Monday, December 31, 2007

At the mercy of sea . . .

Here's a tragic story that did not get reported widely, it happened in Lake Michigan in late October, and it totally escaped Google Alert. A new commentary in Sailing Magazine characterized this case as "At the mercy of sea . . . and the sea show no mercy."

According to Sailing Magazine,
Three sailors died and a fourth crewmember was treated for hypothermia when the J/35 they were on smashed into a breakwall during a man overboard rescue in Chicago, Illinois, October 24.

The accident happened at about 8:15 p.m. near the end of a short trip to a local boatyard for the winter.
It was reportedly rough lake conditions with choppy waters that evening, the NOAA buoy in the middle of southern Lake Michigan (NDBC 45007) reported north winds from 21 to 30 knots and waves 7-9 feet high. The owner of the 35 feet J/35 sailboat "Jason" along with his three close friends decided to take the trip. They are all experienced sailors and they were all wearing life jackets. they left Columbia Yacht Club in downtown Chicago to take the boat to Crowley's Yacht Yard up the Calumet River some 12 nautical miles away.

According to Chicago Tribune, reported by Mary Owen, Jason Meisner, and Angela Rozas on October 25, 2007, the planned trip of Jason had almost made it,
. . . before the crew attempted to take down the sails close to a breakwall. Childers, of Evanston, fell overboard. The remaining crew radioed for help. The three men tried to circle and rescue Childers, but officials believe 10-foot waves slammed the boat into the cement and rock breakwall, throwing everyone overboard and smashing the boat into pieces. Rescuers from the Coast Guard, Chicago Marine Unit and a tugboat converged on the scene. They had trouble finding the crew in the choppy water. But then a wave crashed onto a rescue boat, shining its light onto the breakwall, where the men were splayed on the rocks, rescuers said Thursday.
The Coast Guard rescued all four men within 45 minutes but unfortunately only one survived. Killed were the sailboat’s owner John Finn, 45, Alexander Childers, 38, and Adam Kronen, 33. The survived crew member, Joseph Sunshine, 34, was treated at an area hospital.
Here's a picture of the sailboat similar to the one that was lost. According to local Coast Guard
officers that two mistakes caused this tragedy. First, they sent a man onto the foredeck without a harness, and secondly they took their sails down, when the sails could have made the difference in keeping them off the breakwall which destroyed the boat.

I have been strongly advocating wearing life jacket at all times, clearly that's not at all enough. Harness should also be required on deck on all boats, large or small, at all times. I think if it is at all possible, harnesses should also be provided around nearshore beach areas where nearshore freaque waves can occur at any time suddenly without warning.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Coast Guard exercise

I read this news in Global Surf News today, but it was first published a week ago (December 20, 2007) in the Daily Boat Magazine written by Kari Pugh. But the heart of the story is really the pictures taken by photographer Gary Robershaw. Because words are less effective in this case, one has to see the pictures to appreciate what was happened in California's Morrow Bay on that day, December 4, 2007.

According to Kari Pugh
Big waves are nothing new in California's Morro Bay Harbor. Each year for the last decade, the bay has claimed two lives, putting it near the top of the Coast Guard's list of dangerous waterways.
On Dec. 4, a Coast Guard crew on a training mission found out first hand just how treacherous Morro Bay can be. The crew's 47–foot rescue ship–a "Motor Life Boat" built to withstand the roughest surf–was out on a training exercise, jumping 12 to 15–foot waves, when it got slammed by a mammoth whitecap.

Photographer Gary Robertshaw was there taking pictures of the wave action for the Coast Guard. From his vantage point, high above sea level, he could see some huge swells breaking–even bigger than the 15–foot waves that prompted small craft advisories in the area throughout the day.

He knew the Coast Guard crew wouldn't be able to see the waves until it was too late.

"By the time they could spot these waves from the boat, I seriously doubt they had many choices as to what action to take," he said. "The first wave of the set passed by them without incident, but the second, much larger one followed very quickly."

Robertshaw kept clicking, but didn't know until later that he had captured images so amazing, that some people doubt they are real (the Coast Guard confirmed their authenticity).

