Dirt is good for you/Metallica at SXSW?

January 29, 2009

Well, they played in Nashville at the Basement for their fan club, so why shouldn’t Metallica play another small show at Stubbs BBQ during SXSW? Rumor has it they will. I can’t imagine how painfully crowded that place will be. I’ve never been there, but it holds about 1500. So far my plans to go with Seth this year are holding up. We’ll probably never have a chance of getting into the Metallica show though, if it even happens.

The NY Times is reporting that dirt may actually be good for babies and children. I’ve been saying this for a long time now. Obsessive mothers who keep their babies and everything around them spotless and ultra-sanitized are actually making the child’s immune system weaker, and making him/her more prone to allergies. It’s a little hard to swallow the part about worms being healthy, but I totally believe it. As with everything, common sense rules here. If your toddler boy has been playing with dog turds… yes, I’d say wash his hands before he eats! But if he was just making mudpies, who cares? Via kottke.org.

This is scary to think about, but global warming may be irreversible. According to this Universe Today article, scientists have found that while methane, nitrous oxide, and other pollutants may go away in a few decades, the extra CO2 we’ve expelled into the atmosphere may stick around for a thousand years or more. Unfortunately CO2 is the biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect. I think this simply means that we have to find a way to make gigantic CO2 scrubbers that can actually remove some of the CO2 from the atmosphere. They already have them on the space station and space shuttles. I know- the costs of expanding that technology to a scale that would even make a dent in the overall CO2 levels of the atmosphere are probably unimaginable, but I say it’s worth it. The alternative could be mass famine and major world wars. Another possibility it just planting a shit-ton more trees, and greatly decrease logging to the point that we’re generating more forest than we’re destroying. Trees are the cheapest CO2 scrubbers around. Good luck with that idea though….

So for all you snow lovers out there, this coming monday/tuesday might be Nashville’s best chance at getting a significant snowfall. As always, it’s too early to say anything for sure, but the models are showing a low pressure system forming over LA/MS and tracking east-northeastward across GA, and then up the east coast, turning into a nor’easter. At the same time this low forms, an arctic airmass will be sliding southeastward from Canada. If the low tracks just right, strengthens and becomes “cutoff,” and if the arctic air slides down at the exact same time the moisture is being pulled around the northwest sector of the low, we’ll get a pretty significant snowfall. If the low tracks further north, then the warm gulf air will win-out and we’ll have mostly rain, and a little snow at the tail-end of the system, much like what happened yesterday. If the low stays further south, the moisture will stay south along with it, and we won’t get much precip at all. Stay tuned, this will be an interesting one to watch as the models get more accurate. Below is a graphic of the GFS model run showing precipitation, pressure (where the lows and highs are), and 850 Mb level temps. (That means temps at a few thousand feet up.) Temps are shown in Celsius here, and the key is that blue line that says “0,” meaning freezing line.

And now for a time-lapse video of a baby playing with his toys over 4 hours, condensed down to 2 minutes.

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