Open Thread – It’s hot. Damn hot…


Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

Fires have devastated the south of the state of Tasmania, and scores of people are still missing. Meanwhile, hundreds of fires are currently burning across the eastern half of the country, including more than 20 that are listed as uncontained in NSW alone.

Outside my hotel in the city it’s currently about 106 degrees (41C), and quite like sitting in an oven. A breeze seems to be starting up, but at the moment it’s just moving hot air around. Temperatures at Fowlers Gap, near Broken Hill in the state’s far west, reached 111.5 degrees (44.2C) at 2pm.

As the air mass over central Australia continues to heat up, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has had to introduce new colors to their forecast maps (shown above for later in the week) for temperatures in excess of 122 degrees (50C).

151 replies
  1. 1
    Oltrol says:

    Take the train, “Red Rattler” down the coast to Melbourne.
    It’s very scenic, and you get the breeze off the ocean.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    Isn’t there an “Al Gore is fat” tag for this kind of post?

  3. 3


    I thought there was, but I can’t find it, and I’m too scared to make new ones in case Cole cuts me.

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    The western desert lives and breathes in 45 degrees.

  5. 5
    ruemara says:

    Wow. Are you okay? Stay safe. And slightly damp.

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    Spouse and I spent part of our honeymoon at Cradle Mountain Lodge in Taz. Wonderful place. Hope it’s still there.

  7. 7


    I’m fine thankyou, dear. I have the aircon on full blast, a rather cute bellboy to bring me icy drinks and I’m not going outside for the next three days.

  8. 8
    Jack Canuck says:

    Haven’t had to crank up the a/c yet here west of Melbourne, but it’s pretty toasty just the same. Those north winds just bring the heat down from the interior, nasty. Like standing in front of an open oven door. And the sun is just stronger down here than anywhere I’ve lived in the US, Canada, and Europe – it stings and burns fast, even if the air temperature isn’t all that high sometimes.

    ETA: Haven’t cranked it up today, that is; last Thursday and Friday it was running full blast all day, and it might well go on soon anyway. Getting a bit stuffy in here.

  9. 9
    Comrade Bob says:

    In Utah, it’s around 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Safety is very important and with the roads like they are, someone may get hurt. Personally, I’m ready for April.

  10. 10
    SatanicPanic says:

    Jeezus I was thinking about moving there, but my days of 120 + are over if I can help it.

  11. 11
    Roger Moore says:

    Temperatures over 40C really suck, even when it’s a dry heat. Going outside feels like walking into a furnace. We get that kind of heat for at least a week or two every year out here in Pasadena, and I always dread it. Make sure you keep well hydrated and preferably indoors with good air conditioning.

  12. 12
    Punchy says:

    Like my imaginary girlfriends, the hotter the better. Nothing says warm and comfy like 110+F

  13. 13
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: Sounds comfortable but do you have companionship to help pass the time?

    ETA: Please be careful of how energetic your activity is, even with the A/C and icy drinks.

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    I would suggest that your talking about the heat has something to do with my getting ads for Fluke thermal imagers if I hadn’t been seeing those same ads for weeks. I have no idea why, since I haven’t been shopping for anything like that recently.

  15. 15
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I’ve experienced 50C once, in Death Valley, and that’s quite enough, thank you.

  16. 16
    MattR says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Temperatures over 40C really suck, even when it’s a dry heat.

    Better or worse than -40C, or -40F for that matter :) That sucks pretty bad too.

  17. 17
    beltane says:

    It’s -4F where I am right now if that’s any consolation. I’m not so sure I’d be willing to trade this wretched weather for what sounds like the 9th circle of the Inferno though.

  18. 18
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Is that a mammogram image? If so, we’re being shorted.

    I’m looking for the promised boobs and if that is a mammogram image then that looks like a shot of one boob.

    Either way, that’s hot!

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    Are you telling us that you’re uncut?

    So much sexual innuendo and so little time! :)

  19. 19
    burnspbesq says:

    This is genius. Krugman MOCing the Republicans on the debt ceiling.