Yes, indeed, but the images are more than just amazing. Imagine what you might feel if your were on the boat in the following picture:
most definitely it's not for the feint of heart kind like me. As Pugh described it:
. . . a towering wave tosses the boat high atop its crest, and then swallows it entirely. And for a few breathtaking frames, the vessel, dubbed "unsinkable” by the Coast Guard, disappears in the roiling surf.
Robertshaw kept clicking, but didn't know until later that he had captured images so amazing, that some people doubt they are real (the Coast Guard confirmed their authenticity).
for a few breathtaking frames, the vessel, dubbed "unsinkable” by the Coast Guard, disappears in the roiling surf.

Just as Robertshaw began to worry the boat wouldn't resurface, it popped up.

"It was definitely exciting," he said.

I think the fact that the boat popped up and resurface and resume their duty continuously makes every one wants to stand up and cheer. Just look at this one
which clearly show the boat turned 90 degrees toward upside down. So the title of Pugh's article was given as "Coast Guard Capsize." It probably really did happened as:
The Coast Guard Spokesman later announced that "Everybody was alright. That boat's made to roll!" somehow made me feel like an under-statement. Nevertheless, for an encountering like that, "everybody was alright" is really heart warming to hear. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! (And of course thanks to Mr. Robertshaw for the pictures,)

Two Christmas time pictures

Here's a picture showing tsunami survivors pray at Marina beach to commemorate the third anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami published in National Post today. According to the paper, "On Dec. 26, 2004, giant waves triggered by one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded pulverized villages along Indian Ocean shores, killing or leaving missing about 230,000 people."
Here's another significant historical Christmas time picture that all American should remember because it's a Christmas story at the birth of the U.S.A. but very few Americans know! (Hat-tip Power Line.)

Two historical facts: First
In May 1782, Colonel Lewis Nicola had urged Washington to accept the responsibility of becoming king of the United States.
And then:
On December 23, 1783, Washington resigned his commission as Commander in Chief to the Continental army at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where Congress was assembled. Washington could have seized the moment to don the mantle of a tyrant; instead he chose to return to private life. Washington concluded his brief remarks:
I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my Official life, by commending the Interests of our dearest Country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to his holy keeping.

Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.

According to Thomas Fleming:
Thomas Jefferson, author of the greatest of these declarations, witnessed this drama as a delegate from Virginia. Intuitively, he understood its historic dimension. "The moderation. . . . of a single character," he later wrote, "probably prevented this revolution from being closed, as most others have been, by a subversion of that liberty it was intended to establish."
Does any one have any doubt why the United States of America is the greatest country of the universe? Because we have such truly great leaders at the birth of our great country!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The GITEWS -- German-Indonesia Tsunami Early Warning System

Everyone knows by now that tsunami is generated by earth's quick. Whenever there is an earth quick, there will be potential tsunami somewhere. Presently many of the fancy numerical models don't seem to go too much beyond this simple common sense understanding. Even with the addition of buoys -- every time a tsunami disaster happens, you can count on the government will managed to add more buoys, that doesn't seem to help very much either. That's pretty much the case that led to the disaster of Indonesia tsunami three years ago.

Well, at long last, there will be changes for the better in the air! I find myself impressed by what I have just read in AFP about the GITEWS - German-Indonesia Tsunami Early Warning System. Here's the basic concept behind it:
. . . based on different kinds of sensor systems. In ca. 90 % a tsunami is generated by an earthquake but also volcanic eruptions and landslides may be the triggering events. The conception aims at achieving indicators of a tsunami and its dimension by the analysis of different measurements at a very early stage. While a tsunami wave in the wideness of the sea spreads out with a speed up to 700 km/h, in the treated region a period of about 20 minutes elapses between the wave's generation and the first contact with the Indonesian mainland. In this timeframe the sensors, which will be installed at different locations inside the considered propagation areas, are able to rapidly detect deviations from normality (anomalies).
As the figure shows, the sensors for this system, as for the general tsunamis, comprise seismometers, GPS instruments, tide gauges, and buoys, as well as ocean bottom pressure sensors.

