WBEZ | atmosphere http://www.wbez.org/tags/atmosphere Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Spin up the clouds: Sky spirals, explained http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-20/spin-clouds-sky-spirals-explained-92323 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-22/heard-island-skies_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Heard Island is a very remote place. About two-thirds of the way between Madagascar and Antarctica, <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Heard+Island,+Heard+Island+and+McDonald+Islands&amp;hl=en&amp;ll=-53.585984,72.949219&amp;spn=4.364207,11.271973&amp;sll=-53.330873,75.223389&amp;sspn=4.107866,7.086182&amp;vpsrc=6&amp;t=h&amp;z=7">deep in the Indian Ocean</a>, the ice-covered island boasts a population of zero and a <a href="http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=37488">9,006-foot volcanic peak</a>. And on a cloudy day, if we zoom out — way out, as only NASA can do — we see that the lonely island can make its mark in the skies.</p><p>This photo, added to <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/6163474157/" target="_blank">NASA's Flickr feed</a> on Monday, shows how wind blowing across Heard Island hits the mountain and leaves vortices in its wake. The swirls of air form just as spinning eddies do in a river. The clouds take the same shape as the spinning air, drawing neat, white spirals.</p><p><em><strong>Update:</strong></em> A couple of sharp commenters pointed out that this phenomenon is called a "von Karman vortex street," and it's a well-studied concept in the field of fluid dynamics. (<a href="http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/oceancolor/additional/science-focus/ocean-color/vonKarman_vortices.shtml">NASA has a more technical explanation of why it happens here.</a>) Below, we've added a few more examples from the NASA archives.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-20/spin-clouds-sky-spirals-explained-92323 Lollapalooza, Grant Park, day two August 6, 2011 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-08-07/lollapalooza-grant-park-day-two-august-6-2011-90224 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-07/Eminem.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-07/Eminem.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" title="Eminem (WBEZ/Aaron Pylinski)"></p><p>It was a much muddier scene at Lollapalooza 2011’s second day in Grant Park. It felt more crowded, with some serious audience bottlenecks on the South side of Grant Park during the latter half of the day. Joined once again by <em>Sound Opinions</em> production assistant Annie Minoff and photographer/writer Aaron Pylinski, we navigated the puddles and tackled day two.</p><p>2:01 p.m. Chico Trujillo’s Latin rhythms were a festive way to wander into day two at Lollapalooza, with some hip-swaying Cumbia music. Come 2:20 p.m. Friendly Fires’ singer Ed McFarlane furthered the fiesta vibe, sporting a Hawaiian shirt. The English lads teased us with “Jump in the Pool,” a rhythmic, cowbell-tipped song that sounded refreshing, and also what we all wished we could do in the growing humidity.</p><p>2:30 p.m. Maps and Atlases played to an enthusiastic hometown crowd across the street from alma mater Columbia College (“I saw you five years ago!” somebody yells). Yeah, they went to art school, but I’m not convinced this band deserves the dubious “math rock” label. This stuff’s way too danceable. <em>– AM</em></p><p>2:33 p.m. At the first of two appearances (the second was onstage with Eminem during “I Need a Doctor”), Skylar Grey’s set was pretty packed for a relatively new artist. Of course, having written Em and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie,” which earned her two Grammy noms as well as songs for Lupe Fiasco and Rihanna, among others, certainly helped the draw. The dark “Beautiful Nightmare” with its military rhythms suggested she has an affinity for the gothier side, despite some of her less-intriguing poppier songs.</p><p>3:15 p.m. Atlanta’s Black Lips played against a deceptively innocent banner of spray painted flowers. But no one who’d read about the band’s much-publicized stage antics was fooled. Not to be outdone by Le Butcherettes’ drummer yesterday, Joe Bradley projectile vomits halfway through the band’s second blues-rock number. The two halves of a smashed guitar are hurled into the audience. Ian Saint Pé and Cole Alexander make out. <em>-AM</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-07/MeyerHawthorne.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 507px;" title="Mayer Hawthorne (WBEZ/Aaron Pylinski)"></p><p>3:35 p.m. No puking at Mayor Hawthorne, but there were a couple cover songs, including Snoop Dogg and Pharrell William’s “Beautiful” and Hall &amp; Oates’ “You Make My Dreams” blended into his own “Dreams.” In fact, even his own soulful, Motown-tinged tunes sounded like covers, albeit solid, technically-proficient ones, but they could use a new take on the style.