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5 Social Media Posts About Weather That Need To Go Away In 2020 – Forbes

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I was inspired to write this piece after taking out the trash this morning. Our canisters were filled with post-Christmas wrapping paper and dinner scraps. As I looked up at the sky en route to the curb, it was filled with contrails. Occasionally, I see Tweets about these clouds, and how they are being “used by the government to control the weather or even our minds.” Yep, seriously. Did this make the list of 5 weather or climate social media posts that need to disappear in 2020? Keep reading.

“The meteorologists are always wrong or just guessing.” I continue to harp on this point because it is so pervasive in social media. I am amazed at how many people actually believe this. It means my colleagues and I may not be doing a good job conveying the dramatic improvements in weather forecast over the past 50 years. From my perspective, there are several factors driving such statements:

  • lack of understanding of probabilities (You would be surprised at how many people don’t understand what 20% chance of rain or the hurricane cone of uncertainty actually conveys);
  • “wishcasting” or seeing desired outcomes in a forecast rather than what the data actually conveys (very common in snow forecasting);
  • unrealistic expectations for pinpoint forecasts at their exact location when the science is not quite there yet; and
  • the tendency to exhibit recency bias (remembering a recent “bad” forecast and overlooking the overwhelming number of good forecasts over the long haul).

For a deeper dive into this topic, my discussion in the Forbes article at this link is a good start

“It came without warning.” This is a staple for many people and media outlets after a bad storm or tornado. For example, I heard claims of “it came out of nowhere” after the horrific 2018 Duck Boat tragedy in Missouri. I plowed through language from the National Weather Service the day before that tragedy. Here is what the NWS Convective Outlook said on July 18th, 2018 for the region:

The potential for one or more early day thunderstorm clusters complicates the forecast scenario on Thursday. Any such cluster may present a localized severe wind risk early in the day, especially across portions of MO … Further south down the Mississippi Valley, a more conditional severe risk will be present. Any early day thunderstorm cluster that survives may rejuvenate across portions of southern MO/northern AR during the afternoon. Later-day storms that initiate further north may also merge into a cluster that moves southeastward into this region. Some damaging wind risk would be possible in either scenario, with some marginal hail risk associated with any more discrete convection that may develop.

National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center

In 2019, it is rare that the potential for severe weather activity is going to be overlooked given the advances in short-range weather models, dual-polarization radar, and rapid-scan weather satellite imaging capabilities. I will concede that “out of nowhere” is a relative term. Though the possibility for severe weather or a tornado may have been warned for, if a person didn’t receive the information or chose to operate in a “business as usual” fashion, the appearance of a 60-mph gust of wind might seem sudden. This is where emerging social science research within atmospheric sciences is so important. We must understand how people consume weather information and why they make the decisions. For example, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” is a cute little slogan, yet people still drive through flooded roadways. What risk assessment do they take (if any) before making that decision? For some people, the value proposition of not being late picking up a child at daycare may outweigh the risks because of optimism bias (the tendency to think a bad think won’t happen to them).

Meteorologist and social scientist Kim Klockow-McClain says that social science work is starting to pay dividends. Klockow-McClain, a research scientist at The University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, gave a real-world example in an interview a few years ago. She pointed out a study in the Delaware River basin:

Social scientists found that several flood warning tools, while scientifically state-of-the-art, were difficult for people to use because they were overly technical. Researchers recommended changes to key flood risk graphics that made these tools more understandable and useful to the public. Some of the changes involved clearer titles, better use of color, and more specific geographical information on flood risk forecast maps. The National Weather Service has made some of these changes to products offered in this region and the findings may help inform improvements in other areas.

Dr. Kim Klockow-McClain, The Unversity of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies and NSSL

“It’s just a tropical storm.” I am hopeful that the weather enterprise continues to hammer home that category or rating may not fully represent potential impacts. Tropical Storm Imelda (2019) never became a hurricane but dumped almost 4 feet of rain on parts of Texas still recovering from Hurricane Harvey (2017). When Hurricane Michael (2018) was approaching the Florida panhandle, some people were hesitant to leave because it was “just” a certain category storm. Unfortunately, Michael rapidly intensified to a Category 5. Each hurricane is different so past experiences do not prepare you for the next storm. It is increasingly important that the public consume weather information from the standpoint of “risk potential” rather than simple a category or number. A new study, of which I am a co-author, was recently published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. It presents an intuitive metric for conveying rainfall hazards in hurricanes that may not be captured in the Saffir-Simpson scale.

