Wednesday, November 27, 2013

32 Degrees Fahrenheit

Once an English major, always an English major. And as an English major, I've always appreciated imprecision. The characters are motivated by greed — or maybe it's ambition. The landscape mirrors the late 19-century love of technology — or maybe it's the late 19-century fear of technology.

It's the principle that's important — and the principle is often imprecise, something to ponder or debate. It's not black or white but something in between.

Which is all to say that I'm fascinated by the unerring precision of the natural world. Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Not at 34 or 36.

I was tremendously grateful for this fact yesterday, as I crept up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to collect my college student. It took three hours to drive 54 miles. But if it had been three degrees chillier, it might have taken me six hours.

There I go again — thinking like an English major.

(This picture has very little to do with 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It's an English major kind of photograph.)

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