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Mon Apr 30, 2007

Update to Link Exchange Policy

I have updated our Website Link Exchange Policy in response to a large volume of what I consider to be spam link requests. Most of these requests are from third party link managers. These individuals are in reality contractors running link campaigns in an effort to beef up page rank for clients' websites. Frequently, such requests offer three-way link exchange. While the client website you are requested to link to may be a highly-regarded website with content pertinent to your own, the link you receive in return is typically located in a mass marketing directory containing hundreds or even thousands of links, which may in fact be nothing more than a link farm.

I have made it our official policy that we will not respond to a link exchange request from any third party. Third party link managers have no vested interest nor pride in the websites they represent; they are merely in it for the money. Third party link exchange requests do not represent value, and have proven to be a waste of our time and resources.

If you are interested in making a bona fide link exchange request as a site owner, webmaster or direct employee of the company you represent and possess the authority to implement such an exchange, please read our policy page as well as Advantages of Link Exchange and Link Exchange Etiquette Rules. Sit down and write us an email explaining how you feel your website can benefit our visitors. We pride ourselves in offering value-added content to our visitors and value exchanges which will enhance this ability. We consider link exchange to be a commitment by both parties with attendant responsibilities and benefits. If you represent a quality website with content related to any of our ten themes, we look forward to welcoming you as a Spider Silk Link Exchange Partner.

The Ten Spider Enterprises website is an information metasite encompassing ten broad theme sets. Established in February of 2003, it now comprises 398 pages of manually-edited information and resource links. It is open for all to read.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 30, 07 | 4:00 pm | Profile

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Mon Apr 16, 2007

A Springtime Winter Storm

I am awakened this morning before dawn to the sound of squirrels racing across my roof. Back and forth, back and forth they go. This continues for what seems an interminable amount of time. "What are they doing up there?" I ponder, becoming more agitated by the minute. Finally, as it grows light outside and the racket continues, I vacate my bed and peer out the window. Snow! Wind! I become instantly aware that it is not squirrels on the roof, but what is causing that sound? My next thought is that wind is lifting the shingles, which alarms me a bit but makes little sense, as my roof is relatively new and the wind is not that strong!

Donning my clothes, I venture outside in an attempt to solve the mystery. The wind has momentarily died off a bit. I discover that it is now raining (again). I move away from the house to get a view of the roof. Nothing appears out of the ordinary. As I move back toward the house the wind picks up again. Yeck! I am being bombarded by slushy snowballs!

Hence it becomes immediately apparent as to what that noise is. The wind is blowing water-laden snow off the branches of the trees; it is pummeling my roof like cannon shot. This experience, then, becomes one minor anecdote in what is turning out to be an early Spring storm for the history books. From the Deep South to Eastern Canada, this storm is wreaking havoc along the entire Eastern Seaboard. Here in South Jersey it poured all day yesterday. My driveway is a lake, but mercifully, I have a dry basement. Saturated basements are a minor inconvenience compared to what many residents are experiencing. I turned on the television to see what The Weather Channel is reporting; ironically, it has been knocked off the air in the Philadelphia area by the storm.

Due to the intensity they frequently exhibit, we tend to devote exceptional attention to tropical cyclones such as hurricanes and typhoons. We often forget that extratropical cyclones -- the typical low pressure areas that form in temperate latitudes -- can occasionally develop intensities rivaling those of hurricanes. When such storms do arise, most often during Winter as a result of extreme temperature gradients existing between pole and tropics in that season, they affect a far greater expanse of territory than can any tropical storm with a far greater variety of weather conditions. This storm is no exception; after spawning numerous tornadoes in the Southland, then drenching the entire East Coast with intense rainfall, it has turned into the classic Nor'easter, generating high winds and heavy snowfalls throughout New England.

Here in New Jersey winds are wild and we are swinging back and forth between snow and rain. Looks like a day fit for neither man nor beast. Today's Boston Marathon, which is still scheduled to proceed, should prove to be, shall we say, interesting.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 16, 07 | 7:30 am | Profile

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Sun Apr 15, 2007

A Pessimist's View of the Cycles of Life

OK, this is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it just kinda popped into my head. I call it, "A Pessimist's View of the Cycles of Life."

Infancy:  You are totally dependent upon others and do not understand the concept of problems.
Childhood:  You enjoy life and are without problems.
Youth:  You become aware that others have problems, but they do not affect you.
Adolescence:  You cause problems for others.
Early adulthood:  You cause problems for yourself.
Middle age:  You must deal with your problems and everyone else's problems as well, including those that others have created for you.
Old age:  You must deal with your problems constantly and no longer have time to worry about anyone else's problems.
Extreme old age:  You no longer deal with your problems; you have become someone else's problem.

