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This is an index of my most recent posts, in chronological order. You can also subscribe to the Blog RSS/XML feed or view the post archives page.

Latest Blog Posts Index:

February 8:
December 2015 - February 2016 storm chase roundup >>

Winter is no "off-season" for storms and severe weather in the Midwest, and this year is no exception. In fact, this winter season I have more convective thunderstorm/severe weather chases logged than I do snow/icy road events.

Read full post >>

December 31:
The St. Louis flood of December 2015: Videos and Pictures >>

Animated GIF showing the progression of the Meramec River's historic flooding of the Highway 141/Interstate 44 interchange in Valley Park on Monday night (28th), Tuesday (29th) and Wednesday (30th):

Read full post >>

November 14:
Appealing to academic consensus in one field, but rejecting it in another? >>

If you're not a climate scientist, how do you know what to believe about climate change? Who do you go to for reliable information - TV reporters? Politicians? Pastors? Philosophers? Theologians? Pundits on CNN or Fox? Biologists? Sociologists? Airline pilots? Cab drivers? Read full post >>

October 28:
Gateway Arch 50th Anniversary Photos: Gold and Fireworks >>

On Wednesday, the Gateway Arch was illuminated gold to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its completion. A fireworks display was held this past Saturday.

Gateway Arch illuminated gold 1

Read full post >>

September 28:
For small creators, "freebooting" relief may only come from a legislative solution >>

Freebooting isn't a new thing. On Youtube, it's been happening since day one. Any popular video (over, say, 500,000 views) will get repeatedly stolen and re-uploaded to pirating channels, and my most popular videos are no exception. Now if I were a mega-corporation like Viacom, NBC or an Epic Rap Battles of History-sized channel, I would be a shoe-in for Youtube's Content ID system. Content ID automatically scans the Youtube system for videos that match the ones I've already uploaded, automatically flagging them and giving the copyright holder a choice on what to do (like remove the video or claim the ad revenue on it).

Read full post >>

September 16:
12 years of icy road crash/spinout footage >>

I recently assembled this 20-minute long compilation of bad weather driving footage (mostly from winter weather) comprising every accident/incident (over 60) I've captured on camera since 2003.

Crash footage

Read full post >>

September 10:
Lightning at New Minden, IL - September 10 >>

A very short chase tonight about 25 miles from home yielded some great lightning with a severe storm moving south from I-70 at Greenville, IL to I-64 at Nashville. There was some decent hail indicated on radar, but since the lightning was so good, I didn't allow the core to overtake me. I got some nice bolts at New Minden along Highway 127, all handheld.

New Minden, IL lightning

Read full post >>

August 23:
The mostly-unacknowledged implications of naturalism and atheism, part 2 >>

I've been studying philosophy, religion and ancient history (as a layman) for the past 9 years, and so far, few topics have been as fascinating and exciting to me as naturalism/determinism and free will. There are many arguments for God's existence that I've found compelling, some more than others - but none have been as profound and wide-reaching as the apparent existence of man's free will. Read full post >>

August 16:
Determinism: naturalism's (atheism's) elephant in the room >>

Ask your average New Atheist whether or not they believe in free will, and you'll almost always hear "yes". Most will affirm the human ability - and right - to freely choose what he or she does in life. This is foundational to concepts like good and evil - that is, there is right thing to do and a wrong thing to do, and we have the ability - and responsibility - to consciously choose one or the other. Name any hot-button issue in the news these days, and the New Atheist will always have an opinion on which side is right, which side people should choose and which the law should enforce. Read full post >>

August 15:
Get ready, St. Louis: the total solar eclipse of 2017 will be huge >>

Two years in advance may seem way too soon to start making plans for anything, but the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the USA may be worthy of an exception. On Monday, August 21, 2017, the eclipse's 100-mile wide path of totality will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina, providing for the first time in a generation, a relatively easy opportunity for the entire population of the continental United States to observe such an event. Read full post >>

August 10:
St. Louis severe storms and lightning - August 9, 2015 >>

Sunday's chase was a long one. I went down to Stanton, MO early to observe a bow echo line of severe thunderstorms crossing I-44, but saw nothing impressive. After that, I jumped back into downtown to shoot lightning with the numerous storms that ended up firing in and around the metro area.