  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    I’ve never experienced -40°, so I am an unreliable source. That said, I know how to keep myself alive and vaguely functional in 40°C heat, but I have no similar confidence in my ability to do the same at -40°C.

  21. 21
    LT says:

    41° here in the Northern Beaches.

    Holy crap. I sweated more that I weigh on the way home from the pub just now.

    No smoke here – thank god. (Thoughts to the rest of NSW…)

  22. 22
    handy says:


    Great band! Saw them live around Diesel and Dust era. So good.

  23. 23
    anonymouse says:

    Welcome to Australia. Indigenous people, white criminals, refugees, extreme heat and snake venom go in. motherf**kers come out. and people wonder why alcohol abuse is our national sport ;)

  24. 24
    PhoenixRising says:

    As we say in the US southwest: It’s a dry heat.

    Like a goddam pizza oven.

    In our summer I get block ice for the Great Dane to play with/lay around on. It leaves no trace, in a day.

  25. 25
    LT says:

    ANd just to note: Most Aussie homes (like mine) don’t have air con. The fan is working overtime…

  26. 26
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Jack Canuck:

    Like standing in front of an open oven door.

    That was my experience too when the Santa Anas blew in Southern California. 105 degrees and what felt like zero humidity. If you faced the wind you could feel your eyeballs dry out.

  27. 27
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    But the latest “Global Warming Hoax Update” says it’s cold in India, so suck it, libs!!

    Hard to argue with science like that.

  28. 28
    handy says:


    You can always bundle up and get cozy next to a warm fire. What the hell do you do about 130 effing degrees? Find a deep, dark place I guess.

  29. 29
    scav says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Srill, it’s clear why SP&T was prising to post topless. That with JC posting without his pants. . . Must be like spin the bottle when they hand them their passwords: “Here’s your dedicated troll, give us an article of clothing and where’s your pet photo?”

    eta. no clue where I was going with prising so I declare it a new verb in hoor of whatever it is she get up to.

  30. 30
    SatanicPanic says:

    @anonymouse: You make it sound fucking awesome. I might just have to brave the heat.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:


    and people wonder why alcohol abuse is our national sport ;)

    I thought Australians took sport seriously. If alcohol abuse is really your national sport, why are you so far down the league tables?

  32. 32
    LT says:

    Sarah – are you watching this Twitter feed?

  33. 33
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: Aren’t you lucky to have aircon! My office doesn’t so I’m sitting with the window open for the wind, but the blinds shut and lights off.

    It’s 40ish (for the 4th day running) here in Canberra and so far no sparks, but we have a severe fire warning and this is considered to be the worst bushfire weather (40c and 70-100km winds) since 2003 when a chunk of the city burnt down. Over 100 fires are burning in rural NSW – some out of control.

    But at least it’s a dry heat.

  34. 34
    LT says:

    Roach Road Shalvey
    ALERT LEVEL: Advice
    LOCATION: Roche Grove, Shalvey
    COUNCIL AREA: Blacktown
    STATUS: Out of Control
    TYPE: Scrub/Grass fire
    FIRE: Yes
    SIZE: 5 ha
    RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Rural Fire Service
    UPDATED: 8 Jan 2013 15:29

  35. 35
    Narcissus says:

    Jesus what temperature is purple

  36. 36
    srv says:

    Sarah, I’d think this would be your paradise. All shirtless boyz and sweaty.

  37. 37
    handy says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Yeah you see if global warming is true winter in the northern Hemisphere should be no match for fat Algore and his private jet planes bringing the hot stuff. QED libtards!

  38. 38
    dylan says:

    I’m living in SE Queensland where, as usual, temperatures are sane by comparison to the rest of the country. We’re not forecast to go over 30 for the next week.

    On the other hand, warming oceans are bringing us deadly jellyfish. So there is still a slight downside.

  39. 39
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Narcissus: over dark purple is 50-52C, bright purple is 52-54C

  40. 40
    LT says:

    @Narcissus: Purple is 54°.

