Over at the work blog, I’ve been having fun with the onset of the North American Monsoon (or lack thereof).
My smartypants idea Tuesday, to crowdsource the problem of predicting the onset of our summer rains, turned out in retrospect to be lousy. I made a spreadsheet and everything. So far just four entires, what the crowdsourcing community would call “a thin market”. But I did find that, while few people wanted to play my silly game, the newspaper’s drought-obsessed readers seem willing to click on anything with the word “monsoon” in the title. Given that a) I’m always obsessing about the monsoon this time of year anyway, and b) there is some sort of corporate monetary incentive for clicks, I’ve instituted a daily monsoon watch feature.
- Sometimes it rains
- But it’s not the monsoon!
- But it might rain in Tucson?
You get the idea. I can keep this up through September. My fascination with the monsoon is indefatigable.
The usage of monsoon is so hyperbolic in the west. I wonder when it came into use? I’ve been hiking a lot in spite of the heat, and I keep looking at water levels in western Colorado, wondering (hyperbolically) when we’ll reach a water tipping point where no one can stay here. If you water your grass in my town, you face a huge water bill, so I see more dead lawns every year. The Colorado River is looking more like a creek. Then I remember that people still live in Death Valley, so I imagine that some of us will stick it out. It will be interesting to see if we have any exciting floods down the creek by my house. During our last summer that was this dry, I ended up with 4 feet of water in my back yard. There’s something to look forward to, in a way.
I’ll be in Tucson next week and will be monitoring in real-time!
Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice Blog is a nice archetype of how to marshal a herd of cats w/a common interest. Lots of data for discussion fodder, multiple ways to vote, etc.
Looks like a lot of work to operate, though.