The best present I got for Christmas 2014 cost $5.99 and was not intended as a gift: In anticipation of two days of skiing and having only ill-fitting options for borrowed pairs, my mother bought me a pair of Value Village snow pants.

I love these snow pants with irrational fervor, and not because they look good. The snow pants are dark slate grey, just short enough to identify them as youth-sized, and unflattering to my figure. But what they lack in style, they make up for in warmth and comfort. It’s like wearing sleeping bags on your legs.

I wear the pants nearly every day. They have made me a winter person. Before the pants, winter was absent the long walks I love, and now I take them as often as during other seasons. In other words: I don’t always go outside when it’s freezing, but when I do, I wear my snow pants.

Is it cold today?

Before snow pants, I spent much of my Boston and New York residencies wondering how so many humans have aggregated in such inhumane climates and how these cities continue to experience positive rates of migration. We’re all crazy. We live in climates where the battle between going outside at all loses to a House Hunters International marathon 95% of the time. Goodbye Saturdays in the park, hello coding side projects.

Every year, I ask myself the same thing: Is it this cold every winter? Today it was an average of 27 degrees farenheit - is that normal?

From this question arose Using the, Google Geocode and flickr APIs, the first two widgets are:

  1. Is it cold today? determines the percentile of today’s average temperature when compared with the same date for the past 50 years.
  2. Extreme Places reports the weather of a randomly selected location from the world’s most extreme places.