Monthly Archives: March 2013


In the movie Network, by Sidney Lument, Howard Beale a fired TV news reporter has the opportunity to return to TV and host a show about how everyone feels about the current situation of the United States during the 1970’s.  One the first night of the show, he gives a speech, which in turn causes tons of people around the US to follow his direction and yell “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more”.  So what caused his speech to empower so many to follow him blindly?  It boils down to the main subject and his use of pathos, to relate to the feelings of the majority of Americans during this time period.  He appeals to people’s desperation for answers to the problems of the 1970’s, and these people see Howard as a person who is also suffering from the same issues as the common American.

Finch, Peter, perf. Network. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1976. Film.


¿Dónde está primavera?

The question that has many wondering, Where is Spring?  Unfortunately it is truly no where to be found, since this weekend and next week we will most likely staying in the mid forties to lower fifths.  Though its not the sixty or seventy degrees that we all wish would occur, we will have to live.    There will be a slight trough of lower pressure that will bring warmer temperature a head of some rain on Sunday Night.



Unfortunately it’s not to last however, Sunday night we might see the return of precipitation, in the form of rain both Sunday night and through the beginning of the week, at least it should mainly be rain.  But as we all know, here in State College, you never know what might happen.36426099

2001 a Space Odyssey

The movie we watched this week in COMM 150, was 2001 a Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick.  Of all of the movies we have seen this semester, Space Odyssey was the only one to cause me to leave the State Theater in complete confusion.  Kubrick’s idea’s were very effective in causing his audience to really think about what he felt was the true meaning of the movie, since this was never truly stated.  One quote from the production crew summed this up, “If you understand 2001, then we have failed”.  Of the whole movie, the last scene really leaves the most to be questioned, as to what is the symbolism in which Kubrick is trying to portray?

Controlling the Weather

This week in weather history, marks the one of the first scientific attempts, to control the weather.  During this week in the 1950’s, New York City was continuing to suffer from a severe drought.  Most of the cities water reservoirs had begun to dry up and the use of water was being strictly reserved.  Thats when New York City hired meteorologist Wallace E Howell, who had developed a process of making artificial snow, to come to New York City and make it rain (Fountain).  Wallace used a process that involved using dry ice and iodine, to create nuclei for water droplets to form, he called this process, cloud seeding(Fountain).

According to many, they felt that the process was working, multiple newspapers reported storm clouds, rain, and even a snowstorm in April (Fountain).  At the end of his contract the reservoirs for NYC were back to normal levels.  There is still great doubt, and lack of scientific evidence, wether or not the rain was truly caused by Wallace.  The idea of weather modification still exist today, but with the purpose of trying to stop severe weather, such as dumping liquid nitrogen in the ocean to starve a hurricane of warm water.  I personally feel that we should just let nature run its course.

In Other News

Punxsutawney Phil has been indicted by the county of Butler Ohio on the charge of misleading the nation into believing the spring was coming early.


Fountain, Henry. “Wallace E. Howell, 84, Dies; Famed Rainmaker in Drought.” The New York    Times. The New York Times, 06 July 1999. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. <>.

Wealth Distribution

This week’s parting thoughts in my COMM 150 course was about how we American’s believe the total amount of wealth is distributed in the United States.  To me this video was eye opening, I knew that America had a distribution problem, but I never would have thought it to be this large.  The really reason that this video gets its point across is the fact that it puts visuals to good use.  The graphs and charts he uses clearly convey his message of the true problem America has.  Personally I feel that it is unacceptable for the top one percent of the US to have 40% of our wealth, compared to every one else’s 7%.  In the end this video I feel that this video is very effective towards getting you to think about the problem of wealth here in the United States.

Weather Models

Weather models have been in the news recently, and the US weather model has been under fire for the reasons that it seems as though the European Weather Model is out doing the US model and is predicting the weather more accurately.  There are many reasons behind this, but first  lets cover all of the different models used by meteorologists, since there are so many to choose from.

Many different countries put out dedicated weather models.  The US has then North American Model abbreviated, “NAM”and the Global Forecast System “GFS”.  Canada produces the Canadian Model “CMC”, a Europe as a whole uses the European Model, “Euro”. Finally there are the independent models such as Accuweather’s Galileo.  All very different models that try to convey what their data is saying the weather will be.

So what makes for a good weather model?  In the realm of weather models, it’s all about resolution.  The more location data points the models uses the better the resolution and the clarity of what the model is predicting.  The internal computer system that runs the model is also a large factor.  This is where the US model fails.  For many years the US weather models were left unchanged, while the European Model continued to advance with technology.  This is why the Euro  out performs the NAM.  However the National Weather Service is addressing these issues, and plans on updating the US models in the near future.  So some day the United State might once again be on the top for weather forecasting.

Because We Can

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Bon Jovi concert at the Bryce Jordan Centre, or Bon Jovi Centre as it was called that night.  Bon Jovi played a few singles from his brand new album, “What About Now”.  Of all the songs he sang there was one that really stood out to me, because it really summed up how I felt during the day.  The chorus to “Because We Can” really reflects the attitudes of many Penn State Students on State Patty’s Day.  Many  students were not another wave in the ocean,  we were all rocks.  Instead of going out and drinking all day long, we took a stand and help our community thorough the many service project offered by State Day of Service.  From students picking up trash, to cleaning brush at the arboretum,  the community of State College will always have a someone they can rely on.

Spring Break

This spring break is going to be really neat spring break depending on where you decide to give if you are traveling to a typically spring break vacation locations like the Outer Banks in North Carolina. The Outer Banks next week actually has the potential to see some snow.  Which I find really ironic because many people tend to travel there to get away from the weather around here.  A prime example of this is the fact that my special living option, The Earth and Mineral Science House, will be traveling to the Outer Banks as a house trip.  I on the other hand will not be attending.  So I wish everyone safe travels to where every you many  be going.

In other news. You may or may not have heard, that today is officially the first day of meteorological spring.  So what is the main difference between spring and meteorological spring you may ask? Well as you may know spring is caused by our location in relation to the tilt of the Earth’s axis.  In the meteorological world however, it all has to do with temperatures.  Meteorologists break down every season into three month time intervals, and these time intervals are determined by the mean temp for that time.  So for the next three months we should see gradually increasing average temps, in the end leading to meteorological summer.


Many of the weather models we use on a daily basis are starting to indicate some sort of winter storm that will hit the East Coast in the middle of next week.  Here is a possible snow fall accumulation map, from the State College National Weather Service.