Should be another partly-cloudy day with a high of 83. Scattered thunderstorms will begin rearing their heads around 7PM.
Last night Gothamist received notification that her Vans shipped. (Yes, the black and white checkered ones, thanks for asking.) Amid the email's many links was one particularly intriguing one that said "USPS Weather Page." It goes without saying that it was the first thing Gothamist clicked.
Ribbs.usps.gov contains a weather alert bulletin board that you can check to see if weather has affected the delivery of your package. Apparently there haven't been any problems nationwide since June 8, when the Okreek, South Dakota post office was struck by lightning and set ablaze. Fires, floods and tornadoes seem to be the main cause of delay, typically affecting P.O. Boxes more than home delivery.
Ribbs, which stands for Rapid Information Bulletin Board System, also gives you a glimpse of post office lingo you may not have heard. Like, what is the Kentuckiana Cluster? And the next time you're at the post office, feel free to ask for the POOM--the Post Office Operations Manager.
If, like Gothamist, you're wondering if this weather bulletin board flies in the face of the USPS's "rain, sleet or snow" motto, consider this:
Contrary to popular belief, the United States Postal Service has no official motto. However, a number of postal buildings contain inscriptions, the most familiar of which appear on postal buildings in New York City and Washington, D.C.
General Post Office, New York City, 8th Avenue and 33rd Street:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
This inscription was supplied by William Mitchell Kendall of the firm of McKim, Mead & White, the architects who designed the New York General Post Office. Kendall said the sentence appears in the works of Herodotus and describes the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians under Cyrus, about 500 B.C. The Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers, and the sentence describes the fidelity with which their work was done.
Professor George H. Palmer of Harvard University supplied the translation, which he considered the most poetical of about seven translations from the Greek.
So it's the New Yorkers who have been facilitating this vicious rumor about the dependability of mailpeople all these years. Surely this must be gallows humor, right? Go figure.