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OP-ED: Story Over a Cup: The Windchill and other things

Michael Cole
Story Over A Cup

I posted a joke on Facebook recently that I found both hilarious and perplexing: “The inventor of the windchill retired today. He was 88, but only felt 75.”

It cracked me up but got me thinking.

First, how do we determine what the wind chill factor is?

I mean, what is the process behind deciding this? A massive mathematical formula utilizing the latest in meteorology, quantum mechanics, and trigonometry? A roll of the dice?

Is it a complex guess taking in account the wind and other such factors?

Or is it some guy named Milton forever stuck behind his desk just filling out numbers of the “wind chill” just to fulfill some corporate weather guideline to deliver a customer friendly temperature?

I can picture Milton looking at the forecast, upset with the 79 that was forecast and looking glumly at the meteorologist and remarking sadly, “Excuse me, we were promised mid 60s today.”

So, the meteorologist then informs Milton that it will feel like it is in the mid 60s.

It would seem to me that the windchill and feels like temperatures would be relative. What does it feel like to the individual?

After all, what feels like a nice spring day to me, might have my wife digging for her jacket. And what she considers nice would have me cranking up the A/C.

However, no matter what, it boggles the mind when you consider one simple fact…

People are paid for their time to figure out the windchill.

Which brings up another question, where do I get a job doing it?

And where would I apply?

I can picture the interview process…

“Mr. Cole, it says here on your resume that you once predicted that a winter day in Texas would actually feel like a spring day.”

I would nod, “Yes, I was most proud of this prediction.”

He would look at his papers, “But it snowed.”

I would smile and say, “Ah, but it was a spring day for someone living in Siberia.”

“You’re hired.”

Michael Cole is a syndicated columnist that when he is not writing, he is plotting global domination. You can follow him at www.storyoveracup.com