Every once in a while Nature and the local children co-inspire to hand you an illustration for a concept that would otherwise be hard to illustrate.
From Wikipedia, Cognitive Dissonance:
Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. The phrase was coined by Leon Festinger in his 1956 book When Prophecy Fails, which chronicled the followers of a UFO cult as reality clashed with their fervent beliefs. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology. A closely related term, cognitive disequilibrium, was coined by Jean Piaget to refer to the experience of a discrepancy between something new and something already known or believed.
As the snow was coming down hard Saturday and the niece and nephews were bundling up for snow-play I joked to them, “Time to make the Halloween snowmen!” pause, pause, pause… laugh!
This was the result, Halloween snowman with jack-o-lantern head and Santa Clause hat ready to greet trick-or-treaters Monday.
Anthony Watts over at WUWT reports similar cognitive dissonance hitting Wall Street as well, with a record 2.9 inches of snow officially recorded in Central Park.
The record statement from the National Weather Service reads:
SXUS71 KOKX 300633 RER NYC RECORD EVENT REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY 0221 AM EDT SUN OCT 30 2011 ...RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM SNOWFALL SET AT CENTRAL PARK NY... A RECORD SNOWFALL OF 2.9 INCHES WAS SET AT CENTRAL PARK NY YESTERDAY...OCTOBER 29. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF TRACE SET IN 2002. ...RECORD OCTOBER SNOWFALL AMOUNT SET FOR CENTRAL PARK NY... CENTRAL PARK RECORDED 2.9 INCHES OF SNOWFALL ON OCTOBER 29 2011 SINCE SNOWFALL RECORDS BEGAN IN 1869...AN INCH OF SNOWFALL HAS NEVER BEEN RECORDED IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER. THE LAST TWO TIMES THAT MEASURABLE SNOW FELL IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER WAS...OCTOBER 21 1952 WITH 0.5 INCHES AND OCTOBER 30 1925 WITH 0.8 INCHES. THEREFORE...THIS BREAKS THE DAILY RECORD FOR SNOWFALL IN OCTOBER AND THE MOST SNOWFALL EVER RECORDED IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER.