How cold is it? It's so cold they've canceled the First Night family fireworks and the Boylston Street parade

First Night organizers have called off the 7 p.m. fireworks over the Common, and the 6 p.m. parade that was to precede them because it'll be just too damn cold. The midnight fireworks over Boston Harbor, however, are still on, because presumably the totally sober adults who would watch them outside will be smart enough to dress appropriately.

Also cancelled: Copley Square stage performances between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Jan. 1. Also, Somerville has postponed its annual New Year's First Flag Raising until March 4, when, with any luck, the temperatures will be in double digits again.

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Comments

It’s so cold the 99 cent

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It’s so cold the 99 cent stores across the city stocked up on made in China $10 space heaters.

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Farce

That map pretends that there is a temperature the Earth is supposed to be at all times.

The people who believe in that sort of crap must get all spastic when they think of the glacier that used to be on top of Massachusetts. Was that glacier supposed to be there? Where did it go? Oh no!!

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The only Farce...

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...is that you'll be dead before the climate starts truly getting uninhabitable. I hope you don't have children.

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Goring it

Gore said Manhattan would be underwater by 2011

If the man who created the internet is such a moron then what chance do you have of wishing to the weather fairies to make things change?

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Poor little science hater

This map shows the departure from multidecadal averages. That baseline changes over time - and different people use different baselines. They are assuming nothing of the sort of "supposed to be" that you imply. They are using a long-term measure of what is, and these maps help us spot anomalous weather patters (such as the current one) even though they are shifting with time. This also shows that there is plenty of anomolous heat going around even though our weather is cold.

I'm betting you took no more math than "mathematics 1" in high school - non algebra track. And you clearly skipped science altogether.

Your failure to understand basic scientific issues here doesn't make your faith-based talking point chanting and what repeating what Bratfart told you that Al Gore must have said sometime any more correct - it just showcases your ignorance. In any case, the grownups are talking about WEATHER here, not CLIMATE. Here's a handy way to actually know what you are looking at and what you are talking about: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate/climate_weather.html

Now, since chanting things seems to be your favorite mode for remembering things, please repeat after me:
WEATHER is not CLIMATE
WEATHER is not CLIMATE
WEATHER is not CLIMATE
WEATHER is not CLIMATE
WEATHER is not CLIMATE

Now, for the next one:
Local WEATHER is not Global CLIMATE
Local WEATHER is not Global CLIMATE
Local WEATHER is not Global CLIMATE
Local WEATHER is not Global CLIMATE
Local WEATHER is not Global CLIMATE

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OK, let's play "science"

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Earth's climate is not static. It is a highly nonlinear dynamic system subject to forcing functions at a very wide range of frequencies all the way from the daily rotation of the earth, the monthly cycle of the tides, the annual periodicity in apparent solar intensity caused by the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit and by the tilt of the Earth's polar axis, the ~11 year solar cycle, the 18.6 year beat frequency of the solar and lunar tides, all of which ride on top of a 26,000 year cycle of the precession of the Earth's axis around the sun, and Milankovitch variation in the orbit of the Earth at periods on the order of 100,000 years and higher that force the ice ages.

I'm not gonna cite all of that for you in excruciating detail, Dr. MIT, but you can pick up any astronomy textbook and learn all about it. As a taste:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_forcing
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

Nonlinear systems (yes, it's a science) exhibit responses at harmonics of those forcing periods. How does it turn into climate? Hard to say. You have to measure it. Whoopsie, there were no national meteorological agencies and global measurement programs until about two hundred years ago, so you've got to look elsewhere and take that with a grain of salt.

Speaking of grains and salt water, in one of the more interesting and innovative branches of paleoclimatology, examination of sedimentation patterns in the Americas gets you a record of large hurricane events going back several hundred to several thousand years. As well all like to bellyache about, "global warming" causes extreme hurricanes so we can actually measure whether or not we're seeing an anomolous number of these storms now or whether we're just measuring the crest of a natural wave and getting alarmed for no reason after having been accustomed to the low.

