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Dan's Blog: Storm Chasing, St. Louis Photography, Travels and More

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
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I changed the format of the main blog page in August of 2014. Instead of this page showing the full text of the 5 most recent posts, it is now a summary index of the 5 to 10 most recent ones. This page will also keep the more important/popular recent posts at the top of the page, so newer posts may be listed in subsequent slots. For a traditional chronological list of recent posts, view the Blog RSS/XML feed or the post archives page.

Latest Blog Posts Index:

Fall sunsets in St. Louis; Work intervals II >>

This isn't going to be much more than a filler post to keep some things going here during this very boring (albeit productive) span of web design work I'm neck-deep in. As I've mentioned before, I do mainly freelance web design work as my main 'vehicle' that enables the freedom I have to chase storms.

Read full post >>

How I lost my Affordable Care Act health insurance >>

I lost my government-mandated health insurance policy on September 30 of this year, directly as a result of the actions of both the US government and Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Illinois.

Read full post >>

Rope tornado at New Baden, Illinois - October 13 >>

I observed a brief tornado exactly 1.1 miles from home today in my town of New Baden, Illinois (just east of St. Louis) at approximately 1:35PM CDT today. This was my first October tornado intercept, and my closest one to home yet (it doesn't get much closer than that without a direct hit).

Read full post >>

Probable tornado in Vanceburg, Kentucky - October 7 >>

Contrary to what most people might think, Kentucky is actually not that bad of a storm chasing state. The terrain is not impossible for chasing (albeit is is challenging, but not any more than eastern Oklahoma) and the region receives quite a few decent events each year. Despite that, a no-doubt-about-it, asterisk-free tornado intercept in the Bluegrass State has eluded me so far.

Possible tornado in Vanceburg, Kentucky

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St. Louis metro severe storms - October 1 and 2 >>

Yet another 1,000 mile trip back home to St. Louis (from a medium-term business trip) for a round of fall severe weather. First was lightning over St. Louis on Wednesday night. The last round of significant storms rolled through the metro area around 5PM, with the most impressive gust front shelf cloud I've seen over the city yet.

Severe thunderstorm shelf cloud over St. Louis

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Work intervals >>

The past month has been a whirlwind of work and storm chasing travels, with at least 5,000 miles put on my car since mid-August. Read full post >>

Icy Road Safety update for 2014 >>

Just a quick post to announce that a redesign of the icyroadsafety.com web site is complete. In addition to making the entire site mobile-friendly, all of the main educational sections of the site have been sequenced together in an online course format. Read full post >>

Lightning striking the Gateway Arch twice - August 27, 2014 >>

Lightning struck the Gateway Arch twice on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. The first was a direct cloud-to-ground strike, the second an upward lightning leader in response to another close strike nearby.

Lightning strikes the Gateway Arch

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More late summer storms in the St. Louis metro >>

Tuesday the 9th brought yet another barrage of close lightning over downtown St. Louis, but no strikes to the Arch. Read full post >>

North American Car Crashes (a statement on) >>

There is a group maintaining a presence on the internet called "North American Car Crashes" (NACC) who have been ripping videos from Youtube, assembling compilations of those videos, then re-uploading them to their own channel. Many of my videos were taken and used in the first and second iteration of their Youtube channels. Both channels were terminated after I and at least two other photographers filed copyright claims (via DMCA). Read full post >>

Site updates for August 2014; leaving Facebook for good >>

As of Wednesday, I will be ditching my personal Facebook account permanently (the Storm Highway page will remain and stay updated). If you've been a friend or reader for years, you know I've tried ditching Facebook a couple of times in the past, yet still came back. So what's different about this time, you ask? Read full post >>

Lightning barrage over downtown St. Louis - September 5, 2014 >>

This was a frustrating day when just about everything that could have gone wrong, did. I say 'just about' because it certainly could have been a lot worse, and for that I was thankful! These were the two gallery-worthy captures from the day. Read full post >>

Labor Day supercells in the St. Louis metro - September 1, 2014 >>

Two supercells traversed the St. Louis metro area on Monday night. This first elevated one at Pontoon Beach, IL crossed the northern side of the metro area, producing frequent intense lightning.

Supercell at Pontoon Beach, IL
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Copyright and DMCA Frequently Asked Questions >>

Copyright infringement by those taking my work is a continuous problem that I spend at least one hour per day battling. Sometimes I get the email from incredulous offenders and 'bystanders' asking these questions after getting a DMCA takedown - here are my answers. Read full post >>

Lightning photo fakes: how to spot one >>

I spend time every day searching for new lightning photos and videos posted in various places on the internet. This is mainly to patrol for copyright infringement of my own work, but these searches also will occasionally turn up some interesting new shots I hadn't seen before. I also come across many deceptively fake images, a phenomenon that seems to be increasing among amateur and professional photographers alike. Read full post >>

Sharing on social media versus stealing: how and why it's done >>

Copyright infringement is an insidious problem for content creators today, a subject on which I've blogged about multiple times. It takes at least one hour of my day, every day to search for and deal with infringers. That's time/work I mostly don't get paid for, and a large economic drain on my life in general. Social media is one of the bigger realms for copyright infringement these days - and most don't recognize or understand what is happening. So, this blog post aims to explain it a little better.

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St. Louis metro area storms - Wednesday, August 6 >>

A pair of strong storms developed and moved through the St. Louis area on Wednesday, August 6. Read full post >>

"Into the Storm" movie review >>

I was graciously given an invitation to pre-screen the film "Into the Storm" in St. Louis last week. This is the first storm chasing/tornado-themed Hollywood movie since "Twister" was released in 1996. Even though I'm a storm chaser - and therefore seemingly pre-biased against any Hollywood portrayal of our activity - I'm actually able to suspend my expectations of 100% realism and evaluate the film on its overall entertainment merits. For example, I'm generally a fan of "Twister" despite its sometimes laughable scientific blunders and plot deficiencies. With that in mind, here's my take on "Into the Storm". Read full post >>

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