Archive for August, 2003

A major hurricane

Saturday, August 30th, 2003

At 5:00 PM, Fabian was upgraded to Category 3 — making it the first major hurricane of the season — and it’s rapidly developing the classic look of a monster Cape Verde hurricane.

As long as they stay out to sea — which Fabian seems likely to do — storms like this are really quite beautiful. I look forward to seeing what it looks like in the visible satellite images once the sun rises tomorrow.

I also look forward to seeing the 11:00 PM National Hurricane Center advisory, in about half an hour, to see how much stronger Fabian has become. As of 5:00, its sustained winds were estimated at 115 miles per hour, and they were forecasted to increase to 125 mph within 24 hours.

The NHC predicts Fabian will then stay put at 125 mph for the next several days. That may not reflect any particular meteorological principle, however, but rather a political one: the Hurricane Center is generally very cautious about forecasting major increases in strength by any open-ocean hurricane, especially when they haven’t sent an aircraft out to investigate yet. For whatever reason, they seem to prefer underestimating to overestimating in situations like these.

So, the forecast notwithstanding, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Fabian reaches 140 or more mph before it’s finished. As the last advisory said, “There are no apparent reasons for Fabian not to gain additional strength since the ocean is warm.” In other words, look out.

UPDATE: The 11:00 PM advisory is out, and Fabian has already reached its predicted 24-hour strength of 125 mph. Now the forecast calls for it to reach 140 mph within 24 hours — and then, again, predictably, the forecast calls for the strengthening to stop. Any particular reason? Again, probably not a meteorological one. But anyway, we shall see.

I bet it’s at 140 mph within 12 hours, by 11:00 AM tomorrow.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I should probably place a caviat on my above statement that Fabian “seems likely” to stay out to sea. The official forecast does not go nearly far enough into the future to actually predict whether Fabian will impact the East Coast. I’m just saying it probably will stay out to sea because I personally have observed that storms rarely impact the East Coast when they go as far north of Puerto Rico and the islands as Fabian is forecasted to do. However, every storm is different and, if no major trough of low pressure develops to push Fabian north-northwest and then north and then northeast, it could eventually threaten anywhere from the Carolinas to New England. Bermuda is also potentially in harm’s way. So stay tuned. We’re talking like a week down the road, so there’s plenty of time to watch it.

USC 23, Auburn 0

Saturday, August 30th, 2003

Hurrah! Now that‘s how you start a football season. The defense was fantastic. The new QB, Matt Leinart, was good — maybe not great, certainly not flashy, definitely not Carson Palmer-level, but good. And if the Trojan defense keeps playing like that, he won’t need to be great… if he can just score once or twice a game, we’ll be all set!

I look forward to seeing the Trojans maul some Mormons next week against BYU. :)

UPDATE: Here’s the box score.

Dammit

Saturday, August 30th, 2003

Yankees 8, Red Sox 4, middle of the 8th inning.

UPDATE: Well, that‘s better: the Red Sox came back with two outs in the bottom of the 8th and scored three runs off Jeff Nelson and Mariano Rivera. Now it’s 8-7, and — if the Sox can hold the Yanks scoreless in the top of the 9th — all they need in the bottom of the 9th is one run (or, ideally, two runs) off an already-tired and not-at-all-sharp Rivera. Cross your fingers!

ANOTHER UPDATE: Can Congress please pass a law that makes it illegal for Byung-hun Kim to pitch against the Yankees? He just gave up a two-run home run to Jorge Posada, and now it’s 10-7 Yankees going into the bottom of the 9th. Again: dammit.

FINAL UPDATE: Yankees 10, Red Sox 7, final. Well, hopefully the Sox can win tomorrow — beating Roger Clemens in his last regular-season appearing at Fenway Park is a must — and take the series, 2-1. But a sweep would have been nice. Really nice. Alas…

Now my attention turns to college football. Go Trojans!

Way to go, Huskies!

Saturday, August 30th, 2003

The UConn football team, starting its second year in Division I-A, had its first game at the new, 40,000 seat Rentschler Field in East Hartford this afternoon — and the Huskies beat Indiana, 34-10!