According to the AFP article, these sensors carry out measurements every 15 seconds and relay the information to a buoy which sends the information to Indonesia via satellite,
If a quake is detected and at the same time the seabed monitors measure abnormal water pressure, another complex part of the warning system kicks in, as the German National Research Centre for Geoscience (GFZ)'s technology seeks to predict where and when the tsunami will strike the coast.

"These calculations unfortunately take a long time because, since the seabed is not even, the range of variables to be taken into account is vast. We have therefore developed models of potential trajectories to save our computers time," Joern Lauterjung of GFZ said.

The system had what his team described as a "baptism of fire" in September when an 8.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island. It measured the size and location of the seism within a record five minutes.

This enabled the GFZ scientists to raise the alert to Indonesian authorities more than 10 minutes earlier than the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii.

I am not certain, but I suspect this is the first time some one recognizes and accomplishes that in order to get tangible results, it has to have detailed comprehensive measurement. It is the case for tsunami, it will be the case for freaque waves and general ocean waves also!

It took the death of some 220,000 people after the December 26, 2004 tsunami to lead to the now GITEWS. Do we really need a major disaster to do something real meaningful. Why can't we do it before the disaster happens?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Say, what ever happened to fall?

The tittle of today's post is taken from an article in "The Sun Chronicle" with the same title given by the editor "Say, what ever happened to fall?" It's an article by Stephen Peterson that starts with
ATTLEBORO - Was there really a fall this year?

It just seemed like we cruised with no transition from summer to winter, which officially kicks in today.

It was an autumn of polar opposites, with most of the fall seeing above average and often downright summer-like temperatures, and the tail end experiencing temps well below normal and weather usually found in the heart of winter.

The weather changed so abruptly with the two recent snowstorms and Arctic chill, many homeowners didn't finish raking leaves before the wintry conditions descended.

which describes the New England, but it's more or less similar in our Midwest here also. We have enjoyed a relatively mild autumn season until last Monday's 10 plus inches' snow in the southeast Michigan.

In New England, according to Peterson:
The start of fall saw two straight days of record-breaking temperatures, including 91 degrees on Sept. 26.

October, with an average daily high temperature of 70 degrees, tied the record for the warmest October in the 68 years the water department has been keeping weather records. The month had an unusual four record daily high temperatures, including 86 degrees on Oct. 6 that tied for the highest October temp ever recorded, and 80 degrees Oct. 18 that broke a 51-year-old record.

November continued the unseasonably warm weather, with an average daily high of 53 degrees. The highest temp was 73 degrees.

With almost 17.5 inches of snow falling before winter arrived, from the two major storms and two minor ones this month, the Attleboro area has already surpassed last winter's 14.5 inches. The 11-inch storm on Dec. 13 fell into a two-way tie for the third biggest one-day snowfall for December.
Again with may be different dates, that's pretty much the same in Michigan. Charitably the reporter of this article did not mention global warming. I guess no one is complaining about the mild higher autumn temperature. As a matter of fact if global warming should bring us milder winter, who would object to that? There are plenty of good things come with global warming, why should it be branded as something disastrous?

Global warming is part of natural climate change that happens through out the history. Human really do not have much ability to influence it one way or the other. Neither Algore's private jet, nor my SUV can do much to affect the climate change. Why can't we be just happy with the beneficial aspects of the warming before the cooling will soon sets in, which no one can change that either. I wonder if Mr. Algore and his followers had ever stop and think how silly they might look when the real history of this period is finally written?

I worry about a whole lot of things my grand daughters might face in the world of their future, global warming is most definitely not one of them!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Global warming, hotter than ever -- really ?!

Huff, puff, huff and puff, "Breakthrough" of the year according to Science magazine by Eli Kintisch and Richard A. Kerr:

Global Warming, Hotter Than Ever

Really? How hot was it?

Huff and puff, it was hot ! how hot? huff and puff, you know, we had a long hot summer. Really?

Does anyone remember how "hotter than ever" the last summer was? I do, on one aspect. My next door neighbor has a swimming pool in their back yard facing my driveway. Every year there were a few extreme hot days and I can see our neighbor Nick jump into the pool. But this past summer I don't think they have used the pool once, may be at most once. So this is the breakthrough year hotter than ever for global warming? This is not science result, neither are Kintisch and Kerr's huff and puff or those media reports!