“It’s snowing or cold outside so that means no global warming.” Yes, I used global warming. I don’t fall for the distracting tactic of saying “we changed the name to climate change.” I deal with that in a previous Forbes article at this link. To be honest, I am still amazed that people still Tweet or say things about cold weather refuting climate warming. Numerous articles and social media explanations, including by this author, have been written to explain why weather in a given day or week doesn’t refute or confirm climate change. Weather is your mood, and climate is your personality. Many of us use this little analogy to drive home the point, but my hunch is that Tweet and perspective will not go away any time soon. By the way, NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, one of my favorite scientists to follow on Twitter, is projecting 2019 to finish as our 2nd warmest year on record. On December 17th, he tweeted:

With Nov GISTEMP anomalies posted, 2019 is #2 YTD, and this will be 99.9% likely to be the ranking for the full year.
– 5th year clearly > 1°C above late 19th C (Century)
– closes out warmest decade in record

Dr. Gavin Schmidt, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and climate scientist

“Earth always had hurricanes and extreme weather.” While this is a true statement, it really doesn’t mean anything within the context of a climate discussion. To me, that is like saying trees always fell in the forest or grass always grew naturally. Neither of those statements refutes that chainsaws can still cut a tree down or that fertilizer affects how grass grows on your lawn. Credible peer-reviewed articles, National Academy of Sciences reports, and virtually every professional society in weather-climate fields have noted that naturally-varying weather systems, including extreme events, are being affected by anthropogenic changes to our climate system. You may see “one-off” articles or studies disputing this statement, but I tend to stick with the larger body of evidence rather than confirmation bias. To be fair, there are exaggerated claims about extreme events on both sides of the ledger so consume your information carefully.

“The government is controlling the weather with chemtrails.” If you think that I am exaggerating this, ask a meteorologist. National Weather Service and TV meteorologist colleagues tell me they respond to calls, messages, and tweets about these clouds all of the time. You also might be surprised at how much pops up after a quick Google search for the word. The chemtrail conspiracy is the flat earth corner of atmospheric sciences. In reality, there is a very simple explanation rooted in basic science explained by the National Weather Service below:

Condensation trails, commonly called contrails, are narrow cirrus cloud streamers that form behind high flying aircraft. Contrails are formed by two basic processes. The first method of formation relies on hot and humid engine exhaust mixing with air of low vapor pressure at low temperatures. As the added moisture and particulate matter from the exhaust mixes with the cold air, condensation occurs and the streamer is born. These types of contrails are sometimes called exhaust trails.

National weather Service website

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Social media prank could lead to charges after teens allegedly damage homes – CTV News

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Social media prank could lead to charges after teens allegedly damage homes  CTV News

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Ryan Reynolds BLEEDS for Deadpool! Sacrificed Salary to Keep Franchise Alive!

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Marvel fans, rejoice! After a whirlwind journey filled with setbacks and triumphs, Deadpool & Wolverine is finally clawing its way onto the silver screen. This highly anticipated pairing of Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman has had its fair share of challenges, from production delays due to Hollywood strikes to struggling to solidify a cohesive storyline. But through it all, Reynolds’ unwavering dedication to the project has shone through, proving that sometimes, the biggest victories come from the most unexpected sacrifices.

The road to Deadpool & Wolverine began in May 2023 with a triumphant start to filming. However, that momentum was abruptly halted by a wave of strikes that swept through Hollywood, forcing a hiatus until late winter. This wasn’t the only obstacle the project faced. The creative team, including Reynolds himself, wrestled with crafting a narrative that lived up to the outrageous charm of the Deadpool character while seamlessly integrating Wolverine into the fold. There were even whispers of the entire project being shelved altogether, leaving fans anxious about the fate of this dream team.

 

Reynolds’ Pockets Take a Hit, But His Vision Persists

But amidst these uncertainties, a heartwarming detail recently emerged, shedding light on Reynolds’ incredible commitment to the Deadpool franchise. In a revealing interview with The New York Times, Reynolds opened up about the financial sacrifices he made to ensure the success of the original Deadpool film.

