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MIXED MEDIA | big ideas and oddball interpretations

Winter of Our Content

By Reed McManus

"Winter is not a season," Sinclair Lewis wrote. "It is an industry." For most of us, days become short and cold. But rather than curl up for several months in your Snuggie with Netflix, dive into winter. Here are some resources that can help keep your blood flowing through April.

Weather Watching
Fear getting caught in a storm? Check out RadarScope, an app for Apple and Android devices that displays data from next-generation radar (NEXRAD) sites and offers severe-weather warnings for enthusiasts willing to dive into the arcana of weather maps. An app that focuses more on the basics is the beautifully designed, Apple-only Weathertron. Using compelling graphic animations, the Apple-only app Dark Sky shows whether it will rain or snow at your location in the next hour.

Snowy Classroom
Animals have devised fascinating ways to survive winter. Two tomes are the favorites of winter ecology classes: Peter Marchand's Life in the Cold: An Introduction to Winter Ecology (University Press of New England, 1987; fourth edition, January 2014) and James Halfpenny and Roy Douglas Ozanne's Winter: An Ecological Handbook (Johnson Books, 1989; reprint forthcoming).

Cold Sweat
With the Winter Olympics soon under way, you're sure to become fascinated with curling and biathlon. To understand how Olympic athletes do what they do, take a look at the captivating National Science Foundation site Science of the Winter Olympic Games. Then get yourself ready for your own winter pursuits like snow kiting and snow biking.

Sooner or later the indoors will beckon. You'll do well with Crossing the Ice (Quail Television, 2012), a documentary about two Australian adventurers trekking across Antarctica that won grand prize at last year's Banff Mountain Film Festival. Keep an eye out for screenings of Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys (Myriapod, 2013), about reindeer herders in Lapland and a favorite at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Or scare yourself witless with claustrophobic snowbound classics like John Carpenter's aliens-in-Antarctica The Thing (1982), Jack Nicholson running amok in The Shining (1980), and Liam Neeson evading unnaturally evil wolves in The Grey (2011).

Winter Olympics photo courtesy of NBC Learn


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