Thursday, May 15, 2008

What's your weather?

It's raining a lot, the wind is blowing really hard, your house is being blown to bits, and a big wave may be heading your way. 

SO, is it a hurricane, a typhoon, or a cyclone?  Am I the only one who has been wondering this?

Assuming I'm not, I'll tell you the answer, which I just found: Depends on your location. Who knew? Here's the deal.

If you're in the North Atlantic Ocean or thereabouts, it's a hurricane. Right. So when I moved to the Boston area in 1985, we all had to stay home from work to watch Hurricane Gloria on t.v. Really, what we watched was news reports of people storming Star Market to buy milk and toilet paper because that's what people always seem to stock up on in such emergencies. Gloria never really made it to Boston, but  it was very exciting taping up all our windows. 

If you're in the Pacific Ocean area, you've got a typhoon. I really was in one of these. On a ship in the ocean on my way to Japan. Just horrible. Our ship tried to dodge it, but it changed course, and we ran directly into it. My roommate celebrated her 21st birthday the night it struck at Monte Carlo night, and the ship being tossed around like a cork and the shots everyone bought her conspired to cause her to barf all over our room. And I mean ALL OVER. I evacuated to another room down the hall. 

If you're in the Indian Ocean area, you've got a cyclone. And if you've deforested all your mangrove swamps to farm fish and shrimp, you've really got a problem. And I'm kind of concerned I've been contributing to this by eating imported frozen shrimp. Seems when we're paying a little, some people are paying a lot.

You can read more about it here.

In the meantime, it doesn't have to be the end of responsible shrimp eating. Freshwater shrimp farming is less environmentally damaging in part because these shrimp are raised in ponds rather than the saline water of mangrove forests. So check your labels or ask at your fish counter.

All right, I'm descending my soap box. Next post will document Sophie's opera rehearsals, where we'll take you backstage at Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall. 


Libby said...

I remember good ol' Gloria. We, of course, got the day off from school and we were *so* excited.

Maria said...

I can't remember Gloria because I was only 10 months old then - according to my mother, it *almost* ruined my christening, but it came the week before (back then, Greeks still danced on tables and broke plates. There are photos and/or video of my christening somewhere).

I have been in a typhoon - though being inland in Kyoto, it was really mild compared to one of the hurricanes I experienced whilst visiting Florida. It was rather ho-hum.

Mrs.Preppy said...

I have wondered the same thing and I am glad I am not the only one doing so!

Monica said...

Never been through any of that, but man I am dyyyyyyyyyying in this heat. Just had to get that out. :)