Mapping Severe Weather Probabilities

Have you ever wondered if there are patterns to where and when severe weather occurs in the United States?  There are days where we see tornado watches, severe thunderstorm warnings, reports of high wind, hail and even tornadoes.  But, what if you could see these patterns visually – say for example on a map of the country.  Well, University of Oklahoma Ph.D. candidate Patrick Marsh has just created an incredible set of animations hosted on Youtube depicting daily severe weather probabilities over a 30 year period.

You can read more on Patrick’s most recent posts at the links below:


Viral PSA “Dumb Ways To Die” Takes Youtube By Storm

Everyone gets tired of the typical Public Service Announcement (PSA) that you hear and immediately tune out on the radio or television.  However there is a PSA taking Australia, Youtube and the internet by storm!  This is a brilliant way to approach PSAs – from a cost perspective, the viral nature of the ad, the simplicity of the approach.  It’s definitely worth the time to watch and share!

So what is the title of this PSA??? Well it’s called “Dumb Ways to Die”…  You’ll have to watch the video below to see what it’s about!  But you’ll get to the end and be quite surprised at where the video is going, especially since it doesn’t even seem like a PSA!!  Or you can even download it from ITunes here, check out their website –, look at the hashtag on twitter #DumbWaysToDie.  The lyrics are available after the video and additional story links are below as well. Continue reading

Surviving the Coming 50% Budget Cuts – Part II

Marc Faber (Link to Business Insider Story)

As reported by the Drudge Report and Business Insider this afternoon, Marc Faber, investor and economist known for his spot-on assessment of the world economy and author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report told CNBC in an interview on Monday, “The debt burden in the U.S. and other Western countries will continue to increase leading to a “colossal mess” within the next five to 10 years.  Additionally, bureaucracies in the U.S., as well as Europe, are far too big, and are a burden on the economy.”

So, what does he propose as the solution to the problem?  “My medicine for the U.S. is: Reduce government by minimum 50 percent.  The impact would be immediately an improvement in the economy.”

50%  Really???  That’s out of touch.. that’s extreme.. that’s… that’s.. that’s… just the right answer??? Continue reading

Traffic Jam: How O.J., Katrina, and 9/11 hit mobile networks

CNN Money just released a great article on how the O.J. verdict, Katrina, the 2011 East Coast Earthquake and 9/11 hit mobile networks.  This is a really good article visually depicting the network links and how mobile network operations centers use this information (reporting by exceptions) to identify anomalies in the network in order to compensate and provide stability to the changes in the network load.  When looking at this from a disaster context, many people want to “see what is different about this event” however if that is all that you do, it’s really just a waste of time and resources.  The anomalies need to be tied back to actions that can be taken, and in the case of the private sector or government response, the questions should be tied back to assessing how can this information can be used to protect against impacts to life and property, and in the business world – profitability.

Traffic Jam: How O.J., Katrina, and 9/11 hit mobile networks – AT&T’s Global Network Operations Center (1) – CNNMoney.

Filmmaker Captures Incredible “Fire Tornado” in the Australian Outback

It’s not every day you see a tornado first hand… and it’s not every day that you see a tornado-like event in a wildfire.  But what are the odds that it lasts for 40 minutes and you have a filmmaker with his camera on the scene?

Filmmaker Chris Tangey Witnesses 40-Minute Long Fire Vortex in Australian Outback | Video |

Heroes of Isaac – Team Braithwaite Foundation – Facing and Overcoming The Storms


You need to read this story because it embodies the challenges we face, and how we each can respond.  This is definitely a story that needs to be shared with as many people as possible, not because of the tragedy, but because of the American spirit embodied in this story – We help one another, we step up in times of trouble, and when we’re hit and knocked down, we get back up and keep going – just like the Shaffers in Braithwaite Louisiana.

After Hurricane Isaac, the Shaffer family set up the Team Braithwaite Foundation to help families impacted by Hurricane Isaac.  They’ve given clothes away, and received a number of donations from those who were not hit as hard by the storm.

But another storm hit this weekend when thieves stole nearly $15,000 worth of supplies meant for victims of the storm. Continue reading

Weekend winds up to 110 mph, but not where you might think it would be

Wind gusts to 110mph in September?  Where’s that hurricane?  I haven’t seen news coverage about this storm…  Well, we’re not talking about Typhoon Sanba nor are we referring to Hurricane Nadine.  Instead, we’re talking about a storm that is developing in Alaska.  The National Weather Service in Anchorage has issued a High Wind Warning for portions of Alaska from 8pm Saturday through 1am Monday (AKDT).  The NWS in Anchorage is calling for:

  MPH  Continue reading 

Hurricane Storm Surge Scales – What Does the National Hurricane Center Think?

Link: NHC Views on Storm Surge Scales
Released September 10, 2010

There are scales for tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural hazards.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, there were numerous calls for the National Hurricane Center to add back in a storm surge scale into the hurricane scale.  In an August 31st article from the New York Times, “Climatologists like Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have said that any classification should include both wind speed and surge. Otherwise, he argues, coastal residents can be easily misled.”

In 2010, the National Hurricane Center removed verbage in the Saffir-Simpson Scale that referred to storm surge in hurricanes.  In a one-page document posted on the National Hurricane Center (NHC) website earlier this week, the NHC Public Affairs staff shared the reason why storm surge was removed from that scale.  Additionally, they elaborated on why: Continue reading

Would you risk your life to save children you don’t even know? This ‘Hummer Hero’ did.

Distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and things could have been worse last month in Canada.  A driver was going 80kph (near 50mph) in a 30kph (<20mph).  Not only was he speeding at more than twice the speed limit, but because he was distracted, talking on his cell phone, he didn’t see four children in a crosswalk.  But thankfully for everyone, ‘Hummer Hero’ Darrell Krushelnicki did.  He could tell that the speeding car wasn’t going to stop, so reacting, he pulled his hummer in between the children and the speeding Pontiac, causing the crash that stopped the speeding car before it could hit the children.  Thankfully nobody was hurt, and police are praising the man as a hero, even recommending him for an award.  Read more here from

Lessons from History… If “You Didn’t Build That” Then Who Did?

“Now, we can look abroad and see large cities, handsome villages, fine fields, and rich gardens. We see good, smooth roads, strong bridges, and well finished houses.”

One of the greatest challenges with humanity is the personal and corporate failure to learn from history.  When we experience a natural disaster, or calamity we often say, “wow, this is the worst event since…” or “I’ve never seen anything like this…”  However when we say such things, we join in on the failure to know and remember history, and to look at the good and the bad. Continue reading