And guess what: there's evidence that there's a 400-500 year cycle in hurricane strikes. A cycle that might have been at its low over the past two centuries of scientific meteorology, leading us into a false sense of certainty about what normal average ocean temperatures and storm activity should look like. Sources

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025322710001702
paywalled, but I'm sure an eminent scientist such as yourself has access. Anyway, relavent quote from conclusion:

The 15th and 16th centuries are among the most active of the last 2000 years with seven events occurring over that time. The data presented here combined with other reconstructions from the western North Atlantic may indicate significant variation in the number of intense tropical cyclones, but relatively constant tropical cyclone frequency over the last 2000 years. More detailed, long-term records of hurricane-induced overwash are needed in order to confirm trends observed.

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep03876 (Fig 4)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EF000274//full (Fig 2)

Morals of the story: predicting the weather is hard and predicting the climate is harder, put a microscope to anything and you'll find things you never thought to think about that are actually consequential, overstating certainty about anything in science is bad, understating uncertainty and manufacturing the appearance of unambiguous consensus to further an anti-car, anti-development, anti-freedom political agenda is worse.

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Let's also play "attention span"

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If your attention span goes back to where the thread started, you'll see that that the gale-force hot air about climate came (as it always does) from the left.

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I disagree

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It’s been fun reading all this back and forth, but Swirly posted an image of a single day without deeper analysis to note that in other parts of the world (notably Europe) it is slightly warmer than the 40 year average. She might be inferring things, but basically she gave us a one day weather observation. Extrapolating from the map could in fact be unwise either way, but it does remind us that the whole world isn’t freezing.

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Unwise indeed

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But I don't believe anyone ever said the whole world was freezing.

Lots of people like to hint that the whole world is boiling, though.

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You're wrong. Again.

The first mention of climate was from your right-wing FB capecoddoh. Maybe someday, you'll say something that isn't wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Still wrong

If you're talking about swirlygirl's comment with map, there is no mention of climate in her comment. That is one day's WEATHER map, in case you haven't figured it out.

If this is what your arithmetic gives you, I want no part of it.

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there is no mention of

there is no mention of climate in her comment.

Other than the huge propaganda map clearly labeled CLIMATE REANALYZER.

Using dark orange to mark subzero temperatures is scuzzy science.

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SAD

Congratulations. You debunked a weather map showing that it was unusually cold here, while being unusually warm in some other place.

Wow. Call the Nobel Committee!

Can't wait to see you debunk gravity and the oxygen content of air.

(disclaimer: Newton's characterization of gravity has been sort of "debunked" by quantum physics)

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Cold

while being unusually warm

Concordia Station Antartica was 19F degrees below zero and your propaganda map showed the average this date has been 22F degrees below zero from 1971 to 2000.

This causes a dark orange patch on your map.

Propaganda.

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Yes

Yes.

And?

Relativity came from where, again? What discoveries prior to its time was it attempting to explain? While many scientists worked with vacuums, Einstein didn't work in one.

History matters.

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And

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quantum mechanics had jack shit to do with relativity a hundred years ago.

Once again we have a case of you mouthing off on something and accusing everyone and their mother of belligerent ignorance without having a full understanding of what you're talking about yourself. Par for the course for just about everyone I've ever met who brags about their salary and their academic pedigree at every opportunity.

Do you know what propaganda is?

I am not disputing the facts of your map. I am disputing the psychological propaganda assault the map was designed for by making mountains out of molehills (dark orange for tiny deviations) and insane assumptions (climate has changed in 17 years).

Adam posted a Boston death map the other day. How would you like it to be labeled the Negro Kill Map. How would you take a comment of "Once again 100 percent of murders in West Roxbury are by colored folk". True statements but pure propaganda used to advance an agenda..

Do you know what stupid is?

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You are the one spouting propaganda and demonstrating complete ignorance of science.

And you clearly have no idea that you sucked in so much propaganda that you can't see your feet.

You keep using that word

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it doesn't mean what you think it means.p

I don't know what passes for science in whatever it is that you do for a living, but in real life it doesn't mean shouting "I'm right and you're stupid because you don't take what I say as gospel" and stomping your feet with indignation whenever you're told you don't have as firm a handle on the situation as you think you do.

