Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Zeus and Hitzefrei

When I went to school in germany, the skies were often dark, overcast, and the weather cold. After all I was living on the same latitude as London but so far east that we poland was only a short ride away. In this ubiquitous cold the german school authority passed a great law called "Hitzefrei" literally "heat free". If the mercury rose to above 22 C by 11, school was dismissed at noon. The idea was that such beautiful days are so rare, that its more educational for the children to be outside and actually experience the heat - something we were rarely able to do.

What with global warming, the green house effect, and people tampering with the schools thermometer, the Berlin municipality raised the threshold to 25 deg C. But the principle is the same.

Why am I mentioning this obscure German law? because the weather today is as beautiful as it is fleeting. Springtime sunshine, scantily clad undergrads withOUT frost bitten pasty skin, blue bells: these are all rarities in the northeast, and as such I believe - just as the berlin municipality did - that I cane learn from these things.

Hence I bid you all a shabbat-shalom! enjoy the day of rest and give thanks to Zeus the god who controlls the weather.


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