Archive for blizzard

US Military Attack On South -- Fake Chemical Snow

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SouthSnoww344h288

A few days ago it was Bill Nye, the science guy who took on a creationist named Ken Ham in a debate. It was a battle of science vs. the Bible? Well, somehow science won. Go figure? Who'd of thunk it, right?

Well, in the past few days, the second big snowstorm of the winter - winter, mind you - fell deep into the south. How could that be? I mean, after all, it's winter. It's the south. People come here to get... warm?

Well, there's only one answer for the current snow/blizzard-like conditions deep into Dixie -- well, actually two answers for that. The right one (science) and the other one (a conspiracy theory).

Both the wackadoo theory and the actual science are brought to you by Rachel Maddow, the Science Gal. Yeah, she wears many hats. And this one fits her, and all of us, really nicely.

So, for those of you who look at a margarine spread and mock "I can't believe it's not butter," here's "It's the South and I can't believe it's snow."

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Wednesday Links

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Blizzardw622h488

Winter Storm Slams Northeastern USA with Arctic Punch

Wexton Wins Virginia Senate Seate for Dems

Teacher's MLK Day Smackdown of Paul Ryan and the Tea Party Says It All

US and UN Express Horror at Syria Torture Report (BBC)

The 'Skin in the Game' Myth (from 'Cowgirl Blog' - Montana's #1 Political Website)

Bill Gates Predicts There Will Be Almost No Poor Countries by 2035

Super Bowl Ad Insanity Explained in Six Charts

A Crumbling Sochi Hides Behind Olympic Facade

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Cory Booker, On Our Radar, Don't Have Gaydar, And Why Should I Caredar?

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Cory Booker superhero

For the past few years I'd heard the name, Cory Booker, but being based in LA I wasn't exposed to very much coverage of the man. What I had heard about him, his mayoral position in New Jersey and the talk of his exceptional acts and feats of heroism sure made him sound like a refugee from a Horatio Alger novel.

The guy is either a real hero or he has the best public relations machinery in the world working for him. Here's a sampling of his "fabled" actions compiled by Time Magazine Online back in January of this year:

Cory Booker is the Chuck Norrisof U.S. mayors, and his list of real-life acts of heroism keeps growing. The latest feat of the 43-year-old Newark, N.J., mayor: rescuing a freezing pooch from the cold on Thursday after concerned locals tipped him off on Twitter.

Well, looks like the good mayor likes dogs, or at least he likes Twitter and isn't afraid to react to things he reads about current issues in his city.

Last April, when a neighbor’s home caught fire, Booker saved a woman from the blaze without hesitation.

When Hurricane Sandy struck this past fall, knocking out power for many New Jersey residents, Booker opened up his home to let folks hang out, watch DVDs and charge their devices. He even had lunch delivered.

During the winter blizzard of 2010:

When one man tweeted that his sister couldn’t make it through the snow to buy diapers, Booker showed up at her house with diapers. When locals were stuck in their cars (or, in one case, on a bus), Booker and his team helped dig them out the old-fashioned way: with shovels.

And in an effort to "walk a mile in my shoes,"

Booker took part in the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) challenge and vowed to spend $33 on food for a week.

Whispers

Those efforts aside, Mayor Booker is now taking hits for not coming forward and taking credit for another story, circulated by his opponent for New Jersey senator. The "Macho Man" he's running against is perennial wackadoodle,  Steve Lonegan and he's circulating thinly veiled accusations that Booker is gay. Gee, imagine that. The man who says that if you get cancer, that's your problem, not his. The man who said New Jersey should forgo federal aid after hurricane Sandy feels the mayor's sexuality, whatever it may be, should be a campaign issue? Giving an answer to this question would be easy. But that's not the route Booker's chosen. He's staying above the name-calling fray and taking the higher road. It doesn't matter. He's not running for the straight or gay senate. He's running for the US senate, and your sexual orientation has nothing to do with your qualifications.

According to Mayor Booker, on All In With Chris Hayes, (MSNBC)

“The question really should not be am I gay or straight," he responded. "The question should be, why the heck are you asking the question in the first place? It doesn’t make a whit of difference what kind of senator I’m going to be or not."

“We need to stop in America talking about anybody in a public realm, besides what is important–the content of their character, the quality of their ideas, the courage within their hearts to serve others. That’s what’s important,” Booker added.

By refusing to discuss it, Booker has shown he's a man of courage. Some will take his denial to address this as a confession. It may bite him a little, because there are bigots and ignorant people everywhere. But I laud the mayor for asking why it matters? Certainly he handled his sidestepping act with grace and charm and has done his best to keep non-issues out of the campaign. That's certainly what the people of New Jersey deserve and the rest of us need in our national senate chamber.

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Naming Nemo: Commercializing the weather

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naming nemo

The Weather Channel decided to name the Big New England Blizzard as part of a policy they previously announced. They say they will give names to winter storms so that you and I can follow them more easily. We apparently need snazzy, memorable names to do that, because apparently keeping track of major news of major storms along major swaths of America is too difficult for dimwits like us.

