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Why Naming this Winter Storm Leon is a Great Thing

So the winter storm that has half the South obsessively checking its phones for NWS updates or Weather Underground forecasts has a name. It is called Leon, and it got that name from the Weather Channel, which is now naming winter storms for the exact same reason that agencies name hurricanes: it makes them easier [...]

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British Storm Brings Up History’s First Work of Social Media


The enormous winter storm Xaver currently battering northern Europe, coming only a month after another one, brings to mind another famous storm that hit England late in the fall — the unnamed blow that generated Daniel Defoe’s nonfiction masterpiece The Storm, considered by some the first work of modern journalism. It hit southern England just [...]

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The Earthquake App — circa 1859

Screen shot 2011-08-23 at 11.27.08 PM

Okay, so we all had a swell time: the floor starts jiggling like a jello-mold, and those of us who didn’t run outside ran to Twitter, and it was on. Within seconds we were linking to the USGS site, the sites for the impenetrable Richter Scale and the simple, purely descriptive Modified Mercalli Scale (“III. Vibrations similar [...]

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