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01/10/2014 03:41 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Table Talk: The Polar Vortex

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This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

Topic: The Polar Vortex

Story to read: U.S. Cold Weather Shatters Records As Polar Air Brings Temperatures Into Single-Digits

What to say to your kids: Some very cold weather hit the U.S. this week, causing temperatures to drop to record-breaking lows. As the AP explains:

The big chill started in the Midwest over the weekend, caused by a kink in the "polar vortex," the strong winds that circulate around the North Pole. By Tuesday, the icy air covered about half the country, and records were shattered like icicles up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

It got so cold in some places that you could throw a boiling pot of water into the air and it would instantly turn into snow. But the intense cold was definitely not all fun and games; it was also dangerous. If a person is in the cold too long, he or she can suffer from frostbite or hypothermia. Luckily, a very good way to avoid danger is to stay cozy inside.

Questions for discussion:

In her cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.

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BEFORE YOU GO
January Snowstorm And Cold Spell
PHOTO GALLERY
January Snowstorm And Cold Spell

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