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Sexism and Hurricanes; or, the Dangers of Bad Science

Hurricanes with feminine names kill more people because people are sexist. Or it could be bad (social) science.
posted by goatdog on Jun 2, 2014 - 62 comments

Here I am, Rock Me

Writer Dan Devine reminisces about getting married during Hurricane Irene.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 27, 2013 - 5 comments

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind: E. Coli & Cloud Formation

Scientists Find Bacteria Survive at High Altitudes
Study finds significant microorganism populations in middle and upper troposphere
Microbiome of the upper troposphere: Species composition and prevalence, effects of tropical storms, and atmospheric implications
See also Properties of biological aerosols and their impact on atmospheric processes

posted by y2karl on Jan 29, 2013 - 17 comments

A museum shows its favorites folder

The Corning Museum of Glass (previously), not to be confused with the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington (previously), has named 60 favorites of their own collection and campus. The choices range from ancient, like the glass "portrait" of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep II, to the scientific, like the initial 200-inch disk intended for the Hale telescope at the Mt. Palomar observatory, to modern sculpture, like Family Matter by Jill Reynolds.
[more inside]
posted by knile on May 3, 2011 - 17 comments

Events That Touched Our Ancestors' Lives

GenDisasters is a genealogy site, compiling information on the historic disasters, events, and tragic accidents of Canada and the U.S. that our ancestors endured, as well as, information about their life and death. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 9, 2008 - 12 comments

The other IKE that deserves attention

Those who judge hurricane risk merely by their Saffir-Simpson category number (1-5) are not getting the entire picture. Another (coincidentally-named) IKE (Intergrated Kinetic Energy) proposes an improved method of classifying hurricanes, one that takes into account their size and separates the danger components of sea surge (which kills 9 out of 10 hurricane victims) and wind. By that measure, Hurricane Ike is the most dangerous storm in 40 years. Ike's path reminds many of the greatest natural disaster in U.S. History, the Great Hurricane of 1900 (91 minute History Channel video on Google) which killed thousands due mainly to the great sea surge. After that the 17' Galveston sea wall was built and it has never been topped since by hurricane waves. Hurricane Ike may change that as current wave heights (WVHT) being reported by buoy data in the vicinity of Ike are well over 20 feet. A computer-simulated "Hurricane Carly" shows the results of various sea surges for the Galveston area (with graphic graphics): Play with real-time data and forecasts for the western gulf with the experimental nowCoast.
posted by spock on Sep 12, 2008 - 84 comments

Hurricanes from Outer Space!

Hurricanes, as seen from orbit. Flying straight into a Hurricane. The list of worldwide Hurricane names. The history of Hurricane names.
posted by clearly on Sep 8, 2008 - 11 comments

The Long Island Express

It was called the Great Hurricane of 1938. The tradition of naming Cyclones had yet not begun, and not since 1869 had a storm of such ferocity hit the US mainland. What had made it unusally unique was the speed with which it had hit landfall, and the damage that it caused in its wake. (60 years on, and people can still recall the frightening grip that it had on their lives for those few days.)
posted by hadjiboy on Jul 12, 2008 - 20 comments

Nature's Creative Destruction

Natural disasters are good for the economy. No, they aren't. Yes, they are. Well, maybe sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. (pdf) It helps if somebody makes a movie or a television show about it. The Broken Window fallacy.
posted by anotherpanacea on Jul 8, 2008 - 17 comments

End of the World? ABC wants your ideas

Earth2100.tv is a project by ABC (video preview) to solicit ideas from the public and experts about the dangers facing world in the next 100 years. "The world’s brightest minds agree that the “perfect storm” of population growth, resource depletion and climate change could converge with catastrophic results. We need you to bring this story to life."
posted by stbalbach on Jun 13, 2008 - 25 comments

You spin me right round baby...

Hurricane headlines differ. (warning: Newsfilter)
posted by whimsicalnymph on May 22, 2006 - 59 comments

Hurricane forecasting

National Hurricane Center and the Likelihood of Hurricanes. In December 2003 the NHC predicted a 68% chance of a major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane hitting the US, in fact there were three major hits on the US (Charlie, Ivan, and Jeanne). In December 2004 the NHC predicted a 69% chance of a major hurricane, in fact there were four major hists (Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma). The odds of that happening are about 0.9% (see link for math), or "statistically very significant evidence" the NHC predictions are understated. Forecast for 2006: 81% chance of a major hurricane.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 15, 2006 - 34 comments

New Orleans Will Come Again

Rebuilding New Orleans with science! [via 3qd]
posted by panoptican on Jan 6, 2006 - 7 comments

