Hurricane Sandy: Shelters and Power Outages

Google has some useful maps, this one shows power outages and available shelters.

Power Outages:  Click on the lightning bolts for more detailed regional maps.

Shelters: Click the checkbox labeled Emergency Shelters to the right of the map to show pink dots with detailed shelter information.

Hurricane Sandy’s 1000 Mile Tail

Hurricane Sandy passed by Florida several days ago. We had a few days of 30
+ mile an hour winds. I thought that was it, then last night I heard winds
whipping through the house.

It turns out the tail of Sandy was tearing through Florida. Check out the
image and see how far away from Sandy her tail is as it passes over Florida.

via Flickr

Watching Hurricane Sandy: Storm Surge and Tide Heights

High Tides

As the hurricane hits New Jersey tonight  just south of Manhattan, a good way to measure storm surge is to track tide heights.

At you can track tide heights at any NOAA station.

Tides this morning at Sandy Hook, NJ were 3 foot above normal.  High Tides will be even greater at 8:30 PM tonight , just before the storm hits, and afterwards at around 9:00 AM Tuesday morning.

This chart shows that the morning high tides were 8 feet above MLLW.  Mean Lowest Low Water is the average of the lowest daily tide.  The Blue line on the graph is the norm, the red is current. Today the high tide height was 8 feet above the low.  Normally high tide is around 5 feet above the low. So this morning there was a 3 foot storm surge in Sandy Hook.

Flood Warnings

Now that we understand MLLW we can interpret these flood warnings.

For example Kings Point, NY is forecast to have a high tide 15 -16 above MLLW.  Normally high tide there is around 8 feet above MLLW,  so that represents a predicted 8 foot storm surge.

Congratulations President Romney

If the election were held today, It’s a toss-up. But Romney wins the popular vote. One state would decide the election, if held today. Ohio.

With the momentum from the Popular vote, I suspect Romney would carry Ohio.

However these polls were all taken before the last debate, which was also considered a toss-up.  It remains to be seen if  Obama has stopped the momentum Romney has built from the first debate.  But since my earlier post congratulated President Obama, I decided now was a good time to give Romney credit for quite a comeback.

Obama still has a distinct advantage.  If he sweeps the other 3 tan states in this map, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire, he doesn’t need Ohio.  Romney does need Ohio.   Bookies still favor Obama, and pay 2 to 1 for a Romney victory.  But it’s gonna be a close one.



Cool New Web Tool (if this then that) lets you create little tasks joining your other tools on the
internet. This is a picture of my first shared task (recipe). It
automatically creates a post on WordPress (like this one) when I post a
photo to flikr. Sign up at for free and try my recipe!

via Flickr

Shrimp Fishing

The Backyard Fisherman

Nearly 3 Million people live in Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan. Not an exceptionally crowded city, but like any urban dwellers, residents are left craving nature. A popular solution is  indoor shrimp fishing.

Locals and tourists catch shrimp using a small rod and line with a tiny hook baited with small pieces of meat. The regular customers pull in dozens of them, and at some indoor shrimp pools the locals even help the tourists with fishing techniques.

I’m dying to try fishing for shrimp with a rod and reel, and I may not need to travel to the far east to start honing my shrimp fishing techniques.  There are shrimp right here in the canals of Cocoa Beach.


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The WordPress Proofreader

And now for something completely different

I love the WordPress proofreader, it definitely helps my writing.  Occasionally though, I find myself clicking “Ignore suggestion”  when I’m attached to something that has been overly passively written. By me.  As I click ignore, I feel uncomfortable and ask myself  “What do you think you’re James Joyce?”  So how would the proofreader handle Joyce? Well here it is, complete with spelling errors, hidden verbs, the passive voice and link, photo and article suggestions (Who knew God had his own Wikipedia page. Do you think he ever goes in and edit’s it?)  , one of my favorite Joyce passages from Ulyses:

Why have women such eyes of witchery? Gerty’s were of the bluest Irish blue, set off by lustrous lashes and dark expressive brows. Time was when those brows were not so silkily seductive. It was Madame Vera Verity, directress of the Woman Beautiful page of the Princess Novelette, who had first advised her to try eyebrowleine which gave that haunting expression to the eyes, so becoming in leaders of fashion, and she had never regretted it. Then there was blushing scientifically cured and how to be tall increase your height and you have a beautiful face but your nose? That would suit Mrs Dignam because she had a button one. But Gerty’s crowning glory was her wealth of wonderful hair. It was dark brown with a natural wave in it. She had cut it that very morning on account of the new moon and it nestled about her pretty head in a profusion of luxuriant clusters and pared her nails too, Thursday for wealth.

English: Edy's Ice Cream delivery truck, Ann A...

English: Edy’s Ice Cream delivery truck, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And just now at Edy’s words as a telltale flush, delicate as the faintest rosebloom, crept into her cheeks she looked so lovely in her sweet girlish shyness that of a surety God‘s fair land of Ireland did not hold her equal.

Embracing Insomnia

People frequently complain about insomnia to friends online.  I suspect this is a modern phenomenon caused by our collective obsession with newfangly connecting without the constraints of, or regard for time and place. Rethinking Sleep in the New York Times (link provided so you can read it without getting out of bed, or even turning on a light.)  confirms this suspicion.  At least at the start.  The article also contradicts my suspicion that insomnia is a modern problem, or even a problem at all.

Excessive electronic devices in the bedroom are known to disrupt sleep.  For years I’ve never even had a TV in my bedroom.  But I think nothing of watching YouTube videos on my phone in the middle of the night.  And my friends who post about insomnia in the middle of the night most likely roll over and pick up their phones to share their struggle.

Yet waking in the middle of the night was expected hundreds of years ago.  It was standard to have both a first and second sleep.  People would even plan things like study and reflection for the time between sleeps.  A search of the term ‘first sleep’  on finds it used as early as 1409 in the book The Percornne of Ser Giovanni on page 85.  You’d be surprised at the adventure a priest has between his first and second sleep.

Segmented sleep may be natural for humans.   Perhaps planning on some awake time in the middle of the night can remove some of the stress we feel when faced with insomnia.  And making ourselves inaccessible by turning off our phones during planned sleep should equally help.