Sunday, April 27, 2014

Amazing Footage of Rare Off-Season 2013 Tornado in Illinois

The main tornado season in the United States is between April and July.
Of course that doesn't mean that tornadic events outside these dates do not happen.

One particularly late event happened last November.

During the tornado outbreak of November 17th 2013, 8 people lost their lives as a direct result of tornadic activity. The outbreak affected the states of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

In this gripping video, a dad and his daughter are inside their home in Washington, Illinois, as the tornado approaches. The tornado was an EF4 (Enhanced Fujita scale) with winds speeds of 267-332km/h (166-200mph). Fortunately, they were both unharmed, albeit understandably shaken.

A constant question coming from us Europeans when we see footage like this is why do Americans build their houses out of wood? Why not use cement and steel?

I have read in comment sections and forums Americans insisting that no house, whichever way it is built, can withstand an EF5 or even EF4 tornado (winds >267km/h). It would be interesting to see the effect of a strong tornado on a house made with a cement-steel skeleton, foundation and walls. Personal opinion, there might be a lot of damage through weak points, like windows, but the structure itself should remain standing. Of course it might need to be demolished afterwards, but at least the walls could provide some protection against deadly debris (instead of becoming debris themselves). In the end, the true reason why Americans use a lot of wood and other light materials in their homes is because they are cheaper that way, plus the probability of a house being hit by a tornado is actually so small that it doesn't justify adding the extra cost to all houses being built.  

Some before and after images from Washington, Illinois, can be found here (Daily Mail) and here ( Below, you can see the path of the tornado.

It's amazing how houses that were not directly in the path of the tornado (perhaps just 50m away) appear almost undamaged.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

He Doesn't See It! He Doesn't See It!

It can happen to the best.

In 1994 at the Intel Grand Prix in London, chess grandmasters Viswanathan Anand (white, and future World Champion) and Vassily Ivanchuk (black) were playing a game of blitz chess (both starting with only 5 minutes of time), when Ivanchuk, having put Anand in a very difficult position, had the chance for checkmate in one move. But he didn't see it!

Skip to 7:22 for the particularly good part.

The commentary by grandmasters Maurice Ashley and Daniel King adds a lot to the moment.

"And he's running with his king!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dubai (time-lapse)

Not a time-lapse in the strictest sense of the term, but so starts our adventure into 4K.

Make sure your computer and screen can handle it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Movies vs Real Life

Knowledge of French not required.

(but, in case you didn't know, by pressing the "cc" button you can choose subtitles)

It always feels good to post something non-English.

Golden Moustache are a French Comedy Digital Platform.
More at their Youtube channel or site.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Shaun Micallef's Crazy Gravity Antics

Shaun Micallef is an Australian comedian whose signature works are probably these crazy gravity sketches.

They're from the "Micallef Program" which aired on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) from 1998 to 2001.

Also, as a result, 480p quality at best.

Home from Work

The Wine Cellar

But how is it done?

The following videos explain.

Tilted room for the win!

What DJs Really Do These Days...

And for the past one or two decades.

They're not really DJs.
They're PJs (playlist jockeys).

Fortunately, real DJs continue to exist.
DJ Unplugged is up there near the top.

DJ Unplugged. The literal DJ.

DJ Air also deserves a mention.
He's pretty high up there.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Carlton's Dance

Just the Carlton dance from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for today.

Song: "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones

Followed by Carlton's and Will's Apache dance.

Song: "Apache (Jump On It!)" by the Sugar Hill Gang

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Leeroy Jenkins (Alright... Let's Do This!)

This is nearly ten years old, but I came across it again recently and thought I'd post it.
For many (particularly MMPORG players) it is part of internet history.

I'll let Wikipedia explain this better, since I'm not an MMPORG person myself.

"The video... features a group of World of Warcraft players discussing a detailed battle strategy for the next encounter while one of their party members, Leeroy, is away from his computer. Their risky plan is needed specifically to help Leeroy, yet is ruined when Leeroy returns and, ignorant of the strategy, immediately charges headlong into battle shouting his own name in a stylized battle cry. His companions rush to help, but Leeroy's actions ruin the meticulous plan, and all of the group members are killed."

 Here's the original video:

It fascinates me that there is someone on hand who can do a quick number crunch (aka probability of success) for the plan (and calculate it to 32,33%).

The video became a viral hit within the WoW community and beyond, and spawned various parodies and reproductions.

I particularly like the one below, which features former football player (and for more than a decade now actor) Vinnie Jones.

Oh well... at least he had chicken (or he ain't chicken) (both work).

Update! (25/4/14)

Even the US Air Force uses it when a rescue mission is required.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014