This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



April 2024

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.)

Cousin Eugene on Diabetes

My mom forwarded along an article with a number of quotes from my cousin Eugene on the experimental diabetes treatment his company is working on…

San Diego company studies stem cell implant as a Type 1 diabetes treatment
(Amber Dance, LA Times, 2011 May 30)

A pouch full of brand-new cells may one day reduce the need for people with Type 1 diabetes to take daily insulin shots.

ViaCyte Inc. of San Diego has already used its technique to cure diabetes in hundreds of mice, says Eugene Brandon, one of the company’s directors. ViaCyte hopes to begin human trials of its implants, which are made from embryonic stem cells, by 2013, aided by $26 million in grants and loans from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the state’s stem cell funding agency.

The treatment is aimed at people with Type 1 diabetes, who typically fall ill as children or young adults when their bodies attack the insulin-producing beta islet cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes affects between 1 million and 3 million Americans.

ViaCyte’s plan is to slip a an envelope filled with pancreatic cells under the skin. These pancreatic cells would turn into beta islet cells.

“We’re essentially creating a replacement pancreas,” Brandon says.

Well That is That I Guess

Never Mind

Sounds like we just launched missiles into Libya. Guess we are not going to really just provide support and encouragement. We are deeply involved. And Obama is initiating offensive military actions and engaging in acts of war without getting any sort of congressional authorization. Not good.

France Attacks

So, enforcement of the no fly zone in Libya just started… with France taking the lead.

Those of you you listen to the podcast know I (and Ivan) have expressed a huge amount of skepticism on the wisdom of the US getting directly involved militarily. It seemed like folly, adding a third major military commitment, for a cause where while you could certainly make a case that it would be nice to have a regime change in Libya or otherwise constrain the regime, the case that there was a compelling enough direct threat to the US to justify acts of war such as those needed to enforce a no fly zone was very very weak.

However… if Obama has succeeded here in something that George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W Bush all failed in (well, if they even really tried)… namely working toward a UN-supported military action that did NOT have the vast majority of the action done by the US, but rather one where Europe (and perhaps others) take the lead… or maybe even do almost the whole thing by themselves with just symbolic support from the US… well… if that is what happened, then we have a whole new picture here.

It is still really early here. It is not entirely clear exactly what is happening. But it will be interesting to watch. If we do end up having a situation where regional players, who perhaps have more of a direct interest, take the lead and end up doing something successfully, while the US just nods and says “good luck with that”… without somehow getting sucked in deeply and directly… then that is a VERY interesting development. I’ll be especially interested in understanding exactly what the involvement is of the various countries (including the US) in this action.

Time to pay attention closely. I’m sure Ivan and I will be talking about this a bunch in this week’s podcast (which we will record tomorrow) as well.

Interesting times.

Egypt Coverage

This has been a crazy week for me, so I’ve basically been underwater, and not able to keep up with current events they way I usually like to. Really, I’m just starting to pay attention now. Remarkably, it looks like the US cable networks are actually doing some live coverage. But they still suck. Try heading over to the Al Jazeera English Live Stream.

There are of course all sorts of online blog type coverage as well. As usual, one of the best is Andrew Sullivan, who links to all sorts of other relevant sources.

More Dangerous World

The chart above is the number of Current Travel Warnings from the US State Department over the last year. Just noting that the trend is upward. Of course, the trend has generally been upwards since the first time I looked at this back in 2004. Here is a chart showing that whole time period. Prior to 2009 though, I was only adding data very sporadically, for instance adding only 2 data points at all in the 2005-2008 time period. Since April 2009 though, I automated it to add one new data point every day, so the trends are much clearer.

Go Alex! Go Alex!

Boom Boom Bellevue Followup

We went looking around to try to figure out what it was. Most likely
candidate: A couple blocks from our house in the Newport Hills
neighborhood we found a house with the firetruck I saw in front of
it. One of the firemen was talkongvto someone who looked likevtgey
were from the house. There was also a Comcast truck repairing overhead
wires. It was nearly an hour after the booms, so it is possible
therehad been more. So I’m guessing a transformer or something with
the cable as collateral damage. That is just a guess though.