Let's take your image again. There's a hot spot over Svalbard. It's a little more obvious when you look at the 'Arctic View' on the source page.

Is that real? It could be. It could also be an artifact. What kind of artifact? There's a satellite ground station in Svalbard that all the NOAA satellites use to downlink their data.

What happens to a satellite when it downlinks data? It has to turn on a transmitting antenna. When things are turned on, they heat up, and so does anything it's bolted to. Is that calibrated for? Could be. Should be. But guess what: if an anomaly in the data product coincides with a change in operating mode of the instrument you're using to make your argument with, then the correct answer is for you to convince me that it's taken care of. That means you, Swirly, do in fact need to do the legwork to convince me, Roman, that you're data isn't just cherry-picking to back up your preconceived conclusion.

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nice try

Your forays into climate science are equivalent to letting me program your computer.

Except I have no pretensions of competence in the matter beyond SAS programming, while you like to pretend that moving things around a chess board is playing chess.

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You do like to pretend

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you're a climate science and instrumentation expert though.

Aren't you some sort of bio something something in real life?

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Six figures

I get paid good money to be a climate expert, dear. Part of being a climate and health adaptation expert.

So, yes, I am an expert professional in this field. You get that?

How do you think that I pay two college tuitions at once?

Nice try.

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Ah, my apologies

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What I should have accused you of was having a vested interest in no one questioning the climate edifice too closely and just taking your word for it, other hypotheses (like actual scientific ones) be damned.

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Cute

So, if she doesn't work directly with climate science, her opinions are unqualified, but if she does work directly with climate science, she has a vested interest, and her opinions are biased. This allows you to believe whatever truthy BS fits your foxnewsy worldview. Good work.

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Lolz, whut? Your little

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Lolz, whut? Your little tirade about antennas heating up is equivalent to how 5-year-olds think the world works. Antennas have nothing to do with temperature monitoring! That's not how things work! That's not how any of this works! Ahhh do people like you really live on the same planet as I do?

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Here's a perfect example

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of an AGW temper tantrum: Doesn't understand technical question, sees it's coming from the 'wrong' side, concludes it must be answered with school-yard insults (literally!).

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lots of decades

-- departure from multidecadal averages --

multi decades ago a thousand foot glacier was on top of New England

Things change. Morons spaz out.

A with a half a degree Celsius of "change" in weather over the course of many decades does not include the fact instruments are getting more accurate all the time.

Hell, if you put a thermometer on top of the Blue Hills observatory, it is going to read warmer than one a half mile away. If you build a bunch of roads where there were none before, those temperature readings are now skewed and worthless as historical.

A few degrees Celsius is margin of error. That whole idiotic map is pure margin of error and the link to the website it came from blubbers about social justice for the poor affected by global cooling global warming climate change the leftist SJW bozos who are running out of credible spokesmen

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Keep Digging

You won't make yourself look less foolish, but you might get a barbecue or clambake pit out of it.

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Yawn

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Yawn.

Try coursera - they teach math and science there for free.

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It's funny how whenever there

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It's funny how whenever there's a local heat wave somewhere, it suddenly gets used as proof of global warming. Local weather is only not climate when it goes against the dogma.

Not really

local heat wave somewhere, it suddenly gets used as proof of global warming.

Only by morons

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Show me

Gore said Manhattan would be underwater by 2011

I'd be interested in seeing that.

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As usual, when you follow the links

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you see there are limitations in the data that goes into these plots.

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oisst

The other ocean surface temperature anomaly product on that page does not show a +5C anomaly over the North Pole, but it doesn't go that far north, my guess for why being that the satellites the instruments are on don't go farther north or south than about 82 degrees, meaning data past those latitudes is just plain different than data inside those latitudes.

Again: the moral of the story is to dig down and not assume that a final data product you're presented with is God's truth.

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Holy shit, look at how warm

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Holy shit, look at how warm Siberia is. I am no climate scientist but that can't be good for the permarfrost and the greenhouse gases.
Bonus: so we're getting Siberian air instead.

