When in doubt talk about the weather. It's a neutral, non-offensive topic that seems to be on people's minds all the time. What's so appealing about the weather is that it's one of the things technology can't control.
No weather gets more press than that which hits the East Coast. The media is already hyping Hurricane Joaquin. In a deep, twisted fantasy the media outlets want to see it happen because it gives them content to talk about.
Storms also give social users something to discuss. Armed with mobile phones and Instsgram, everyone becomes their own storm chasers.
We can’t control the weather but we can use it to control a conversation.
BTW, they discovered water on Mars.