April 2009

Exercise

When I was young I naturally had plenty of exercise. It helped that my parents didn't bother to drive me most of the time and there were no buses to my junior high or high school, so I did a lot of walking (high school was well over a mile each way). That included walking through the blinding snow-storms we regularly got in Newfoundland. Even in college and grad school I was mostly car-less; I'd get occasional rides from strangers when they saw me walking home with bags of groceries (in the rain I looked particularly pathetic, I guess), but mostly it was walk, walk walk. Or sometimes take a city bus. I'd occasionally take my bike out for long rides in the hills around Ithaca.

Author identity

The main project I'm focused on at work right now relates to uniquely identifying the people who write and referee articles for our journals. Our referee database is pretty good, but even that has a number of duplicate entries, as I've been finding. In one case the name was the same but with last and first name's switched; in another somehow we'd created a record with a slightly modified version of the surname (and a note that the name was wrong). It's a lot trickier than one might at first imagine, but an open public solution for researcher identification could be a big help. There seem to be several projects in the works in that regard:

Middle school band concert

Rather than say much about it, I'll just let you listen. I thought it was pretty good for a 6th grade band - it's a big band too; Elizabeth loves her teacher. If you listen closely, you can here occasional exclamations from her almost-4 year-old little brother, who loves to hear her play the flute.

Why are some people so easily confused?

Apparently this article of mine on the basic physics and mathematics of radiation on a planet relating to the Greenhouse effect, became somewhat the subject of discussion on a German climate science thread. Given the language difference, I didn't quite follow what they were on about, and so asked for a summary in a related discussion. Note that my article has been discussed at length previously and Google shows lots more references around the 'net.

Hot Spot Redux: analysis of tropical tropospheric amplification

It's been over a month since I completed most of the following analysis, which I've been planning to write up more concretely. This post is intended as a summary of the basic questions I've been trying to address, although there are some mathematical issues I've worked out that I won't cover here. First, a few basic facts and some terminology regarding Earth's atmosphere. If you're already familiar with lapse rate discussions you can skip the next few paragraphs.