"Like seven inches from the midday sun…"

So June has come upon us – happy hurricane season, y’all! Let me just state the obvious and say that it is hot… obscenely, ridiculously hot (as it is every summer here in the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire… “empire” sounds so regal and grand, doesn’t it? That’s really the name for the area around Savannah for some reason). And wouldn’t you know, the air conditioner (at our new house) which apparently worked during the home inspection, and which subsequently broke when the weather turned hot, and which was supposed to be fixed last week… that air conditioner is still broken for some reason which I am finding increasingly difficult to imagine. Thus, our progress on the new house has slowed. Jon is a real trooper, though, doing as much as he can, while I – as my brother-in-law Sergio observed – am more of a union worker, refusing to work until the situation is remedied. Sorry, but the heat just sucks the life out of me. Which is why every summer Jon and I discuss how nice it would be to live somewhere else, somewhere where you could actually enjoy the summertime by spending time outside (what a novel idea) – like Maine or Pennsylvania.

And when I see first-hand how the heat affects human behavior and tends to slow things down, it causes me to wonder about latitudinal influences on human behavior (as I did previously concerning Norwegians’ food habits). For example, the South is known for being slower than the North, perhaps partly out of necessity because it’s so darn hot in the South that you have to slow down to survive; whereas in the North the world gets very cold and you have to run around trying to keep warm for part of the year so you get used to a faster pace of life. Also, why so many inventions, discoveries, and developments from Western nations historically, while much of Africa and other hotter climates remain in such basic conditions? European/American nations deal with very cold weather for at least part of the year, and have had to come up with ways to survive and thrive in a harsh environment that rewards moving fast (generating heat). Hotter climates require people to slow down or risk their health, thus perhaps decreasing motivation in general. (Let me make the obvious disclaimer that, of course, many other factors have been at work in history, blah, blah, blah, and surely climate is just one part of the puzzle, but it may definitely have influence). I don’t know, but it would be fun to research anyway! Or maybe the heat has befuddled my brain…

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