Windbreaking news: NBC reveals major cause of climate change

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First, let’s clear up any misunderstandings you have about the difference between weather and climate.

 

This gives you a clue as to where weather comes from. Courtesy of http://gwendolyn12-stock.deviantart.com/art/Sky-Texture-390272597 (NOTE: she provided the picture not the weather)

This gives you a clue as to where weather comes from. Courtesy of http://gwendolyn12-stock.deviantart.com/art/Sky-Texture-390272597 (NOTE: only the picture comes courtesy of her, not the weather)

Weather is one snapshot from your trip to Prairie du Sac for the Bovine Bingo and Cow Chip Throw Festival, climate is the 2-hour video of the event that you sent to your relatives for Christmas this year.

 

Weather is one drop of water in that little drip from your kitchen sink, climate is the water bill you get at the end of the month.

 

Weather is one website that you visit, climate is the history of every website you visit that the NSA keeps, just in case.

 

Weather is one pixel, climate is a collection of those pixels that shows Elvis leaving a Walmart in Pittsburgh.

 

Weather accumulates until it becomes climate. And since it’s left outside day after day, it rusts, which leads to change. Not the paltry amount you find under your couch cushions, but the kind that causes your skin to lose its elasticity. Skin that once covered your thighs now pools around your ankles like an old pair of underpants, but unfortunately you cannot discretely step out of that loose skin and look back in shock wondering who would leave a pair of underpants on the sidewalk, which is a true story about one of my daughters that I try not to tell because it’s…em…barrassing.

 

And what does that have to do with windbreaking news? Be patient, I’m getting there.

 

Climate changes just like you do, and only a tiny handful of the bad changes are your fault, while the majority are other people’s fault. And NBC has finally revealed that a major part of the bad climate changes falls at the feet of the U.S. and China, like an old pair of….dinner rolls.

 

Trust me, I was as surprised as you are at that last statement, but according to the screenshot I took, NBC, typing in the voice of  Jonathan Overpeck, director of the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment, clearly states that most of the problems in climate change are due to the “outsized rolls” of China and the U.S. As temperatures rise, these rolls also rise.

Outsized rolls cause climate problems

There are two important takeaways here. First, the initialism for Overpeck’s institute is UAIE. By adding the initial of his last name, we end up with UAIEO. Yes, friends, all the vowels. Clearly, our Dr. Overpeck is involved in vowel play, and while he may fool others, I’m no popover.

 

Second, Dr. Overpeck’s name not only includes the word peck, he prefers to be called Peck. As you know, a peck was traditionally used as a measurement for flour. Rolls need flour, and outsized rolls need more flour, or eerily, over flour. To make matters even more conspiratorial, he went to Brown University for his MSc and Phd. And what do China and the U.S. do with their oversized rolls once they are made? They brown them.

 

Guess which one belongs to the U.S.

Guess which one belongs to the U.S.

What does all this mean? Sadly, your guess is not as good as mine, but don’t be discouraged, keep on guessing. And I’ll keep on doing my part by bringing you windbreaking news like this.

 

 

There’s fun in words

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Literally. You can find fun in words. Like fungus. Maybe you know a guy, and he is fun, so you say he is a fun guy. And if his name is Gus, maybe you say he is one fun Gus.

As you know if you know what’s good for you, fungi rhymes with fun guy. Every time someone uses the other pronunciation that rhymes with fun jai, a dung beetle dies. And do you really want to live in a world without dung beetles? No, because once they are gone, we are in deep doo-doo.

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We eat fungi, which are both tasty and sometimes deadly. Fungi live on us and sometimes invade our toes.

Fun Guy: George, you’ve got some fungosity    going there on your toes.
George: You nailed it, Fun Guy. You’ve got onegood eye.

 

You also might have made a go of something fun like bowling blindfolded. Then you could say you made a fun go of it. And if you talked quickly, squeezing those last seven words together because you heard a loud yell after you threw the bowling ball, you would say you made a fungo of it, and it would be true. Or almost true if your bowling ball was just struck by someone’s foot three lanes over, because fungo is baseball talk for striking a ball thrown up in the air. And that means one of two things: you shouldn’t bowl blindfolded no matter how fun it is, or you need to work on your hook.

 

Baseball_swing

The term fungo snuck into the baseball lexicon sometime in the 1880s, probably by climbing over the fence to watch the game. No one knows for sure, except for those people who think they know for sure. Like so many English nouns it has a second career as a verb. So, a person can fungo during practice, or have a coach who thinks fungoing is essential, which in my book is a fungoing coach.

If you think there’s a lot of fun in blindfolded bowling (and frankly, who doesn’t?), you probably think that there’s just as much of it in funambulism, aka tightrope walking. If etymology were done correctly, that fun in funambulism would derive from the word fun, or amusement. We would be left with a fun kind of ambulating, which is a four-syllable way of talking about simple two-syllable walking. However, the Romans lacked the kind of etymological skills that would truly benefit posterity because they spent too much time conquering and slaughtering barbarians to develop much of a sense of humor. In addition, they appeared too early in history to even know about the word fun. This is often true of people who show up too early at a party and then leave before the real party begins.

Highline_Peeto

Courtesy of Philip Bitnar

 

 

In what has to be the worst instance of word origin I’ve run across today, they borrowed that first syllable in funambulism from funis, Latin for rope. In one fell swoop, they cut the rope under my feet, so that instead of enjoying the fun of walking 50 stories high on a thin rope connected to two buildings on a windy day in the Windy City, I’m left trying to walk across a rope. Etymology is such a heartbreaker.

 

If I had more time, and trust me, you are going to be glad I don’t, I could write a ditty, a simple song, about etymology’s betrayals. Of course I would have to make it fun. I’m a positive person and very pro fun, so I would call it a profundity, but I don’t think anyone else would agree.