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Everyone complaining about

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Everyone complaining about the cold should consider, for just a minute, being homeless. Maybe it just might make you feel grateful for a roof over your head, heat, food and if you have a vehicle, you can at least warm it up and go somewhere. So Sick of listening to people talk/complain about the weather and if the Patriots are going to play. WGAF. There is so much more to life than weather and sports. Stop complaining

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Why

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Why even have a NYE event if half the stuff is cancelled. The Patriots kick off tomorrow it'll be 13 degrees and they're not cancelling the game. Just a bad look for Boston.

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The Patriots have a heated field

And heated benches. And heaters. And the stadium has cold weather adaptations.

Open fields don't have these kinds of things. Not everyone has a clear idea of what they need to wear (or the money to buy things they might use once). Furthermore, these events require volunteers and public service personnel to run them. Those people are also highly exposed, and it is very hard to justify putting them in danger when it will be extremely cold out.

This is exceptionally cold weather for Boston. These sorts of hazards aren't absolutely defined - they are relatively defined. Most research on the adverse effects of cold and heat centers around the extremes normed for the local climate - 90th to 95th percentiles - because they produce consistent results across cities. Most emergency planning for cold and heat events centers around local climate versus extreme weather.

Causing a disaster by holding these events would be a bad look for Boston. The MEMA people know what they are doing and what has happened in past situations.

IMAGE(https://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/histGraphAll?day=30&year=2017&month=12&ID=KBOS&type=1&width=614)

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Event

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Most of the fans will be in the elements for hours down at Foxboro. The City should just hold NYE at a rented Convention Center room. Problem solved, no frostbite, no cancelled events, no wasted money.

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Please Tell The Class

Were you planning to actually go to this event?

Will you be willing to go stand outside for several hours to prove your point about how safe it is? (I'm not even going to ask about going to the football game - there are plenty of places to get out of the elements there, plenty of staff on hand who are trained for this, etc.)

As for the convention center? Oh please. GO put your swimmies on and join the Brownies. Safety first!

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First Night *should* come back to the Hynes Convention Center

You're right about this. For many years ending with First Night 2015, the Hynes Convention Center was an essential part of the New Year's Eve celebration - both during the afternoon when it hosted primarily events for children and families, and at night when it offered movies, art exhibits, concerts, and dance halls. It was also a good place to come in out of the cold, before or after attending outdoor events.

Exactly.

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I remember enjoying performances, and warmth, in prior years' First Nights at the Hynes. Particularly memorable was some Scottish Highlands dancing one year.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia can occur even at moderate temperatures, and alcohol makes the risk greater. It can kill you. Old people, diabetics, people without adequately warm clothing, especially wet clothing*, and yes, drunks are all risking hypothermia by going outside in this weather. Bundle up!

* If you exercise wearing enough clothes that you sweat, those clothes won't keep you warm when you stop exercising. Layers are the answer. The worst when wet (for keeping you warm) is cotton -- it sucks heat right out of you You're actually better off naked. Google "cotton kills" for outdoor experts on the subject. Down is not much help when it's wet, but wool and (uncompressed) polyester fiberfill do insulate when wet.

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Tell that to my Ventile

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Tell that to my Ventile (cotton) jacket.
It might get insulted and smother you.
Yes, cotton kills.

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Cold Weather Clothing Example

I'm planning to go take a walk in the woods today. Here's my clothing choices (these kept me optimally warm while outside in 8F temps for 1.5 hours two days ago; they were also quite right when I went snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies in Decemeber).

Base layer: thin cotton leggings or thermal pants (don't have leg sweat problems) and long sleeve poly or poly-wool shirt

Civil Layer: jeans and a wool sweater or shirt

Outer layer: 650 fill knee length down puffy coat with fully insulated hood (or Columbia 3 in 1 with a down inner jacket pre-warmed by resident feline); Wool stocking hat under the hood (or balaclava); wool blend scarf (if no balaclava); ski pants or wind pants.

Hands: ski mittens - sometimes, thin gloves inside ski mittens.

Feet: Merino wool boot socks; Sorrel pack boots for snow shoes or my Merrill insulated waterproof hiking boots that are the bestest snow and cold temps hiking boots there ever was.

