Learn How You Can Ice Skate In Railroad Park In Brrrmingham


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In Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, if you enjoy the cold and Winter season, like I do, you can lace up some skates and enjoy the downtown high-rise buildings on an ice skating rink!  That’s right, an ice skating rink!  Birmingham has turned into Brrrmingham!

Open through January 16th, the 50′ x 70′ outdoor rink is located on Railroad Park’s 17th Street Plaza for all to enjoy. The rink is open seven days a week, including Christmas and New Years. The Boxcar is fully stocked with hot chocolate and other cold weather fare. Railroad Park is also hosting birthday parties, holiday parties, and corporate gatherings at the rink.

The park will also host different theme nights open to the public, including “Tacky Sweater Night,” “UAB Blazer Night,” “Neon Night,” etc.  Tickets are $10 per person for a 2 hour session on the rink including the skate rental!  Two hour sessions begin at 11 am on weekdays and 10 am on Friday and Saturday.

Here is a short video and pictures I took at the rink.  No, I don’t know how to skate and will not risk falling over multiple times!  Learn more at: http://railroadpark.org/iceskating.php

Ice skating at Railroad Park, it's Brrrrmingham tonight!

A post shared by Nathan Young (Geek Alabama) (@nvyoung44) on

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Why It Is Time For The National Weather Service To Name Winter Storms


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For a few years now, The Weather Channel has been naming Winter storms.  They began the practice because of social media, and it would have been easier to share information about the storms online.  Now, TWC started to do this, but the National Weather Service, who are the ones who issues the watches and warnings reported on The Weather Channel, did not pick up on this idea.  Now, other countries are about to start naming Winter storms.  Beginning this Fall, the United Kingdom’s Met Office and the Irish Meteorological Service will begin to name Winter storms.  The reason, they believe naming significant storms will increase public awareness of severe weather and thus improve appropriate responses to warnings.

And they have a point!  These days, there is an explosive growth in the web, apps, and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.  And on social media, everyone uses hashtags.  It is a lot easier to use a name of a Winter storm with a hashtag than to just say there is major snowfall in a town.  Germany and the Netherlands also names Winter storms, and the United States should do the same thing!  At first, I thought naming Winter storms was a stupid idea.  I mean, naming a storm that only leaves a little snow or ice behind is no big deal.  Now, naming a hurricane that leaves massive damage was another thing.  And storms like that needs a name!  TWC saw the value of naming Winter storms, because they saw how important social media is in communicating emergency information.  At first I thought it was a marketing ploy, but now I see this as lifesaving information.

By naming Winter storms, people can look on social media, and search via the name hashtag, and see if their school is closed, or report a power outage, or see traffic conditions, or see if a business is open, or see important information from the town they live in.  These days, every major town has a presence on Facebook and Twitter. You need to see and might have to share real time information that could prove to be a lifesaving thing!  The National Weather Service needs to recognize the importance of serving people in the way they find easiest to consume information.  And these days, it’s social media and hashtags.  Everyone uses hashtags to send important information, or to share an important photo on Instagram, or share an important video on YouTube.  See the importance of social media and hashtags?

If a hurricane threatens the United States, The Weather Channel, and every news outlet will use the hashtag of the storm name on their graphics and on their social media.  Heck, some National Weather Service offices will also use the hashtags on their social media accounts.  They need to be doing the same thing for Winter storms.  Social media will never go away, and people needs to find the important information in the quickest way possible, which involves hashtags, and using the Winter storm name as the hashtag.  It’s time for the National Weather Service to adopt the naming of Winter storms.  If they don’t like the names The Weather Channel comes up with, create your own list, and TWC will follow it!  Winter storms can create major havoc especially in major urban centers, and the people deserves to know if they need to stay home, so they are not stuck somewhere.  Get with it NWS!

Good News Fridays: View My Let It Rain Frozen Parody Video


Geek Alabama Good News Fridays

Man what a week!  No snow in Anniston, then Leonard Nimoy passing away, then government officials in Alabama being corrupt, it’s been a very tough week!  So last night, to combat getting shafted in Anniston by getting no snow, I recorded my very own Frozen parody!  The song is called “Let It Rain” and it features me talking about not getting any snow, and me wanting to take revenge on Mother Nature.  Yep, if you need a laugh this Friday, watch this below!

Extreme Cold Weather Tips To Survive The Alabama Arctic Blast


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No weatherman has to tell you that it will be cold in Alabama for the next few days.  Temps will struggle to get above freezing for the rest of the week.  And when you add in the cold wind, wind chills will be below zero!  So, this is weather you do not want to fool around with!  So, if you have not read these already, I am going to post some extreme cold weather tips for you.

  • Minimize outside activities, particularly the elderly and very young. Also consider your pets and bring them inside during the extreme cold.  If you can’t bring them inside, place plenty of blankets or hay so they can keep warm.
  • Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, rather than a single layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
    Wear a hat, mittens (rather than gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots, protecting your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • Excessive exposure can lead to frostbite, which is damaging to body tissue that is frozen. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, seek medical help immediately.
  • Hypothermia can occur in extreme cases. The warning signs are uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If the person’s temperature drops below 95 degrees, seek immediate medical care.
  • When utilizing alternate heating sources, such as your fireplace, wood stove or space heater, take the necessary safety precautions. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, ensuring everyone knows how to use it properly. Test smoke alarms.
    If you lose your heat, seal off unused rooms by stuffing towels in the cracks under the doors. At night, cover windows with extra blankets or sheets.
  • Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.  Eat something!
  • To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers, covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. Allow a trickle of warm water to run from a faucet that is farthest from your water meter or one that has frozen in the past. This will keep the water moving so that it cannot freeze. Learn how to shut off your water if a pipe bursts.
  • If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes or wrap them with towels soaked in hot water, starting where they are most exposed to the cold. A hand-held hair dryer, used with caution, also works well.
  • Be a good neighbor. Check with elderly or disabled relatives and neighbors to ensure their safety

And, here are some more extreme cold tips from NWS Birmingham.

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The Evening Post: The Controversial Physics of Curling


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First, the updated Paralympics medal count.  Russia leads with 50 total medals!

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Tonight, I have another new video from Smarter Every Day where Destin talks about the physics of the popular Winter game curling!  He somehow found a curling stone in Alabama and talked about how the stone moves on the ice.  Then Destin went up to Wisconsin to see how curling works on the professional ice.  And if you can, support Smarter Every Day on Patreon and Subbable, enjoy!

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