According to Science:
In 2007, the debate about the reality of global warming ended, at least in the political and public realms in the United States.
Really? No more debate? (That's why Algore doesn't have the nerve to debate anyone!) Here's why, huff, puff, according to Science:
After 6 years of silence, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) drew heavy and wholly positive media coverage for a series of wide-ranging reports. The world is warming, IPCC declared; human activity is behind most of it, and if it keeps up we'll pay a price. But the panel also said that much of the climate pain might be avoided if the world agrees to begin sharing the economic pain. Impressed with that performance, the Nobel committee anointed IPCC, as well as climate campaigner Al Gore, with its Peace Prize.
That's it? That's the breakthrough? There's more;
A steady stream of media reports this year noted record melting of Greenland ice, record-high temperatures in the United States, and surging Antarctic glaciers.
O.K. "media" reports certainly carry weights! Since when did media reports become important in science? There's more:

Yes, this picture above of Dal Lake in Kashmir, India showing it has shrunk to half its former over 4 decades. It had never happen like that before? We have a history much much longer than 4 decades. This is the breakthrough?

Where's the beef? Oh yes, Science magazine, where's the science?

In the same issue of Science, there's also an article entitled "Revisiting ozone depletion" with the one sentence abstract: "New laboratory data imply unknown mechanisms in the formation of the ozone hole, but it is too soon to throw out the old paradigms." It appears that more questions regarding global warming theory but the author insists the results are "too soon" to believe them. Because they were too inconvenient! Science results are less reliable than media reports, of course!

Huff, puff, we are in a breakthrough year of global warming!

Last week we have nearly 10 inches snow accumulated over night as it'll happens most winters. But we are in a breakthrough year of global warming now. The Science magazine says so. Huff, puff, that must true! Huff, puff,
"The world is warming, IPCC declared; human activity is behind most of it, and if it keeps up we'll pay a price."
Huff, puff, it's Science magazine, Algore, and IPCC, you are too dumb not to believe it!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mr. Mooney eat crow !?

Here's the beginning of the article today by Chris Mooney (author of the book "Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming"):

Well, I am going to have to eat some crow.

Back in early October, I unwisely predicted there would be 18 Category 4 or 5 hurricanes globally in the year 2007. At the time, there had been 14. Since then there has only been one more – the incredibly devastating Cyclone Sidr – bringing the global total to 15. And with the year almost out, at this point I don't see any chance of not being wrong in my prediction.

In fact – and as we'll see – barring some sudden dramatic tropical eruption, 2007 is going to turn out to be a below-average year for overall global intense hurricane activity. That's not to say there weren't some serious hotspots – particularly the North and South Indian Ocean basins. But for anyone convinced that global warming is causing an increase in the intensity of the average hurricane, it's hard to make the case that 2007 serves as a data point in your favor.

The article is published in "thedailygreen" by their storm pundit, Mr. Mooney, with a long title "2007 Hurricane season does not support global warming link."

My reaction to this article is understandably "So what? Why should anyone be surprised by the common sense?" But it is somewhat refreshing nevertheless to see some frank assessment on what was really happened. I can't help wonder if Mr. Mooney will still be welcome by the Gorelobal warming gang, especially his conclusion of the article:
But nevertheless, the official 15 storm total – which, to be sure, could increase by the end of the year, but probably not by more than one storm at the absolute most – clearly does not help the argument that global warming is intensifying hurricanes. (emphasize added)
In Mathematics any well constructed theory will be immediately nullified if a counter example exists. So will the overwhelming number of scientists agreed theory that global warming intensifies hurricane be nullified by the 2007 fact? Of course not! Why? Because Mathematics is only a science, but global warming is really a kind of religion. Algore dropped out of divinity school but become the high priest of Gorelobal warming after all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Surfers to the rescue II

I blogged about a case of two surfers rescued two lives in South Africa last month. Surfers can certainly be capable of heroic rescuers unexpectedly when opportunity presents itself. Here's another heart-warming story happened off the coast of U.K. North Cornwall:
Surfers from Exmouth have been hailed as heroes after plucking a drowning woman from massive waves.Dave Trelease and Jonathan Hawkins, backed up by friends Bradley Perkins and Ben Wright, who are all in their 20s, rushed to the rescue of the elderly swimmer off the coast of North Cornwall on Sunday.
The four had headed up to Padstow to catch giant waves that were reported to be rolling in from the Atlantic at Harlyn Bay.

