In a story as big as Hurricane Sandy, it's hard for bloggers and journalists to find new angles and stand out from the crowd. So it's with great pleasure that I offer up five creative and under-appreciated spins cooked up by various writers across the web.
One: Planetary scientist Ryan Anderson worked out a rather amazing angle that linked Hurricane Sandy to Mars. In his Martian Chronicles blog Anderson calculated how much water Sandy rained out per day and compared it to how much water is thought to be contained in the entire atmosphere of the red planet. No spoilers, but let's just say the sandy orange fourth rock from the Sun hasn't got a single day of a Sandy in it. (For the sake of full disclosure, I should mention that I am the manager of the AGU blogosphere, where this post appeared).
Two: Storm with the most nicknames. This one was a collective effort of editors and bloggers everywhere. Although “effort” might not be the right word, because these are people who would have to be forcibly restrained to stop them from coming up with nicknames. Sandy was a pleasant, bureaucratically-assigned hurricane name, but totally inadequate for this storm's weird extratropical rejuvenation and its proximity to Halloween. It was begging for new names. Headlines dubbed it the Superstorm, Frankenstorm, Megastorm, Bride-of-Frankenstein Storm, Nightmare Storm and I'm sure there are others. Not even the infamous Hurricane Katrina could inspire so many nicknames. This is great news to the Weather channel which recently floated the idea of naming winter storms like hurricanes. Meteorologists panned the idea at the time, but that was then. Now, who knows?
Three: Deadly Storm Week. Based on the media coverage, you'd think Sandy was the only dangerous storm on the planet this week. But there are two others. Typhoon Son-Tinh just swept through Vietnam killing eight and causing the evacuation of 260,000, leveling some 10,000 homes and flooding tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land. Before that, the storm killed at least 32 people in the Philippines. Now it's causing extensive flooding in southern China.
Typhoon Son-Tinh off Vietnam on Oct. 28. (NASA image courtesy LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC)
The other storm is Cyclone Nilam, just now making landfall in India northeast of Sri Lanka. Packing 70-miles-per-hour winds. The Nilam track will take it north into India, where schools have already closed and people are evacuating and preparing for flooding. So Sandy is just the most famous of the triplets raging over oceans this week.
Four: The danger of being struck by a falling air conditioner in a hurricane. Seriously. Slate writer Daniel Engber blogged about this most critical of questions on Monday as the storm was barreling in (and arguably too late for most people to really do anything about the massive AC hanging out of their window). He even cites NYC mayor Michael Blooberg who discouraged people from removing ACs.
Five: Sandy is the largest hurricane to ever hit the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern Shore. Compared to Katrina and Irene, Sandy had the largest diameter spread for high winds, 940 miles, and the most snowfall + 24 inches.
Top Image: Heavy surf caused by Hurricane Sandy buckles Ocean Ave on Oct. 30, 2012 in Avalon, New Jersey. (Getty)