For the first time in history, it's

Tropical Storm Gamma. For the first time in history.
posted by theperfectcrime on Nov 18, 2005 - 43 comments

Hurricane Tracker

Hurricane Tracker A god-like view of current hurricane activity.
posted by Muirwylde on Oct 23, 2005 - 19 comments

Hurricane Wilma

First hand report and photos as Hurricane Wilma smacks the holy bejesus out of the Cancun/Cozumel area.
"The Mexican government did a great job in evacuating thousands of tourists in a small span of 10 to 12 hours. For tourists the evacuations were mandatory. Though the shelters may be uncomfortable, they are safe. I wouldn't worry to much if you have friends or relatives here, they may not be able to communicate for the next few days, but they are safe. The winds are now EXTREMELY powerful, the noise is loud, the building is shaking, and the storm seems to be very angry. This building is built to code, and is probably one of the safest in the hotel zone, so we are not to worried, but small family homes must be in shambles. I will try and keep these updates coming as long as I can."

posted by jcterminal on Oct 21, 2005 - 16 comments

The birth of Hurricane Wilma?

The birth of Hurricane Wilma? Tropical Depression 24 is expected to become Tropical Storm Wilma by Monday, and forecasters are predicting that it will turn into the Gulf of Mexico, where water temperatures and other conditions are favorable for it to develop into a large, slow moving hurricane. Oil futures have already started going up in response to the threat.
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 17, 2005 - 45 comments

The Red Double Cross?

Now that every MeFite and their dog have contributed to the Red Cross for Hurricane Relief, here's a semi-reluctant criticism of the Big Red from the head of (IMUDO*) another worthy organization.
*In My Usually Disregarded Opinion
Before anybody goes nuclear, Operation USA has absolutely NO connection to the infamous Operation Blessing.

posted by wendell on Sep 25, 2005 - 20 comments

Hurricane Beta

Hurricane Beta Coming Soon... Ever wondered how hurricanes are named? Here's a good explanation.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Sep 23, 2005 - 21 comments

More trouble from Rita?

Oh my. This could get very ugly.
posted by guidonDeBascogne on Sep 21, 2005 - 179 comments

A monumental building with floodwaters at its knees

The Louisiana Superdome. The moment that thin white membrane flew off the roof to drown, the structure in the center of the storm became a metaphor. That sad, weathered, beaten, and war-torn roof represents the city and its plight.
posted by Jazznoisehere on Sep 3, 2005 - 16 comments

What if Hurricane Ivan Had Not Missed New Orleans?

What if Hurricane Ivan Had Not Missed New Orleans? Author’s Note: This column was originally intended to be the final disaster in the “Disasters Waiting to Happen” series. As I was developing the hypothetical situation depicting a devastating hurricane striking New Orleans, Louisiana, the disaster waiting to happen threatened to become a reality: Hurricane Ivan, a category 4 hurricane (with 140 mph winds) fluctuating to a category 5 (up to 155 mph winds), was slowly moving directly toward New Orleans. Forecasters were predicting a one-in-four chance that Ivan would remain on this direct path and would be an “extreme storm” at landfall. In reality, the storm veered to the north and made landfall east of Mobile Bay, Alabama, causing devastation and destruction well into the central Gulf shoreline and throughout the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic states.
posted by Postroad on Sep 2, 2005 - 7 comments

Into the eye of Katrina

Into the eye of Katrina: an impressive Flickr set taken from the NOAA-43 and NRL-P3 Hurricane Hunters as they fly into the hurricane's eye. The set owner studies hurricane rainband intensity using ELDORA radar aboard the specially equipped planes. It's a rough flight, but once inside, the results are awe-inspiring.
posted by cenoxo on Aug 31, 2005 - 24 comments

Is it getting warmer?

Christian-right views are swaying politicians and threatening the environment. Maybe that's why the Bush administration is trying to stifle scientific evidence of global warming. Meanwhile, some experts think global warming may cause stronger hurricanes. [Via Disinformation and the Intersection.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 27, 2004 - 19 comments

Hurricanes are for suckOrZ

Enviromental absorbant products manufacturer, Dyn-O-Mat claims to have removed a cloud from Doppler radar and intends to test their product on a hurricane. They have a patent and everything. The federal government spent two decades on Project Stormfury, an attempt to halt storms by 'seeding' the eyewall of a hurricane. This guy says we are already doing it with the militaries High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program. Even if we're not doing it now, we'll definately by own the weather by 2025. That is, unless we're intentionally causing storms.
posted by cedar on Sep 12, 2004 - 24 comments

watching the storm

Hurricane Charley bearing down on the Southwest Florida coast right now. Maybe you'll find the next Dan Rather on WBBH or WTSP., with live streaming video. myweatherguide.com is blogging the hurricane, as are the Weatherbug people. And official information from the National Weather Service here.
posted by calwatch on Aug 13, 2004 - 35 comments

Richter calls it a 3.2, but I just call it shaky.