&nbsp;</p><p>4:35 p.m. Toronto’s Death From Above 1979 played ear-pounding synths and drums to an ever-widening mosh pit. Drummer and vocalist Sebastien Grainger jumped off the stage to jam with the band’s ASL interpreter: “You looked so lonely over there. I wanted to hang with you.”<em>-AM</em></p><p>5:01 p.m. Though they may have been the legacy act for this year’s Lolla bill, Big Audio Dynamite’s funk, dance-punked, sample-laden stew sounded far from dated. Here’s to “The Bottom Line,” “Rush” and “C’mon Every Beatbox” forever remaining dance club staples, and Mick Jones keeping his political dedications.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-07/stump_resized.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px;" title="Patrick Stump (WBEZ/Annie Minoff)"></p><p>5:10 p.m. North Suburbs native Patrick Stump appeared before Lolla crowds in a white suit with impressive shoulder pads – just one of many visual cues that this was not going to be another Fall Out Boy gig. Stump was playing material from his R&amp;B-inflected pop record, <em>Soul Punk</em>. The genre-bending left at least one fan confused: “So, is this supposed to be R&amp;B or like a punk boy band or what?”<em>–AM</em></p><p>5:45 p.m. Deftones frontman Chino Moreno is a master of dynamics. One moment his voice was a haunting whisper - then he’s screaming into the mic. Frank Delgado’s atmospheric keyboards hold it all together.<em>–AM</em></p><p>5:56 p.m. Local Natives harmonies + Graham Elliott lobster corndog + Gage/Henri’s shrimp sandwich = Sheer. Bliss.</p><p>6:36 p.m. In 2006 Cee-Lo and Gnarls Barkley wore tennis outfits. In 2008 they looked preppy-clean. In 2011 Cee-Lo and his female backing band looked like something of the future, if it were dipped in a little S&amp;M (the ladies were scantily clad) and guys all wore black shoulder pads adorned with chains and gigantic spikes. While the future was the look, the sounds looked back, from a Violent Femmes’ “Gone Daddy Gone” cover, to turntable spins spanning Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, and Depeche Mode. But his freaky take on Billy Idol’s “Flesh for Fantasy” (“This song turns me on,” he said) indicated he’s better off sticking with the stuff he does best, call me "Crazy."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-07/LykkeLi.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 408px;" title="Lykke Li (WBEZ/Aaron Pylinski)"></p><p>7:16 p.m. Sweden’s Lykke Li purveyed her songs of crushing out, heartbreak, and lust to a dance-crazy crowd, but most of her ballads, such as “I Know Places,” fair better in an intimate setting.&nbsp; Still, she and her band added more fire to songs like “I’m Good, I’m Gone” and “Dance Dance Dance,” which both featured extended outros. Her material may not all translate as well in the festival setting yet, but it came close.</p><p>7:30 p.m. Atmosphere MC Slug (Sean Daley) has ideas about audience orchestration. He instructs us to wave our arms, clap our hands and pump our fists. “I want to see some asses wiggling!” he yelled. Raps like “Sunshine,” about riding your bike on a sunny day, will prove an interesting counterpoint to the Eminem show set to unfold across the field<em>–AM</em></p><p>8:19 p.m. MC Slug’s got the crowd pumped during the revved-up stage-wide sing-along “Trying to Find a Balance” to the point that at 8:27 the crowd was chanting “One more song” to no avail.</p><p>8:30 p.m. No fireworks or Coldplay-style laser display for Louisville’s My Morning Jacket. The band kept it simple, eschewing their more experimental material for arena-ready roots rock. Discrete songs give way to long jams as Jim James and Carl Broemel play dueling guitars. “I’m Amazed” lends the set a country flavor.<em>-AM</em></p><p>8:30 p.m. The bar was set low for me before Eminem’s performance, given several respected, musically-inclined friends told me he was terrible live. Perhaps having such low expectations contributed to the fact that I was pleasantly surprised, or perhaps they all caught him while he was still strung out. Regardless, as a Detroit-area native, I was excited to see him for the first time. It wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t disappointed. A parade of guests joined Eminem throughout his set, among them Royce Da 5’9”, Bruno Mars and Skylar Grey. He joked about relapsing, swigging from a bottle of clear liquid – and while there were some vocal issues where they needed more volume, such as during “Stan,” where the vocal tracks were less evident – he remained sober and on point. He performed recent hits, including “Love The Way You Lie” and “Not Afraid,” but it was his early material (“The Way I Am,” “Kill You” and medleys of “My Name Is,” “The Real Slim Shady” and “Without Me”) that made a case for the greatest rapper alive title he’s elicited from some listeners.</p></p> Sun, 07 Aug 2011 07:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-08-07/lollapalooza-grant-park-day-two-august-6-2011-90224 Climate change: Public skeptical, scientists sure http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-20/climate-change-public-skeptical-scientists-sure-88101 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-21/Global Warming_Flickr_Andrea Delia Adriano.