As we get ready for the official start of winter, it’s worth noting that some of us deal with this time of year in unusual ways. Like the people of Winnipeg, Manitoba, who spend their cold, cold winters drinking Slurpees. Plus: on this Star Wars premiere day, a visit to a German observatory painted to look like R2-D2.

How One of Canada’s Coldest Cities Became the Slurpee Capital of the World (Thrillist)

Giant R2-D2 Structure is an Overhauled German Observatory  (Interesting Engineering)

Back Cool Weird Awesome on Patreon for less than the cost of a Slurpee a month!

If you’re not drinking something ice cold in winter are you even really in winter?

While winter doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, it’s already cold in a lot of places, including here in Wisconsin, where it’s felt like winter for a month.

And yet this week, on one of the coldest days we’ve seen this month, I was in a coffee shop when the person in line ahead of me ordered an iced latte.

There are some among us who cope with cold weather by drinking really cold drinks, like the people of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

They who spend their cold, cold winters drinking Slurpees, at two and a half times the rate of other Canadians.

Why? Well, the website Thrillist noted that this may be the city’s way of defying the constant heavy snow and below-zero temperatures.

It’s an attitude of, no matter how cold it is, I can down a Slurpee and make myself colder than ever before!

And they do.

Just browse social media with the hashtag SlurpeeCapital and you’ll find the good people of Winnipeg posting pictures of themselves in full winter gear holding their icy drinks.

They’re so enthusiastic that when the annual Bring Your Own Cup Day comes along, there are rules about what qualifies as a cup.

Winnipeg Slurpee drinkers, you see, have tried to fill milk jugs, fishbowls and, somehow, a kiddie pool.

You can now see the new Star Wars movie almost anywhere, but maybe the best place to see it would be the Zweibrücken Observatory in Germany.

Like many observatories, this one is dome-shaped.

And earlier this year a Star Wars-fanatic professor there got colleagues, students and volunteers to paint the outside of that observatory dome to look like none other than R2-D2.

That observatory is in prime condition, a real bargain!