Friday, April 16, 2010

Recent article on the 1918 EL NINO in AMS Bulletin

I usually don't get to issues of the AMS Bulletin until I am knee deep in back issues.  So this morning, I flipped through February's issue and came across an excellent paper on the El Nino of 1918 and its relation to the influenza pandemic and other climate patterns that existed at that time.

Climate teleconnections before 1950 are very difficult to quantify due to the lack of data from that era.  Buoy arrays didn't exist.  Ground based temperature records are not as reliable as you go back to the start of the 20th century.  This paper aims to trace back the record through reanalysis of existing data.

The paper is not long nor is super-technical or filled with equations.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

US Statewide Temperature Ranks

The first 15 days of April have been uncharacteristically warm across the eastern 2/3rds of the US.  Here are the US temperatures compared to average for the first week of April.


A quick look at US statewide temperature rank starting in September of 2009

Was this March historically warm?  March of 2007 featured widespread warmth

The average temperatures from December 2009 through February 2010

 Remember the COLD summer of 2009?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Freakonomics Podcast: "Faking It"

As a supplement to the newest Freakonomics book called "Super Freakonomics", the Freakonomics Podcast on the New York Times website features updated elements from both Freakonomics books and their brand of economic theory applied to brand new societal subjects you've experienced but probably not thought much about.

The newest episode titled "Faking It" focuses on faking it in social situations, politically and religiously.

Its worth a listen.

Download from iTunes HERE

Or directly from the Freakonomics site.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ballpark Orientations

A great graphic courtesy:  showing all Major League Baseball ballpark orientations.  It seems that even the newer ballparks keep the eastward orientation of the batter so that the hitter doesn't face the sun in the early evening.

Monday, April 12, 2010

NEW Video Game Record

If you've ever seen the  movie King of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters, you will quickly understand why video game records are considered to be--by the ones who strived to break them--hallowed numbers that deserve to be placed on a pedistle with other records in other sports.

We all remember the classic games.  Pac-Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Gallaga.  Each one has a place in the minds of the classic gamers from the early 1980s.  Each one has had a record broken in recent years. Yet one game has eluded players for almost 30 years.

Astroids is a simple, shooter game that doesn't have the luster as the popular games mentioned above.  The record which was originally set back in 1982 by Scott Safran at the peak of the first video game boom.  His score of 41,336,440 just fell to John McAllister of Seattle with a score of 41,338,740. 

It took him 58 hours.