Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Distinction Without A Difference

The springs in Austin, Texas, known as Barton Springs, have been important to people for centuries. Long before the springs were dammed to create the recreational Barton Springs Pool, Native Americans and Spanish explorers alike made good use of the spring water.

In more recent times, Barton Springs has served as one of the top recreation spots in Austin, where people can swim in the pool built around the springs. It has long been asserted that the water temperature was a constant 68 degrees year round, and this had quite an appeal, especially during Austin’s extremely hot summers. But apparently, this assertion is not true.

The Austin American-Statesman recently reported that the 68 degree temperature was a “myth.” Based on the findings of a local hydrogeologist, the temperature is not 68 degrees, but 70.9. The hydrogeologist said he has been on a “personal crusade” to change the public’s perception about the water temperature.

With all the things to worry about in this world, it is remarkable that a man is on a “personal crusade” to change the “public’s mind” over a couple degrees. This is water temperature of one Texas spring we are talking about, not the warming of our planet. But, to each his own.

When all is said and done, anyone who has jumped into the pool on a hot August day or during a cooler day in January will say that the water is chilly to cold in either case. A couple of degrees one way or another makes absolutely no never mind to a swimmer who can’t tell the difference anyway. The distinction the hydrogeologist is making is clearly a distinction without a difference.

1 comment:

  1. What!!? You mean it is actually a balmy 70.9 degrees? I'm cancelling my vacation plans to Austin; I won't put up with such deception.