    129.2 F.

  41. 41
    MattR says:

    @Roger Moore: I never really understood the need for seat warmers in cars until I went to Winnipeg in the winter. Nothing like walking out the door and immediately having your nostrils freeze up.

    And you can throw a cup of boiling water into the air and it vaporizes before it hits the ground.

    (EDIT: Sorry. I am realizing this is probably quite cruel to those currently in Australia.)

  42. 42
    LT says:

    @dylan: I just saw that y’day. They’ll be in Sydney before too long, I guess.

  43. 43
    srv says:

    @LT: We should have a twitter feed for toddlers like that. I’d know what restaraunts to avoid.

  44. 44
    scav says:

    @Narcissus: It’s when you stop tanning and start undergoing the Maillard reaction.

  45. 45
    dylan says:

    @LT: And by then, no doubt, we’ll have crocodiles :o

  46. 46
    Narcissus says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: @LT: Good god. So do you just put up a hammock in a walk in freezer or what

  47. 47
    LT says:

    @srv: Are you a toddler? And do, toddler, you go to restaurants? Wow.

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:

    The coldest I’ve ever experienced was a period of sustained -20F, which is still pretty damn cold. It had the benefit that it was dead calm, so you didn’t have to deal with wind chill. I learned two things from that:

    1) -20F with no wind is easier to manage than 32F with a strong wind.

    2) -20F is cold enough to freeze soap bubbles before they hit the ground, which is really cool because they shatter on impact rather than popping. Also, too, if you somehow find an updraft, they can stay up indefinitely without popping from drying out.

  49. 49
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @MattR: Two words: heated mirrors. They’re awesome.

    I don’t particularly like winter but I can deal with it. My problem with the Minnesota climate is that the summers are too hot.

  50. 50
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Narcissus: My partner is sitting in our kitchen with the fridge open. I’m just staying very still.

  51. 51
    LT says:

    @dylan: Maybe by then we can feed the crocs cane toads?

  52. 52
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @LT: I think by then the Cane toads will evolve to feed off the crocs.

  53. 53
    LT says:

    @Narcissus: It’s just the warning system. And it’s not here in the Sydney area – but still, y’know…

  54. 54
    LT says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Hadn’t considered that…

  55. 55
    LT says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    @MattR: Two words: heated mirrors. They’re awesome.

    Hey fuck you, man. This is the *hot* thread. Sheesh.

  56. 56
    srv says:

    @LT: No, but my status is Out of Control.

  57. 57
    handy says:

    Man, another thread crossing the threshold into weird.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Highest ambient I ever experienced was 124F when my unit was operating on the southernmost mouth of the Mekong river. Because of what we were doing we had to wear helmets, flak jackets, long pants and boots. It was not a dry heat. It was hell with a side helping of damn! I can’t imagine 129F.

  60. 60
    Danack says:

    Hmm, a lot more Aussies on here than I was expecting. I’m currently travelling in a campervan that has no aircon, so am holed up in the North Tablelands (Walcha to be precise) where it is a nice cool 30C and less than 20 at night.

  61. 61
    MattR says:

    @Roger Moore: -20F is pretty damn cold. Anything below zero and you don’t really want to be outside for too long.

    @J. Michael Neal: I don’t think I could handle a full midwestern plains winter. I definitely could not handle bundling up repeatedly to walk my dog. OTOH, she would probably not care in the least.

    @LT: Heated mirrors ARE hot :)

  62. 62
    lamh35 says:

    Man I’m tired. Can barely keep my eyes open.
    4 more days before my big move! Wanted to share a pic before I go to bed that a former colleague sent to me from my last job, the first & only “real” job I ever had in DFW. I spent 7 years there and prob would been longer if circumstances had allowed.

    lamh36 hard at work in 2010

    Good night guys

  63. 63
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Danack: It’s supposed to be less than 20 degrees tonight here, too.

  64. 64
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @MattR: I’m a firm believer that you need to have a good solid week every year where it doesn’t get above zero (about -18 Celsius). It’s the best way to keep Californians from moving here.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    That’s the problem with the dry heat — the sweat evaporates from your body before you have a chance to glisten.

