Meteorologists made the Style section of the The Washington Post today in the article, “What’s it like to be the voice of the Polar Vortex? These Weathermen Know” Giving meteorologists an introduction worthy of a movie trailer, Rachel Lubitz asks, “So, what is it like to be the voice of this polar vortex, bringing the grim news about temperatures that are flirting with — and in some cases breaking — record lows?” It is a good introduction into how broadcast meteorologists approach their jobs. But what does it take to be a broadcast meteorologist? Continue reading
I really liked this essay by Serge Wroclawski on why OpenStreet Map matters, which I found through the Gizmodo reprint. To be honest it doesn’t exactly say anything ground breaking for geographers, but it does so in a nice, concise presentation that anyone who isn’t a geographer can follow. The punchline of the piece is that OpenStreet maps matters because no one company should own/control ‘place’. Serge uses the analogy of time standardization from the 19th century to get the point across. It’s a neat idea and one I think we can adopt more fully when trying to explain some of these critical issues to the non-geographers in our lives.
Over the holidays I have been upgrading most of the pieces of the podcast equipment that were either shutting down randomly after years of faithful service (looking at you 2010 Macbook and H4N) or starting to leave black, flakey material in our hair (headphones). That said this week I edited and am exporting on different equipment and new versions of software. In the past this has lead to issues with the uploaded files for a small portion of listeners.
Hopefully there will be no problems for anyone downloading the podcast, but if there is please be sure to contact me so that I can try to figure out what is causing the issue.
We are still rolling out an MP3 and AAC version of the podcast. I have bumped the audio quality up to 128 from 64, so expect the downloads to take about twice as long (my guess is about 30-45 seconds). Now that I am not trying to race the clock before the next random shut down, I have put chapter breaks and links back into the AAC version.
In case you are wondering what our new(ish) set up is on the SC end of the podcast we are now running through a Mac Mini for the Skype connection to Frank and to edit the podcast on (in Audacity), we are still using the Alesis MultiMix8 Firewire (though connected via audio cables not firewire) in SC and the Alesis MultiMix8 USB in WV (also cabled, not USB), MXL mics all around 2 990s and 1 770, and we record it all out to the drool worthy Samson Zoom H6. The Samson is nice recording weekly, but it will really shine when we don’t have to do the mic shuffle during conference interviews. That said, we still have an H4n for when we break up into teams to cover the conference floors faster (and for when we accidentally double book interviews).
The upshot…if you have any issues while listening to Episode 442 please let me know!
As you shiver in the cold today during what The Weather Channel is predicting could be the coldest winter on record for decades in North America, reflect on the 1780 snowstorm that hit George Washington’s army at Jockey Hollow in Morristown, NJ, now a National Park that commemorates the Continental Army’s winter encampment (December 1779 – June 1780). Here the soldiers survived the tail end of what historians and paleoclimatologists dub, “the little ice age”. Continue reading
On December 26, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson nationalized the U.S railroads from 1917 – 1920 in response to the infrastructure demands of WWI. While it only lasted four years, the nationalization and standardization needed for the war effort led to innovations in railway infrastructure and planning. Railways have always been closely tied with advances in cartography, mapping, and infrastructure.
I like visiting the blog, i09: We come from THE FUTURE, for my daily dose of fun science and science fiction news. This headline, “Here’s the first look at Lego’s official Curiosity Rover Model” is how I found out about the cool Lego model created by an actual NASA Mechanical Engineer who worked on parts for the Curiosity Rover. It’s suitably accurate enough to use in any classroom because space engineers are serious about accuracy for spacecraft and LEGO spacecraft. What caught my eye was a reply post that started, “Hey, I work with the New Horizons team (Pluto 2015!), and we’re pretty jealous of the Curiosity and Hayabusa sets, so we asked one of our Lego-obsessed scientist friends to make a model of the New Horizons Spacecraft for us and submit it to Cuusoo too!” and asks readers to register at and support their LEGO New Horizons Model. Within that comment section were more discussions about the accuracy of the LEGO model and its remote sensing technology like, “The star trackers need to be a piece, or pair of pieces, with the telescopes pointing at 90 degrees relative to each other”. It’s this attention to scientific accuracy and detail that makes i09 a fun site to visit. Continue reading
December 18th is the United Nation’s International Migrants Day to recognize the efforts, contributions, and rights of migrants worldwide. Migrant workers and migration has had a natural fit with geography and geospatial approaches from historic analysis to today’s global world. The UN is taking a geospatial approach to recognizing International Migrants Day. They asked global citizens to participate by sharing photos and videos tied to their personal stories about how migrants positively contribute to communities and economies worldwide on Facebook and Twitter using #IAmAMigrant which were then featured on the UN’s Storify page. Storify by Livefyre is a free online tool that collects location based social media and videos from around the web into a unified story.