Sweat is indeed the enemy. Breathable clothing, don't over layer, and have some way to add layers or wrap up when you stop. It also helps to strip when going into warm buildings or cars to prevent sweatiness.

IMPORTANT NOTE: don't keep piling layers on your body to stay warm - insulate your legs, too! Your top should never be insulated more than one layer heavier than your bottom. Can't say how many years it took me to figure that out, but I'm much happier for this discovery.

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Bear Spray

My Bro lives out there - I went on the day that he was at work. The missus runs a daycare so I had to be out of the house.

My SIL handed me a backpack with bells and bear spray, and made sure that I had a sleeping bag, snacks, and water in the car. She went off the road in a September Blizzard once, learned a hard lesson.

I heard some noise behind me on the trail and reached for the spray ... "HUMAN!. Never encountered such hazards in the Fells!

The real trick: packing nice clothes and extreme cold/snow clothes into one carryon.

Please don't tell me you wore

By on

Please don't tell me you wore cotton leggins with jeans while snowshoeing in the Rockies, unless it was doing laps around the ski center with a burning fireplace. Sweat or not, our bodies produce moisture which slowly makes damp whatever we're wearing and if it's not wicked to the outside of your garment, it will sit next to the skin and slowly pull heat away. So you might be OK for an hour moving in cotton leggings if you have a warm car to retreat to. If someone is doing a vigorous hike in the cold (like the many 1st day hikes) and especially doing any longer hikes in the Whites/Rockies/wherever, they should not be wearing cotton and jeans should be the last thing on anyone's list. Wet jeans are super heavy too. A 4K hike in the Whites would probably take 4 to 8 hours, depending on how fast you go/conditions. Even when things go well, you do not want to start getting chilled 2 hours away from any source of heat.

You need about 4x as much insulation if standing stationary than when hiking uphill (source: Richard Nisley from BackpackingLight who tests clothes for things like breathability and waterproofness in his spare time). If you're able to walk in a puffy then you must run cold. Many people would overheat wearing that and sweat out. Bad news.

I know you posted what worked for you for a short excursion but some people might take it as gospel.

Also, here's a fun fact - at these temps the dew point can be somewhere within your layers, which means the water vapor our bodies produce will condense into water INSIDE your layering system... probably somewhere in that thick, warm puffy. Guess what happens to down when it gets wet. The more you sweat in the puffy, the faster it gets damp.

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<insert comment here>

...witty comment about Swirly's discussion of undergarments, containing just enough innuendo to add a frisson of titillation and levity, but not so much as to be offensive, harassing, or creepy...

Volunteers and employees

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these events require volunteers and public service personnel to run them.

Employees mean OSHA requirements that need to be met and worker's compensation to be claimed if someone is made ill or injured from working the event. Any event like this has insurance and legal counsel to review the risks of legal claims from both employees and participants, who if harmed could claim the organization was negligent in holding the event in known adverse conditions.

I know all of this stuff is exceptionally boring, but these regulations and legal risk exposures are what make the world go 'round these days.

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Maybe the city doesn't want

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Maybe the city doesn't want to be (or feel) responsible for small children being outside in the bitter cold.

Also, adults get to decide to stay home; small children are taken to things they aren't interested in, and a child saying "Daddy, I'm cold" might get "it's almost time for the fireworks" rather than "OK, let's go somewhere warm."

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All fair points.

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However, I'm sure many of the adults who would normally trek into Boston for the midnight fireworks will also choose to stay home this year. Yet the City will still have to provide the same level of resources regardless of attendance.

Especially given that the frigid weather for this weekend was forecast days ago, having a downsized event as opposed to a total cancellation just seems to be a huge waste of effort. On the other hand, perhaps the inevitable diminished attendance tonight will cause the City to take a serious look as to whether the continued support of First Blight is really worth the time and effort. Personally, I believe the answer to that question has been 'no' for the past several years, and would not be sad to see this overblown 'tradition' go away for good.

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Which city?

Reading?

Why do you care what cultural events that Boston spends its money on?