  66. 66
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    My comment is awaiting moderation? What did I do?

  67. 67
    LT says:

    @lamh35: Man, I want a job that has a nice blue box full of acid in the lunch room. No wonder you’re smiling. And wearing a curtain.


  68. 68
    SatanicPanic says:

    So I guess it would be rude to complain about the rain here in southern California.

  69. 69
    MattR says:

    @LT: My sister’s first job out of college was doign environmental testing. She made sure to let me know the cooler in the garage marked “acid” was not what I thought it was.

    @J. Michael Neal: Ha. I’ll pass.

    @SatanicPanic: It’s a little cloudy here.

  70. 70
    LT says:

    You kids.

    This was my childhood. that was just a slightly special year.

  71. 71
    lamh35 says:

    @LT: ha. lab work fashion does leave much to be desired…LOL.

    I swear underneath the lab coat my scrubs are ver fashionable, promise :-)

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    For some reason, that picture reminds me if Cate Blanchett’s cameo in Hot Fuzz where she plays Simon Pegg’s CSI ex-girlfriend, who’s working a crime scene when he comes to say goodbye.

  73. 73
    LT says:

    @lamh35: Oh, I kid you for acid’s sake, Iamh35 – gorgeous as all hell.

  74. 74
    Little Boots says:

    let’s just admit it.

    john is annoying.

  75. 75
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Let me try this again.
    Highest daytime temperature I ever experienced was 124F when my unit was operating on the southernmost mouth of the Mekong river. Because of what we were doing we had to wear helmets, flak jackets, long pants and boots. It was not a dry heat. It was hell with a side helping of damn! I can’t imagine 129F.

  76. 76
    lamh35 says:

    @LT: its funny though, we did go through a lot of wok to express ourselves through our scrubs, but except when we arrive & leave the lab or go off to lunch or break, you can’t even see how expressive they are…lol

  77. 77
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @MattR: See, it works!

  78. 78
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: Yes, it’s the equivalent of 35 degrees F in Northern India. Now besides the presence of the Himalayan Mountains, why would it be cold in Northern India?

  79. 79
    srv says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: That indeed is a great video. Even I thought the BF was going to die before it turned into a product placement ad.

    I’m going to go Hungarian here

  80. 80
    Joel says:

    Good time to visit Uluru, then?

  81. 81
    Little Boots says:

    and where the hell is omnes?

  82. 82
    LT says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Fucking hell. Ow. I can’t imagine. I’ve felt 110° in Oregon – maybe hotter in other spots over the years – Mexico, Egypt? Don’t remember. But I can not imagine 124. That’s just dying time.

    And again: I don’t think they’re actually expecting it to get to 129 – it’s just that they had to up the weather warning system…

  83. 83
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Joel: I’ve been to Uluru when it was 45+. Fuck me. Never again.

    @LT: According to the Canberra Times, they’re expecting it to get over 50.

  84. 84
    MattR says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I should be able to handle it since my parents are from North Dakota and Winnipeg, but growing up in the NYC area made me soft. I actually don’t mind snow all too much especially since I now work from home and live in a condo complex that takes care of all the plowing. And I first learned to drive in the snow so I am pretty comfortable on the roads but I have to remember the other drivers are what I really need to worry about.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    What sane person would take a vacation on a Death World…er, continent?

  87. 87
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I grew up in the desert, but you never really get used to anything that hot. Being outside in 110f heat and my brain doesn’t really function. Higher than that and I go into panic mode. 125 was the highest I remember (ahem, name of my blog, blog pimping, cough cough).

  88. 88
    Little Boots says:


    love these guys.

  89. 89
    👽 Martin says:

    Sympathies to those down under. We get temps like that all the time out in the desert, but there’s nothing but rocks out there. Put some trees around and they’ll all be on fire within a few hours. Put a house next to the trees… well…

    Of course, you have nobody else to blame as you made that Maloo monstrosity.

  90. 90
    Little Boots says:

    still miss omnes.

  91. 91
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    LOL! They did provide us with salt tablets. It sucked because our weapons were too hot even before we fired them.