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The American public is <a href="http://people-press.org/2011/05/04/section-8-domestic-issues-and-social-policy/" target="_blank">less likely to believe in global warming than it was just five years ago</a>. Yet, paradoxically, scientists are more confident than ever that climate change is real and caused largely by human activities.</p><p>Something a bit strange is happening with public opinion and climate change.</p><p>Anthony Leiserowitz, who directs the Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication, delved into this in <a href="http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/ClimateBeliefsMay2011.pdf" target="_blank">a recent poll</a>. He not only asked citizens what they thought of climate change, he also asked them to estimate how climate scientists feel about global warming.</p><p>"Only 13 percent of Americans got the correct answer, which is that in fact about 97 percent of American scientists say that climate change is happening, and about a third of Americans just simply say they don't know," he said.</p><p>Most Americans are unaware that the National Academy of Sciences, known for its cautious and even-handed reviews of the state of science, is firmly on board with climate change. It has been for years.</p><p>Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy, paraphrased its most recent report on the subject.</p><p>"The consensus statement is that climate changes are being observed, are certainly real, they seem to be increasing, and that humans are mostly likely the cause of all or most of these changes," he said.</p><p>That's not just the view of the U.S. National Academies. There's also a consensus statement from the presidents of science academies from around the world, including the academies of China, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Russia, France, Brazil, the list goes on.</p><p>Cicerone also points to strong statements about climate change from the leading professional organizations in the United States, including from the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society and others.</p><p>Of course, it's still possible to find a few scientists who reject the consensus. Cicerone says it is appealing to think they are right when they say there's no need to worry about complicated cap-and-trade policies or otherwise fuss about climate change.</p><p>"I think rooting for the underdog, the David against the Goliath, is something that we all do — I think it's particularly American, although it happens everywhere," he said. "And in fact, this is the way scientists work.</p><p>"Scientists don't gain respect, and attention, and fame, if you will, by going along with the mainstream, and I don't know of many scientists who try to go along with the mainstream — they're trying to go the opposite direction."</p><p>Though a few are still finding reasons for doubt, Cicerone says he and most of his colleagues find the science of climate change is stronger the harder they look. So does this public disbelief mean that Americans are becoming more anti-science?</p><p>Leiserowitz of Yale University says that's not what his polls show.</p><p>"Most Americans have overwhelming trust in the science and trust in scientists," he said.</p><p>But the public is largely unaware of the consensus because that's not what they're hearing on cable TV or reading in blogs.</p><p>"They mostly get exposed to a much more conflicted view, and that's of course not by accident," he said.</p><p>Leiserowitz is now starting to ask how public opinion changes when people actually know that the National Academy of Sciences and other groups consider climate change to be a big concern.</p><p>"So far the evidence shows that the more people understand that there is this consensus, the more they tend to believe that climate change is happening, the more they understand that humans are a major contributor, and the more worried they are about it," Leiserowitz said.</p><p>He says if you drill down a bit, the American public actually is not split when you ask them if they'd like to see a gradual transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.</p><p>"We find overwhelming bipartisan agreement about that," he said.</p><p>As it happens, that transition is a step toward slowing the pace of global climate change. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. <img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1308641827?&gn=Climate+Change%3A+Public+Skeptical%2C+Scientists+Sure&ev=event2&ch=1025&h1=Environment,Science,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=137309964&c7=1025&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1025&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110621&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=3&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 23:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-20/climate-change-public-skeptical-scientists-sure-88101