As it’s been a few months now, I guess I should fill in my blog readers (all four of you) of some major news
As it’s been a few months now, I guess I should fill in my blog readers (all four of you) of some major news. In April, following a whirlwind recruitment process, I joined the staff at Meda, the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, in Minneapolis. That meant that I had to relocate from Phoenix, the up-until-now subject of this blog (and the only place I’ve called home) to Minneapolis, in somewhat great haste.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll highlight some of my adventures in my new city, share some observations and photography, and some thoughts as I can about being back in my element – IT within the nonprofit realm.
In this installment of The Friday Five, it’s time to dust off the slides and update A Brief History of Midtown Phoenix
Back in April 2019, I prepared and delivered my lecture, A Brief History of Midtown Phoenix. The lecture spanned the past 1,500 years of midtown Phoenix history and included a survey of Midtown’s buildings. The thesis of that lecture is that the abrupt end of World War II in August 1945 caught Phoenix and Arizona leaders by surprise, thus setting up developers to build a new city that fit what they wanted. That was the North Central Avenue corridor, which is what we now call midtown Phoenix.
In the two years since that lecture’s creation, there have already been a few things that need revising as Midtown’s changed or as recent scholarship has found new details. In that spirit of continuous improvement, and also because it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these, here’s my Friday Five of revisions to A Brief History of Midtown Phoenix.
A quick content warning: One of the items contains news and subject matter that may be distressing to Native Americans. As a courtesy, the content of this point is after the jump.
The 15 January 2022 eruption of the Hunga Tonga volcano had some interesting effects felt thousands of miles away
Early in the morning of 15 January 2022 (Phoenix time), the Hunga Tonga volcano erupted in the south Pacific Ocean. Tsunami warnings were issued for the coasts of the Pacific Ocean. As of the time of this writing (Sunday morning, 16 January 2022), there’s no word yet on damages to nearby Tonga.
Of considerable interest is that the eruption created a giant atmospheric pressure wave that traveled around the world. That pressure anomaly hit the weather station I have perched atop a building in midtown Phoenix, which you can see in the image. I believe the time of the +0.02 inHg anomaly matches up with when other sensors in the area saw that pressure wave.
Want a rolling feed of National Weather Service warnings and watches for an area? Check out the IEMBot Monitor!
As we’re getting some actual weather in the Phoenix metro area this summer, I thought I’d share some of my online weather resources that I use to keep track of weather events.
My favorite site is the IEMBot Monitor. It’s run by the Iowa State University’s Iowa Environmental Mesonet program. But don’t worry: It’s not just for weather for Iowa! On the IEMBot Monitor, you can pick a National Weather Service local office and get a running list of weather watch or warning products issues for that particular area.
If you’re in Phoenix, you’ll want to select “[psrchat] Phoenix” from the Available Rooms picker and you’ll get a running list of the weather products
I should say at this point that this isn’t a substitute for getting severe weather alerts, just another tool to have in your tool belt.
One of the big projects I’ve been working on this year is a wholesale redesign and reconfiguration of my personal website.
One of the big projects I’ve been working on this year is a wholesale redesign and reconfiguration of my personal website. This sketch is just a bit of the many sheets of 13×19 paper and many whiteboard sketches for what this site will become.
Editor’s note: Due to ongoing systems and networking upgrades, the weather dashboard is temporarily offline.
The second COVID-19 vaccine knocked me out for a couple of days, so while I was recuperating from that, I created a Grafana dashboard with data from my weather station. The station is perched atop a building in midtown Phoenix. The dashboard is still quite a work in progress, but I’m pleased thus far with how it’s coming along.
For those who aren’t in the IT world, Grafana is a software platform that creates visual dashboards from various sources, including time series databases (TSDBs). TSDBs work by collating discrete metrics over time, and they’re usually found in the world of information technology. Instead of network I/O or CPU usage, the principle works for weather statistics: At this time, it was this temperature or the wind speed was that.