Vicky Collins Online

A Blog With Superpowers


Leave a comment

BBC: The Joy of Stats

What a clever way to make complicated and essential statistics user friendly. The BBC hit it out of the park with this program. For anyone interested in global poverty and the inequities between the haves and the have nots, Hans Rosling’s demonstration is must see TV.

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Hurricane Season

William Gray, Phillip Klotzbach and their forecasters at Colorado State University have come out with their predictions for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30.  It’s expected to be active with three hurricanes becoming major Category 3 storms.  In the press release they remark, “NOAA’s National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center says there is a 70 percent chance of having nine to 14 named storms,  four to seven of which could become hurricanes, and one to three major hurricanes (winds 115mph or greater). If this comes to pass, these numbers would reflect an average number and intensity of tropical cyclones.”

Over the last years there have been extremely powerful hurricanes that have made landfall in the United States including Rita, Wilma and the apocalyptic Katrina which struck New Orleans during the deadly season of 2005.  Hurricane Ivan was the strongest hurricane of the season in 2004.  It wreaked havoc in the Caribbean and at one point was a Category 5 storm the size of Texas.

Hurricane Ivan approaches Key West

Hurricane Ivan approaches Key West

Correspondent Martin Savidge, the crew and I were dispatched to Key West, Florida to cover the storm for NBC News.  Driving 100 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico there was great tension as the storm approached, even more so than in other storms I have chased.  Traveling out to Key West that day I realized we were there to stay.  Once the winds started howling and the water started rising there would be absolutely no way to get off the remote key.  At one point forecasters predicted a direct hit on the low lying island.  A bullseye would put Key West under water.  When we checked into the hotel we had to sign a form saying we understood the risks and knew we were taking our lives in our own hands.  Even for seasoned hurricane chasers there was a feeling of approaching danger.  It rained like hell but at the end of the day Ivan skirted the island and saved its wrath for Gulf Shores, Alabama where it hit as a Category 3.  Once the storm passed by Key West there was a palpable sense of relief on the island.  Those who didn’t evacuate and hunkered down came out into the light and crowded into the bars.  Key West, which was all boarded up, returned to its merry ways.  I took this picture of a man who told me his name was Ca$h.  To me he epitomized the care free ebullience that returned to Key West, Florida after it was spared by Hurricane Ivan.  I have received more comments on this photo than any other I have taken.  I smile whenever I think of Ca$h.     

Ca$h in Key West, Florida

Ca$h in Key West, Florida

For more information about Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.


Leave a comment

Polar Bears in Peril?

Polar Bear in Churchill, Manitoba

Blaine Harrington is one of the premier travel photographers in the world. He journeys all over the globe taking memorable images of people and places which end up in books and magazines. He has been honored extensively for his work which can be viewed on his website at http://blaineharrington.com. This past October Blaine visited Churchill, Manitoba to photograph the polar bears. He returned with spectacular images but couldn’t get one of the major agencies which is a regular client interested in buying the photos. The reason, they told him, is because there wasn’t snow on the ground. Marketable polar bear photos must show the huge animals in a sea of white, not lounging around on kelp beds being lethargic. It wasn’t picture perfect because the snow and frigid temperatures came a couple of weeks late this past year. The hungry bears were… well chillin’… conserving their energy and waiting for cold weather so the ice would form and they could get busy hunting for seals. More evidence of global warming? Whatever your thoughts, science shows the ice is melting earlier and forming later. The bears have less time to hunt. Another day at the beach for the polar bears?

For more information about Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com