This name comes with a warning ...
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Yes, climate’s a “hot” topic, but summer has only started (marked by the summer solstice), and Red’s already whining about the heat, while Black considersthe logic of naming heat waves. (Really! But it’s not her idea.)
Red’s first reaction to the idea to name and categorize heat waves the way we do hurricanes was to think what a cool, no pun intended, idea. Growing up, heat waves just meant it was hotter than usual, but not at the extremetemperature levels we’re now seeing. And although she wanted to mention the impact of climate change and how it’s contributing to the increase and severity of heat waves, she thought the idea to “name” them might help people pay more attention to what’s happening as well as better prepare for them,
I don’t know about you but hearing that a horrible heat wave’s coming is happening so often that it’s becoming white noise. Not to mention that I’ll never understand the heat index other than it makes “hot” feel “hotter”. But if I’m told “Heat Wave Harry” is on its way, that might get my attention!
Black agrees that heat waves typically do not lend themselves to dramatic TV coverage, although the death of thousands of Kansas cattle recently did. And she didn’t want to confuse the conversation with explaining the heat index (although she loves the quote, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”) And knew that Red’s eyes would glaze over if she started to explain how organizers are suggesting a standardized three-category system with each location’s system to be customized to its particular climate.
But a better public warning system, coupled with people understanding the seriousness of heat waves, especially for vulnerable populations (children, elderly, outdoor workers, those who can’t afford air conditioning), could save lives. So, Black figured the best way to get Red’s attention was to simply state,
Heat waves are the #1 weather-related killer in the U.S., killing more people than floods, hurricanes, or tornadoes.
And it worked.
P.S. – In the midst of all this heat, our favorite Houston weather service sent out these amusing Top 10 reasons to be thankful for our blistering heat and emerging drought (blaming the heat for the “gimmick”, their word not ours).
Once we realized there was a National Sisters Day, Black wondered why you needed one. But that’s because every day seems like sisters day since we started working together (Black turned Red’s crisis into a book, a brand, and a business because, as Black will tell anyone that will listen, “What are sisters for?!”), although Black still offers Red invaluable (and often sarcastic) guidance (especially when it comes to money). Black may not admit it, so Red has to say it,
Not a day goes by that we don’t share something … whether it’s laughter, the rolling of one’s eyes, or just knowing the other is always there if needed.
But what Black will admit is in the post below …
Of course, there's Mother's Day and Father's Day. But National Siblings Day? Really?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Could there be a more perfect day for Red & Black than National Siblings Day, except maybe National Sisters Day (that's the first Sunday in August) – but who creates these days anyway?
We'll be honest. We had no idea there was a Siblings Day until Black, who typically never celebrates holidays, decided she at least should know when holidays occur and found Holidays Calendar. There she learned the history of National Siblings Day (it was begun by Claudia Evart in honor of her siblings – both of whom died tragically), but continued her research and ultimately sent Red a Fact Sheet, who found the facts interesting but was genuinely touched by the first bullet point,
Siblings Day follows the spirit of Mother's Day and Father's Day – a great family tradition and celebration of family values. It is an uplifting celebration honoring people who have shaped our values, beliefs and ideals.
Because for all of Black's sarcasm and no-nonsense pragmatism, Red genuinely wouldn't know what she'd do without her sister. Yes, she took Red's crisis and turned it into a book, a brand, and a business. Yes, she's the first person to stop Red's seemingly endless warm and fuzzy, blah-blah-blah (this is Red's description of herself). But Red also knows that no matter what, Black has always been there for her, and always will.
On the other hand, Black has always taken the approach that she can say (or even do) whatever she wants to Red, that's a sister's prerogative, but heaven help the person who tried to do anything to her "baby" sister. And although Black may not "volunteer" niceties about her sister (she prefers the role of big sister explaining how she had to "rescue" Red at the age of 40+ because she was, to be blunt, financially clueless), Black will admit that Red sharing her "crisis" (Red's word, Black prefers "life experience") with others to help them avoid making the same mistakes she made, has made her sister her hero. Which, for those who know Black, is really saying something.