Dave, 25, from Valley Way, Exmouth, said: "There were some very big waves and we were all in our winter wet suits. We were a fair way out, perhaps 100m, when I heard what seemed like howling. It was a terrible noise. We looked and could see a lady just off the point.

"She was about 50m away in a one-piece swim suit. The water was very cold and she must have been about 60 or perhaps older. You could see she was in trouble and she could barely raise her arms.

"Johnny, Bradley and I managed to paddle across to her. She was in a terrible state, barely conscious, screaming really badly and unable to move her arms.

"We got to her and struggled to get her on to one of the boards. She couldn't really help herself, she was barely conscious and she kept falling off.

"Bradley and I were holding her on and Johnny, who was a beach lifeguard at Exmouth, was at the front steering.

"We decided we had to get to the beach as quickly as we could so we rode the waves in. When we got on the beach she had gone a terrible yellow colour and was obviously suffering from hypothermia."

As his two friends looked after her, Dave raced to their parked van nearby, called for someone to alert the coastguard and ambulance and then ran back with warm clothing and a sleeping bag.

He said: "We did all we could to keep her warm and in about 10 minutes the air ambulance helicopter arrived. They gave her oxygen and she was flown out. I didn't think she was going to make it."

A coastguard spokesman said the woman rescued by the lads was local to Padstow and was a regular swimmer who appeared to have got into difficulties while swimming in the adjoining Trevone Bay.

"It seems she was caught by the rip currents and swept away," said the spokesman, who described the surfers' actions as heroic.

"She was very lucky these young men were on hand to rescue her. It could have been a tragedy.

"She was flown to Treliske Hospital at Truro and was made stable before being allowed home later."
Now rip currents are certainly as unpredictable as nearshore rogue waves. But whenever one gets caught in a rip current, it's difficult for the one to be able to calmly think of what to do. The alert surfers are definitely heros that saved the lady's life!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

If predicting weather is that difficult . . .

There is a very good and short opinion article in Florida' s Herald Tribune yesterday, I would like to reprint it here in its entirety because it expressed my thought totally and there is no need to add any more of my own comments, my two thumbs up for the author, Jim Travers of North Port:
If predicting weather is that difficult . . .

Well, the hype for the 2008 hurricane season has begun. No sooner did the 2007 hurricane season and forecast bust than we have next season's fearless forecast. If the experts keep forecasting an active season, sooner or later they'll get it right.

The variables involved in such forecasts are so complicated and difficult to predict that one makes long-range forecasts at one's own risk.

If it's so difficult to forecast 12 months in advance, how are we to have any faith in the long-term predictions for global warming? But I guess it doesn't matter, since few of us will be around to see how these dire predictions turn out.

Jim Travers

North Port

Last modified: December 12. 2007 12:00AM

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Freaque wave tickles spot made of light!

Wow! Earthshaking news! If your earth has not shaking yet something must be wrong. Because it appeared in Nature, and also in Scientific American. So no one should doubt the wisdom and judgement of these two scientific magazines, right? There would be probably be more, much more to come!

What is the news?

Well, just get ready to be completely impressed. First by the Nature's title
"Rogue waves made of light."
How can you not be impressed from a title like this in Nature! Yep, it's not any little green man or UFO, it's made of light. Are you impressed yet? If not then you better read, or study, the Scientific American's explanation:
"Essentially there is a sweet spot or tickle spot we found. If you tickle the wave on this particular spot, it develops into one of these rogue waves," he said.
Wow! How profound! A tickle spot develops into freaque waves. All ship captains beware, your job is now to look for the tickle spot in the ocean! Or else it will be your own risk that the spot develops into an ocean freaque wave and you are doomed! The "he" in the above Scientific American quote is Daniel Solli of the University of California, Los Angeles, whose study appears in the journal Nature. Are you impressed? He is the same Daniel Solli discovered "superluminal effects" that could potentially boost computer speeds by as two to ten times according to this "Latest Technology News" in April, 2001. Never heard of him? neither did I. Nevertheless can Nobel Peace Prize be far behind ?!

