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Sierra Daily

Feb 07, 2011

Kafka's Dog

There's a wonderful short story by Franz Kafka called "Investigations of a Dog," about a dog trying to do philosophy. Just when the philosopher-dog is on the point of some breakthrough, another dog walks by with a bone in its mouth and the idea is immediately forgotten. So one of the maxims it does manage to remember is (forgive me, this is from memory) "When there is food in the mouth, all problems are forgotten for the time being."

Npseaice_ams_201101 Kafka's dog came to mind this morning when the San Francisco Chronicle (with apologies to most of the rest of the country) reported on our record heat (80 degrees in San Francisco, breaking the previous 1987 record of 73):

"Global warming has its benefits. This is glorious," said Cathy Brooks of San Francisco, originally from Philadelphia (overcast and 31 degrees, with windchill). "I know this all says something about climate change, but on a day like today I don't want to think about it."

Meanwhile, today the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) declared that Arctic sea ice was at the lowest extent ever recorded in January. For more on the image, see NASA's Earth Observatory.

--Paul Rauber

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