Good morning and greetings, air conditioning fans. Over the river and through the woods, it’s been one of the hottest summers on record at grandmother’s house. Record-high temperature marks have been smashed like Yukon Gold potatoes in a warm skillet. In many of the hot, dry pockets around the country, folks could not exist without air conditioning or early bird special pricing.
According to bigsiteofamazingfacts.com and under the heading, “I did not know that,” the idea for an air conditioner came to a Mr. Willis Carrier back in 1902. He was standing in the fog at a railroad station reading Page Six of the New York Post, when he realized that fog is water condensed out of the air. Thus, when the air is cooled, he knew that water could be condensed out of air by cooling it, a system we know today as Kool and the Gang.
Mr. Carrier then designed a machine for cooling air as it entered his picture printing plant, so that moisture would collect in the machine and not affect the color of his printers. So the world’s first air conditioning system was invented not to cool air, but to dry it. And if we journey a few years back, the ancient Egyptians hung wet mats and candidates from the Muslim Brotherhood at their tent doors to cool the air blowing in, which was the earliest unofficial air conditioning and the precursor to the recent presidential elections in Egypt.
But the final word on this subject comes from Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, who put it so eloquently when he said, “I just dropped in to see what condition my air conditioning was in.”
But let’s get back to LeBron James and the blistering heat. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the scorching temperatures in the second half of June helped the continental United States break its record for the hottest first six months in a calendar year. And as you know, your continental U.S. comes with a choice of coffee, tea or juice and croissants, pastries, muffins and jelly donuts.
And for those of you keeping score at home, the last 12 months have also been the warmest since modern record-keeping began in 1895. Every state except Washington in the contiguous United States had warmer-than-average temperatures for the June 2011-June 2012 period. But you know what they say about Seattle. It only rains twice a year, August through April and May through July. Sorry, Sonic’s fans.
Four out of five scientists who chew gum say that climate change spurred by carbon dioxide emissions may not be the primary cause of this extreme heat, but they wouldn’t bet their sugarless gum against it. There’s a high level of agreement that global warming and the Tea Party have made it more likely that heat waves of this Thomas magnitude will occur.
Personally, I like to follow the thinking of Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Infofe, who claims that human influenced climate change is a hoax. In the good senator’s words. “God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.” Thank you, Senator, and hopefully we can get together soon and talk about evolution.
And as a bonus to Pat Riley and the heat, wildfires burned 1.3 million acres in June, the second-largest area to be charred during any June on record. Colorado and the west were a regular disco inferno while in Florida, Tropical Storm Debby dumped so much rain that it became the Sunshine State’s wettest June on record. Since I don’t have a joke for how wet it was, we’ll go with Rodney Dangerfield. “I went to see my doctor…I told him, “Doctor, every morning when I get up and look in the mirror I feel like throwing up. What’s wrong with me? He said, “I don’t know, but your eyesight is perfect.”
For today’s photosynthesis, we are going with the silhouette look. I rarely photograph humans or gibbons in my landscape work, but every once in a while I get the urge to showcase the human condition. Photo number three showcases my lovely daughter Aimee, back in the days when she still thought I was a Stanford professor on sabbatical. And lo and behold, there’s a rare shot of yours truly at Natural Bridges State Beach. I call it, “Alone, together.”
On to some late night. “Mitt Romney’s campaign raised $35 million more than President Obama for the month of June. Out of force of habit, Mitt stashed it all in the Cayman Islands. “According to Mitt Romney’s wife Ann, Mitt may be looking at a woman for Vice President. The bad news? They have John McCain doing the background check. That could be dicey. Mitt Romney told the crowd at an NAACP conference that if he were elected president he would fight for all millionaires, black or white.” – Jay Leno
“In a new interview, Mitt Romney said he doesn’t know where his financial records are because he doesn’t manage them. Yeah, he would have said more, but he had to give a speech on why he’s the perfect guy to fix the economy.” – Jimmy Fallon “In Mexico, the loser of their presidential election is accusing the winner of election fraud. He says the winner bought millions of votes. To which Mitt Romney said, “You can do that?” An awkward moment for Mitt Romney today in Colorado. A homeless guy asked him for a dollar, but all he had was Swiss Francs.” – Jay Leno
“Mitt Romney gave a speech at the annual NAACP conference in Houston. The event got off to a bad start when Romney pulled up in front of the convention center and he instinctively locked the doors to his limo.” – Jimmy Kimmel “A high school in Indiana is requiring every student to buy an iPad instead of using textbooks. That’s nothing. In China they require every student to MAKE an iPad instead of using textbooks.” – Jimmy Fallon Anybody watch the baseball All-Star Game last night? “The American League got busted up pretty bad and the National League actually got so cocky toward the end of the game they let the wives play.” – David Letterman
So that’s another week in the e-books. Enjoy the summer daze and we’ll catch you being the most impressive rookie in the American League and a MVP candidate. Aloha, mahalo and later, Mike Trout fans.