St. Louis lightning - August 9

Read full post >>

August 6:
Sunrise-lit shelf cloud; other storm chasing images from July 26 - August 5 >>

Roundup of storm chasing images and video from July 26 to August 5:

Shelf cloud at Pocahontas, IL

Read full post >>

July 25:
"Question Everything" - OK, America, here goes. >>

"Question Everything" isn't just for skeptics anymore. Here are questions that I pose to our country. Read full post >>

July 22:
Storm chase roundup for July 11-19: An active summer! >>

Another largely frustrating, but at times fun, interval of active severe weather affected the Midwest region in the middle of July. Again, our tornado/severe weather season never ends here, so although this was not unexpected, this July has been one of the most active since I've lived here.

Lightning near Litchfield, IL

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July 9:
Tornadic supercell south of St. Louis - July 8 >>

Our tornado season here never ends, but it's somewhat rare to get a nice warm frontal setup this far south in July. The forecast for this day was pretty clear-cut: be on the storm that went up closest to the surface low along the warm front.

Wall cloud at Fults, IL

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July 6:
Additional images from the June 28 St. Louis tornadic supercell >>

A quality chase day like June 28 always yields additional imagery once I have time to go back trhough everything and examine it closely. In this case, that re-examination revealed that I did capture the St. Peters, MO tornado (albeit a low-contrast view), and several additional stackable/stitchable still image sequences.

St. Louis supercell lightning

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June 29:
Tornadoes at Eolia, Missouri and supercells into St. Louis - June 28 >>

After a rough season, it only takes one day to make the year. Sunday was that 2015-reedeming day for me.

Eolia, MO tornado

Read full post >>

June 27:
Spring 2015 chase season epilogue >>

Well, it's over. I had excellent spring seasons in 2012, 2013 and 2014, so I was due for a down year. Read full post >>

June 26:
Roundup of June 16-25: IL tornado and daily Midwest severe storms >>

Not only have storms been very active in the past week (with near-daily chases), I have had several simultaneous work projects that have occupied the rest of my time when I've been home. The result has been that I've had no time to do a blog post for any of the chase days. So, this will be a big catch-up post with lots of images and links!

Enfield, IL tornado

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June 12:
Uncooperative 2015 storms; dashcam catches; spiders; close tornado GIF >>

You may have noticed the sparsity of blog posts this spring, along with the attendant lack of new images on my social media feeds. This is because despite two high-mileage Plains chase trips, two tornadoes and many Midwest chase miles, I have largely struck out with storms so far this season. Read full post >>

May 21:
Great Plains Trip 2: Nebraska/Oklahoma >>

My second Great Plains trip this season ran from Thursday, May 14 to Sunday the 17th. This expedition was similar to the first in that although I saw a tornado, I missed out on the best event. A big part of this has been due to the great distances in between setups from day to day, requiring very long drives. Not to mention that with these 'outbreaks', there has been ONE storm that produces the show of the day. If you miss that one, you're out of luck. At least I didn't lose a camera on trip #2! All that said, the Friday chase was a lot of fun, and I did capture a couple of gallery-worthy images in addition to seeing a tornado and countless funnels.

Read full post >>

May 12:
Great Plains Trip 1: Texas/Oklahoma/Illinois >>

The first Great Plains chase expedition of the 2015 season is in the books. This trip generally did not go well for me. I left one day too late (missing the big event on the 6th), I lost $1,400 in camera gear and busted on the two biggest tornado days. However, I did come away with one tornado, and all things considered, everything else went smoothly (no other major incidents or complications).

Read full post >>

May 6:
Chase forecast update for May 6; Trip 1 in progress >>

The first Great Plains storm chasing expedition of the 2015 spring season is under way! This system promises several good opportunities for tornadoes as good upper support from a western US trough overspreads instability in the Plains. This system has already brought photogenic tornadoes in Texas and Kansas yesterday and today.

Read full post >>

May 3:
Chase forecast update for May 3 >>

We're now getting into the heart of the spring Great Plains tornado season. While there aren't any big outbreaks indicated on the horizon, I think the conditions will be favorable for a few isolated tornadic supercell events here and there over the Plains. A general western troughing pattern, southwesterly flow aloft and deep moisture should all be in place over the Plains toward the end of the week.