So, whether you and your siblings are as different as Red & Black or have a lot in common, remember that today is the "official" day to let them know how you feel about them!
P.S. – Check out our Honoring National Siblings Day … What Are Sisters For? Animation teaser!
Does anyone else find it strange that a study was done by China based on U.K. data … but it wasn’t about tea (which would’ve been logical), but coffee?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red was so excited when she heard from Black that drinking coffee, even with sugar, could lead to a longer life; while Black sent it to her because it highlighted how you can find “opposing studies” – one that says it’s good for you while another says it’s bad.
But all Red cared about was that the study showed that you didn’t need to drink your coffee black to get the health benefits because she’s known to “play mad scientist” (her words, not Black’s) with her coffee, doctoring it to the point where she’s drinking a little bit of coffee with her milk and sugar. (Well, technically, artificial sweetener.)Which made her wonder,
Maybe I’m not drinking enough coffee to get the full benefit! I guess that’s a perfect excuse to go to Dunkin’ more often. Totally for health reasons, of course.
Black started to ask about her financial health and how much she spends at Dunkin’, but realized that her Dunkin’ visits were about more than coffee (and the occasional Boston Kreme donut). They’re short escapes, and much quicker and cheaper than Red’s escape to the movies.
Regardless, she initially sent the article, not to “prove” coffee was good (or bad) for you, or to discuss the cause-and-effect considerations, but to show how studies can be used to “support” different positions based on how you crunch the numbers and “explain” your findings.
For Black, it was a flashback to her corporate life, which included “analyzing” numbers, and how she loved to tell management,
I know you want me to analyze the situation so you can present data to support your position, but it would make my life much easier if you told me the point you were trying to “prove” before I start running detailed analysis.
Red knows the benefits of coffee will be debated for years, yet she was content to believe coffee was good for you. Black said a similar thing happened with drinking alcohol, and she was taking the position red wine (in moderation) was good for you. But we’ve both decided,
Maybe studies are bad for your health.
He was probably better known for his death than his life. Not that his life was boring, anything but, especially when Cleopatra’s your mistress and youname yourself “dictator for life” of the Roman Empire. Except when, less than a year later, you’re assassinated by a group of senators, including your best friend. Sound more like something written by Shakespeare than historians? Well, it was both, and the immortal line, “Et tu, Brute?” is probably better known than the man who said it, Julius Caesar. And the fact July’s named after him is the perfect excuse to rerun one of Red’s favorite Banter Bites …
Quick! If someone says "Julius Caesar," what comes to mind?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Almost everyone has heard of Julius Caesar, but how many of us really know much about him, or at least that's what Red starts to wonder when she receives the usual flippant, but still accurate, reply from her sister, after feeling very proud that she knew that July was named after the famous Roman.
Which is what got Red to realize, much to her surprise (shock, if truth be told), that even as a straight-A student with a love of history, that when it came to Julius Caesar, a famous historical figure and possibly one of the greatest generals and statesmen of all time, she couldn't tell you dates or battles or anything "historical" associated with him.
Even as a theater major in college, she never read Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," although she knew just enough about the play to know that it was where the fortune teller warned Caesar to "Beware the Ides of March." Instead, her knowledge of Caesar came from her love of movies.
My first, and probably my most enduring, memory is of a brilliant general who not only commanded armies as he conquered lands far from home but was a great statesman who was also involved with one of the world's most beautiful women. And while he was Julius Caesar and the woman was Cleopatra, to me, they'll always be Rex Harrison and Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, a movie almost as controversial as the general himself.
There is much we can learn about leadership from Julius Caesar, whether on the battlefield, in politics, or in business (start small, take risks, communicate well), including what ultimately led to his death (always consider worst-case scenarios, never get complacent or arrogant). Many of his quotes speak (pun intended) to his powerful way with words, and the ability to not only deliver a message but to inspire (and story tell), with my favorite being, "I came, I saw, I conquered."