awesome internet science

The Wind in Real Time

Real time data, weather data, it’s all interesting isn’t it?

Wind Data

On you can explore real time wind data and watch weather patterns form.  It’s pretty neat if I do say so myself.  Check it out if you can, I am.


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HD B&W Storms

Black and White is an often overlooked area of photography.  Especially when time-lapse storm footage is done.  There’s something about shooting in black and white that gives everything a more mysterious, serious, yet fantasy look.  Mike Olbinski shot the entire sequence in black and white.  Yes, there is some post-processing work done, but it’s natural black and white (as natural as a digital camera can be that is).

My favorite sequence is about 2 and a half minutes in, when clouds roll across the sky, then the sun starts coming through, and things get brighter, and more detailed.  I also love watching the clouds for out of nowhere, water vapor collecting, winds combining, clouds being born.  Storms are amazing to watch like this, safe in the comfort of your own home with soothing music playing in the background.

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7,000 FPS Lightning

I’ll never get tired of watching storm video.  Especially storm video that’s in super slow motion of 7,000 frames per second.  The above video was captured last week during a storm in Melbourne Florida by Professor Ningyu Liu at the Florida Institute of Technology’s Geospace Physics Laboratory.  The video above is sped up to 700 frames per second, which is still mighty slow.  I really like the instant flash that happens when the timing is just right.  There’s alot of power in these storms, be careful.


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4k Weather

Because humans see in more then 4k.  You should watch this though, it’s 3 minutes long, and the music is pretty good and fits the mood well.  It’s making me want to travel to the midwest to set up my camera and try and record something like this myself…One day perhaps.


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Snow Blowers

For those who don’t know, the East Coast of the US is under a blizzard.  And since I’m head quartered along the East Coast, I feel obligated to post about it.  I could post some photos, but these videos of industrial snow blowers are cooler.  Way cooler.

Snow plows and blowers on trains are cool.  Especially whey the trains are driving pretty fast.  Look at this one, it’s pretty awesome, but I bet some signs got broken:

However, this hot air jet exhaust one is my favorite though:

DIY internet science

Going Green Or Not V: Wind Power?

You thought this series was dead didn’t you?  After all, it’s been over 6 years since I last posted to it, well, fret not my young readers, I have resurrected it for the new world that has come in that time.

Earlier this year, Wired ran a story about The Future of Wind Turbines.  They profiled a Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless.  The idea is nothing revolutionary in terms of science, but it is an unconventional way to harness the wind’s power.

Bladeless Turbines

Instead of blades, these tall narrow towers transform vortex energy into kinetic energy which then is turned into electrical energy.  Vortexes happen all the time, they are often the most dangerous parts of architecture design.  Vortexes were responsible for the drastic effects on the infamous Tacoma Narrows Bridge:

This design has many benefits according to it’s designers.  There are no moving parts, so that means there is very little to maintain.  It also means it is much easier to manufacture.  Since there are no blades to turn, the density of them can be much higher then traditional blade turbines.  Both of these contribute to the estimated 50% less cost.  No blades means there’s no threat to the birds that are constantly flying into them and causing people to complain about the bird’s lives instead of their own.

All of this sounds good doesn’t it.  Too good to be true right? Well it probably is.  And this part comes via the fact that the company is all Crowd-funded.  They have a great looking modern website, but no product.  There’s lots of promise, and lots of claims.  But no working model.  They’ve raised about $1 million through private, and government funding, but there is still no field of them powering a small village.

I like the idea behind it, but I don’t think the execution is there yet.  Wind is one of the better, more efficient of the renewable, but it’s not anywhere near nuclear.  And we should all know by now that Nuclear Power is the only way to go for truly 100% renewable power.  I want to like these Vortex Bladless designs, but I just can’t trust them.  They are going to go the way of 95% of the crowdfunded services and products are now, nowhere.

Anyway, that’s the end of this episode of Going Green.  It wasn’t as long, or drawn out, or negative as the others, but hey, it’s the first episode in years, allow me to get back in the swing of things.

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Storm Cell Timelapse

I do love me some time-lapse.  And it’s storm season out in the mid-western United States, so be prepared for some awesome super cell storm time-lapses on the horizon.  See what I did there, horizon, storm.  I’m such a crazy guy.

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Chairlifts are Strong

This has got to be one of the more frightening things you can experience while skiing.  When you’re skiing down the mountain, you are in control.  Sure you might not think that, but you are more or less, in control of where you are headed, and how fast to go.  When you’re on the lift you’re at the mercy of nature, and the upkeep of the equipment.  These skiers at what I believe is a Ukraine ski mountain, have experienced something no skier ever wants to, (2nd only to the abominable snowman of course).

It’s hard to tell at first that the tree is resting on the wires, I’m sure it was easier to tell in person on the lift.  Once the lift starts up again though it’s apparent.  And once a chair passes through the tree it’s incredible.  The chair rips the tree apart and causes it to fall.  The un-loaded side of the lift swings about, rather far also, nearly hitting the other side.  Luckily, it looks like no one was hurt.


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Invisible Graffiti

Peregrine Church is a Seattle artist that uses a special type of spray to make temporary art installations on sidewalks.  The catch is that they are only visible after it rains.  The concept is simple, it’s basically a reverse stencil, and according to the DOT, it’s legal, so take some time and admire the sidewalks.  It is raining by me, but I don’t do enough walking outside to notice anything like this.


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Yellowstone Snow

Yellowstone National Park gets alot of snow.  I know the North East is still excited about the first 50deg day in awhile and the melting of the snow, but that’s nothing compared to what goes up out west.  In the above silent video, we see workers clear off the roofs of the cabins at Lake Village.  I would like to know what they do with the mountains of snow that they pile off the sides.  Do they leave it there to melt, or cart it off somewhere else?  Do they dump it on the ice of Yellowstone Lake?  These are important questions.