Aug 28, 2011
Posted in: Miscellaneous
I've decamped from the Boston area northwards to New Hampshire for the weekend. My house in the suburbs of Cambridge, while high enough to avoid flooding in nonapocalyptic scenarios, is almost certain to lose power for some time because it is surrounded by an intricate interweaving of dead trees and ancient power lines. So I figured I'd come up here, hang out with my brothers, and try to ride out the worst of it.
But before I left, I set up a webcam in the office, looking out over Killian Court towards the Boston skyline. I don't anticipate MIT losing power (we have our own power plant and all of the wires are underground), so as long as it doesn't eventually crash the computer it's on out of a browser memory leak (always a possibility) it should remain up. Killian is protected from the worst of the winds and rains by the "arms" of buildings 4 and 3, so that's what you're seeing. Oh, and there's no sound, so you're not going deaf.
Video streaming by Ustream
If you're following the storm from home, I highly recommend the New York Times' Hurricane Tracker, which I've embedded in a woefully insufficiently-wide iframe below
The NYT has really ramped up their "Web 2.0" interaction graphics / media visualizations and this is an incredible example of it.
Two other resources that I'm constantly refreshing are the National Weather Service's Radar Full Resolution Loop, which is a looping, updating GIF of the super high resolution radar images direct from the NWS, and the Google Crisis Response Team's interactive widget as well (make sure to click the "Layers" button below):
One final note: for those of you who already have students here at MIT, including those who just dropped off brand spanking new freshman over the past few days, do not be alarmed. As I mentioned earlier, MIT has its own power plant, with wires running underground. The buildings are all quite sturdy and have lots of shelter. We have loads of police, EMTs, and our own hospital on campus. Nowhere is perfectly safe - but MIT is as safe as it can get.