So commercializing the weather will fix all that. Just like commercializing the news allowed us all to be so much more informed by outlets with absolutely no bias whatsoever.

As you can see from the screen grab above, some meteorologists aren't exactly thrilled, so they started a Facebook page, "STOP the Weather Channel from naming winter storms."

fb page stop weather channel from naming storms

Per the L.A. Times hard copy (this information has since been scrubbed from the online version), Thomas Downs, a meteorologist with Weather 2000, a New York-based forecasting and consulting firm, "speculates that because the Weather Channel is owned by NBCUniversal, stations owned by that company will be the most enthusiastic about using the names." I can picture it now:

NBCU: Weeee! We get to use totes adorbs names! Weeee! Higher ratings! Weeee! We're enthusiastic!

George Wright, a meteorologist and the founder of Wright Weather Consulting in New York, made this point in an interview with The Times: “A hurricane is something that’s more unusual and devastating. If you start naming other storms, people will suddenly think this might be a hurricane.”

Joel Meyer, founder and president of AccuWeather, a Weather Channel competitor, issued a statement this fall blasting the Weather Channel for its decision.

"In unilaterally deciding to name winter storms, the Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety.”

Of course, the Weather Channel would never decide to start naming storms just to draw more viewers to their site. That would be self-serving and give their detractors more fodder for criticism:

The Weather Channel decided to start naming storms after it coined a 2011 event Snowtober, a name that got picked up on Twitter and in media outlets and drew more viewers to the site.

Oh.

Well, at least they're giving a great deal of thought to the choice of names so as to maintain a modicum of real gravitas:

[Brian Norcross, senior executive director of weather content and presentation at the Weather Channel] supervised the creation of this year’s list of winter storm names, which also include Draco, Gandolf and Walda. While the Weather Channel first looked at using baby names from the early 20th century, it eventually settled on names of gods from Norse and other mythologies. Jorel, the father of Superman, nearly made the list, but was swapped out at the last minute for Jove.

Cartman is still waiting in the wings.

cartman hippies

 

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PhotOH! "That's how it looks from my front door. Snow EVERYWHERE!"

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boston Nemo blizzard

My son, a SoCal kid, is away at school... in Boston. He sent us that photo this morning with the comment, "That's how it looks from my front door. Snow EVERYWHERE!"

Did I mention he's from sunny California and unaccustomed to temperatures below about 30 degrees? So what does he do? Attend Tufts during a blizzard.

Timing is everything. Thankfully, he was one of the lucky ones who didn't lose electricity.

Via Think Progress:

An estimated 664,000 residents from Maine to Pennsylvania are without power this weekend after a massive snowstorm swept the Northeast. [...]

Climate scientists speculate that the amount of snow and the ferocity of the storm, named Nemo, may well have ties to global warming. [...]

“Storms like this tend to be heavier than they used to be,” Michael Oppenheimer, a climate change expert at Princeton University, told the Huffington Post. “That’s a fact.”

The El Paso Times is reporting nearly 22 inches of snow has fallen in Boston. The record was back in 2003 at 27.6 inches. This is the fifth snowiest day in Boston ever, per MSNBC.

And via a Fox news alert (What can I say, they keep sending them faster than the others, so they're my source):

An 11-year-old boy dies of carbon monoxide poisoning in Boston Saturday after being overcome as he sat in a running car to keep warm while his father shoveled snow, raising the storm’s death toll to seven as much of New England digs itself out from up to three feet of snow.

More on this story http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2013/02/09/snowstorm-slams-boston-new-york-city-as-residents-are-urged-to-stay-off-roads/

boston nemo mapVia

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Cartoons of the Day- Snow

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Via.

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N.J. Gov. Christie, vacationing during snowstorm, pushes back on criticism

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I'm of two minds on this. I agree with Cole that it's really a non issue, but then I detest this frackin' bully so much I hope the whole hoopla damages him permanently. It's been quite the twitter meme all day. Interesting to note that the rebuttal is coming from the spokesman, not Christie.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office is pushing back against complaints that both he and the lieutenant governor were vacationing during a blizzard that blanketed the state with snow.

The snowstorm paralyzed much of the Northeast on a busy holiday travel weekend but Christie (R), a darling of national Republicans, and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno were traveling in Florida's Disney World and Mexico, respectively. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) has been serving as acting governor in their absence and coordinated response efforts.

(snip)

In a lengthy response Tuesday, Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said the criticism of the new governor was "overblown."

"Yes, this was a big snow, but we are a northeastern state, and we get plenty of snow, including heavy hits like this," he wrote in an e-mail to The Hill. "But the sky really is not falling, and we'll get through this just as we always have, notwithstanding complaints from opportunistic partisans like Lesniak."

Even though New Jersey's snow is a home-state concern, national observers have eyed the criticism of Christie, given his high national political profile.

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