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#Thundersnow. It could be worse, Chicago

February 2, 2011

Warning: The current post contains some redundant information from a previous post of mine: 5 degrees. It could be worse Chicago.

This post goes out to all visitors and residents of Chicago‘s #SNOWLONOSCOPY. I hope you have your #blizzardkits. At this moment the winds are up to 55mph with snow drifts taller than my walking stick. Fortunately I’m cozy with some friends, coffee, and Nintendo 64. Wrong! We just returned from the depths of #SNOWPOCALYPSE, enveloped in the 55mph winds & #THUNDERSNOW.


Standing up to Nature

My frontal cortex seemed to be thinking about the similarities between #snowtoriousBIG and conditions on Antarctica. Here I sit at about 41°52′55″N 87°37′40″W, and although weather conditions are perilous, it could be worse. Male emperor penguins during the winter in Antarctica have to withstand temperatures down to -40 (-76 when you take into consideration the wind chill caused by 100mph winds). They will go at least 2 months without food & water, and a month without sun.

Fun facts about emperor penguins:

  1. As flightless birds, emperor penguins can dive down to 1,850 feet and stay under water for more than 20 minutes.
  2. Penguins are smart animals: They huddle together to escape wind (similar to today’s #SNOWMAGEDON) and conserve warmth. Individuals take turns moving to the group’s protected and relatively toasty interior. Once a penguin has warmed a bit it will move to the perimeter of the group so that others can enjoy protection from the icy elements.
  3. After giving birth, females embark on a 50 mile journey to nourish their empty bellies.
  4. Having to protect themselves from many #snOMG type days, males do not sit on their eggs, they stand and protect their eggs by balancing them on their feet and covering them with feathered skin known as a brood pouch.
  5. Among the 17 species of penguins, emperors are the tallest and heaviest.


Happy Penguins

Eventually the Earth tilts back, they see sun again, and it warms up. In fact, currently it is summer and they are feeding, but soon the time will come to mate, lay an egg, and sit on it for 2 months during their #SNOWMANIA. My point in all this, how cool is tonight!? This is as close to Antarctica as most of us will ever be.

Quote of the night so far: “We are pawns to Nature’s fury.”

Source for fun facts:

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