    Highest temp I’ve experienced stateside was a string of 114 F days during an August camp out at Joshua Tree National Park. It was okay because I had plenty of shade, I’d brought along ten gallons of water and a couple of good books.

  92. 92
    LT says:

    @AnotherBruce: Northern India – well south of the Himalayas – gets really cold.

  93. 93
    Danack says:

    btw here is the best bushfire map I’ve found – not sure exactly how reliable it is, but it seems more complete (and easier to view) than most other sources:

  94. 94
    Little Boots says:

    I know I’m annoying, but I really, really like him.

    omnes, where are you?

  95. 95
    Yutsano says:

    @👽 Martin:

    We get temps like that all the time out in the desert, but there’s nothing but rocks out there. Put some trees around and they’ll all be on fire within a few hours. Put a house next to the trees… well…

    You’re in overdeveloped Southern California. Oh and it hit 50 today but the wind chills were horrid.

  96. 96
    handsmile says:

    @LT: , @TheMightyTrowel: , @dylan: , or other Aussie commenter:

    What’s the state of debate there on man-made climate change?

    I believe that Australia ranks as one of the highest producers of greenhouse gas emissions, and that under the Giilard government coal production and exports have increased. I seem to recall as well that one of the reasons for the ouster of Gillard’s predecessor Kevin Rudd was a carbon tax/carbon trading initiative for which he was unable to muster sufficient popular support.

    Not wishing to raise your own temperature on that matter, but would appreciate any local perspective. As you know, here in the US the defacto climate policy is “Al Gore is fat.” As Australia would seem to be on the crispy edge of an environmental dystopia, I’m curious whether policy discussions, both public and legislative, are more discerning/empirical/resolute or are subordinate to the political imperatives of global economic growth.

  97. 97
    srv says:

    Is there an ActRed?

    Nominations for flying Rick Perry to the Outback?

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Why do I have a feeling the Viet Cong were sitting in the shade with fruit drinks laughing their asses off at you that day?

  99. 99
    LT says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Fuck me. Maybe I should go just to experience it…

  100. 100
    Little Boots says:

    so much bitter.

  101. 101
    Suffern ACE says:

    I would guess the benefit of temps that high is that all of those seriously poisonous snakes and spiders would be too darn tired to move. Or would they make an extra effort to come inside?

  102. 102
    Little Boots says:

    see? john’s fault.

    all john’s fault.

  103. 103
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @handsmile: I’ve only been here a year and I live in the capital which is a weird little bubble. Caveat Emptor. My impression is that (perhaps apart from rural Queenslanders) Aussie’s believe in climate change, believe humans are causing it, but are somewhat at odds about what to do about it. Gillard’s govt pushed through a carbon tax which is extraordinarily unpopular (and personally idk how effective it will be – time will tell, I guess.

    anyone else?

  104. 104
    LT says:

    @Danack: Thanks much for that map – very good. Stolen…

  105. 105
    MikeJ says:

    @srv: I think he’d demand a blooming onion.

  106. 106
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @LT: IF you want to crisp your eyeballs, go for it. Better you than me.

  107. 107
    Little Boots says:


    it;s all about john, dammit.

  108. 108
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):
    They were. Actually they were drinking Doc Johns, a concoction of quinine water and lime juice while smoking cần sa. They were also too smart to be tearing around busting off ordnance in that kind of heat.

  109. 109
    Little Boots says:

    yup, john, you goober, miss you.

  110. 110
    Nylund says:

    Somehow, I my life has worked out that I spend summers in Texas and winters in Ottawa. Totally backwards, but that works out to 100-110F every day in summer and -5 to -20C in the winter. Yes, I’m mixing C and F. My summers are Fahrenheit and my winters are Celsius. I do that partly because that’s just how weather is done in those places when I’m there, so those are the numbers I know, but mainly because F is better for making it sound scary hot and C is better for making it sound scary cold.

