Monthly Archives: October 2003

Oh no, Roy is paralysed

Oh no, Roy is paralysed down one side due to complications from the munching. A part of me feels sad that the highest purveyors of camp may be no more. Makes me regret not paying the $87 that I needed to shell out to see the Masters of the Impossible. One quarter of his skull has been removed to relieve pressure from his brain and the skull piece is being stored in a pouch in his stomach. Ew.
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Some flies seem to fly

Some flies seem to fly in squares. It’s true- sit and watch one. If not squares in geometric shapes. They make sharp turns and zig zags. I wonder how and why they do this? It must take some effort to be able to change direction so quickly. Maybe they throw their weight around, so to speak. Only some flies seem to do it though, not the big flies like Bluebottles or Houseflies but the smaller, fruit fly types. The ones that are bigger than the fruit fly but look sort of furry when they fly because of their dark wings and heavy body are the best to see it in.

Hurricane Isabel lashed the East Coast of the US recently. Winds got up to 160mph and damage is thought to be around four billion dollars. Approximately 40 people lost their lives. It got me thinking how do they get named? Why?

I remember hurricane Andrew tearing though the trailer homes of Florida and Louisiana back in 1992: thirtyfive billion dollars-worth of damage and 61 deaths. In many countries the cost may be low in financial terms but high in the loss of life. Though the final death toll will never be known, it is quite likely that Hurricane Mitch of October 1998 killed more people than any Atlantic hurricane in over 200 years. More than three million people were either homeless or severely affected. It severely damaged Honduras and Nicaragua with many other Central and Southern American countries affected.

Mitch was a Monster and consequently has been retired. They retire a hurricane’s name if it has caused extreme loss of life or damage in respect to the people that suffered through it. Somehow I rather like the idea of a bunch of Meteorologists sitting around a big table and working out what to call the next storm. Are any named after (ex)husbands or (ex)wives? If someone pissed you off could you use their name? There’s no Tropical Storm Monky before you ask.

NOAA: Worldwide Tropical Cyclone names
World Meteorological Organization: Tropical Cyclone Names (pdf)

There is a huge variety of names and systems for all the areas that the storms affect- the US, Japan, China, Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and others. The names are all interesting as they’re all tailored to the locality that they swing by, e.g. Vaianu from Fiji, Matere from PNG, Washi from Japan. Hurricanes can also be called Typhoons or Cyclones depending whereabouts they occur and how fast the winds are: NOAA: What is a hurricane, typhoon, or tropical cyclone?

The sun reflecting off the ocean makes this a very beautiful image of destruction:
NOAA: Colour image of Lili at landfall on Louisiana coast Oct 3 2002
NOAA: Historical Significant Events Imagery
NOAA: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
NOAA: Hurricane Hunters

The same crews that fly into the eye of the storm also flew over New York several times in 2001 to create a 3D image of ground zero.

Now I’ve rid myself of hurricane fever I can move on to the subject of ice. It’s interesting, honest. I think you’ve probably all had enough of me now so I’ll leave it for another day.
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