Madison has been blessed with a glorious fall.
Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (and one of our 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Greentech) has been dabbling in greentech investments, backing nuclear tech, and Vinod Khosla’s greentech venture fund. But the world’s most famous computer geek has also been funding some more risky greentech projects recently, including giving $4.5 million for controversial research to use artificial clouds to cool the atmosphere, reports the Ottawa Citizen.
Specifically Gates gave funding to David Keith from the University of Calgary, and Ken Caldeira from the Carnegie Institution for Science, for projects that looked at planet-cooling technologies, says the Citizen. Those researchers in turn gave $300,000 to Armand Neukermanns, a researcher involved with the San Francisco-based Silver Lining Project, a program which studies how tiny droplets of seawater sprayed over the ocean could “brighten” clouds and reflect sunlight back into space.
The Super Bowl of Surfing lived up to its legend Saturday, and then some. The waves at Mavericks were so massive - the biggest in the history of surf contests, some said - that they caused collateral damage on the sidelines.
Long before South African Chris Bertish tamed a pair of monster swells to win the $50,000 first prize at the seventh Mavericks Surf Contest north of Half Moon Bay, a series of waves crashed into some of the thousands of fans who had flocked to the beach to try to see the action.
Just after 9 a.m. near Pillar Point, 13 people were injured and at least 40 people were knocked off their feet, officials said. Many of them had been standing on a short concrete wall and were thrown into rocks or mud by a surge of water.
A stage set up for an award ceremony toppled, while sound equipment meant for a beach broadcast was swamped.
Hundreds of travelers flying out of Florida's Sarasota-Bradenton International were delayed by about by two hours Wednesday morning because of de-icing delays. Sort of.
The Sarasota Herald Tribune writes "airport officials grounded three planes because they had ice on the wings." But, since below-freezing temperatures are so rare in central and south Florida, none of the airlines at Sarasota keep de-icing equipment at the airport.
Framed by a circle of clouds, this is a stunning illustration of Nature's powerful force. A plume of smoke, ash and steam soars five miles into the sky from an erupting volcano. The extraordinary image was captured by the crew of the International Space Station 220 miles above a remote Russian island in the North Pacific.
Photographed while raking leaves.
A few powerful spring storms passed through Madison today. I caught this photo later in the afternoon.
Two tulip photos taken after Madison's early morning thunderstorm.
Not the best shot, but the sky presented a glorious view of God's handiwork.
A beautiful, yet cold morning for Wisconsin's spring primary election. While the endless winter continues, it is great to see the sun. Note the large icycles on these homes. Inevitably, spring will arrive.
After pondering summer with a few photos, we're back to reality blowing snow this morning. I think this photo captures our existence rather well, at the moment. Note the snow depth next to my snowblower's intake. 13.3" according to Channel3000.
The streets I drove were in good shape early today.
This image of a woman jumping from a rocky cliff into the Mediterranean was taken from a "people's beach" adjacent to the Hotel du Cap [Clusty search]. A useful image as we Madisonians face another snow shoveling event. Clusty search: Antibes.
I've manually moved snow for the past 14 years - my entire post UW time in Madison. Always thinking that the act was a bit of exercise until a neighbor mentioned his back difficulties and said "it's not worth it".
Last spring's deluge, a particularly wet and heavy snowstorm, was the impetus to turn over the shovel, fire up my browser and shop for a snowblower.
My first stop was Ariens' website. Ariens is a classic family owned Wisconsin based firm that manufactures snowblowers and lawn mowers.
Most serious snowblowers, defined as two stage models from the likes of Ariens, John Deere, Honda and Toro among many others are at least 24" wide (Toro has a 22" model). That width is a problem for small garages like mine.
Ariens offered a useful 20" model that featured a multiple speed transmission - perfect for a variety of snow conditions and available at a reasonable price. Conveniently, their website offers online ordering which made it simple for me to enter a bit of information and a few days later the snowblower arrived at my home. Ariens customer service was great, as was their local dealer - Middleton Power Center.
About the snowblower zeitgeist. The owner of a working, somewhat powerful snowblower on a day like today (crunchy, heavy snow) quickly has the opportunity to converse with the neighbors. Typical conversations include:
I would be remiss if I did not point out the powerful prose at work marketing such machines. Arien's description of their model 624E:
After 9 months of hibernation, this compact monster, has an appetite for the cold and crystallized.
When the white and fluffy flakes begin to fall; the corners of the 24” clearing width begin to salivate. The 120 volt electric start quickly awakens the 6HP Snow King® OHV Engine. You fear nothing! Snow fears this trusted Sno-Thro® midsized monster. Keep the snow afraid and out of your way.
