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May 21 2013

Tornado forming

I am fortunate to have never been near a tornado. The deadly ones that hit Oklahoma yesterday were massive. There is a breed of people called tornado chasers who actually seek them out to follow and photograph, some for scientific purposes, others just for the thrill of it.

But now that people have cell phone cameras, they tend to take risks in order to get footage, staying outside to film instead of seeking cover, but thanks to their determination (foolhardiness?) we get incredible videos like this one of one tornado in the process of actually forming, which I had never seen before. (Via Neetzan Zimmerman.)

Meanwhile this morning NPR interviewed congressman Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) whose district includes the devastated area and in response to the question of the community needs now, can you guess what his answer was? The first thing they need is prayer!

Don’t listen to him. Since his god couldn’t be bothered to stop the tornadoes, it hardly seems likely that he will do anything to help people afterwards. What relief agencies need most in time like this is money and the Foundation Beyond Belief has set up a site where you can donate money to this and other relief efforts as disasters occur.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    sunny

    PBS had a good documentary on the Tornado Chasers a few years back.

  2. 2
    kyoseki

    God wasn’t behind the tornadoes, Obama was! (probably):
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/05/21/alex-jones-explains-how-government-weather-weap/194167

    I can’t help but be reminded of the line from Monty Python & The Holy Grail;
    “Tell me again how sheep’s bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes?”

  3. 3
    Rob Grigjanis

    After six years spent living in Edmonton, Alberta, I missed this one by three months. Somewhat perversely I suppose, the first thought I had on hearing about it was “I wish I’d been there”.

  4. 4
    Mobius

    I’ve lived in Oklahoma for all but about 5 years of my life. I’ve been through a lot of siren warnings, but surprisingly I’ve only had direct experience of one tornado. That was in 1984 (IIRC), and I was within 100 yards of that storm. One mobile home was wrapped around a power pole right next to my apartment complex.

    I will be perfectly happy if I don’t experience any more.

  5. 5
    oldymoldy

    He (Tom Cole) also said that he lived very near the damaged areas and that he was “very blessed” to have been missed. I guess all those that did get hit were some sort of heathens and don get any blessings.

  6. 6
    kyoseki

    … and then there’s also this;
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/cnns-wolf-blitzer-asks-atheist-tornado-survivor-if-she-thanked-the-lord/

    No doubt she’ll be vilified in certain circles for daring not to thank the Lord for what was clearly his divine intervention or … something…

  7. 7
    left0ver1under

    I thought the disaster magnets (aka trailer parks) were to blame.

  8. 8
    kyoseki

    Don’t be ridiculous …

    … trailer parks don’t have access to tornado machines.

  9. 9
    bad Jim

    About 20 years ago I was working late in Irvine, California, when a waterspout (or tornado) went through a neighborhood a block away. I had vaguely registered a train passing (though the railroad was actually a couple of miles away) and was surprised when I went outside afterwards to see trees downed and emergency vehicles lining the street.

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