Ice dam removal made easy, grading the meteorologists, Idiot with a Tripod, Kodachrome's last day, and goodbye, Rosie the Riveter.
1) ICE DAM REMOVAL MADE EASY
We've been told about ice dams so much in the last few weeks that my social networking friends sound panicked. Is it dripping through the living room ceiling? No? You're good. Or are you?
There's a right way to do this and a wrong way. This is the wrong way (mute the music):
The right way? Here's Cathy Wurzer's interview with home repair expert John Trostle.
And here's everything you ever wanted to know about ice dams, from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
Let's be careful out there, 'less we lose our lead in the blizzard war with the East Coast.
On the other hand, this one from Roseville lengthens our lead...
(h/t: Pioneer Press)
Tired of winter already? Maybe you need to look at it from a visitor's perspective.
2) GRADING THE WEATHER
I didn't bring back the Golden Snowball Challenge this year (it graded meteorologists on their snow prediction) because by the end of last season most of the weather people were taking it a bit too seriously. I was ahead of my time, apparently.
I'm alerted to the introduction of "The Minnesota Forecaster" on the Web and Twitter, which is monitoring the predictions, the buildup, and the result, and issuing grades per storm accordingly.
Here's the grading criteria:
Just as weather prognostication is as much art as science, so is the grading system for our fearless local weathermen and weatherwomen. A perfect performance is very hard to achieve. For a snow event, the criteria include : 1) early identification of a potential storm, 2) preliminary assessment of the storm's magnitude, 3) accurate identification of onset, particularly when a rushhour is involved, and 4) accuracy in snow accumulation forecast for the immediate Minneapolis/St. Paul area both in the days leading up to the storm as well as just prior to its onset
So far, I haven't seen a mechanism for a cumulative grade. Perhaps that will come.
(h/t: Vince tuss)
3) IDIOT WITH A TRIPOD
We've already had the "time lapse video" category in this week's News Cut blizzard war between the Midwest and the East Coast, so I'm not really sure where this fits in the ongoing meteorological feud. Roger Ebert says this film about the New York City blizzard is "Oscar worthy," as if we ever had a chance to beat the East Coast in that category.
4) END OF THE LINE FOR KODACHROME
The last machine that can process Kodachrome film shuts down today. It will be sold for scrap. With it, the photographic experts say, will go our ability to capture true colors with our cameras. Photographers have been descending on a small Kansas town to get their last rolls of Kodachrome developed.
"The real difference between Kodachrome and all the other color films is that the dyes that make up the image you see in the film, in Kodachrome, don't get incorporated into the film until it is actually developed," says Grant Steinle, who gets to flip the "off" switch on the machine today.
5) GOODBYE, ROSIE
Is there a more famous icon than this?
Rosie the Riveter represented 18 million women who went to work in factories during World War II. But the woman who inspired the poster wasn't named Rosie. She was named Geraldine Doyle. She died this week.
The Minnesota arts scene produces hundreds of concerts, shows, exhibits and performances every year. What was the local arts highlight of 2010?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: The year in medicine.
Second hour: Lizz Winstead whittles down the best political gaffes and guffaws of 2010 to mock at her annual live show.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Tammy Schultz of the U.S. Marine Corps War College and Georgetown University reviews the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at year's end.
Second hour: Humor in politics. Garrison Keillor's speech at the Kennedy Library in Boston. C-SPAN has the unedited version.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: The annual obituary show.
Second hour: Young people look ahead to 2011.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Walker Art Center finds the lines between art forms are blurring to the point the annual show case of new performance includes a show where there are no performers. MPR's Euan Kerr will tell you about it.
Matt McConville of Minneapolis has a piece of history. Or actually almost 500 pieces that used to be on the BC Place stadium in Vancouver. Tim Nelson will have the story.
We shouldn't be too hard on weather forecasters. Predictions are hard, especially of the future.
But.... if you want to know whether the we are going to get whacked by another shot of cold weather, check out the National Weather Service's page on the Arctic Oscillation (AO) Index.
When this puppy goes negative (like it is now), get ready for a blast of Arctic air.
When you look at the long term trends of AO, it is obvious we are headed back to the pattern we suffered through during in the 1950's.
RE #3: What ever credibility Roger had with me (and it wasn't much to begin with) is now completely lost, if he says Idiot w/a tripod is "Oscar worthy". Even the local videographers for the local news outlets do work that is comparable.
What does the following statement mean? "by the end of last season most of the weather people were taking it a bit too seriously."
Do you mean they were actually trying really hard to accurately predict snowfall amounts rather than hype it up for ratings?
I've missed the Golden Snowball this season. Too bad you're not doing it again.
There was a lot of complaining.