2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658

Seeing a complete solar eclipse at the point of greatest totality is a peak experience. Getting there might be a challenge. But it’s worth it. I take you all the way through it in 2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658.

Path To The Eclipse

We start about 40 miles south of Chicago, Illinois. Taking Illinois 1 all the way down to US 45. Then onto the Shawnee National Forest. Our target is a place called Makanda. This is the location for the longest point of totality for the solar eclipse of 2017. This is a town very close to the southern border of the Land Of Lincoln.

Little Town At The Edge Of Illinois

Lots of talk about about Carbondale, Illinois as the point of totality. Truth is, the longest period of totality at a little more than 2 minutes occurs in Makanda, a little town about twenty miles south of Carbondale. During Part 1 of the eclipse podcasts we talked with some locals and spectators. In 2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658 we experience it.

A Peak Experience

With all the media these days it seems like people want to experience everything through media. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to actually go to an event and experience it in person. In 2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658.

Eclipse energy is a real thing

On the trip and at the event we saw people struggling with pre eclipse issues. We were pushing so hard to get everything perfect it made for a very stressful trip. At one point my friend Steve said, “We’re in the path of totality now, so it really doesn’t matter where we see it”. Twenty minutes later we found the perfect spot.

Hope To See Everyone Again

Especially relevant is the real feeling of camaraderie we experienced with all the people in this little town, who came to experience the total eclipse of the sun. I think it’s fair to say we all want to come back in 2024 for the next total solar eclipse. In April of 2024 the path of totality runs through Makanda, again. In 2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658.

Sponsored by Brush Studio in The West End Saint Louis Park Minnesota

2017 Solar Eclipse Point of Totality Part 2-Podcast 658

 

 

 

A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640

A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640 hits home, for me. Glouster Ohio is home to most of my family on my dad’s side. It’s been a long time since I visited. You hear a lot of talk these days about how towns like this are struggling. I’ve seen a lot of towns and cities on America’s back roads. Seems like this is one of the most challenged places I’ve been to.

King Coal

For over a hundred years it’s been all about coal mines in this part of the country. Back in the day, the idea was to get the coal out of the ground. Period. Companies didn’t care about the environment in those days and I would assume they didn’t care too much about their employees. This part of Ohio is the scene of mining disasters and pitched battles when the unions began organizing workers in the early twentieth century. My grandfather told me people carried guns in Glouster like the old west. My dad and uncle confirmed that story. In A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640.

Better Days

The Buckingham Coal Mine still exists a few miles from Glouster. There’s talk about opening a mine closer to town. I imagine there are still miners here. On the other hand, Glouster has been better days. I know there are people in town working to save it. As I walked the streets I wonder why this town decays while other small towns a few miles away seem to thrive. In conclusion, now I understand my Grandfather’s drive to get to a better place.

Sometimes Things Don’t Work Out

One thing you learn from travel is things don’t always work out. Glouster is already on a list of America’s most forlorn places. Especially relevant is the idea that this is the kind of town hit hardest by movement away from coal. Maybe that will change. In A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to the location of a mining disaster as Mill City. It is, in fact, Millfield. A few miles away from Glouster. My apologies.)

Sponsored By Brush Studio.

A Southern Ohio Mining Town Decays-Podcast 640

Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636

Blue skies and sunshine on this Storm Chasing Trip. With no storms, it’s a good time to visit the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center at Norman, Oklahoma. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center is where where all severe weather predictions and updates originate. We’ll go in inside, In Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636.

Storm Chaser Valhalla

Storm Chasers use information that originates at Norman. Why? Doppler Radar was developed here. Scientists in Kansas City spent springs here back in the day, to research storms. There was a naval air station here. So, there was plenty of room to locate a brand new radar system.

NEXRAD

Doppler Radar has been a game changer since its inception in the 1990’s. NEXRAD changed and continues to change how the world learns about severe weather. In Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636.

Secure Facility

The radar control center is in a secure building shared by several government agencies. One of those agencies is the department of defense. Needless to say, I could not get into this facility. Persistence pays off and after a few calls, NOAA Public Affairs Specialist Keli Pirtle invited me to come over to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636.

Weather Geek Out

It’s all about weather geeks. Thanks to Keli Pirtle for inviting me in on short notice and for the history lesson. How did the radar system get built at Norman? Finally, Warning Coordination Meteorologist Patrick Marsh gives us complete rundown of how the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center works. Plus some stories about what it is like in this center when major weather is breaking.

Storm Chasers

The idea behind tax payer funded NEXRAD is data products should be available to everyone, and this is one of the reasons we get radar and other NWS products on our smartphones. However, severe weather can be unpredictable. A town, person or chaser can be right under a tornado and not be able to to see it until it’s too late. While the National Weather Service does not have an official position on Storm Chasing Even the National Weather Service is not immune as you will hear. Be Safe.

Sponsored by Brush Studio in The West End, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota

Storm Chaser Valhalla-National Weather Service Norman-Podcast 636

 

Podcast 545-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-42

Podcast 545-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-42. It’s labor day weekend, and as people head to the lake or to the State Fair, Podcast 545-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-42 is almost an hour of brand new content for the trip, and for your extra long holiday weekend. We start with a review of the week’s political landscape. Despite better national presidential preference numbers for Trump, state by state polls have not tightened appreciably in key electoral vote-rich states. Hillary Clinton continues to pace Barack Obama’s averages from the 2012 presidential election. Of course the state by state averages can change so we’ll revisit this polling at the end of September and again just before the election at the end of October. Meanwhile, neither of the two mainline presidential candidates is talking about permanently reducing the size, scope and power of governments, federal, state or local. In Minneapolis and Saint Paul we have had yet another example of government overreach in the form of an unelected body of Dark Lords known as the Met Council. After the Minnesota House decided not to fund the controversial South West Light Rail Project, which Minneapolis’ richest and most liberal precincts fiercely oppose, the Met Council decided to issue their own bonds to the tune of more than a hundred million dollars, and ask metro counties under its control to issue tens of millions in debt as well, all to end run the legislature and green light the project. Much has been made of the republican’s distaste for the council, but when they had a chance to drive a stake through its heart earlier this year, the legislature rearranged some of the terms of the councilmen and women, and some of the funding. A local mayor found a way to kill the Met Council last summer by empowering local municipalities to say no to them. Yep, local towns and cities – by state law – cannot say no to the Met Council. This law can be changed by the legislature. Why haven’t they done it? This is just one example of government overreach. In this Labor Day weekend’s radio show the dangers and costs of too much and too powerful government; something neither of the mainline candidates and their parties are going to do anything about. One wants to hand out free education and health care, and the other wants to spend billions to build a wall. Both will increase the size, scope, cost and power of the federal and state governments. This is a discussion we aren’t having now because we’re too busy arguing about whether one of the candidates should go to jail and whether the other one is a fascist. Meanwhile the advocacy media just keeps on covering politics like sports, and people keep watching and listening, all the while complaining about it. This podcast closes with something fun, a throw back podcast to the Minnesota State Fair from the early 80’s; an audio montage done then, just for fun. It’s amazing how much the fair and the people have changed. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Hydrus Performance.