Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Random Tech Bits

Maybe it is time to update a post I made a ways back that posed the question: are tornadoes getting bigger? It seems the recent storm in El Reno, Oklahoma, on May 31st, 2013, has broken a record set back in 2004 in Hallam, Nebraska. At one point, the El Reno twister reached 2.6 miles across with winds that hit 295 miles per hour. That easily puts in the EF-5 class, and is the second EF-5 in as many weeks (the other being the Moore storm on May 20th).

The El Reno storm had lots of other unusual characteristics and there is ample video available of it on YouTube right now. Sadly, it also took the lives of several chasers, and threw the Tornado Hunt vehicle a substantial distance (the passengers survived, however, but were injured). After a slow start to the spring storm season, this could end up being be a long summer.

In other news some students at Berkeley have created a 3-D printer/vending machine. Frustrated by limited access to 3-D printing technology, they built their own machine which is accessible to many. This could be one of those game-changing moments in this field.

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