Friday, January 25, 2008

The Cold Bell Curve

When I left work yesterday, the sun was setting and it was pretty chilly for Cincinnati. It had cooled off during the day and it was clear. Without the sun the temperature was dropping fast. I was all bundled up with my winter jacket, hat, and gloves so it wasn’t too bad.

As I put my stuff in the car, I turned around and saw a co-worker about 30 yards behind me wearing a thin leather jacket, no gloves, and no hat. The guy had a shaved head too. I couldn’t believe my eyes. His ears had to be cold – I’m surprised they didn’t turn to ice and crack off his head. As I pulled out of the parking lot I noticed the outside air temp was 18. With the breeze, that’s officially cold. How could that guy stand it? Am I just a cold baby?

It was a cook-it-yourself night, so I stopped to get some dinner on the way to my guitar lesson. I was looking down, reading the news on my phone while waiting in line. I glanced away from the phone as the line moved and noticed the girl in front of me was wearing flip-flop slippers. Was she nuts!?! She had on a thin sweater and a light down vest, and no hat or gloves. Slippers when it’s 18 degrees! How does she deal with the heat and humidity here in August?

Is this a classic example of the tail ends of a normal distribution describing cold tolerance? Clearly I’m in the tail of low tolerance while Mr. Shaved Head No Hat and Ms. Flip Flop Shoes are in the opposite end of the distribution. Where do you fall in the distribution? How do you dress for the cold?

4 comments:

Angie said...

I'm a big ole baby when it comes to the cold weather. The highschool boy next door wears a thin leather jacket every morning on the way to the bus stop. I have no idea how he can stand in the cold in that coat. No hat, no gloves and he's usually typing away on his cell phone. Burrrrr!

~Carla~ said...

I saw a kid yesterday in a t-shirt!!! walking into the grocery store!! You aren't a baby - it's just cold out and they are "too cool" to bundle up! They'll be the ones that get sick!

p.s. UPDATE your twitter.. sugar was like, so two weeks ago! :)

Erika said...

It is FREEZING. I wear just a winter coat. I hate hats... and can never find both gloves... I avoid flip flops though - However living on a college campus, I would not be surprised to see someone in flip flops or slippers. Not because they are crazy and the cold doesn't bother them, but becuase that is just a great example of how lazy all us college students are!

michele said...

Earl, I'm in disbelief. You were born and raised in Minnesota, right? You spent a fair amount of time in upstate New York? Now, you live in Cincinnati and you've turned into a cold weather wuss? You're ancestors are sweating in their graves! I remember grad school friends in Indiana who had moved from Minnesota. It was two years before they deigned to wear coats in the winter. However, while I don't wear the felt-lined boots of Minnesota days, I do wear shoes and warm socks. It's just cool for kids to wear t-shirts and flip-flops no matter the temp. What's cool about a parka? Nothing?