Thursday, July 27, 2006

Here's a link to my picture from the Wisconsin State Journal. It's a really interesting gallery of pictures from around the city to go along with their article.

Here is a link to a gallery from the Capital Times

Holy Effing Flood

I think the world is ending. War all over the place, super viruses, and now this weather.

Holy shit guys, what a flood.

Sorry, I don't like to swear on my blog, but I can't say it any other way. Chalk it up to my lack of creativity when totally blown away.

I'm not going to post all the pictures here, but I thought I'd share a radar snap-shot of the area a few hours after the worst of the flooding. There were reports of 3 inches of rain falling in 20 minutes. And it just keeps raining, though it's only a drizzle here at this point.

I was stuck at an intersection for over a half hour because in every direction was water so deep that I was afraid my car was going to get stuck. You could see cars driving by on my relatively shallow strip of road with their engines smoking because they had gotten wet. There were a couple of cars with headlights partially underwater. I really shouldn't have left my house, but it flooded so much in the 15-20 minutes I went in my house to get my hedgehogs! I had no idea! The sidewalk had started to flood, but I had no idea it would be that bad! It looks like the worst in the immediate area was on the street I was trying to drive to.

I eventually turned around and drove on E. Gorham around the block to get to my house again, which took more than a half an hour because traffic was literally at a stand-still. By the time I got back, the sidewalk wasn't flooded anymore and I felt safe parking in front of my house.

Since I couldn't go anywhere, I got my camera and video recorder and walked around documenting what was going on. By the time I was out there the water had receded at least two inches, and by the end it was down at least 8. It was down 8 inches, meaning it was far more than 8 inches deep.

See my pictures at Mike's Gallery. You have to click on Kristen's album and then Flood July 27, 2006. The pictures should be up shortly (they take a very long time to load, since they're a higher quality than I normally take).


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Is this love? Or is it indigestion?

I think this would make a good song. I bet someone has already written it. If not maybe I will. I've always meant to write music. I bet I could if I could get used to putting together chords and whatnot. I'd probably write totally cheezy music, but hey, it's music. :)

Ok, packing.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

As a follow up, while I was enjoying the intense storm last night, a tree fell on my car.

More details to follow.

Holy Crap

I'm glad I'm on less knock-me-out medication so I could wake up for this and close my windows! (thought not before my kitchen floor got soaked, again). The lightning is so frequent that you can pretty much see by it. The winds are incredible. They literally remind me of hurricane footage. I look out my window and see all the huge trees on my street and around my house being blown about in a strange dance and think what nasty projectiles they would make.

Enjoy the footage. I'm glad my hedgies didn't get blown away.

~Kristen Z.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I wish I had a magic "reset" button. There are so many problems in the world that would be so easily solved if humanity weren't always stuck in a cycle of resentment, retribution and historic hatred. We could solve problems regarding race relations in the US. We could balance the budget and rid ourselves of the national debt. We could decide for ourselves what gender and individual roles in society and family would be.

The reason I think of this magic button is because of the current crisis in the Middle East. Another crisis. Again. It never changes, and it never gets any closer to being resolved. How can it? The major religions of the world are fighting over the same spots of "holy land." There aren't political-party problems a la US, there are TRIBAL conflicts, dating back thousands of years. I imagine it would be as hard to solve these conflicts as it would have been to stop Rome from being burned.

People from this region of the globe seem to be hard-wired to hate one another, and to have a sense of entitlement to the holy land of his or her ethnic group. As each generation matures, they are taught these same messages of hate and entitlement. While many of our problems in this country are solved by the old generations dying off, that's not the case for those in the Middle East, or at least not to the same extent.

So, what would happen if we had a moon base, or if we colonized Mars, and sent huge segments of the population off the planet. Would they still fight? Would they still hate one another?

Maybe this whole global warming thing isn't so bad. If we wreck our planet, at least humanity could have a fresh start. Maybe.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Drunk Driving and Cell Phones?

So, a new study says that people driving while talking on cell phones drive as poorly as drunk drivers. The study found that chatting drivers, whether on hand-held phones or on hands-free, have slower reaction times and are as inattentive as drunks.

Where do I even begin.

Let's look closely at this study. The study was conducted with 40 participants. I'm no psychologist, but I do know about something called "sample size" and that it's important. If I were a psych major, I'd have to do a study with more than 40 participants for my degree. Heck, even business majors and sociology majors do larger studies. The idea is that you can't get a good idea of trends and patterns if your study is too small. Think about pharmaceutical drug testing. Would you take a drug that did absolutely no harm to 40 people?

There is too much we don't know about these 40 people. Were they all men, or all women? Did they regularly talk on cell phones or was this their first time trying to drive (via simulator - and who knows how good a simulator they used) while chatting? How old were these people? Did they represent different socio-economic or racial groups? How much education had they attained? Did they all have a full night's sleep before the test?

And what about the nature of driving while talking on a phone. Could it possibly be that we are not equally skilled at driving? Could some people be better at talking on the phone and driving than others? Do we get better at it with time? Is it innate or a learned skill?

I don't know the answers to these questions. They are certainly worth asking. I would have hoped these questions would be addressed before the media splashed "Cell Phone Users Worse Than Drunks" all over the headlines.