You are going to read more and more of this news from all newspapers and magazines everywhere in the coming days in one version of the write-up or another, I am sure. Just remember: readers are being enlightened here first!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wet and windy

This is an impressive as well as scary picture published in this morning with a long title "Pictures of the weather in West Sussex show this is what the Met Office meant by wet and windy" and these description

The forecasters had warned us it was coming. But the sheer spectacle of the stormy weather took everyone by surprise.

This was the scene on the South Coast yesterday as gale force storms battered Britain, bringing chaos to roads and rail and threatening homes with more floods.

Winds hit hurricane speeds of 77mph in the South-West, while a combination of powerful gusts and high seas made seafronts and coastal paths treacherous.

Which is just about tells it all. I am in Netherland this week where the weather is wet but not as windy. So we can be thankful for that. It seems that the nature really does not like the man-made artificial seasons. All the bad weather around the world seems to started right after the man-made hurricane season ended. As this AP news indicated that there could still be a tropical storm in Atlantic to hit Puerto Rico yet. What makes the human so smart that they think they can decide the start and end of some season? It just ain't so!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Power thoughts

A short article in the U.K. tabloid "The People" perhaps describes a typical human reaction to nature. It's entitled "IT'S DECEMBRRR!" Yea, so it's December, so what? Here's the story

A triple whammy of wild weather threatened Britain this weekend.

Yesterday downpours flooded parts of South Wales while snow and ice hit parts of the North with more expected today.

Winds gusting up to 80mph are forecast to sweep into the South West.

The near-hurricane force blasts could damage property and bring down trees in Devon and Cornwall. Winds in the South will be up to 55mph, said forecasters.

Last night there were 30 flood warnings across England and dozens more flood watches with a predicted tidal surge today set to threaten defences in the Bristol Channel.

They are all true facts that are happening here, there, somewhere. When did the nature ever care about your seasonal designation anyway? Never, of course. So human has to learn to live with the nature, while the nature couldn't care less how human react. Of course there are human worse than the damage of the nature, because they have to blame other human for the nature. I guess those are the sub-human kind we have to live with it also. In the long run, however, nature power we can learn to cope sooner or later, it's when the sub-human gets power, then the unfortunate human sufferings will be unbearable!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Forecasting 2008 hurricane season

Here we are, one week after the official ending of the 2007 hurricane season, the new prediction for the 2008 hurricane season, still 6 months away, is already issued. Here's from the report in Colorado's
DENVER (AP) - Using a simplified forecasting technique, researcher William Gray is predicting an above-average hurricane season in the Atlantic next year, with seven hurricanes, three of them major.

Gray's team at Colorado State University had called for above-average storm seasons the past two Decembers - and both turned out to be wrong. Gray said he believes this year's forecast will be better.

"We think we're finally onto a scheme that will be more accurate," he said Friday.

The new forecast calls for a total of 13 named storms in the Atlantic. It says there is a slightly higher-than-average chance that at least one major hurricane will hit the United States.

Gray's predictions, now in their 25th year, are watched closely by emergency responders and others in hurricane-prone areas. But officials routinely express concerns that residents might become apathetic if predictions prove overblown. Government forecasters also predicted an above-average season for 2007.

So the predictions were wrong for 2006 and 2007. But no one's complaining. It takes guts to issue a prediction 6 months in advance.
Gray said the active era is not likely to end for another two decades, even though the past two seasons were below average.

"We've been very lucky the past couple years," he said.
Yes, indeed we have been very lucky the past couple years. Not to contend with Dr. Gray's scientific judgement, and based purely on human's selfish nature, I hope our luck would continue and the Gray team will be wrong again next year.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A burp in the ocean !?

I find the following news from interesting:

The Central Florida coast has never been slammed by a tsunami, but folks in Daytona Beach have experienced something very close.

Emergency management officials in Volusia County were looking forward to have a better idea of what the tsunami threat is after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday it has finished mapping out the ocean floor in Daytona Beach, along with two other cites.

"Once we see this data, it'll make us more aware and able to refine areas that are at risk, and it'll benefit our planning," said Jim Ryan, director of Volusia Emergency Management.

