Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's Getting Hot in Here

Basically, Taiwan is hot and wet. Typical summer highs are 95F/35C with a heat index of 104F/40C. The weather reports here are interesting because it’s common to just report a high and low. No ‘current’ conditions are reported, and in particular, relative humidity and heat index are foreign. The students here had never heard of a ‘feels like’ temperature. It’s an interesting cultural difference. Certainly, the lack of weather variation here makes the actual conditions less informative. And at some point, I’d rather just not know how extremely hot it is outside.

In contrast, Americans have access to hourly forecasts down to the ZIP code complete with temperature, ‘effective’ temperature, chance of precipitation, dew point, humidity, and wind conditions. further reports a UV index, the air pressure, and visibility. The extent of our Doppler radar and satellite is also daunting.

Americans are picked on because we have the “world revolves around me” mentality. [Though I fail to see how one could get this impression because the evidence presented above indicates we can at most be criticized for having the world revolve around our respective ZIP code.] In the case of weather, we’re just living the information age to its fullest. I’m curious about ‘the world’ around me. If the technology is available, why shouldn’t I have access to it? I shouldn’t have to justify my entitlement, but here it is anyway: In the old days, people would stick their heads out the window. Today, with so many office buildings switching to fixed windows, it becomes clear the need for accurate electronic reporting.



At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to Taiwan! We should have tried the stinky tofu after the octopus! :P Joyce


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