Weather Wars?!

USA Today reports that

Idaho weatherman [Scott Stevens] says Japan’s Yakuza mafia used a Russian-made electromagnetic generator to cause Hurricane Katrina in a bid to avenge itself for the Hiroshima atom bomb attack — and that this technology will soon be wielded again to hit another U.S. city.

Despite this somewhat, um, unusual belief, Stevens’ station manager claims that “He doesn’t talk about it on his weathercast… He’s very knowledgeable about weather, and he’s very popular.”

Stevens’ website Weather Wars has a lot more about “weather machines” and some other topics that are equally out there…

Google Earth Stuff

GoogleGoogle Earth continues to add new features, and users continue to concoct new, cool hacks and mashups.

In the newest version, a “National Geographic Magazine” layer is included (and turned on by default, I believe) that includes “500 National Geographic Africa Flyover Images,” as well as links to even more web content. The flyovers are extremely high-resolution, and the links to associated content make this addition that much more compelling.

With all of the recent hurricane activity, Google Earth Blog reports on an interesting addition that allows you to superimpose the tracks of all Atlantic hurricanes from 1851 to present. Paul Seabury announced that he is offering links by decade that allow you to view individual tracks of storms by year and name.

Google Earth Blog also reports on another Hurricane Tracker that concentrates on current and recent hurricanes, this time depicting tracks of storms all over the globe with links to satellite photos.

Finally, Google Earth Blog also mentions PlaceOpedia:

A new web site was announced last week which allows people to georeference WikiPedia articles. The Wikipedia is one of the grandest resources of information on the planet, created by the people for the people around the world (it’s available in at least 10 languages). The new web site is called PlaceOpedia. PlaceOpedia uses a slick Google Maps mashup interface to allow you to view “placemarks” of places linked to Wikipedia articles. Anyone can create a link (just like in WikiPedia, anyone can write or edit a story).

There is a lot of cool stuff here.

If you haven’t downloaded Google Earth yet, you really should (it’s free!). Here are some cool places to start with