This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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6700 km from North Korea

Here is a quick and dirty Google Maps chart showing the areas of the world roughly within range of the North Korean missile tested today if early analysis is correct. Pyongyang and Seattle marked for reference. Everything on the Pyongyang side of the red curve potentially in range.

(Created by constraining my random spot generator to points 6700 km from Pyongyang, apologies for the Mercator projection.)

Wind Map

Stay Safe East Coast!

(Projection for Tuesday morning from The Weather Channel.)

 

Not Looking Good… #Isaac

Greenpapers has Delegate Estimates! Thank You!

Thank you thegreenpapers.com!  Someone actually doing the delegate estimating process!  (Which of course I found minutes after posting my previous rant about how even though the “straw poll” is non-binding, there is process happening that should allow some delegate estimation and it is annoying that nobody was doing any delegate estimation at all! :-) )

Iowa Republican Delegation 2012

Here’s how we estimate the delegate count on 3 January 2012: (Note that zero national convention delegates are allocated during the Precinct Caucuses – national convention delegates are first elected in June.)

We will allocate the state’s 25 non-party leader delegates proportionally according to the popular vote for those candidates receiving 5% or more of the vote. This is a very rough estimate and is will change by the time the state convention meets.

As of 04:00 UTC they have this breakdown of Iowa’s 28 delegates:

  • 6 Delegates – Santorum
  • 6 Delegates – Romney
  • 6 Delegates – Paul
  • 3 Delegates – Gingrich
  • 3 Delegates – Perry
  • 3 Delegates – Party Leaders, what we called “super delegates” back in 2008, they will decide on their own, and no breakdown is given yet on if any of them have declared a preference.
  • 1 Delegate – Bachmann

I think I’ll be using Greenpapers as my primary source for my own delegate charts this cycle.  Thank you Greenpapers.  :-)

Oh, and of course Greenpapers has full national delegate estimates too.

Edited 04:17 UTC to reflect 28 delegates for Iowa and less superdelegates than I had originally stated.

Watching Occupy ( #occupyla #occupyphilly )

It seems like tonight coordinated actions are going on in Philly and LA.  In Philly the occupiers peacefully left the park when the police asked them to leave, and instead started marching around the city.  In LA things are tense, with tons and tons of police surrounding the areas where the protesters are.  No idea what will end up happening.  Expectation seems to be that something will happen after midnight Pacific time.  We shall see.  Maybe it will.  Maybe it won’t.

I’m watching intently, mainly at these locations:

To reiterate what I’ve said a couple of times on the podcast my basic position is this:  I generally don’t like protesters.  I find them annoying.  You will not find me at a protest.  And Occupy in specific I believe has raised awareness of a few issues, but it isn’t as if there are any particular realistic actions that could be taken to make them happy.  And Occupy has lived up to the annoyance level of most protests and more, and the 24 hour occupations really seem unnecessary and excessive to me.  For the most part they are just making noise and being annoying.

However…  I believe that this kind of expression, and the ability to do so whenever and wherever people want, and without restriction or unnecessary intervention by the government, is or should be one of the most important values of a democracy.  I don’t care if these guys are Occupy, or the Klan, or the Tea Party or whoever, the government should stay the hell out, and let people express their political thoughts.  Yes, in certain circumstances when health or safety are really in danger, some actions may be necessary.  But we as a society should bend over backwards to help facilitate end encourage the free and varied expression of political thought, not spend resources to restrict, confine and repress it.  And certainly we have not seen anything yet in this series of protests that would warrant any of the responses we have seen nationwide so far, let alone anything more.

Luckily, so far, none of these things have spiraled into a really violent situation (despite a handful of serious injuries), but each time we get an official response trying to remove these guys, we run that risk.  And for no real reason.  There is no compelling need to remove any of these protesters.

And does nobody remember that trying to repress movements often just makes them stronger and more radical than ever?  Is that what is wanted here?  Are all these mayors (and whatever national people are “helping” and “coordinating” between them) just absolutely nuts?  Why?  Just why?  The best thing to do is just provide public safety support when needed, but let the protesters do their thing.  If left alone, eventually they would get tired, declare victory and go home.  Instead, on a regular basis we are risking violence and chaos as confrontations are forced by the police.

And that is before you even consider reports tonight of restrictions on media movement and what the media is “allowed” to report or show live.  That is so beyond the pale for a democracy.  Thank goodness we now live in a world where everybody with a smartphone can report live from the scene and you don’t actually need the local TV stations and newspapers to get a view of what is happening, as they seem to be willing to roll over and live with any restrictions the authorities ask for.

I look at the protesters and I shake my head and think they are nuts.

But I look at the government responses to the protesters and I weep for my country.

Reporter Fighting the Wind Time

We are now at that part of the process.  So just watching it roll up the coast now and seeing what happens.  Stay safe East Coast people!