The closest Daytona Beach has been to seeing what the force of the ocean can do without warning was a rogue wave in 1992.

No one suffered serious injuries during that rogue wave, but it did topple and stack cars on top of one another.

The rogue wave was later determined to be a burp in the ocean that triggered several high waves.

Studies of the ocean floor could help determine the height and width of a tsunami wave, which could in turn determine what areas need to be evacuated.

I have never thought there can be a connection between central Florida and tsunami. Of course anything is possible. But I am very much interested in finding out who made the determination that the rogue wave was a 'burp' in the ocean, how was the determination made, and what does a burp look like? Have you seen a burp in the ocean lately?

Rejoice? Are you out of your mind?

The title of this post if my reaction to this Los Angeles Daily News article: "Surfers rejoice . . ." as they report from Malibu:
When the sun rises at Topanga State Beach today, Darren Hao will be on the break for some of the best surf of the decade.

"I'm crackin' it, 5 a.m., 5:15," said Hao, 37, of Malibu, waxing his board Tuesday as the sun prepared to drop over the horizon. "I'll pile out when it's dark to be the first on it.

"There'll be 20 guys in the water when the sun comes up - whatever. There's gonna be waves."

I am sure they are all aware of this following sad news 'Legendary' surfer perishes in huge waves:

An accomplished local surfer who lived for monster waves died Tuesday at Ghost Trees, a Monterey County surf spot known for its potent swells and dangerous conditions.

Peter Davi, 45, one of the area's most beloved watermen, apparently lost his board and attempted to swim to shore, according to fellow surfers. He was later found floating in the water unconscious and was pronounced dead around 1:30 p.m., the Monterey County coroner's office said.

His death devastated Santa Cruz and Monterey surfers, many of whom had ventured to Ghost Trees on Tuesday in search of big waves.

I have said before that surfers are both fearless and reckless. I admire their supreme courage, but I can not disregard their recklessness. It just reminds us that even the 'super' humans are human too. In the same article another professional surfer, Tyler Smith, indicated that the wave faces were as big as 60 to 70 feet, "almost as big as we've seen out there." And

At least 15 personal watercraft were circling in the water, Smith said, some carrying surfers and others carrying surf photographers. Big-wave riders often use such watercraft to tow each other into big surf and then snatch each other out of danger after a ride or a fall.

Smith said he believed Davi, who was the size of a football lineman, was paddling into waves and may have run into trouble after the leash tethering him to his board broke.

"It's super-sad, man," Smith said. "He was a gentle giant who surfed for his whole life. Everybody knew him. He was kind of like the godfather."

Our hearts go to the family of Mr. Davi, R.I.P.

After a quiet hurricane season . . .

The 2007's quiet hurricane season just ended, but the early winter season does not seem to be as kind to the Pacific northwest coasts of U.S. and the Atlantic west coasts of U.K. and Ireland. The news are plentiful on the internet but not much among the drive-by media. Here are some depressing pictures from USA Today and Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

These are clearly natural miseries that happens from time to time here, there, somewhere and sometime throughout the ages. This world is not paradise. I just earnestly hope that the Gore-bbale-gook gang will not trying to blame us SUV drivers for all these. But I am almost certain that they will. If so, so what? What did Algore people have ever done beyond blaming someone for the nature happenings no scientist could really get a handle on? They know not what they do!


This article by Corey Pein has some alternative thoughts about the storm and media coverage:

Is it safe to come out yet? WW’ s weather-watching professionals hunkered down in our hurricane-proof bunker watching the TV news for signs of the apocalypse, which, according to local meteorologists, was due to commence last week with snow (!) and an honest-to-God hurricane (!!).

Well, maybe not a hurricane, per se, but a “double whammy,” “one-two punch” of “monster storms” coming to “batter” the Oregon Coast with winds of more than 100 mph and flood the Willamette Valley. True, damage outside the Portland area was serious. Yet so was the need to fill air time to discuss the storm of the century. The storm may not have lived up to the hype—but the coverage could be more frightening than the event.
I totally agree with his viewpoints. But I still think the pictures, worth a few thousand words, are nevertheless rather depressing to look at.