The science and history of rogue waves, part three

I found another good video on YouTube about rogue waves, and this one actually talks at length about the dangers to offshore platforms and people on shore from rogue waves, using actual recent historical examples.

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April 15th is another eventful date

Well.  April 15th is another day that it seems like so many things happened throughout history.  And for the most part, it seems like it has been a date on which a lot of truly tragic things happened.  Honestly, I can only think of one really cool thing that happened on this date: it was the day that Jackie Robinson first debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.  And as big a fan of baseball as I am, and as happy as I am about how far my favorite sport has come since that time, I can’t help but contrast that event with all the other terrible, tragic things that have happened on this day.

Of course, the most immediate thing for me is that this is the 3rd anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.  Hard to believe it has already been three years.  But I am glad that Boston had really come together and bounced back.

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Some GoT/ASOIAF theories on the other Targaryens

So an obvious question being asked by fans of GoT/ASOIAF is this: since the sigil of the Targaryens is a dragon with three heads, and since Daenarys Targaryen has three dragons, who are those other two heads?  In other words, who will be riding the other two dragons?  She’s the last known Targaryen, after all, especially after the deaths of her brother Viserys and her great, great uncle, Maester Aemon.

Truthfully, most people already have a pretty good idea whose those two people will be.  I feel something like 90 to 95% certain that I know who they are.  So let’s talk about how, at least in terms of the TV show, we will discover that these two individuals are in fact the other two Targaryens.

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Today, April 12, is one of those days when so much happened

Today’s date is a day on which so many things happened, I doubt I can even remember them all.

Of course, it is the day that in 1861 the Civil War started with an artillery bombardment of the Union garrison in Fort Sumter, in the middle of Charleston Harbor.  That’s a gimme for a Civil War historian like me.

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The science and history of rogue waves, part two

While searching for some videos on YouTube that might do a better job of explaining the phenomenon of rogue waves than I can, I actually found some really, really good material.  First, one of my absolute favorite people on the Intertubes, Hank Green, who is also half of the awesome duo that is the vlog brothers.  Here, Hank talks about rogue waves on his SciShow channel.

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The science and history of rogue waves, part one

In what could prove to be a huge step forward in predicting how rogue waves are formed, and thus a tool for saving lives at sea, researchers at MIT have found a way to give 2 to 3 minutes warning of an incoming rogue wave.

I know it probably sounds stupid, but it’s hard for me to explain how excited I am about this research.  So much so that I am tempted to go speak with the researchers sometime (living in Cambridge does have its advantages).  But to understand why I am geeking out about this, it might help for me to go into some detail about what we know about rogue waves, and how they have affected ships at sea, as well as oil rigs, lighthouses, and coastlines.  This is one of those times that my love of history (especially maritime history) and my love of science come together.

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An Open Letter to the Dallas TSA

Today I’m flying back to Boston from Dallas.  As a matter of fact, as I write this I’m on the plane and we’re heading from the gate to the runway.  I was surprised on my way down here how dramatic my process with the TSA wasn’t.  The TSA is pretty much my nightmare of a government agency.

Today, when I went to my screening to leave Dallas, I lived my nightmare.

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