“Deadpool wasn’t just a movie; it was a decade-long passion project,” Reynolds confessed. “Honestly, when they finally greenlit it, I wasn’t thinking about box office numbers. I just wanted to see this crazy character come to life on screen. I even gave up my acting salary for the project just to get it off the ground.”

 

However, Reynolds’ generosity didn’t stop there. The studio, it seemed, wasn’t convinced of the importance of having the film’s screenwriters, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, readily available on set. “They wouldn’t allow my co-writers on set, which was a huge blow,” Reynolds continued. “So, I took what little money I had left after forgoing my salary and paid them myself to be there. We basically formed a makeshift writer’s room right there on set.”

This wasn’t the first instance of Reynolds’ financial commitment to the Deadpool universe. Writers Reese and Wernick had previously shared on the AMC show Geeking Out that Reynolds also personally financed aspects of Deadpool (2016) to ensure the film achieved the level of quality he envisioned.

 

A Commitment That Reaps Rewards

 

Looking back on the original film’s scrappy beginnings, Reynolds described it as a labor of love fueled by limited resources and boundless creativity. “There wasn’t a lot of money, but I poured my heart and soul into every detail,” he said. “That experience taught me a valuable lesson: the importance of having a strong creative team by your side, no matter the project.”

Reynolds’ unwavering dedication wasn’t just about financial backing; it was about safeguarding the film’s creative vision. His actions ensured that the core team behind Deadpool’s success – the writers, the director, and himself – remained on board to bring their vision to life. This commitment is sure to translate into Deadpool & Wolverine, a film that promises to be a landmark achievement in the wacky world of Deadpool. Mark your calendars, fans – Deadpool & Wolverine slashes into theaters on July 26th!

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Bob Newhart, deadpan comedy icon Dies at 94

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Bob Newhart, the deadpan accountant-turned-comedian who became one of the most popular TV stars of his time after striking gold with a classic comedy album, has died at 94.

Jerry Digney, Newhart’s publicist, says the actor died Thursday in Los Angeles after a series of short illnesses.

Newhart, best remembered now as the star of two hit television shows of the 1970s and 1980s that bore his name, launched his career as a standup comic in the late 1950s. He gained nationwide fame when his routine was captured on vinyl in 1960 as The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, which went on to win a Grammy Award as Album of the Year.

While other comedians of the time, including Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Alan King, and Mike Nichols and Elaine May, frequently got laughs with their aggressive attacks on modern mores, Newhart was an anomaly. His outlook was modern, but he rarely raised his voice above a hesitant, almost stammering delivery. His only prop was a telephone, used to pretend to hold a conversation with someone on the other end of the line.

In one memorable skit, he portrayed a Madison Avenue image-maker trying to instruct Abraham Lincoln on how to improve the Gettysburg Address: “Say 87 years ago instead of fourscore and seven,” he advised.

Another favorite was Merchandising the Wright Brothers, in which he tried to persuade the aviation pioneers to start an airline, although he acknowledged the distance of their maiden flight could limit them. “Well, see, that’s going to hurt our time to the Coast if we’ve got to land every 105 feet.”

Newhart was initially wary of signing on to a weekly TV series, fearing it would overexpose his material. Nevertheless, he accepted an attractive offer from NBC, and The Bob Newhart Show premiered on Oct. 11, 1961. Despite Emmy and Peabody awards, the half-hour variety show was canceled after one season, a source for jokes by Newhart for decades after.

He waited 10 years before undertaking another Bob Newhart Show in 1972. This one was a situation comedy with Newhart playing a Chicago psychologist living in a penthouse with his schoolteacher wife, Suzanne Pleshette. Their neighbors and his patients, notably Bill Daily as an airline navigator, were a wacky, neurotic bunch who provided an ideal counterpoint to Newhart’s deadpan commentary. The series, one of the most acclaimed of the 1970s, ran through 1978.

Four years later, the comedian launched another show, simply called Newhart. This time he was a successful New York writer who decides to reopen a long-closed Vermont inn. Again Newhart was the calm, reasonable man surrounded by a group of eccentric locals. Again the show was a huge hit, lasting eight seasons on CBS. It bowed out in memorable style in 1990 with Newhart — in his old Chicago psychologist character — waking up in bed with Pleshette, cringing as he tells her about the strange dream he had: “I was an innkeeper in this crazy little town in Vermont. … The handyman kept missing the point of things, and then there were these three woodsmen, but only one of them talked!” The stunt parodied a Dallas episode where a key character was killed off, then revived when the death was revealed to have been in a dream.

