Programming note: If you didn't catch last weekend's audio episode of Steyn's Song of the Week on Serenade Radio, you missed a treat: I told the story of "Nature Boy", which is quite a tale all by itself. Our next Song of the Week airs Sunday on Serenade at 5.30pm UK time, right after Sing Something Simple. 5.30pm BST is 12.30pm Eastern/9.30am Pacific, which makes it a Sunday brunchy kind of show in the Americas. But, wherever you are in this turbulent world, you can listen to it by clicking on the button in the top right-hand corner here.
While you're counting the hours till that extravaganza, welcome to Part Six of our latest nightly audio entertainment - a grand novel by Jack London roaming the Continent from the Klondike to Nob Hill to Manhattan. Although this is our summer entertainment, these opening chapters in the Yukon are pretty chilly, prompting Nicola Timmerman, a Mark Steyn Club member in the balmy near-tropical southlands of francophone eastern Ontario, to consult her thermometer:
Typical Canadian, I had to look up what minus 65 is in Celsius. It equals minus 53.889, so not so bad. Yeah, right. And minus 75 is minus 59.444 Celsius.
Interesting to contemplate as I sip a margarita in 29 degrees Celsius, that is to say, oh you figure it out..
Having spent many years ago a long, long winter in Timmins and up to Moosonee, Nicola, my advice is simple. Converting Fahrenheit to Celsius is all fun and games when it's 32F and 0C, and then 30F and -1C, and 20F and -6C, and even 0F and -18C. But eventually Fahrenheit catches up with Celsius: - 40F equals -40C. And all Fahrenheit does after that is gallop ahead lower and lower. And anything after on either scale - such as -65 - is too bloody cold to be worth converting.
Speaking of which, in tonight's episode for Burning Daylight and his hired native it's cold in any unit:
It was a 'cold' camp, far above the timber-line, and he had not burdened his sled with firewood. That night three feet of snow covered them, and in the black morning, when they dug themselves out, the Indian tried to desert. He had had enough of traveling with what he considered a madman. But Daylight persuaded him in grim ways to stay by the outfit, and they pulled on across Deep Lake and Long Lake and dropped down to the level-going of Lake Linderman. It was the same killing pace going in as coming out, and the Indian did not stand it as well as Kama. He, too, never complained. Nor did he try again to desert. He toiled on and did his best, while he renewed his resolve to steer clear of Daylight in the future. The days slipped into days, nights and twilight's alternating, cold snaps gave way to snow-falls, and cold snaps came on again, and all the while, through the long hours, the miles piled up behind them.
But on the Fifty Mile accident befell them.
If you're in the mood for something more dystopian of an evening, my serialization of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four can be heard here.
If you're minded to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, you're more than welcome. You can find more information here. And, if you have a chum you think might enjoy Tales for Our Time (so far, we've covered Conan Doyle, Baroness Orczy, Dickens, Forster, Conrad, Kipling, Kafka, Gogol, P G Wodehouse, L M Montgomery, Robert Louis Stevenson and more), we've introduced a special Gift Membership that lets you sign up a pal for the Steyn Club. You'll find more details here. Oh, and don't forget, over at the Steyn store, our Steynamite Special Offers on books, CDs, and much more.