Hurricanes and thunderheads

Saturday, August 30th, 2003

The season’s first honest-to-goodness Cape Verde storm, Hurricane Fabian, has formed in the tropical Atlantic, and has already strengthened to a Category 2 with 100 mile-per-hour winds. The forecast brings it up to at least Category 3 strength within a day or two. Meanwhile, a tropical depression has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and could mean trouble — again — for the Texas coast. Here’s a satellite photo of the scene in the tropics:

In other news, while checking yesterday evening whether it was too cloudy in New York for the South Street Seaport Mars viewing, I came across a really cool visible satellite image showing thunderheads illuminated by the setting sun:

UPDATE: Tropical Depression Eleven was just upgraded to Tropical Storm Grace. Get ready for the “Amazing Grace” headlines.

A big sports day

Saturday, August 30th, 2003

I have big plans for this first day of the holiday weekend. Yup. I plan to sit around the apartment in my underwear watching sports all day. :) (Sorry, was that too much information?)

First, starting right now, we have the Red Sox vs. the Yankees in the second game of their crucial three-game series at Fenway. (The Sox kicked Yankee butt yesterday. Yee-ah!) Then, at 6:00 PM Eastern, it’s time for a nationally televised college football showdown between two teams with national-championship aspirations: #6-ranked Auburn vs. my alma mater, #8-ranked USC.

Later, at 8:10 PM, there’s another big college football game between defending national champion Ohio State (ranked #2) and traditional Pac-10 power Washington (ranked #17), home of my friend and ex-roommate Dave. I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch that one, though… I may be in a car en route to Newington. (My parents are coming down here this evening, giving a pair of friends from France — who are crashing in the apartment for the next two weeks — a ride here from the airport, and then bringing me home for Sunday and Monday.)

Anyway… GO RED SOX! GO TROJANS! And uh, go Huskies. :)

A Picture from my PCS Vision Camera

Friday, August 29th, 2003

Buy one, and maybe Fox will sue you, too!

CNN Breaking News

Friday, August 29th, 2003
— Hospital officials in Iraq say car bomb at mosque in Najaf today killed at least 75 people, including key Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim.
Watch CNN or log on to http://CNN.com (AOL Keyword: CNN) for the latest news.

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CNN Breaking News

Friday, August 29th, 2003
— As many as 100 killed or wounded in bombing outside mosque in Najaf, Iraq, sources tell CNN.
Watch CNN or log on to http://CNN.com (AOL Keyword: CNN) for the latest news.

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Kinda weird

Thursday, August 28th, 2003

Watching the 11:00 news just now, I saw a brief news item about a shooting (non-fatal, I think) at the 67th Street subway station in Queens. I immediately realized I’ve been there several times, because it’s the station near Computer Doctor, the repair shop where I took my laptop earlier this summer.

And then, remembering that I was at Computer Doctor on July 23 — the date of the fatal shooting at City Hall that claimed the life of Councilman James Davis — I realized I actually photo-posted the station entrance on this blog as I reported on the City Hall shooting.

Like I said… kinda weird.

Instant replay? Please?

Thursday, August 28th, 2003

This is a family website, so I’m not going to comment on the hot lesbian action between Madonna and Britney Spears at the MTV Video Music Awards tonight. (To say nothing of the “like a virgin” strip show.)

No, not gonna comment. I’ll just link to it. :)

(I didn’t actually watch the VMAs, by the way. I forgot. Dammit.)

A Picture from my PCS Vision Camera

Thursday, August 28th, 2003

Another beautiful evening in Central Park.

A Picture from my PCS Vision Camera

Thursday, August 28th, 2003

000081316741

COMPUSA is making the best of post-blackout marketing opportunities. :)

CNN Breaking News

Thursday, August 28th, 2003
— Major power outage hits south London, cutting subway service during evening rush hour.
Watch CNN or log on to http://CNN.com (AOL Keyword: CNN) for the latest news.

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Way too much time on their hands

Wednesday, August 27th, 2003

As reported earlier, 5:51 AM EDT this morning was the time of the closest encounter between Earth and Mars. But according to this article, the closest encounter between New York City and Mars was at 1:46 AM Eastern time.

Yup, someone did the math on that. Nope, it wasn’t me. :) (Though I surely would have, if I had the necessary data and expertise. Heh.)