Thundersnow is real. Did you hear it?

Did you hear the thundersnow during the big blizzard? Many people have asked whether or not it is real, and, in fact, yes, it is. It is very rare, but it does happen. This National Geographic Article, “Thundersnow” Facts: Mysterious Storms Explained, provides a quick summary of this phenomena. Here’s a quote:

  • Thundersnow starts out like a summer thunderstorm… The sun heats the ground and pushes masses of warm, moist air upward, creating unstable air columns.As it rises, the moisture condenses to form clouds, which are jostled by internal turbulence.The “tricky part” for making thundersnow, Market said, is creating that atmospheric instability in the wintertime.For thundersnow to occur, the air layer closer to the ground has to be warmer than the layers above, but still cold enough to create snow—a very precise circumstance.

Snowfall? Can We Break the Record?

The meteorologists are predicting that a record snowfall is on the way (see this article if you haven’t heard:Major Winter Storm Heading Towards Chicago). The question is if we actually believe them or not. As we watch the snow fall, I thought it would be cool to know about past record snow falls, so I visited the National Weather Service: History of 10 inch or greater Snow storms in Chicago and came up with these records:

  1. 23.0 inches Jan 26-27, 1967
  2. 21.6 inches Jan 1-3, 1999
  3. 19.2 inches Mar 25-26, 1930
  4. 18.8 inches Jan 13-14, 1979
  5. 16.2 inches Mar 7-8, 1931
  6. 15.0 inches Dec 17-20, 1929
  7. 14.9 inches Jan 30, 1939
  8. 14.9 inches Jan 6-7, 1918
  9. 14.3 inches Mar 25-26, 1970
  10. 14.0 inches Jan 18-20, 1886

Now, get our the rulers and let’s see how the snow falls.

Fighting Police in Egypt

Over the last week protests have escalated in Egypt. News reports tell stories of people demanding regime change with calls for freedom. The government has cut off Internet access to its people and there are reports that satellite phones have been jammed. Here are some sources to help keep you up on what’s happening:

Laws of Illinois Online Resource

The following information was sent to us from the libraries at Western Illinois University:

Through an award from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) , the Western Illinois University Libraries and Illinois State Library have digitized many volumes of the Laws of Illinois; some of the volumes were digitized through Google’s books digitization project and the Hathi Trust Digital Library.Linda Zellmer, Government Publications & Data Services Librarian, Western Illinois University, has put together a web site with links to this set at:

http://www.wiu.edu/library/govpubs/illinois_laws/

While this is not a complete collection, it is hoped that additional volumes will be added to the online collection over time.

This could be a great resources for students studying Illinois history.

Google, Your Search is Their Business

Over the past decade, Google has morphed into THE superpower technology company. It has become ingrained in our lives. From search, to gmail, to youtube, to advertising, to a whole list of other online tools, Google plays a huge part in our lives and economy. That being said, Google knows a whole lot about you. Google has done a few things in recent years to help promote free speech on the Internet. They are not perfect, but they also are not controlling as they might be.

Well, one interesting site that I wanted to send along is a new site: Google’s Government Trends Request. Google has received 3850 request for data from US government agencies. They have had 123 request for the removal of information by these agencies. You can see how other countries of the world compare. I applaud Google for making this information public. This is the sort of open information that our society needs for a health debate about Internet policy.

Video: The Things They Carried

Thirty five years after the conclusion of the Vietnam War, Tim O’Brien’s collection of stories about an American platoon, “The Things They Carried,” is being reissued as it celebrates its own 20th anniversary. Jeffrey Brown talks to the author about the experiences that led him to write the book.

You can find a copy of The Things They Carried in our library: PS3565 .B75 T48 1991

Here is the video of this interview

Looking Back at the Vietnam War with Author, Veteran Tim O’Brien