  111. 111
    Ruckus says:

    In the firerooms of the destroyer I was stationed on, in the summer under way the temp could be over 140. To work in there you had to stand under the incoming air ducts where the temp would be about 125. I only had to go in there for about 10 min a day but my equip was behind the boilers, no air. Also you burned your hands on the ladder rails going up or down. But if you didn’t grab hold you couldn’t get up or down. Poor bastards who had to work there stayed down for 6 hrs at a time and looked like melted crap when they came out. It was fun.

  112. 112
    LT says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: @handsmile: I can’t speak on that with any expertise. It’s very different than the States, not a strong denial contingent, but still lots of opposition to the carbon tax – “It made everything so expensive!” wank wank

    Remember that Australia was the “ozone hole” country way before climate change became talked about by more than ten people – so the country was primed in a way for this.

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    Oh and as this is an open thread, could some one talk me out of buying a Mac to replace the pc that seems to be dying so that I never have to work with, pay for or deal with any microcrap products ever again.

  114. 114
    aussie sheila says:


    Current federal government (ALP +3 Independents+1 Green) have introduced a carbon price on emissions which iirc is presently at $15.00 per tonne. Part of the $s collected by the federal government goes to low and middle income earners to offset the increase in power prices. For example of impact, my electricity bill this quarter was $140.00, and $9.00 was attributable to the carbon price paid by coal powered electricty companies. The conservative opposition have promised to repeal the price if they win later this year (which is even money) but have not explained what programs they will cut to compensate for the loss of revenue.

    There are the usual gaggle of denialists here, mostly just coal company shills, when they are not just bone stupid idiots.

    just saying.

  115. 115
    LT says:

    @Ruckus: Buy a Mac.

    Does that help?

  116. 116
    handy says:


    Well, Windows 8 is a hot mess. Oh, you were asking for someone to talk you out of a buying a Mac. I got nothin.

  117. 117
    LT says:

    Newscaster in Sydney jsut advised people to break the law and bring beer to the beach (hide it in the sand!).

  118. 118
    TheMightyTrowel says:


    but a PC running Win 7 will be on sale

    ETA: there is a distinct, sharp smoke smell on the wind now. Still no close big fires so I think this is probably coming from the huge ones 80 south in Cooma

  119. 119
    Jack Canuck says:

    Highest temperature I’ve ever dealt with was on Black Saturday (7 February 2009). It hit 46.7 in Melbourne – and just to add to the fun, my partner and I were moving that day. Good times (though compared to the many people killed or left homeless by the bushfires, I can’t complain). Never want to go any higher than that, that’s for sure. Too much for a poor old Canadian boy, even if I have gotten accustomed to things down here in the last six years.

  120. 120
    srv says:

    @Ruckus: 12 year Thinkpad fanboi, employer was ready to send me a new one.

    W530. 175 Watt power supply. Bigger than a goddamn brick. You can’t make this shit up.

    Bought me a Retina 13 and VMware Fusion for Excel.

    Never gonna go abck.

  121. 121
    LT says:

    @Jack Canuck: Really surprised to see that the record high for Sydney is 45.3. Got close today…

  122. 122
    Jack Canuck says:

    @LT: I’ve never spent much time in Sydney, but my understanding is that it tends on average to not have the really hot spells you get in (for instance) Melbourne. But it can obviously still get bloody hot there. I live about an hour west of Melbourne these days, and I’m just so happy that our house does have air conditioning (even if it is only in the living room/kitchen); we try not to use it much, but it’s a godsend when you really need it, especially because we have a two and a half year old that we worry about in the extreme heat.

  123. 123
    dead existentialist says:

    Topical? Or am I that drunk?

  124. 124
    Mike G says:

    I lived near Melbourne during the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983 — 46C with 40mph winds blowing an apocalyptic dust storm of 140,000 tons of topsoil. I don’t miss those scorching Aus summers.

  125. 125
    daverave says:

    The hottest Christmas I ever experienced was back in ’83 at Ayers Rock… 47 degrees C… spent a lot of time in the bar there.

  126. 126
    WaterGirl says:

    @handy: Buy the mac. :-)

  127. 127
    Ruckus says:

    My tongue was very, very firmly pressed into my cheek. So far I may have injured myself.

