Reporting The Obvious

I always get a chuckle out of folks that seem surprised at the stupidity of some people. Instead of trying to analyze the disconnect in the the thinking process, a more seasoned anthropologist would just sit back and enjoy the comedy.

This poor reporter can’t understand the behavior of some locals when confronted with Irene:

Alcohol does lessen the impact of calamity, but why is this guy speechless? With the power out in your house, there is not much to do, fornicate maybe, but how long does that take? Any excuse for a party, what’s not to understand?

I’m struck by all articles of late claiming that Irene was overhyped. First off, anything that can get Obama to cut his vacation short, sounds like the real deal to me. But this sentiment flies in the face of some rather obvious precepts:
Who can accurately predict the path of hurricanes, or any natural disasters? How many times have we seen tornadoes jump about randomly, uprooting one farm and leaving the next door neighbor unscathed, I guess that guy could ask ,”What’s the big deal?”.
Isn’t it always better, when warning the public of a possible impending disaster, better to be safe then sorry? Yes, it’s great that Irene lost some intensity and got downgraded, all the way from a level 3 hurricane to a tropical storm, but this was fortuitous, not foreseen.
News is all about ratings and the more calamitous the predictions the more eyes and ears you will get. Sweeping histrionic predictions will get people’s attention, and who to say they were wrong?

Irene Causes Worst Floods in 100 Yrs.

Many in Vermont, Penn., and NY, know they pretty much got their ass kicked, don’t tell them Irene was “overblown”.

It will probably be at least a week before anyone gets a handle on what the damages will be. Total deaths, so far is 28.

Any of you East Coasters affected?

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  1. Hal_10000

    Who can accurately predict the path of hurricanes, or any natural disasters? How many times have we seen tornadoes jump about randomly, uprooting one farm and leaving the next door neighbor unscathed, I guess that guy could ask ,”Whats the big deal?”.
    Isn’t it always better, when warning the public of a possible impending disaster, better to safe then sorry? Yes, it’s great that Irene lost some intensity and got downgraded, all the way from a level 3 hurricane to a tropical storm, but this was fortuitous, not foreseen.

    SO this. ^^^^

    People ignore that Irene could have easily strengthened in the last day and caused all manner of calamity. By then it would have been too late to evacuate anyone. Katrina taught us that it’s better to expect the worst and be relieved.

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  2. JimK

    I just got my power back. Wasn’t bad around here. Nearer to the shoreline, people lost their homes. Some very large trees took out some houses inland, some cars, but overall nothing too severe.

    I don’t have cable back yet. THAT IS THE REAL TRAGEDY! ;)

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  3. TxAg94

    This is just typical media elitism, in my opinion. This reporter, and all his peers (especially the weather channel types), fancies himself somehow better qualified to be outside in the storm. Truth is, we don’t need ANY of them to report “on the scene” but that gets the ratings. They’re all idiots, telling everyone else to stay indoors and take shelter while they lean into the wind and show how brave they are. Why is that okay but the half naked partiers are morons?

    If the reporters were truly concerned about safety they would set up stationary remote cameras before the storm really rolls in then use those to report from shelter themselves. Safety isn’t their concern, though, they need to be all alone to out there to be cool. How can they sell their catastrophe bit if there’s people out having a good time?

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  4. Dick Fitzwell

    I think that hurricanes are the most predictable of all natural disasters. Of course, there is a margin of error but once a tropical depression is detected NOAA is usually all over it. I think they have done a great job in not only predicting where a hurricane might go but also its probable strength once it gets there. They don’t just act randomly like a tornado might. Prevailing winds and ocean surface temps (among other things) play a big part in determining all of that.

    I’m not sure how Irene could have strengthened in the last day but if I’ll take a hurricane any day over an earthquake, volcano, mudslide, tornado, or whatever ya got.

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  5. HARLEY

    This is just typical media elitism, in my opinion. This reporter, and all his peers (especially the weather channel types), fancies himself somehow better qualified to be outside in the storm. Truth is, we don’t need ANY of them to report “on the scene” but that gets the ratings. They’re all idiots, telling everyone else to stay indoors and take shelter while they lean into the wind and show how brave they are. Why is that okay but the half naked partiers are morons?

    I waiting for one of these lil twits get killed by a flying road sign, or something live on TV, then maybe they will wake up to the president they are setting.

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  6. Miguelito

    Last big bout of fires here in SoCal, the guys reporting within range of exploding Propane tanks (well, and the fire in general) were about the same level of stupid. “You shouldn’t be here, but checkout these tanks blowing up!” With accompanied sound of others out of site also blowing off occasionally.

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  7. Rann

    More than that, the jackass and his jackass camera man are just walking down the middle of the street… you can see the cars slowing down to not hit him as he’s scolding them for being out in the bad weather.

    Of course, he’s a reporter. It may as well be his street, other people can just wait for him to be finished using it.

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  8. HARLEY

    How many times have we seen tornadoes jump about randomly, uprooting one farm and leaving the next door neighbor unscathed,

    No shit, been there SEEN that…

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  9. AlexInCT

    Irene has left my entire town, and the two neighboring my town, as well, 100% without power since last Sunday at 5:09 AM – I know because I was up when the power started flickering, coming in and out, then finally went off, likely after buring a couple of my appliances – and CL&P which now has about 1/4 of the repair crews it had back in the day, says it will be at least September 7th before they restore power to anyone. That to me sounds like Irene was pretty bad to us in Connecticut. However, since it didn’t do much in DC, it never happened. Morons.

