Friday, September 16, 2011

a column about aliens and weather

Here's this week's column from the St. Clair Times, inspired in part by this video from Week 1 in South Bend. Please feel free to argue with this, either here or on Twitter
Maybe the explanation for this weather is in another world

It’s entirely possible that the 2011 weather pattern is the work of extraterrestrials. There, I said it.

I don’t need to sell you on the idea that something unusual is taking place. Besides the deadly tornadoes, wildfires across Texas, an earthquake-hurricane combo on the East Coast and the ongoing tropical shenanigans in the Gulf, most people have accepted that something is taking place here that’s otherworldly.

The logical, earthly explanation is La Nina*, in which unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Pacific cause wetter than normal conditions out West and drier than normal conditions in the South and Southwest. Or you could go with presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann’s theory, that God is attempting to send Washington a message about … um, smaller government or something.
For some reason, this became "La NiOa" when it was produced.

Then there’s what happened in South Bend, Ind., during this past Saturday’s game between Notre Dame and South Florida. Like many games in the Midwest — Michigan-Western Michigan, West Virginia-Marshall, to name two — Notre Dame’s game vs. the Bulls fell victim to the weather Saturday, sending players and fans inside after lightning strikes.

During the delay, cameras pointed toward the clouds appeared to pick up very small lightning strikes that, if you squint hard enough and have a good imagination, look an awful lot like small flying objects. UFOs, if you will.

That’s science, folks. Kind of.

To be perfectly honest, after spending a weekend driving around western Pennsylvania, it started to make perfect sense. The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee wreaked havoc in the middle part of the state, prompting road closings and evacuations.

In State College, though? It rained a little; then it was just muggy. And once football Saturday finally arrived, the sun shone at a very pleasant 75 degrees.

Less than 20 miles up the road, it was (apparently) raining to beat the band. If that’s not alien activity, I don’t know what is.

It’s difficult to say why human beings — and Americans especially — need to find a root cause for the changes in the weather. Weather’s just something we have to adjust for and never really can control. Like Mark Twain famously said, “Everybody complains about the weather but nobody ever does anything about it.”

So if we’re going to find someone to blame, it seems like aliens make as much sense as anything else. I mean, did you see the end of Notre Dame-Michigan Saturday?

That’s not natural, folks.

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