Two later series were comparative duds: Bob, in 1992-93, and George & Leo, 1997-98. Though nominated several times, he never won an Emmy for his sitcom work. “I guess they think I’m not acting. That it’s just Bob being Bob,” he sighed.

Over the years, Newhart also appeared in several movies, usually in comedic roles. Among them: Catch 22, In & Out, Legally Blonde 2, and Elf, as the diminutive dad of adopted full-size son Will Ferrell. More recent work included Horrible Bosses and the TV series The Librarians, The Big Bang Theory, and Young Sheldon.

Newhart married Virginia Quinn, known to friends as Ginny, in 1964, and remained with her until her death in 2023. They had four children: Robert, Timothy, Jennifer, and Courtney. Newhart was a frequent guest of Johnny Carson’s and liked to tease the thrice-divorced Tonight host that at least some comedians enjoyed long-term marriages. He was especially close with fellow comedian and family man Don Rickles, whose raucous insult humor clashed memorably with Newhart’s droll understatement.

“We’re apples and oranges. I’m a Jew, he’s a Catholic. He’s low-key, I’m a yeller,” Rickles told Variety in 2012. A decade later, Judd Apatow would pay tribute to their friendship in the short documentary Bob and Don: A Love Story.

A master of the gently sarcastic remark, Newhart got into comedy after he became bored with his $5-an-hour accounting job in Chicago. To pass the time, he and a friend, Ed Gallagher, began making funny phone calls to each other. Eventually, they decided to record them as comedy routines and sell them to radio stations.

Their efforts failed, but the records came to the attention of Warner Bros., which signed Newhart to a record contract and booked him into a Houston club in February 1960. “A terrified 30-year-old man walked out on the stage and played his first nightclub,” he recalled in 2003.

Six of his routines were recorded during his two-week date, and the album, The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, was released on April Fools’ Day 1960. It sold 750,000 copies and was followed by The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back!. At one point the albums ranked No. 1 and 2 on the sales charts. The New York Times in 1960 said he was “the first comedian in history to come to prominence through a recording.”

Besides winning Grammy’s Album of the Year for his debut, Newhart won as Best New Artist of 1960, and the sequel The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back! won as Best Comedy Spoken Word Album. Newhart was booked for several appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and at nightclubs, concert halls, and college campuses across the country. He hated the clubs, however, because of the heckling drunks they attracted. “Every time I have to step out of a scene and put one of those birds in his place, it kills the routine,” he said in 1960.

In 2004, he received another Emmy nomination, this time as Guest Actor in a Drama Series, for a role in E.R. Another honor came his way in 2007, when the Library of Congress announced it had added The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart to its registry of historically significant sound recordings. Just 25 recordings are added each year to the registry, which was created in 2000.

Newhart made the best-seller lists in 2006 with his memoir, I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This!. He was nominated for another Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album (a category that includes audio books) for his reading of the book.

“I’ve always likened what I do to the man who is convinced that he is the last sane man on Earth … the Paul Revere of psychotics running through the town and yelling `This is crazy.′ But no one pays attention to him,” Newhart wrote.

Born George Robert Newhart in Chicago to a German-Irish family, he was called Bob to avoid confusion with his father, who was also named George. At St. Ignatius High School and Loyola University in Chicago, he amused fellow students with imitations of James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Durante, and other stars. After receiving a degree in commerce, Newhart served two years in the Army. Returning to Chicago after his military service, he entered law school at Loyola, but flunked out. He eventually landed a job as an accountant for the state unemployment department. Bored with the work, he spent his free hours acting at a stock company in suburban Oak Park, an experience that led to the phone bits.

“I wasn’t part of some comic cabal,” Newhart wrote in his memoir. “Mike (Nichols) and Elaine (May), Shelley (Berman), Lenny Bruce, Johnny Winters, Mort Sahl — we didn’t all get together and say, Let’s change comedy and slow it down.′ It was just our way of finding humor. The college kids would hear mother-in-law jokes and say, What the hell is a mother-in-law?′ What we did reflected our lives and related to theirs.”

Newhart continued appearing on television occasionally after his fourth sitcom ended and vowed in 2003 that he would work as long as he could. “It’s been so much, 43 years of my life; (to quit) would be like something was missing,” he said.

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