Headline seen: 71.2 million people are under winter weather alerts
By now, especially in light of that decimal point, I think they must have automated this sort of tally for forecast teasers and online clickbait, but even to the nearest hundred thousand, it still means less than nothing. My reaction is a sarcastic “Oh, thank goodness it’s not 74.5 million, but I do wish it were more like 60.8 million.” Even if it were a useful number compared against the population of the US, for example – that still isn’t useful, by the way – do they really think a large percentage of said population knows how many million people live in the US? I doubt even 71.2 million of them could, without Googling, answer that question within 50 million of the number.
Breathless reports of meteor sightings also puzzle me. Thinking back, every time I’ve driven a long distance on a clear night – say, more than a few hours – I’ve seen at least one, and not at the time of meteor showers, either. Like snow in winter, meteors are not uncommon. Online shouts of “INCREDIBLE” and “AMAZING” make me scratch my head and think that some people are mighty easily amazed. I think, “Huh…neat!” when I happen to see one, but that’s the extent of it. When I was seven or eight years old, though, a friend and I witnessed not your piddly little two-second thin streak in the sky, but an extremely large green fireball-type meteor just after dusk that lasted about eight seconds. Now that was amazing, so impressive that you could put me on that street today and I could show you exactly where we stood and point out in the sky just where it started and ended.
Update: I found references to the fireball I saw when I was a kid and posted another article with all the details here.
Also, for the last time, stop trying to name winter storms, Weather Channel. After some years now of your attempts at social network engineering, you and your sister companies under parent NBC/Universal are the only ones who do it – a few other media organisations tagged along at first, but I think they were shamed back out of the practice, and rightfully so. Is that why you keep buying other weather companies – just to make more people in the industry do it?