EF4 and FI9

Blogging has been interrupted of late due to job search and classwork. In contrast, the number of blog post ideas continue to grow …

My daughter came up with the Force of Irony in her stories, as an actual force of nature that causes things to happen. In turn, I came up with the idea that the Force of Irony can be detected by with an Irony Compass equipped with a needle of Absurdium.

The recent spate of stories about severe thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes and flooding have filled newspaper headlines. There are also record numbers of tornadoes this year; over 1500 have been reported in this first half a year, and last year there were only 1093. Meteorologists will be debated causal hypotheses for a while yet (including the inevitable dog-wagging tail of, “record-setting events are caused by keeping records”).

But this particular newsbit caught my eye: over in Manhattan, Kansas, there was a tornado last Wednesday. By various news accounts, it left a swath of destruction a mile long and half a block wide (in the typical Midwestern tornado track from southwest to northeast –– map and pix 1, pix 2). Judging by the damage and meteorological records, it was an EF4 scale twister, which is very heavy, indeed. The best operative adjective is demolished.

Kansas State University took over $20 million in damages to several of their Halls. The uni president, Jon Wefald, stated,

… the university’s insurance policy carries a $5 million deductible, requiring it to pick up one-quarter of the estimated damage. He said the university had recently renegotiated that deductible down to $100,000, but the change would not take effect until July 1.

Ouch! That just hurts. Sadly, compassion fatigue sets in as this sort of news is repeated in a number of cities and states. (Cue reminder to share with your favorite charity.)

But this particular datum ranks a 9 on the Force of Irony scale: the Wind Erosion Laboratory was completely demolished