Cold weather and hot air

FROST-BITTEN STRIP

Clark County’s office of public communications issued a weather advisory yesterday with this chilling subhead: “Residents, visitors advised to brace for cold temperatures, possible snow over New Year’s holiday.” Most everyone other than Las Vegas Strip merchants, who could lose a bundle if midnight revelers opt to stay indoors by the fire, is giddy with anticipation. A coworker of mine enthused that his native-born children may actually get to see snow for the first time in their lives. I’m excited too — and not only in that way that water crystals falling from the heavens uniquely induces. I’m looking forward to the cold itself, and the balance it brings. Low temperatures are Mother Nature’s Lysol, wiping away some of the ecosystem’s destructive invaders, from the tree-killing bark beetles on Mount Charleston to the garden-molesting aphids in my backyard. So, please, wrap your pipes, let your faucets drip and, for goodness’ sake, operate space heaters according to manufacturers’ guidelines. Then, grab your mittens and get outside to celebrate the cold with a snowball fight. A little winter is a good thing. — Heidi Kyser

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THE YEAR IN BLAB

Hindsight is deliciously 20-20 — and sometimes sharper — in that hallowed journalistic tradition, the year in review. It’s a fine exercise in mental attic-cleaning: Critics compile their best-of lists, newsies solemnly recap the Big Stories and pundits dole out the retroactive snark, as you nod along, lock in your final impression of the year that was, and clear the decks for another whirl around the sun. As part of his 2014 wrap session, my friend and occasional Desert Companion contributor Steve Sebelius, the RJ’s marquee political columnist, harvested the best — which is to say, the worst, most ill-timed and inadvertently funny — quotes of the year. As you can imagine, this being Nevada in the year of Bundy Ranch, gay marriage, Question 3, assaults on UNLV’s academic freedom and the big red wave, it’s a long, long compilation. Entertaining, too; Steve really sharpened his harpoon for this one. But cumulatively — one ridiculous quote after another from people who should know better, who should think better — it also reads like a toxicology report on an ailing culture. So I’m loving it, yeah, but it’s a tough love. — Scott Dickensheets

 

 

 

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