Sites of the Week: May 25, 2013

“Sometimes integrity is the subtlest and most effective strategy of all.”

John Marshall, Supreme Court Chief Justice

Factoid: Extreme weather events now cost the U.S. an average of $80 billion a year—about $400 per U.S. household.

The Washington Post

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between ‘Partly Sunny’ and ‘Partly Cloudy’? Do you really understand what it means when the forecast calls for a 40% or 50% chance of rain?

Partly Cloudy vs. Partly Sunny

There seems to be two competing views on this question.

“Partly sunny means more cloud cover than partly cloudy? Can be confusing to the public…mostly sunny means more sun than partly cloudy does, while partly sunny means more clouds than partly cloudy does. Anyway, from least cloud cover to most, the scale is: sunny, mostly sunny, partly cloudy, partly sunny, mostly cloudy, cloudy. Mostly sunny means more sun than clouds, partly sunny means more clouds than sun, and partly cloudy generally means an equal amount of clouds and sun. ”

“We use partly sunny in the daytime and partly cloudy at night – because you can’t say partly sunny at night.”

Probability of Precipitation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability_of_precipitation

Suppose the forecast were for Maui, HI. One “given” point is your house near the top of Mt. Haleakala, where it rains almost constantly. A forecast of 40% is obviously not accurate for that given point. So assume that Mt. Haleakala is 10% of the area of Maui and that the average chance of rain today there is 80%. And assume that the average chance of rain for the other 90% of the island is 35%. So for the entire island, the average chance of rain is (0.9 × 0.35) + (0.1 × 0.8) = 0.4 = 40%. Clearly, Mt. Haleakala pulls up the average for Maui, and clearly, the smaller the area, the more meaningful and accurate “chance of rain” is.

Terms typically in weather forecasts based on POP:

• 0% – No mention of precipitation
• 10% – No mention of precipitation, or isolated/slight chance
• 20% – Isolated/slight chance
• 30% – (Widely) scattered/chance
• 40% or 50% – Scattered/chance
• 60% or 70% – Numerous/likely
• 80%, 90% or 100% – No additional modifiers (i.e. “showers and thunderstorms”)

Now on to this week’s sites. This week, I’m sending out three ‘Site of the Week’ recommendations.

Farecast
http://www.bing.com/travel/

After reading the factoid regarding the best timeframe to buy an airline ticket, my friend Ralph recommended this site. Farecast.com was the first airfare prediction site predicting whether fares were expected to rise or fall and advising when to buy tickets. Farecast.com was acquired by Microsoft and became part of Bing 4 years ago.

Google Street View Collection
http://maps.google.com/intl/en/help/maps/streetview/gallery/

Everyone is familiar with Google Street View, but were you aware that Google has a gallery of 360-degree street views from around the world. For some reason, this site didn’t come up for me in Internet Explorer 10 but it worked fine in Firefox.

WonderHowTo
http://www.wonderhowto.com/

Are you looking for a job? This site tells you how to hack your resume to fool keyword hunting resume robots. Not looking for a job? Well, do you eat cereal for breakfast? Have you ever wondered how to keep the crumbs out of that last bowl? WonderHowTo was launched in January 2008. Members contribute original DIY articles and videos (currently more than 17,000) which are categorized into 35 categories and over 400 sub-categories.

 

Ernie Orr sez “Check em out!”

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