Minor Washington state quake. It's been a while since I've experienced and earthquake, so when tonight's little one hit my hometown (a mere 3.2) I was a little shocked (and a little excited). I was also really impressed with the seemingly instantaneous response by the USGS and the University of Washington's GeoPhysics Dept. on their websites classifying it.

In the olden-days (eg- pre-Internet) I'd have to wait for the early morning news to find out any information about it, but through the miracle of HTTP I have all the info I want mere seconds after the event. In fact, less than 15 minutes after the quake the USGS site had over 260 responses on their website about the quake from people who felt it and left comments on their site.

I wonder if there are other sites that help classify and/or disseminate information about other naturally occurring phenomenon (hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.)... anyone, anyone?
posted by crankydoodle on Jan 16, 2004 - 9 comments

Always look on the brighter side of life...

Just think of it as the world's biggest colonic. Hurricanes: Death, destruction and good for the environment? From the WaPo. "A hurricane can dump five to 15 inches of fresh water on a place that desperately needs it, replenishing the aquifer, Marks says. It can also clean out clogged-up and polluted bodies of water. "It flushes out all the garbage," he says. "It cleans out the plumbing, so to speak."
posted by beatnik808 on Sep 19, 2003 - 5 comments

Isabel Blog.

Isabel Blog. WVEC in Hampton Roads, Virginia creates a blog for Hurricane Isabel, and allows users to submit content. Users respond with pictures and stories that are a lot more interesting than what the media has to report...
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 18, 2003 - 14 comments

Nuking hurricanes

Hurricanes really suck. Luckily our friends at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association have posted a FAQ to answer our questions. No matter how moronic the questions are.
posted by patrickje on Sep 18, 2003 - 15 comments

Hurricane Isabel is in the HIZZOUSE

"We're forecasting a major hurricane for the United States East Coast." said Eric Blake, a specialist at the National Hurricane Center that is just below category 5. Hurricane center forecasters said they expected the storm to hit the East Coast by the end of the week, but added that air currents and other conditions could push it farther north before it makes landfall.
posted by Keyser Soze on Sep 15, 2003 - 52 comments

'Imminent threat', my arse. The U.S. will be attacked tomorrow!

'Imminent threat', my arse. The U.S. will be attacked tomorrow! Lili is a Cat-4 hurricane with sustained winds of 145 MPH and gusts to 180 MPH. She's expected to be of Cat-5 strength tomorrow. (hint: they don't make them any stronger.) The first landfill is expected at Avery Island, (home of Tabasco sauce). New Orleans should be spared the worst of the storm, but Lafayette and Lake Charles may face catastrophic damage and flooding. Lili brings with it an anticipated storm surge of twelve to eighteen feet, which may be exacerabated by landing during high tide. Lili is the first hurricane to hit the US mainland since the category 4 hurricane Floyd in 1999. Floyd did over $1B in damage and killed over 40 people.
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 2, 2002 - 38 comments

It's big, it's bad, and it's coming your way. Beware Bonnie! No, no, wait. Hide from Hanna! Hmm, nope. Run from Rene! Geez, this naming thing isn't easy. How do you name a tropical storm? Should the name be masculine or feminine? Should it roll off the tongue with ease or be a mouthful? Are there some names you can't use? If a tropical storm was closing in on your neighborhood, what would you call it?
posted by debralee on Sep 12, 2002 - 10 comments

There's lots of controversy

There's lots of controversy about Nebraska playing for the national championship in tonight's Rose Bowl because they didn’t win their division or conference and got crushed 63–26 by Colorado in their last game of the season. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jan 3, 2002 - 29 comments

FEMA for kids! Let Herman the spokescrab guide you through the catalog of potentially civilization ending disasters.

FEMA for kids! Let Herman the spokescrab guide you through the catalog of potentially civilization ending disasters. Education is great. Entertaining your kids on cabin fevered summer days is better. I have friends that when they bring their young buck over send him to my computer to play the kiddie offerings at nick.com (sorry dead link this time o' night it seems). But I can just hear the sunburned Minnesota five year old who's been overly femafied asking mommy after her bedtime story, "August is hurricane season. Is it windy now because we're going to have a hurricane?" Mom strokes child's hair, "No, here we're only prone to devastating thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, kidcicle causing cold and blizzards. Now you have sweet dreams and quit worrying about ridiculous things like that. 'Night." Like of course, a kid that age would really find the FEMA website riveting to begin with. . .
posted by crasspastor on Jul 1, 2001 - 9 comments

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