Casaubon's Book

Just a note to let you all know that we’re having weird weather (inch sized hail, temperature shifts of 60 degrees in under an hour, thunderstoms, high winds, hot, freezing.,..) and weird power outages and weird server problems and the formal diagnosis is that the ordinary weirdness that is this blog will continue as soon as my local power company, them that control the weather and ISP providers deem it worthy of their attention.



  1. #1 Jen
    May 10, 2010

    Eek! Isn’t your frost date past? Hope things settle down up there. Down here it’s a cool 60 which is great since in a few weeks it will be 90 again.

  2. #2 Prometheus
    May 10, 2010

    I can’t help with the isp but power outages/brown-outs can be rougher on a lot of appliances and electronics than surges.

    Rather than a generator we have an emergency highly portable power bank that lets us ration and trade out.

    We keep 4 Schumacher PP 2200 units with built-in 400 watt inverters.

    If you shop around you can get them for about 50 bucks each.

    They weigh about 16 lbs charge quickly and are shaped like suitcases. If somebody loses power we run over and drop off four hours of power to keep their freezer or oxygen machine going.

  3. #3 Joseph
    May 10, 2010

    Hate to sound “doomer”, but the whole human-created world seems to be going weird and catastrophically volatile these days.

    I learned today that the decline of the honeybee population has its ownn formal term now, “Colony Collapse Disorder.” Sounds a lot like what is happening to humans on this planet except…we are doing it to ourselves.

  4. #4 Prometheus
    May 10, 2010

    Transformers blew.


    Batteries up.

    Posting off grid.

    Am I Kreskin today or what?

  5. #5 Art
    May 10, 2010

    Not to be too on-point but one of the predictions of global warming is that the engine of weather, which runs off temperature differentials, will be driven to change more rapidly and higher extremes by the added energy.

    We should all expect, plan and build for, an increase in the frequency of rapidly changing and potentially violent weather. Essentially more of everything. Droughts that are drier and last longer. Followed by rains that drop more than usual. Temperatures that swing wildly. And at the boundary of each wave that sweeps in there will be a good chance for intense storms, lightning, high winds, hail, tornadoes.

  6. #6 Robin Datta
    May 11, 2010

    In the 60s through the 80s the Climate Change expected was the next Ice Age, a part of the cyclical recurrence of Ice Ages. Maybe the concept was too simple, but the data was not cooked.

  7. #7 Stephen B.
    May 11, 2010

    Robin, what are you saying?

  8. #8 Ewan R
    May 11, 2010

    I assume Robin’s point is that consumption of raw or undercooked data may cause undesired side effects such as denial of reality.

  9. #9 Sharon Astyk
    May 11, 2010

    And Ewan takes the lead in best comment on the thread ;-).

    Robin, btw, actually, by the 1970s the emerging scientific consensus was that warming was a greater likelihood than another ice age. There was speculation about the possibility of ice ages, but no scientific consensus, and even the famous scientific American article included the all important words “in the absence of human perturbation of the climate.” That is, if we weren’t warming the planet…

    I could also observe that once upon a time the finest scientific minds of their era thought disease was caused by imbalance of humors, but that doesn’t make the germ theory of disease wrong ;-).


  10. #10 Sharon Astyk
    May 11, 2010

    Jen, I suspect you must be from a much warmer place than I am from ;-). Unfortunately, our last frost date is May 22, and we’ve exceeded May 22 twice in the years we’ve lived here – we had frost on June 1 last year and 8 years ago we had six inches of snow on May 23.

    So I guess this isn’t even that weird.


  11. #11 Paul S.
    May 11, 2010

    No hail here in central Massachusetts, and no temperature shifts quite that drastic, but we did get the thunderstorms and wind and some rapid temperature changes. The average last frost here is usually given as being in mid-to-late May. This spring, though, got warm unusually early here, and flowers and shrubs and trees have been blooming and leafing out 1-2 weeks earlier than average, so cold temperatures that are otherwise average are a bit of a shock compared to everything else that’s been happening for the last month and a half.

  12. #12 Jim Thomerson
    May 11, 2010

    One time in Venezuela, I was installing a sequence of programs to fool an Epsom QX-10 into thinking it was a real computer. The power surge protector kept cutting the computer off. I finally got irritated enough to bypass the surge protector and successfully finished what I was doing with the variable trickle of power coming out of the wall.

  13. #13 darwinsdog
    May 11, 2010

    In the 60s through the 80s the Climate Change expected was the next Ice Age…

    Milankovitch published his textbook on orbital forcing in 1930. In the 1950s objections were raised, it’s true, by meteorologists claiming that orbital forcing was insufficient to significantly effect global climate. By the 1960s sea floor sediment cores had pretty much confirmed Milankovitch’s predictions. I call bullshit on your assertion, Robin.

  14. #14 darwinsdog
    May 11, 2010

    ..our last frost date is May 22, and we’ve exceeded May 22 twice in the years we’ve lived here..

    Not sure what you mean by “last frost date,” Sharon. Here our mean last frost date is May 4, but there is no absolute last frost date since it’s possible to experience frost on any day of the year. Mean last frost date means that there’s a .5 probability of it frosting after that date. I did a regression to find out the date on which the probability of experiencing frost was .05 – in other words a risk of frost one year out of twenty, on average – and it worked out to May 12. So I set out my tomatos & chilis on the weekend that comes on or after the 12th of May.

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