Happy New Year! [With Polar Bear Comment by John]

Happy New Year from the left coast. If I can get my newfangled mobile technology to work right, I’m going to attempt to livestream the Cayucos Polar Bear swim right at 12 noon sharp Pacific time, on Facebook. I don’t think you need to belong to Facebook to watch. Just try my address here.  I’ll probably spin it up and go live around 11:56 am or so, and give some pre-swim commentary, perhaps a celebrity interview or two. (And if it doesn’t work, I will post a highlight reel later on.)

As a preview, here’s last year’s madness:

STEVE Update: My attempt at a livestream totally failed. But I learned about the limitations of my rig. So I’ll have to try for an alternative highlight reel.

JOHN adds: Steve, Steve, Steve. With all due respect to California, your state isn’t really the place for a polar bear swim. Have you ever sighted any polar bears near your lovely home on the central California coast? I rest my case.

Here in Minnesota, we don’t fool around when it comes to polar bear swims. Generally, someone needs to use chain saws to create open water on a frozen lake. The water won’t stay open long–just long enough for hardy fools to leap into 32-degree water. Viewing Minnesota Polar Bear Swim videos, I note that a large majority of those hardy souls are men, which confirms my view that the female sex is smarter. (But there are also some women, so don’t rip me in the comments!) Medics are always on hand because hypothermia can be fatal, and hearts have been known to stop when one jumps into a freezing lake.

Most of the polar bear swims in Minnesota benefit the Special Olympics. There are lots of YouTube videos documenting the madness, but here is a short one that covers the territory. The opening shot tells you all you need to know:

So Steve: when it comes to polar bears, the Minnesota Power Line branch reigns supreme!