    Had a fun experience talking to microcrap this evening. I think it went pretty good, I lasted about 2 minutes until I told them to go fuck themselves. They wanted me to pay them money before they would tell me how to fix a broken program(silverlight) that I downloaded for free from netflix. I’m done with their crap. I’ve used pc’s since the mid 70’s because of software I needed that would not run on apple. Not any more. Microcrap is the epitome of a bloated american company, their product is crap, their service is worse, and they are snotty about it. I’m no apple fanboy but their stuff seems to just work.

  128. 128
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Wonderful. My fiance is off to Sydney for a week from tomorrow.

    I always said I wanted a hot girlfriend. Be careful what you wish for…

  129. 129
    MikeJ says:

    So where do those teenaged mermaids on Nickelodeon live? And are they grown up now?

  130. 130
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Local news have been saying there’s a possibility of snow in the Bay Area later in the week. I doubt it, but we’ll see.

  131. 131
    ruemara says:

    @Ruckus: 1. My only design machine is a 10 year old Mac I got because a random rich dude on a forum I frequented felt like giving people gifts. She’s still my silver baby and runs fine, although the wireless is going out.

    2. I just got a $600 Dell refurb from Overstock that I’ve stocked with freeware design software. Not as awesome, plays WoW well and I don’t feel half as scared of losing the only design worthy machine as I can carry this around to play games, watch anime on Crunchyroll, read Balloon Juice and write articles.

    edited to reflect I still have a blue g3 tower that works and a blue clamshell that I can target drive.

  132. 132
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    The message from Rachel Maddow, and Ezra Klein, sitting in for Lawrence O’Donnell: DRONES DRONES DRONES!!!!

  133. 133
    👽 Martin says:

    @Ruckus: Sorry, the Mac is great. Best thing – if you find you do miss Windows, you can install it on there and still have fantastic hardware.

  134. 134
    Ruckus says:

    @👽 Martin:
    Yeah I broke down and went to the apple store to get a little hands on. Haven’t bought anything, yet. Came back and tried to find/fix the software problem but microcrap seems to have been able to screw it self up beyond belief. Nothing will allow me to remove the program so that I can reload it. It is stuck in a fuck you loop that isn’t doing my BP any good at all. There is probably a little trick that 4 people know about and they for sure won’t work for mc.
    Thinking about a mac mini, seems like the way to go to replace a pc desktop.

  135. 135
    Brachiator says:

    Totally local story. Southern California public television personality Huell Howser has died at age 67. An ex Marine from Tennessee, he was noted for a friendly, folksy aw shucks style used to great effect on programs like “California Gold,” where he would visit various historical and offbeat sites throughout California, often making sure to put the spotlight on local people. He would interview veteran waitresses at the downtown eatery Phillippes, a guy who owned a store specializing in specialty and regional soda pop in Highland Park, and generations of a family that operated an Asian dessert shop in Little Tokyo. He would go to the top observation deck of the Transamerica Building in San Francisco and to the hottest spots of Death Valley.

    RIP, Huell, and thanks for all the adventures.

  136. 136
    👽 Martin says:

    @Ruckus: MIni is nice – we use them in the office. No optical drive on them any more, but the external USB jobbie works well if you really need one. I only use ours for ripping the occasional DVD. Other than that, you never need it for software. Any apps that would normally ship with DVDs now ship on USB drive, which is actually much nicer.

    Very, very, very strongly suggest you use Time Machine for backup. Most people either use an external USB drive, or get something like the Time Capsule, which also doubles as a wifi base station. You can get a 2.5″ 1TB external USB drive for something like $100. But it works fantastically, and is very easy to restore files you might accidentally delete, plus you can do a full restore of your machine from it.

  137. 137
    Ruckus says:

    Miss windows? That’s not possible. A wake is not even appropriate because a wake is about missing and celebrating someone/something positive in one’s life. Windows can in no way be viewed as a positive. Other than to be happy it is gone which is not really positive in a wake sort of way.