OK, Now #PANIC

Well, not really panic, but finally there is an update from the NHC that starts to justify the hype.  (Well, OK, the charts below came out about 3 hours ago, but I was at dinner…)  Lets see, where are we…

OK, that’s the odds of hurricane force winds map.  Where does that put us?

  • NC Coast:  30% to 60% depending where on the coast
  • Jersey Shore:  5% to 15% depending where on the coast
  • NYC: 5% to 10%
  • Boston: 5%
  • DC, Baltimore, Philly, Maine Coast:  <5%

Now, 5% doesn’t sound like much, but it means there is a 1 in 20 shot of getting hit by some really violent weather, and that is nothing to sneeze at or take likely.  Yes, it means there is a 95% chance it WON’T happen, but if the 5% does happen, it would be pretty bad, so you take it seriously.  Not to mention the 30% to 60% on the NC coast.  And those are the odds at particular points, the odds that SOMEWHERE on the NC coast will get hurricane force winds are probably over 90% at this point.  So the evacuations in NC are definitely justified, and NYC and Boston most likely are as well.  But I hear they are waiting to make a decision on FRIDAY.  What, are they waiting until there is more than a 50% chance?  That would be too late for most people to get out.

And of course, aside from the hurricane force winds, there is a much larger area with a good shot at tropical storm force winds…

And where to our lovely locations look on this front?

  • NC Coast:  90%+ along the whole coast.  No question they are getting at least TS force winds
  • Jersey Shore:  55% to 70% depending where on the coast
  • NYC: About 55%
  • DC, Baltimore, Philly, Boston:  All about 50%
  • Maine Coast:  30% to 50% depending where on the coast

All very much not to sneeze at.  And of course that is just winds.  It looks like depending on how this plays out, storm surge might be more significant.

Or of course it could just veer out to sea.  But that is looking increasingly unlikely.  What the news reports are hyping is true, this has the POTENTIAL to cause a lot of problems and be very serious.  Which places get hit and how hard of course is very hard to predict, which is always the trouble with these things.  Most of the places I listed above will probably dodge the worst of this thing.  But at least NC is likely to get hammered pretty good, and most likely at least one of the other places will too.

Ever since I lived in Florida and we went through several of these (OK, and maybe a bit before) I’ve been a bit of a junky for these things.  Well, not like @brendanloy or anything, but enough so I’m closely watching his feed, and refreshing the NHC site at the times the updates are due, and will be turning on one cable network or another to watch once they have the hapless reporters trying to stand against the wind and all that.

And I’ll be glad I NO LONGER live somewhere in the path of hurricanes.  Instead here in Seattle there are earthquakes and volcanos to worry about.  Much better.  Right?  Right?

Irene Update

No time to grab the pictures and stuff this time, but of course everything comes from the NHC.  As of the latest update of the wind probability charts I like a couple of hours ago, this is where we stand odds wise for a few east coast places:

Hurricane Force Winds:

  • NC Coast:  20% to 35% chance depending on where on the coast
  • DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Jersey Shore, NYC, Boston, Maine Coast:  All less than 5% chance
Tropical Storm Force Winds:
  • NC Coast:  70% to 90%+ chance depending on where on the coast
  • Jersey Shore:  40% to 60% chance depending on where on the coast
  • NYC: 45% chance
  • DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia:  40% chance
  • Boston: 35% chance
  • Maine Coast: 20% to 35% chance depending on where on the coast
Of course, winds aren’t the only potential source of trouble for storms like this.  Storm surges and the like can cause a lot of damage, even in areas that do not get hit by the winds.  Those are of course also just the chances of winds in specific spots.  The chance of winds hitting SOMEWHERE is of course much much higher.  It is just a question of where.
And those tropical force storm wind odds are pretty high in ALL of those places, and they are not anything to be sneezed at.
But with the hype building rapidly on the “major city hit by hurricane” front, keep in mind that even though some of the models have things going in that direction, the odds of hurricane force winds in each of those cities is still pretty small.  That may change over the next 24 hours of course.
The exception of course is the NC coast.  We’re already talking about 20% to 35% chance of hurricane force winds.  That’s enough to be quite concerned and doing whatever needs to be done to prepare for a hit.
Having said that, if I was in any of those other areas, I’d still be getting ready for a pretty big storm, as the chances for at least tropical storm force winds is pretty high.  And watching carefully of course, to see how these odds develop.  These things accelerate pretty quickly once they start heading north.

To Follow up the Shaking

Enjoy the next few days East Coast!

To be fair, the odds of tropical storm force winds in each of the major East Coast cities appears to be a bit less than it was a few hours ago as the models predict more recurvature out to sea. (I should have posted then!)

But still… DC and Baltimore around 15%… Philly, NYC and Boston all around 20%. That ain’t nothing! Enough to be paying attention to.

(But despite the hype now building on TV, each of those cities still have a less than 5% chance of hurricane force winds… at least for now.)