Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snow, snow, snow... Finally! Warm winter is over, in Helsinki.

... But it is not just us Finns who have been puzzled by this autumn-like weather, with flowers blooming, mushrooms rearing up their ugly heads, and the sea: open, unfrozen, deadly dull and cold. So, what is this all about? And what should we do? I'll get back at that SOON.

((GUESS WHAT we are doing now. Thanks to the new Finnish digital TV system, we are watching the Sami TV news. We can barely understand a word -- but it doesn't matter at all: there are lots of reindeer on TV now. And snow.

Probably the most important topics in Sami news: "Five reindeer of Aslak's reported disappeared in Inari yesterday." "Huge snowflakes falling in Kessi." "Aslak's reindeer found undamaged in Sodankylä last night. No crime suspected." "Snow packing thickly at the Norwegian coast, pushing a fish processing facility into the sea."))

But this one is not a joke:

"Anomalously warm winter may lead to lamentable consequences for Russian economy

In terms of history of modern Russia, the unusually warm winter of 2006-2007 may go down as a record setter for the early 21st century. Russia remains one of the most weather-dependent countries of the world. Not unlike the dollar exchange rate and stock indices fluctuations, temperatures may have an impact on the Russian economy. By and large, Russian business community takes a rather cautious stand on the issue. No profit and loss statements relating to this year’s weather anomaly are immediately available. Meanwhile, representatives of the Russian alcohol industry do not seem to be shy of making comments on the impact of air temperatures on liquor sales."

The Pravda article is here.

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