We all learn at some point in our school years some simple math concepts, such as 2 + 2 = 4. Then we proceed a little further in time and we get to algebra and learn how to solve things like I have A equal to something and know and that C is equal to something, what is B equal to. It seems so simple really, if we know two pieces of the equation statement we can determine the third. Then we start incorporating these principles in our everyday life. For instance we have $20, and dinner and a movie with a date cost $50, so we know we need $30 more or that date really is not going to go well. So when does that simple equation structure fail us? « continue reading »
Its hard to imagine it has been over 25 years since the line ‘Print is dead’ was rambled off in Ghostbusters. Since that time print media has had its ups and downs and is once again struggling for life. Oddly enough, technology may have extended its life. With audio and video so dominant in our lives in the 80s and early 90s, the Internet would spawn a whole new revival of print. Of course this was also driven by the fact that in the early days connection speeds were slow enough that print remained the primary mode of communication over the Internet. But as technology growth continues, audio and video interaction and delivery over the Internet is once again changing the rules. You might be wondering at this point, what this has to do with anything here at WSIC? « continue reading »
While the likely origins appear to be related to the word Sabbath, in recent times the term has become synonymous with the concept of an extended break. It has been a concept used in academia for some time and is often associated with professors who will take an extended leave from their normal faculty position. However, it is not just a break to do nothing, the goal is the time off allows for pursuit of an interest that would take an extended period of time to complete. That might mean writing a book, working abroad, or even getting a new degree. The concept even appears to be gaining traction in the corporate world with nearly 20% of Fortune’s top 100 from 2 years ago offering paid sabbaticals, and even more offering extended time off without pay. So what in the world does this have to with WSIC? « continue reading »
Seems logical enough doesn’t it, a tropical cyclone is a tropical cyclone. Reality is a tropical cyclone is a tropical cyclone only when ‘someone’ decides it is a tropical cyclone. You are probably thinking so what, no real big difference there, but in a science primarily governed mathematical equations and the laws of physics and thermodynamics, that involvement of ‘someone’ can be very significant. So really there are two important questions here – When is a tropical cyclone a tropical cyclone? AND Why the heck does it matter? « continue reading »
This time of year gets particularly busy for me with the start of the North Atlantic hurricane season (as you can probably tell by the lack of recent posts). However, that delay is your good fortune as all the latest predictions for this year’s hurricane season have come in, and if the majority our correct we are in for a season full of live report’s from various coastal locations by your favorite reporters. « continue reading »
By Angela Fritz
When you want to determine how intense or how strong a hurricane season was, there are many ways you can calculate it. An obvious place to start would be summing the intensity of the individual tropical cyclones in that season. When a cyclone is defined as a tropical storm or a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), it is given a ranking on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS). It can be a TS (tropical storm) or a category 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, with 5 having the strongest winds . Category 5’s that we can remember well would be Hurricane Andrew of 1992, or Katrina of 2005 (although I should note, Katrina was a Category 3 when it made landfall). When we take a step back and look at the number of strong hurricanes in a given season, we begin to get an idea of how bad that particular season was. That is, until we dig in a little deeper.
Even after listening to it said multiple times I still can’t, but then again my language skills (especially for those based on Viking speak) have never been one of my strong points. If you want to learn, you can follow along as the Good Morning American Crew listens and admits their inability to get it. So while you may not be able to say Eyjafjallajokull, it is very likely that you have at least heard numerous stories in the last couple of weeks about people impacted by the ‘Icelandic Volcanic Eruption’. So how is it that an event that seems so remote can have such a major impact on so many people? « continue reading »
This has been a common question for me over the last few weeks. For anyone who knows what I do, they all want to know if somehow weather or climate change is to some degree related to the rash of very strong earthquakes we have seen around the globe. Quickly I assure them this is not the case and try to do so without delving too deeply into the realm of thermodynamics because I get lost enough on that topic without any help. But of course prompted these inquiries prompted some questions in my mind like:
- How common is this belief?
- What would make people think this?
- Am I misinformed? « continue reading »
Thankfully I do not know, but being roughly 200 miles away was close enough. Actually, I had not planned to discuss this topic but since major shaking struck again (zone of squiggly icons SW of Santiago in the graphic) as I was working on an alternate post yesterday, it seemed as I was being jolted for a reason.
Living in Santiago for many years now, one gets use to occasional tremors and generally speaking they are not strong enough to greatly influence your behavior. However, in the early morning hours of February 27th that changed. I was awakened as the bed moved (and yes I usually sleep through them), but unlike most this shake kept going and getting stronger. It being in the middle of the night, it was not until looking at the alarm clock that the power outage was confirmed. A quick look around the house inside and out revealed no serious damage, but not exactly something you go right back to sleep after. However, without power there was no easy way to get more info on the quake right away.
Finding out a bit later in the morning that it was an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and had struck just offshore (the star location) made my mind start racing. How bad was it closer to the epicenter (Concepcion is the green circle only 60 miles away)? Was there a tsunami? What would the aftershocks be like? And of course, were friends and colleagues ok? Without power or phones I suddenly felt completely unable to address any of these issues, so attention turns to the basics – do I have water, food, gas and batteries, thankfully yes. The next few days would reveal so much, and while I was fortunate enough to not lose anything meaningful, others weren’t so lucky. « continue reading »