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Logic isn't useful without evidence

I will say this over and over again: logic is a process operating on evidence. Just because something involves logic does not make it valid if the premises suck (see pseudoscience wahhhhrgarble comments elsewhere in this posting) Similarly, perceived faults in "logic" may not actually be faults in logic, but in the base evidence upon which it is operating.

Now to the topic at hand: The earlier events are being cancelled because they involve children and people in costumes.

I've had the pleasure of rapidly resewing costumes at the last minute to fit around full snow suits - this was when temps were predicted to be in the high teens/low 20s at parade time. That is really the ragged edge of what the often child participants in the parade can accommodate. For many in the parade, including people on stilts and costumed performers, it is simply way too cold.

People have their kids in the audience to watch the parade, too, and may not be able to keep them warm enough.

I suspect that the "logic" involved is merely the age of those involved - which isn't "logic" per se but understanding of the vulnerability of the population involved in both participating and watching the early evening events. Understanding population vulnerability involves an assessment of both the hazard (extreme cold) and the baseline vulnerabiltiy and adaptability of the exposed population. At midnight, the hazard will be greater, but the vulnerability of the participants and their ability to leave to get warm will be much greater.

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If it got too cold

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Walk into one of the concourses where the heaters were blasting.

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Don't make Pats fans angry.

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... You wouldn't like them when they're angry.
Give a couple thousand bucks to each the First Night performers, plus a team to support their physical comfort and health and maybe they'll show up.

Maybe they could increase sales of beer and pickup trucks if First Night sold advertising?

No seriously. If you think their entertainment is of equal or greater value, pay through the nose for it, just like NFL entertainment and concussion generation requires.

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Fireworks

Really? I'm sure we could stick out heads out the door for 20 minutes without getting frostbite. that stinks.

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Nice

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The First Night volunteers and fireworks crews would be out for a lot longer than twenty minutes. Thanks for thinking of them.

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Oh, Good Old Days

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When we were made of sterner stuff, we thought it was sacrilegious to celebrate Christmas and we were in bed by dark in the winter to save candles.

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The midnight fireworks

The midnight fireworks over Boston Harbor, however, are still on, because presumably the totally sober adults who would watch them outside will be smart enough to dress appropriately.

And no doubt the T will have no service issues whatsoever despite the crowds and the cold.

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T actually seemed to run OK yesterday

At least on the trips I made: Davis to Park, Park to Copley, Copley back to Park, Park back to Davis, Davis to Shawmut, Shawmut back to Davis. All of the trips were noticeably much emptier than I've ever seen on December 31. I never had to stand at all.

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What times?

Were you using the T during the 11 pm-2 am period? It will be interesting to see reports of attendance figures and how much the cold temps impacted participation.

Happy New Year!

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will they

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will they reschedule the family fireworks? They must already have the fireworks and paid for them....

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Ma Kettle

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I'm gonna take a solo hike and brew some hot tea when I find a nice sheltered spot under a tree or such.

That is if I can resist getting hammered tonight.

I wonder if I'll get shot at by hunters if I wear my fur coat and antler ball cap.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Horse crap. Dozens of people

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Horse crap. Dozens of people out skating yesterday on local pond; temps ~11F, windchill who knows (0F?). No one had any trouble. I stayed out for an hour with only base + 100wt fleece + wind breaker and only went home because I was getting tired.

My goodness, how do people ski in these conditions?!

Skiing is otherwise expensive

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Skiiers have lots of money to spend on outerwear.

You cannot demand that most people buy that stuff to use for at most a week. That's ridiculous.

Must be nice to be rich. Are you "fly into your very own private ski area" rich like the sides of the dumptsters?

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No Great Loss

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Cancelling or scaling back First Night is no great loss. Not unlike the Fourth of July concert, it has strayed far from it's original purpose. I'm sure the suburbanites, tourists, transplants and blow-ins who now populate this event can find something else to do.

Bummer! I bet they didn't

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Bummer! I bet they didn't cancel the midnight fireworks because they're being televised.

Typically it's the morons who come in from the suburbs who think they can act like drunken idiots because they're in the city.

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