in this part of Montana we’ve received only a couple of inches of snow so far, with not much more expected. We are however predicted to get to double digits below zero tonight and tomorrow night. While that has generated the predictable amount of grumbling, it’s really business as usual for this time of year. It’s hard to get overly excited about what amounts to pretty normal weather, especially when it follows one of the nicest and longest Indian Summers I can remember. (Temps were in the 60’s even on Sunday before the front moved in.) So, in this context, the polar vortex hysteria isn’t playing well. I’m not sure if I should feel sorry for those of you in parts of the country where this cold weather is really going to be a unusual hardship or just plain envious that you live somewhere where it is in fact unusual.]]>
4 thoughts on “POTD: Vortextual Context”
There was a very interesting piece on NPR All Things Considered yesterday here in N. Colorado. It talked about the difference between color associated with wavelength that scientists talk about and color that can be perceived by humans that artists and psychologists study. Apparently, children “learn” about color as they mature; Part of it is nature (ie rods and cones developing in the eye along with the optic nerve and all the other physiologic parts) and experience about what color should look like. The experience of various light intensities and source wavelength is synthesized by the brain to give the viewer the “right” color that they through experience come to expect, even in very low light conditions. The researchers did mention that as we age we lose rods and cones but the brain helps compensate. Perhaps your (our) brain already compensated for the first image, intensity wise. Polar Vortex-wise, we can have snow in September and continuous or discontinuous Indian summers stretching to Thanksgiving ( I kinda like the latter, but only single digits below zero the next two nights, yeahh!).
Steve, I didn’t hear that piece on NPR but coincidentally I’m in the middle of reading a book on color theory and color management (in photography) which goes into some depth about some of those same issues. My brain may be compensating for my age-related loss of rods and cones but I dare say my cataract surgery probably has had the biggest effect on improving my vision in recent years.
Hi Larry! In regards to the Polar Vortex, I have lived in Wisconsin my whole life, we use to just call it “November in Wisconsin”! Have a great week! Jodi
Your comment made me laugh Jodi. It doesn’t seem like we can have any normal weather event anymore–everything must be hyped all out of promotion to keep the TV ratings up I guess.