    I spent all day Monday cutting downed trees up and dragging them away. Lucky for me they didn’t hit my house or my power lines, but obviously that didn’t hold for everyone.

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  10. sahrab

    I live in Southern Maryland, if you look on the map we are as far south in Maryland as you can get on the western side (thats the left side CM) of the Chesapeak Bay.

    We got HAMMERED.

    I’m still at work because we havent had power since Saturday around 6(ish). I had over 30 hardwood down on my property. These arent Pines and Holly’s (what you would expect to come down in high winds) all the trees i had down were Oaks, Beach and Gum. One of the Oaks was over 6 around, we counted the rings and it had around 135 before getting to the heart of the tree (you cant count the rings at the heart).

    According to local news reports (yeah good luck getting any reporting for us from DC news stations) we had over 11 inches of rain and sustained winds (not gusts) over 70 miles an hour.

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  11. sahrab

    One thing that never changes, your ability to be wrong in just about everything you post.

    Its Sea Foam, its a common occurrence (at least on the Atlantic side) that happen regularly, just not in this quantity

    It even does happen in Ocean City (where the report was based on) if you pay attention (yeah yeah we know) the resident source used by the reporter even states “he has never seen anything like this”, not that he’s never seen it.

    But then we did have a hurricane, you might have heard about it, its going to increase the agitation in the ocean (the cause of ths sea foam) which logically (gasp) means an increase in the result of the agitation (sea foam)

    Sea Foam in Rehobeth Beach Delaware (10 minutes from Ocean City)
    Sea Foam
    Sea Foam
    Sea Foam
    Sea Foam
    But then you could go against the established science, and claim its nothing more than industry stooges trying to protect their pay check by claiming its Shit

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  12. HARLEY

    Glad you mad it through ok. i know being without power is a real bitch , we lost power for 3 days in june when some severe t-storms rolled in and took out powerlines allover the local area..
    I was praying DC would get hit, and im agnostic….

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  13. loud

    From the Wikipedia article you linked:

    Where polluted stormwater from rivers or drains discharges to the coast, sea foam formed on adjacent beaches can be polluted with viruses and other contaminants,[2][3] and may have an unpleasant odour.[4]

    The foam in the reporter video is a darker, sandy brown, not the normal, off-white foam you normally see, like… in the videos you linked.

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  14. sahrab

    The same Wikipedia article i linked, had many different reasons for the occurrence of Sea Foam.

    Heres another one

    Sea foam, ocean foam, beach foam, or spume is a type of foam created by the agitation of seawater, particularly when it contains higher concentrations of dissolved organic matter (including proteins, lignins, and lipids)[1] derived from sources such as the offshore breakdown of algal blooms. These compounds can act as surfactants or foaming agents. As the seawater is churned by breaking waves in the surf zone adjacent to the shore, the presence of these surfactants under these turbulent conditions traps air, forming persistent bubbles which stick to each other through surface tension. Due to its low density and persistence, foam can be blown by strong on-shore winds from the beachface inland onto sidewalks and streets.

    Why didnt you choose that reason?

    The foam in the video is indeterminite color. The video was taken at night, the color is subjective due to the resolution of the camera, the available light source, and the back scatter added to the downlink feed.

    But lets say it was a darker sandy brown, more than likely its because of the SAND, whipped up from the hurricane, trapped in the foam. The fact the Reporter comments on the sandieness lends to that.

    But then, Sea Foam isnt necessarily Lilly White, from the same Wikipedia article (most of these have links to multiple pictures)

    Brown Sea Foam
    Brown Sea Foam
    Brown Sea Foam
    Brown Sea Foam

    When we get Algae blooms, we get green and purple Sea Foam, it has to do with the trapped materials. While some maybe from Shit, CM’s link has more to do with a natural occurrence, magnified by the Hurricane.

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  15. CM

    LMAO!
    Can you prove it’s not climate change related?

    EDIT:
    “The foam is often a toxic mix of pollution and cyanobacteria.
    60 mph wind gust sprayed the toxic mix across the reporter and the boardwalk and coated buildings.
    Bubbles and foam in the ocean can be caused by several other things, including oils from decomposing animals.”

    http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/fox-reporter-gives-update-covered-in-sea-foam-20110827#ixzz1WfcwqLD2

    Fox News wouldn’t lie.

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  16. loud

    I also looked for examples of darker foam and found some of the images you linked, and yes, the last two images are certainly darker than the others. I did say off-white, not lily white.

    And the resolution of a camera has nothing to do with the color, but I think I know what you mean. The compression scheme can alter colors slightly and file type can affect the gamma, but the lighting and the white balance are the majorly important things with regard to color in-camera, not the resolution. If a camera is properly white-balanced, things will mostly show up natural color.

    There appears to be a sodium lamp to the screen right which is warming up that side of the image, and it gets darker there as the main light falls off, but it’s still clearly a sandy brown near the reporter, only slightly lighter than his skin tone.

    My point was not to prove it was sewage and that you were wrong, which is obviously how you took it. You said CM was wrong, insinuating it was absolutely not sewage, but rather only sea foam. Going from the reporter’s description, the video of it, and the article’s mention of it being raw sewage, it’s not like he made an outrageous claim.

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  17. balthazar

    Except for the fact that in this case you are both equally wrong and right, as it could be sewage, or naturally created sea foam.

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  18. Dick Fitzwell

    I feel for ya. After Katrina we were some of the lucky ones who got power restored after only a week. I hope you get your juice back and everything goes well.

    Here’s to playing cards by candlelight!

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