  138. 138
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Brachiator: someone did mention it earlier… I suppose it’s “totally local” if you pretend nobody outside of LA had seen his show.

  139. 139
    David Koch says:

    I’m still in Shock that Obummer appointed an anti-Semite like Hagel. I guess Mel Gibson was unavailable.

  140. 140
    Ruckus says:

    @👽 Martin:
    The mini has the best price(which I have to watch) /performance because I can use my monitor, keyboard and mouse. Will have to get the optical drive as I use it to play DVDs. One thing that is nice will be to get rid of the big box.

  141. 141
    Allen says:

    I had the misfortune of being stuck in traffic in eastern Washington in 45C heat when I was a kid. It was a dry heat but miserable none the less. Years later I was again fortunate to experience the opposite in Anchorage, -40C. Was glad to get to Adak where it was a balmy -20C. A bit on the windy side though.

  142. 142
    Michael says:

    Can’t wait for the southerly buster. Due around midnight in Sydney.

    And yes, we Aussies have a strange way of expressing ourselves…

  143. 143
    Suezboo says:

    Deepest empathy to the Aussies. Heat + Fire = Why Southern summers suck.
    We haven’t hit over 40 yet this season (touch wood)- at least down here near Cape Town – Up There they certainly have – and the fires have been manageable.
    Stay safe, ya poor bastids.

  144. 144
    Steeplejack says:


    Don’t know if there’s one near you, but I just got an ad from Micro Center offering a Mac Mini with 4 GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive for $550. OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Price good through Friday.

  145. 145
    handsmile says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: , @LT: , @aussie sheila:

    This thread has long unspooled, but in case you were to check back, I appreciate your taking the time to reply.

    I realize my question may have been a little solemn on an otherwise easygoing thread. But the environmental ravaging that Australia is now confronting (e.g., sustained temperature rises, ocean reef decline, increasing desertification, and wildfire devastation across the continent) would seem a grim harbinger of what awaits other industrialized/urbanized nations. The proverbial canary in the coal mine.

    I want to better understand how these current conditions (and more dire forecasts) inform and provoke public debate, policy and actions. Again, thanks!

  146. 146
    quannlace says:

    You can always bundle up and get cozy next to a warm fire. What the hell do you do about 130 effing degrees? Find a deep, dark place I guess.

    Find an abandoned coal mine, I guess. Or a cave like the one where Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher got lost in.

  147. 147
    Maude says:

    To all in OZ, please be safe.
    When it was 105 F here, for one day, it was painful.

  148. 148
    Ruckus says:


    Of course with my old pos van the round trip to the closest Micro Center is… wait for it… about $40-45 and an hr min each way. With little traffic. Sort of makes the price not worth the drive. Same mini at the apple store/online, $599.

  149. 149
    Kyle says:


    Another prophetic Midnight Oil lyrics reference:

    When the spinifex hit Sydney, it was the last thing we expected
    When the desert reached Gladesville, we tried to tame it
    And when the emus grazed at Pyrmont, it suddenly dawned on us all
    Finally the world was silent and the door was shut.

  150. 150
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    But the latest “Global Warming Hoax Update” says it’s cold in India, so suck it, libs!!

    That’s why “Global Weirding” is a better term for climate change than “Global Warming”.

    But yeah, give that it’s a big globe, if a wingnut wants to cherry-pick one place that’s cooler than ususal this year, they’ll be able to find one.

  151. 151
    the dude says:

    @Comrade Bob:

    In Utah, it’s around 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Safety is very important and with the roads like they are, someone may get hurt. Personally, I’m ready for April.

    I lived in Utah for a couple of years before moving back to Australia. Personally I prefer Utah’s weather. It got just as hot as Oz (100F in the summer) but there was much less humidity. I effing hate the stinking hot humid days we get here; you just can’t move or sleep or think.

    Utah did get effing cold as well (I think the lowest I experienced was 7F) but I didn’t mind that. Coping with cold is not so bad when the landscaped is blanketed with fluffy snow. And there’s always skiing.

    Now, ‘scuse me while I go for a cooling dip in the pool …

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