Well, that's my feeble attempt at humor for the day.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 15, 07 | 10:00 am | Profile

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Fri Apr 13, 2007

A Too Tiny Turtle Tale

I was clearing brush on Tuesday at my home in New Jersey when I stumbled upon a baby box turtle barely an inch long. I was quite surprised, as the day was rather cold (in the 40s, Fahrenheit) and the temperature had been close to or below freezing the night before.

The turtle did not look so good. It was lethargic and barely moved. Its eyes were closed and puffy. None of this was much of a surprise to me, as turtles are reptiles, which are ectotherms, more often referred to as cold-blooded. What concerned me was that it might have been injured as a result of being caught in the open overnight in the sub-freezing temperatures.

I placed the baby box turtle in a sunny spot on some dark soil, hoping that the sun would warm it. When I went out to check on it a while later, it had turned around, but otherwise was not moving. I decided to bring it indoors overnight to avoid another night of freezing temps. I placed it in a small box (A healthy baby turtle would have no trouble climbing out, but this one wasn't going anywhere.) with a shallow lid partially filled with water and some fresh, edible greens from outside. The temperature in the part of the house where I placed the turtle was about 60 degrees. (I keep my house cool and save a bunch on energy bills.) I placed the turtle in the water to hydrate it, being careful to wash my hands thoroughly afterward to avoid salmonella contamination, which is common in turtles. When I checked again, it had moved out of the lid and huddled in a corner. I left it alone after that, and honestly did not expect the poor little creature to last the night.

Surprisingly, when I checked on it the next morning, the baby box turtle was still alive. By the time noon rolled around and the outside air temperature had risen into the mid 50s, the turtle had moved a bit. I took it outside and placed it, on the lid, in a grassy area. Its eyes were now open and clear. When I checked about 15 minutes later it had crawled into the grass. A while later, it had disappeared entirely somewhere within the grass.

I learned a couple of interesting things while researching what might be wrong with this baby box turtle. I discovered that young box turtles do not hibernate, although I still do not understand how they are able to survive freezing temperatures. I also learned that box turtles are very susceptible to Vitamin A deficiency if their diet is not optimal. The baby box turtle I found exhibited the symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency, but upon examining its eyes the following day, I realized that it was not suffering from this malady.

This is the second baby box turtle I have found on my property over the last few years. It is clear that the box turtles here are breeding, which is good to know, since I have yet to see them in recent years anywhere in South Jersey other than on my property. I'm more than pleased to provide them with the protected environment they deserve.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 13, 07 | 8:30 pm | Profile

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Sat Apr 07, 2007

Weird, Wacky Weather, Part II

Location:  Vineland, New Jersey (USA)

See also Weird Wacky Weather (Part I).

Please remind me -- what season is it again? I woke up at about 8:45 this morning. (Yeah, I slept in -- something unusual for me, but I've been tracking tropical cyclones for days, and I was tired.) I didn't have my glasses on yet, but looked out the window anyway, as I often do when I get up. (Hey, I like to know what's going on in my world -- for example, whether the wild turkeys are passing through.) Looking at one of the numerous patches of ivy that dots my landscape, I said to myself, "That looks awfully white. It's just an unusual reflection of light off the leaves." I put my glasses on to check it out and, well, it was white -- covered with snow! The snow is still falling -- a fine, powdery mist. As the temperature is 33° (1° Celcius), it is only sticking on cold surfaces such as the ivy leaves. Of course, I turned on The Weather Channel to find out what's up! Freeze warnings for the South (and for our area tonight) and they're out on the beaches in Seattle, Washington! Looks like North Texas is getting snow, too. Kevin Robinson of The Weather Channel said, "Mother Nature is all backwards." Amen, brother. I hope this doesn't turn out to be another one of those cold Springs (like last year). I just hate that!

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 07, 07 | 9:40 am | Profile

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Wed Apr 04, 2007

Weird, Wacky Weather!

Spring is a time when Mother Nature can't make up her mind as to what season it really is. This morning in Vineland, New Jersey (USA), we had two thunderstorms and heavy downpours on and off throughout the morning. Now, I'm not talking about the occasional roll of thunder. These were good, solid thunderstorms with a fair number of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.