Read full post >>

April 28:
Video evidence refutes claims of Kansas storm chaser problems >>

In the past 5 years or so, there has been a flurry of criticism coming mainly from the Wichita news media (mainly KAKE and the Wichita Eagle), certain Kansas officials and even some storm chasers that allege that storm chaser traffic has reached critical mass and is increasingly causing massive problems for local responders. While rare events can indeed cause real traffic jams (caused in no small part by locals and the police/fire vehicles themselves) - and of course there are some bad apples in the chase community - this issue is being blown massively out of proportion.

Read full post >>

April 22:
Chase forecast update for April 22 >>

Another quick update to post about a possible chase to the Great Plains on Friday the 24th. This setup in eastern Kansas is not a slam dunk by any means, but it's looking to satisfy my criteria for two reasons - one, it's a relatively short drive from St. Louis, and two, there is no apparent simultaneous supercell environment affecting the STL region.

Read full post >>

April 13:
Vehicle hail shields for storm chasing: my build and why I'm adding them >>

After many years of halfway considering the idea, this spring season I will finally be chasing with a set of hail shields on my car.

Vehicle hail shield rig

Read full post >>

April 11:
Missouri/Illinois and St. Louis storm chasing recap: April 2-9 >>

Here's a recap of storm chasing during the active period of severe weather in the St. Louis and surrounding regions during the past 10 days.

Lightning over the Gateway Arch

Read full post >>

March 28:
First chases of the year: Missouri/Illinois, March 24-25 >>

The first thunderstorm chases of the year are in the books! To be specific, one tornado chase (bust) on Tuesday and a lightning outing on Wednesday.

Read full post >>

March 14:
Chase blog kickoff; forecast update for March 14 >>

Here we go! The 2015 spring storm season is arriving soon, so it's time to brush off the forecasting skills and start paying attention to what model forecasts are telling us about potential upcoming chase setups. Read full post >>

March 6:
Annual March 1 post; Stormtrack relaunch; STL winter events >>

It's that time of year again! I'm a little late this time in making my annual meteorological spring blog post, but I've been very busy with many different projects and just haven't had the time to do it earlier. After a particularly brutal winter mainly along and east of the Mississippi River, the light is finally at the end of the tunnel. Read full post >>

February 24:
Three simple questions for the "relaxed copyright" camp >>

I'm waiting for some real answers to these questions from people who either support relaxing copyright laws or oppose laws that help content creators deal with copyright infringment Read full post >>

February 5:
Music from MBN Saturday Night on Moody Broadcasting >>

When Steve Wick was the host of MBN Saturday Night in the late 1990s, the last few minutes of each hourly segment of the show featured some Christian jazz selections. These were mainly instrumental renditions of classic hymns, really creative stuff that I enjoyed. A few years ago, I started searching for these on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play without any luck. Last week, I discovered that Steve Wick maintained a web site, and sent him an email about the end-of-show music. He was gracious enough to respond with a list, which I'm repeating here. Read full post >>

February 4:
"Mr. Twister" following was built with copyright infringement >>

A common illicit practice in social media is to use infringement-based "content aggregation" to build one's initial following, that is, copying wildly popular photos and videos such as breaking news imagery and iconic photographs. Instead of sharing others' images properly (using the 'share' or 'retweet' button), these individuals will simply upload a separate copy of the image or video to their page's account. By doing this, all of the social media benefit of the image - called 'engagement' - goes to the infringer's page, and not the original photographer's. The act is justified in their minds by giving the photographer a "credit line".

Read full post >>

February 3:
Be aware of what ISN'T Christianity >>

I know I'm revisiting this subject matter a little here, but I'm just compelled to write about this again because I keep seeing the issue pop up in our culture. There are a lot of false teachers calling themselves "Christian" today. This shouldn't come as any big surprise, since Jesus Himself warned us that they'd be out there.

Read full post >>

January 17:
Top 10 storm chasing and weather captures in 2014 >>

Everybody does a new year's "top ten list" blog post these days, so here is mine. 2014 was a well-above-average year for me in terms of compelling imagery and video captured.

Read full post >>

January 13:
Stormtrack; 5 years in STL; Texas icy road trip >>

I'm still in the midst of my two-full-time-jobs interval (hence the lack of posts), but have a couple of days off this week to catch up. Among the tasks was to create all of the 2015 folders and scripts on this site in preparation for the upcoming season, and get at least one post on the books for the new year.

Read full post >>

August 27:
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

Read full post >>

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 >>

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