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2012 May 27 — Why Now?
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The ABC reports on the annual Eurovision contest, a talent show for countries. [Consider a talent show put on by the State Department …]

So you know, a Swedish singer named Loreen won with a club/disco song called Euphoria. It is apparently essential that you be made aware that she wasn’t wearing shoes when she performed. [No idea why that’s important, but all the reporting mentions it. She may have taken them off when going through airport security, and never got them back.]

The other big thing was the battle of the grandparents between Russia and the UK. The two groups came in second – the Russian grandmothers, Buranovskiye Babushki, were second from the top, and the UK grandfather, Engelbert Humperdinck, came in second to last.

I have to say that I would never have expected that a group of pensioners from a small village singing a traditional song put to a disco beat would have done well.

Norway came in last, but they probably wore shoes.

They changed the rules this year and added ‘professional judges’ whose votes counted for 50% of the final score. The other 50% was based on phone calls and text messages. After last year, when Azerbaijan won, and won the right to host this year’s contest, there was concern that the government apparently knew how everyone in the country voted, and actually invoked sanctions against people who didn’t vote for the ‘home team’, it was thought there might be a problem with all of the votes coming over the Azeri telecommunications system.

It is safe enough to watch the video at the ABC site, as it is only 60 seconds and features the short takes of the winner and the Russian grannies. If you are a musical masochist, here’s the Official Site which contains videos of all the performances in their entirety.

May 27, 2012   2 Comments

Tropical Storm Beryl – Day 3

Tropical Storm BerylPosition: 30.2N 81.1W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West [270°] near 7 mph [11 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 70 mph [110 kph].
Wind Gusts: 85 mph [135 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 115 miles [185 km].
Minimum central pressure: 993 mb ↑.

Currently about 35 miles [ 60 km] East of Jacksonville, Florida.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast from the Volusia-Brevard County line in Florida northward to Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

Beryl still has its sights set on the Florida coast between Jacksonville and St Augustine late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Beryl has managed to become a tropical storm which will increase rainfall amounts. There is a chance it might become a minimal hurricane prior to landfall. Tropical storm-force winds are already impacting Duval and St Johns counties, Florida.

The Jacksonville radar at 10PM CDT shows the storm’s center just off the coast with the outer bands stretching from Daytona Beach, Florida North to Savannah, Georgia. The outer bands are where most of the tornado activity associated with tropical storms are located.

UPDATE: At 11:10PM CDT [0410 UTC] radar showed that Beryl had come ashore in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

May 27, 2012   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Beryl – Day 3