"What's so unusual?" you say. Well, the interesting thing about these thunderstorms was that the outside air temperature was 44 degrees Fahrenheit (about 7 degrees Celsius) during the first storm and 45 degrees during the second. This sort of thunderstorm is not uncommon during the winter months in California following a cold front when a strong cold-core low near the Aleutians funnels maritime air off the Pacific, creating enough instability to even produce pea-sized hail and small tornadoes. In New Jersey during the Spring, cold thunderstorms are quite unusual.

Isn't weather wonderful! (Of course, severe weather is not so wonderful, but the diversity of weather conditions existing on our planet is truly incredible.)

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 04, 07 | 1:30 pm | Profile

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Severe Tropical Storm Kong-rey Winding Down

Typhoon Kong-rey has just been downgraded to Severe Tropical Storm Kong-rey by RSMC Tokyo as it recurves and heads off into the upper latitudes and cooler waters of the Western North Pacific. Kong-rey began its life as a broad area of low pressure on 26 March 2007, but did not officially become a tropical depression until 31 March. During its relatively brief lifespan, this storm managed to achieve Saffir-Simpson Category 2 status at 1200 UTC on 3 April as it moved to the west of the Northern Marianas, with the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimating peak sustained 1-minute wind speed of 90 kt (167 km/hr), gusts to 110 kt (204 km/hr) and central pressure of 954 millibars (mb or hPa) at that time. Typhoon Kong-rey maintained this intensity for six hours, but by midnight UTC on 4 April, sustained 1-minute wind speed had dropped to 75 kt (139 km/hr) as the storm neared the extreme northern end of the Mariana Islands chain.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (RSMC Tokyo) also defined Kong-rey as a typhoon, reaching maximum sustained 10-minute wind speed of 75 kt (139 km/hr) and central pressure of 960 hPa. Typhoon Kong-rey holds the distinction of becoming the first named Northern Hemisphere storm of the 2007 tropical cyclone season, and has thus been designated as Typhoon 01W by the JTWC and as Typhoon 0701 by RSMC Tokyo.

According to the Saipan Tribune, the Marianas received no major damage and there were no casualties, major accidents or significant flooding. Power outages occurred on Saipan, but these were considered by Commonweath Utilities Corporation to be minor and did not affect water treatment or water delivery. Crops received only minor damage, although additional crop damage could result if flooded farms remain in that condition for very long.

For prior information on Kong-rey, see my previous blog posts, 2007 Pacific typhoon season from Wikipedia, and Digital Typhoon: Typhoon 200701 (KONG-RAY) [sic]. Current information on this waning tropical storm and other active tropical systems can be found at our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center. See Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology for a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of educational and everyday resources encompassing the world of weather and how it affects our lives.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 04, 07 | 12:30 pm | Profile

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Tue Apr 03, 2007

Kong-rey Now a "Real" Typhoon

The Japan Meteorological Agency (RSMC Tokyo) elevated Severe Tropical Storm Kong-rey to typhoon status on the afternoon of 3 April 2007 (local time). Although the Joint Typhoon Warning Center had upgraded the storm's designation to Typhoon Kong-rey on 2 April at midnight UTC (10 AM local Guam time), the upgrade was based upon the U.S. standard of maximum sustained 1-minute average wind speed. The international standard, by which RSMC Tokyo determines tropical cyclone strength, is maximum sustained 10-minute average wind speed.

It now appears that the islands within the Marianas chain have emerged largely unscathed from the first typhoon of the 2007 season. At first projected to pass directly between Guam and Saipan, as Tropical Storm Kong-rey slowly intensified, its path shifted slightly to the northwest. As it gained typhoon strength (1-minute average), it slid just north of Saipan and continued on a northwesterly path that took it to the west of the Northern Marianas before recurvature turned it northward. While the majority of the Marianas appear to have been spared, the islands of Farallon de Medinilla, Anatahan and Sarigan, which were pretty much in the direct path of Kong-rey as it slipped by Saipan, most likely suffered both wind and storm surge damage.

Typhoon KONG-REY, West of the Northern Marianas
Typhoon KONG-REY, Infrared Image at 1630 UTC 3 April 2007,
west of the Northern Mariana island chain. Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)


At 1500 UTC on 3 April (1 AM Guam time on 4 April), the JTWC placed the center of Typhoon Kong-rey approximately 170 nautical miles north-northwest of Saipan. At this same time, RSMC Tokyo estimated central pressure for the storm at 960 hPa with maximum sustained 10-minute average wind speed of 75 knots (139 km/hr). At 1200 UTC, the JTWC estimated central pressure at 954 millibars (mb or hPa) with maximum sustained 1-minute average wind speed of 90 knots (167 km/hr) and maximum significant wave height of 28 feet.