Those giant waves—"undular bore waves"—were photographed Oct. 3rd flowing across the skies of Des Moines, Iowa. (Credit: KCCI-TV Des Moines and Iowa Environmental Mesonet SchoolNet8 Webcam.)
"Wow, that was a good one!" says atmospheric scientist Tim Coleman of the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville, Alabama. Coleman is an expert in atmospheric wave phenomena and he believes bores are more common and more important than previously thought.
The author of the nation's strongest global warming law tells us how California is responding to climate change and how she gained the political support to get it done ...
"Leading the Way on Climate Change"
a free public lecture by Fran Pavley
3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25
Memorial Union (see "Today in the Union" for room)
800 Langdon Street
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Fran Pavley has served three terms in the California State Assembly, where she is known as one of the most effective legislators in Sacramento. The former Mayor of Agoura Hills and long-time public school teacher is the author of landmark legislation (the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) on global warming that has become a model for other states and countries. She is also author of the first regulations on vehicle carbon dioxide emissions. Eleven other states and Canada have modeled their laws after Pavley's Clean Car Regulations. She has been selected as one of Scientific American's Top Technology Leaders in Transportation and received the 2006 California League of Conservation Voters' Global Warming Leadership Award along with former Vice President Al Gore.
This event is co-sponsored by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW-Madison. For more information, please contact Steve Pomplun at the Nelson Institute or call Steve at 263-3063.
|Gathering Storm, San Carlos, CA Airport: Thursday, 2/22/2007Click for larger photos|
|Above and below the clouds: Iowa and Madison: 2/23/2007|
"Jim, we don't have to shovel sunshine here."Indeed.
1. The Elements Rage by Frank W. Lane (Chilton, 1965).
What interests most people about weather (as opposed to climate--"Climate lasts all the time and weather only a few days," as Mark Twain put it) is its extremes and curious phenomena. Frank Lane clearly had that in mind in the early 1960s when he undertook writing "The Elements Rage." Even if the science here is out of date, the drama of the stories never grows old. The book offers dozens of extraordinary black-and-white photographs and a fact-packed text, rich in anecdotes on matters well beyond meteorology--earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches, volcanoes. As an inspiration toward appreciating how strange the natural world can be, the book set a standard that others, including myself, have attempted to emulate.
Classic photo that reminded me of my San Francisco days. We shovel snow and they shovel mud... via the NYT
Killer hurricanes, swarming sharks, and wildlife fighting for survival headlined this year's most popular videos from National Geographic News. Replay the year in science, nature, and exploration with 2005's top ten videos.
Immediately he had a problem: a small generator that powered one tiny window air-conditioning unit. It cooled just one small room, his office. But the thing made such a racket that, as he put it, "they could have busted down the front door and be storming inside and I wouldn't have heard them. There could have been 20 natives outside screaming, 'I'm gonna burn your house down,' and I'd a never heard it." Fearing he might nod off and be taken in his sleep, he jammed a rack filled with insurance-industry magazines against the door. (Haywood sells life insurance.) In his little office, he sat all night - as far as he knew, the last white person left in New Orleans. He tried to sleep, he said, but "I kept dreaming all night long someone was coming through the door." He didn't leave his air-conditioned office until first light, when he crept out and squinted through his mail slot. In that moment, he was what Uptown New Orleans had become, even before the storm: a white man, alone, peering out through a slot in search of what might kill him. All he needed was the answer.
Katrina IS a big deal today and will be for weeks to come, not just because New Orleans is below sea level and not just because she could cause massive loss of life and property, but because Katrina could also disrupt Gulf supplies of petroleum (the GOM supplies around 1.3mbpd, we use around 20mbpd in the US) from rigs, refineries, and pipelines, etc., for a while.Great Site, via John Robb.
some of the most significant innovations have been made where public and private efforts touch. In its first term, the Bush team made a few important pro-technology choices. Over the next year it will signal whether it intends to stand by them. There is a long historical background to the administration's choices, plus a variety of recent shifts and circumstances. The history stretches to the early days of the republic, and the idea that government-sponsored research in science and technology could bolster private business growth. Progress in farming, led by the land-grant universities, demonstrated this concept in the 19th century. Sputnik-era science, culminating in the work that led to the Internet, did the same in the 20th century.Open source weather is available here. Create your own weather site using the NOAA's xml web service.
Michael Dobbs recollects his time with the Tsunami on Fresh Air. audio
Waxy.org has posted a page with many links to amateur tsunami video clips.
UPDATE - More tsunami video clips here.