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Weather becomes a Moving Phenomenon

Edmund Halley has produced the first weather map. He marks out the trade winds and other weather oddities such as monsoons using lines with arrows to show the direction of the winds. For all intents and purposes, this is the basis for the modern weather map you will see on TV in the modern day. Halley's work will lead to later scientists publishing papers in 1735 and 1740 concerning the reasons why weather occurs at all. Essentially, it is due to the rotation of the Earth, changes in atmospheric pressure and the fact that air acts like a fluid under certain conditions. Now all they need is a computer sufficiently powerful to model it all. Right? [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is the dream of every weather scientist to see a pattern that can be used to predict the weather for years to come. Of course, this ignores the fact that weather, like many natural systems, is chaotic. Small, random fluctuations build up over time so that a butterfly flapping its wings in Japan can cause a hurricane in Florida. This was the point driven home again and again in Michael Crichton's book, Jurassic Park and to a lesser extent in the movie of the same name. Even when you have everything covered... some system will change in a random fashion, and chaos will ensue. That is how on May 27, 1997 I woke up to the weather report for Austin, Texas. Oddly, the weatherman never mentioned the F5 tornado that would soon wipe out the town of Jarrell and collapse the roof of the grocery store that my wife shops at. When I was a child I was told the Earth was heading for a new Ice Age. When I was 30 I was told that the Earth was burning up. Now I am told that the climate just changes! To say that I can KNOW the temperature of the Earth 100 years from now is like saying that I know what my life will be like in 10 years, 25 years, or 50 years from now. I can make some intelligent guesses, but that is all they will be... guesses. The weather, like life, is somewhat random. [6] [7] [8] [9]

A New Union: The Dominion of New England *

King James the 2nd has jiggled the charters to join the various colonies into a single federation, the Dominion of New England. The region covers what is modern day New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, but this will not be a happy marriage between the colonies. There is a reason why they were separate before. Separate governing entities allowed for unhappy colonists to find something different. Now the colonies are supposed to be governed more efficiently from a central location, and in closer compliance with British law, but representatives from the various colonies are not being paid for their travel expenses to join in the central government. Sir Edmund Andros, the Dominion governor, sets up his offices in Boston, so the only representatives to show up are the ones living near by... primarily from Massachusetts. The Dominion will last as long as King James... and that is... not for long. [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
A Dominion is a region nominally under the rule of a distant monarch but allowed to govern themselves. Canada was a Dominion under the English Crown until 1931. Today the Queen of England is the Canadian sovereign but her role in Canadian governance is limited. Don't ask about Quebec. They were formerly a French colony and have not been comfortable with British rule. Some engaged in open rebellion in the 1990s. Christopher Hitchens was the author of a biography of Thomas Jefferson. In an interview he was asked what Jefferson might criticize if he were alive today. Hitchens replied that Jefferson would be very disappointed that the United States hadn't had the manhood to conquer Canada yet. [12] [13]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1686, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 314-315. “Halley draws first meteorological map” 
  2. Meteorology - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 2 December 2015. “In 1686, Edmund Halley presented a systematic study of the trade winds and monsoons and identified solar heating as the cause of atmospheric motions.”
  3. Nowlan, Robert. Edmond Halley (PDF). “Among his many other scientific accomplishments, Halley published the first meteorological chart of the winds on the Earth's surface in 1686, thus founding the field of scientific geophysics.”
  4. Deacon, M. B. (August 1986). "THE CONTRIBUTION OF EDMOND HALLEY TO METEOROLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY". Weather 41 (8): 246–250. 
  5. Burstyn, Harold L. (Summer 1966). "Early Explanations of the Role of the Earth's Rotation in the Circulation of the Atmosphere and the Ocean". Isis (University of Chicago Press on behalf of History of Science Society) 57 (2): 167-187. http://www.jstor.org/stable/227957. Retrieved December 3, 2015. "The concept of atmospheric pressure formed an integral part of the new science of motion. Once it was developed, all other characteristics of the atmosphere could be put aside, and there resulted a qualitative theory on which dynamic meteorology and physical oceanography could be built. The outcome of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century grapplings with the phenomena of winds and currents revealed by the discoveries was embodied in the papers of George Hadley in 1735 and Colin Maclaurin in 1740. In these papers there appears for the first time the notion of the deflecting effect of the earth's rotation on winds and currents, the basis for scientific understanding of the motions in the earth's fluid envelope.". 
  6. 1997 Central Texas tornado outbreak - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 December 2015. “The 1997 Central Texas tornado outbreak was an unusual tornado outbreak in Central Texas which occurred on May 27, 1997. The F5 tornado that struck the town of Jarrell, Texas killed 27 people out of 1319 residents.”
  7. Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. Penguin. ISBN 0140092501. 
  8. Michael Crichton. Jurassic Park. Knopf. ISBN 0394588169. 
  9. Jurassic Park (1993). IMDb (1993). Retrieved on 3 December 2015. “During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.”
  10. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 314-315. “Federation of New England formed by James II in order to remodel Brit. colonies in N. America” 
  11. Edmund Andros: Governor of New York - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 December 2015. “After his father died in 1674, Andros was named to succeed as bailiff of Guernsey.[11] He was also appointed by the Duke of York to be the first proprietary governor of the Province of New York. The province's territory included the former territories of New Netherland, ceded to England by the Treaty of Westminster, including all of present-day New Jersey, the Dutch holdings on the Hudson River from New Amsterdam (renamed New York City) to Albany, as well as Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.”
  12. Dominion - definition of dominion (2015). Retrieved on 3 December 2015. “A self-governing nation under the nominal rule of the British monarch.”
  13. Alex Shrugged notes: The remark from Christopher Hitchens is a rendition from my own memory after watching an interview of him regarding his new book. If I remembered it wrong, then I am wrong, but the remark caught my attention.

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