So I’m focusing on the sun a bit as many of my post has been about the sun down here, but I’d have to say that’s because it’s by far the most indelible mark that we are not in Kansas anymore. How strange does it seem that in one of the coldest environments on the planet, you can easily get a sunburn. Normally we associate sunburns with beaches, sand, sun, and fun, so the idea that you can get burn far easier in the polar region where sunbathers are fat blubbery seals and the miles and miles of white are not sandy beaches seems to continually strike me as odd.
In any snow environment the sun’s rays are nearly doubled because of the clean white surface to reflect upon. (The physical effects of this are also under constant study down here, given they might be one way the earth regulates it’s temperature.) So when you go skiing, snowboarding, or snow shoeing it’s fairly easy to burn any exposed skin. Of course this burning comes in another way when your out in the cold. You can get a little frost burned while your outside too as exposed skin tends to freeze as well as get burned so it’s fairly well beat up.
Given this, imagine your down here just having a good time and it’s the witching hour and a work day so you head to bed, but once outside you get distracted and head to hut point or are engaged in a snowball fight or some such. By now it’s midnight and you’ve been outside for an hour or more horsing around in snow. Once inside you’ll notice you have a midnight sunburn.
Yep, 12 midnight the sun is nearly as high as it is when it’s 12 noon. So with the doubling of sun’s rays because of the snow, insane number of freckly Caucasians down here, and probably in part due to our lack of ozone (i.e. more UltraViolet rays) we can easily get a sunburn down here. This though, is why it’s so much fun to be down here when the new years comes around. You’ve got a sun-terrific time in which to have fun out doors to bring the new years in on a deck, or in a milvan… 😉
This is a monologue inspired by Wendy Simmons and is dedicated to her midnight sunburn.