The human mind is a weird and wonderful thing. Over millions of years, it's evolved to sieve through thousands upon thousands of tiny chunks of information, and try and discover the underlying pattern in them, in the hope of fractionally improving our chances of survival. So strong is this tendency that we routinely find patterns in places where they aren't even there, as anyone who has paid top dollar for a jar of peanut butter with the face of Elvis in it can tell you.
Knowing that you are vulnerable to this inclination does not inure you to it, however, as I found to my surprise earlier this week. For while reading the news about Hurricane Dean, I thought I would look up which names are going to be used for the rest of this season. I found the answer over on the National Hurricane Center, a fascinating site full of all sorts of weather-related information. Reading through the list of names, one thing leapt out at me: The name of 12th major tropical storm in the Atlantic and Caribbean region.
The storms, which will often strike the southern US coast line, have been known to ravage areas from Florida to Texas. And Texas has it doubly bad, for Texas has hurricanes attacking from the south, and tornadoes wreaking havoc further north. So I could not suppress a wry smile when I discovered that the 12th hurricane of the year, a storm which could chase the tornadoes out of Texas, is to be called Lorenzo.