All the blizzard talk reminded us of "Wickedness," Ron Hansen's short story about the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888, which killed 500 people across the Great Plains. It's amazing, and through the magic of Google Books you can read it here.

It's not like you're working, anyway. Reading Hansen's astringent and clinical accounts of horrid deaths, merciless cold, and sudden and inexplicable chaos should make you feel a little bit less put-upon by the slush puddles that ruined your shoes.

[Photo via Flickr by Paul McGeiver.]