20 below or 20 above just didn't seem to matter to the kids with the screens.

Fake News and the Analog Thermometer

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Dave Celone

How to Look Outside at the Cold

It's been a busy holiday season.  Yesterday, seventeen people ate dinner at my house.  A veritable feast of food and family.  Yet, I couldn't help but notice all the eyes staring at smart phones when someone asked if a post-dinner walk was in order.

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That's right, as soon as the question was popped, the phones suddenly appeared, as if they were magical black boxes that were better than crystal balls at telling the future.  Suddenly, people began talking about the temperature, and whether it was too cold to go outside.  One teenage niece said, after peering deeply into her silent screen, she hadn't brought a jacket warm enough to go out.  Another said, "brrrrrrr, too cold out there for me."  Yet a third said it didn't look so bad out there, his feet barely surfacing for air in his deep dive second attempt to find a second weather app to confirm the first.

I said, "Hey, let's see how your digital media readouts compare to our analog window thermometer. Like a test, you know?"  Blank stares came back my way.  I tried another approach. "How about if you tell me what temperature it is outside?"  Mayhem ensued. Everyone was off by a degree or three. It suddenly became a conversation of whose app was best, and not what temperature it really was outside. All of this was fake news to me. All we had to do was stick our noses out into the dooryard and we'd know right off whether a walk was in order. The walk had taken a back seat as technology, or the lack of its accuracy, caused great angst around the table. I then suggested we put this conundrum to rest by taking a few steps to the window (still within the warm cocoon of our house as you'll note) and away from the table and their black boxes, to look at the outdoor thermometer.

Analog heaven delivers!

The sun was setting. The thermometer was in a slight shadow but visible in the orange afterglow of our nearest star. The "kids" all looked outside and marveled at the colors of orange seeping into the white snow. It was a sight to behold. Not so much for the snow, but because they were all looking out the window for the first time since they'd stepped inside a few hours earlier. The conversation about temperature seemed to suddenly evaporate as they began talking about going for a walk, and to play with the dogs who were itching to get outside. It didn't seem to matter now whether it was 20 or 20 below. What mattered most was the allure and the beauty of the deepening sun, the dogs at play, the depth of the snow.

Somehow, nature had triumphed over technology. The talk of which digital app was right or wrong, or most accurate or best, had disappeared. All I heard as we walked out the door was the loud popping sounds of their heads as I pulled them each by the feet out of the morass of their tiny screens into which they had been sucked, unknowingly.   And at the sound of each pop, they seemed to come alive in the chill air and the life outdoors in nature that brought to their faces the gleaming smiles only nature can bring with its brilliant show.


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Hand-dyed weaving/wall-hanging and wooden saw by Doug Masury of Henniker, NH. This and many other of Doug's museum-quality, large-scale pieces are now being shown at Long River Gallery & Gifts, 49 So. Main Street in White River Junction, VT.

Dave Celone is not the above expressively colorful, warm, and motion-filled weaving by Doug Masury. Instead, he's a writer who likes to share information about his life in the Upper Valley on a host of topics ranging from technology to the natural world.  Dave is a freelance writer, poet, visual artist, art gallery curator, and consultant for the education industry. He co-manages Long River Gallery & Gifts in Lyme, NH and in a new pop-up gallery in White River Junction VT with his wife Lisa where over 175 local artists and artisans show their work. The new "pop-up" gallery is at 49 South Main Street in White River Junction, VT, right next to The Junction Frame Shop. Dave is also principal of Advancement Consulting Services offering higher education institutions and private secondary schools global best practices and unique ways to increase alumni giving and involvement through programs that develop relationships and value holistically. His "virtuous circle" model on developing fundraising programs, and his belief in "treating students like alumnae/i and alumnae/i like students" have gained favor among development industry professionals and higher education leadership on multiple continents. Dave is former director of development at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and former co-executive director of the Dartmouth College Fund. He may be reached at djcelone@gmail.com. Please feel free to add your comments below. Dave will respond.



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