Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Big people make for small snowstorms.

The weekend storm dropped more snow on New York City than any other in at least 137 years, since they began recording such events here in 1869. Yet the general feeling around is that the storm wasn't so bad -- not nearly as bad as the blizzards of years ago.

An explanation from the Times....
people were shorter then, so the drifts may well have seemed deeper. Seriously.

In 1947, New Yorkers were, on average, more than an inch shorter than they are today. In 1888, when the blizzard that is branded on the city's collective memory as the Greatest of All Time hit New York, people were, on average, about three inches shorter.

"That would affect people's impressions of getting through deep snow," said Richard H. Steckel, an economics professor at Ohio State University, who has analyzed changes in human height.
So economists now are into the psychology of snowstorms. They're really getting about, are they not?