Current information on this tropical storm, including recent satellite photo and JTWC ATCF track can be obtained at our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 03, 07 | 1:15 pm | Profile

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Mon Apr 02, 2007

Kong-rey Is Now a Typhoon — Or Is It?

Kong-rey has achieved typhoon status, or it hasn't -- depending upon which agency and which measurement system you follow. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) at 1200 UTC on 2 April 2007 retains severe tropical storm status for Kong-rey, with maximum sustained 10-minute wind speed of 50 knots. According to international convention, a tropical cyclone does not reach typhoon or hurricane strength until it possesses maximum sustained 10-minute wind speed of 64 knots or greater. [Source: Digital Typhoon: Unit of Pressure and Wind] (The United States uses maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed to determine tropical cyclone strength.) As a Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (designated RSMC Tokyo) under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization, or WMO, the JMA must adhere to the international standard for tropical cyclone reporting.

Meanwhile, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center upgraded Kong-rey to minimal typhoon status at 0300 UTC this morning, based upon the midnight UTC fix, with estimated maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed of 65 knots (120 km/hr) and gusts to 80 kt (148 km/hr). The JTWC continues to adjust the track of Typhoon Kong-rey northward. The ATCF Tracks accompanying Warning Numbers 008 and 009, issued at 0900 and 1500 UTC, respectively, show Kong-rey skirting Saipan to the north, then recurving to score an almost direct hit on the smaller islands of the Northern Marianas.

Typhoon KONG-REY, Threatening the Marianas
Typhoon KONG-REY, Infrared Image at 1330 UTC 2 April 2007,
with Saipan under the cloud shield. Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)


At 1200 UTC the Japan Meteorological Agency (RSMC Tokyo) maintained Tropical Storm Kong-rey as a strong tropical storm (STS) with central pressure of 985 hPa and maximum sustained 10-minute wind speed of 50 kt (93 km/hr). The JTWC estimated central pressure of Typhoon Kong-rey at 976 millibars (hPa) and maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed of 65 knots (120 km/hr), which represents no increase over the previous 12 hours. It was moving northwestward at 14 knots. Maximum significant wave height was 24 feet.

Current information on this tropical storm, including recent satellite photo, Guam radar loop and JTWC ATCF track can be obtained at our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center. See Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology for a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of educational and everyday resources encompassing the world of weather and how it affects our lives.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 02, 07 | 11:30 am | Profile

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Sun Apr 01, 2007

Tropical Storm Kong-rey Intensifies & New Typhoon Resources

Tropical Storm Kong-rey has undergone gradual intensification over the past 24 hours as it continues to move toward the Marianas. Since its first warning given for this storm at 1500 UTC on 31 March 2007, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has gradually shifted the projected path for Tropical Storm Kong-rey, which originally took the storm almost directly between Guam and Saipan, to a slightly more northwesterly course that now (as of 2100 UTC on 1 April) moves it almost directly over Saipan.

At 1800 UTC the Japanese Meteorological Agency (RSMC Tokyo) upgraded Tropical Storm Kong-rey to a strong tropical storm (STS). The JTWC expects Kong-rey to achieve minimal typhoon status (based upon maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed) by 0600 UTC on 2 April and to remain a Saffir-Simpson Category 1 storm as it passes over Saipan approximately 18 to 24 hours later.

At 1800 UTC the JTWC indicated that Strong Tropical Storm Kong-rey possessed a central pressure of 980 millibars (hPa) and maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed of 60 knots (111 km/hr). It was moving west-northwestward at nine knots. Maximum significant wave height was 20 feet.

In response to this storm, I have added four new typhoon resources to our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center. These include the Tropical Storm Kong-rey Error Cone and Track plot from the National Weather Service and three new permanent links, Tropical Cyclone Information from the Tiyan, Guam, Forecast Office of the NWS, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam Radar, which includes capability to display a radar loop, and the 2007 Pacific typhoon season from Wikipedia, which is off to an early start. I hope these new typhoon resources will prove both interesting and valuable.

Current information on this tropical storm, including recent satellite photo and JTWC ATCF track can be obtained at our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center. See Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology for a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of educational and everyday resources encompassing the world of weather and how it affects our lives.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 01, 07 | 8:00 pm | Profile

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