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?

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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.

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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.

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