Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hurricane Stages


XKCD is a clever "webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." The drawings are simple stick people but the ideas or puns can be quite intelligent. In the cartoon above the artist substitutes a Piaget Stage with a Hurricane Category 5.

Hurricanes are measured on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale of Categories 1 to 5:
ONE: Winds 74-95 mph: Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.
TWO: Winds 96-110 mph: Some roofing material, door, and window damage to buildings. Considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes, and piers. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings.
THREE: Winds 111-130 mph: Some structural damage to small residences. Mobile homes are destroyed. Terrain may be flooded well inland.
FOUR: Winds 131-155 mph: Some complete roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion of beach areas. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore by flooding.
FIVE: Winds greater than 155 mph: Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located near the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be required.

The Piaget Scale measures child development in four stages:
  1. Sensorimotor: (birth to about age 2) child learns about himself and his environment through motor and reflex actions. 
  2. Preoperational: (begins about the time the child starts to talk to about age 7) child begins to use symbols to represent objects and learns to pretend.
  3. Concrete: (about first grade to early adolescence) child develops an ability to think abstractly and to make rational judgements.
  4. Formal Operations: (adolescence) Child is capable of hypothetical and deductive reasoning.. 
Wikipedia which mentions a stage 5, "The fifth stage occurs from 12 months old to 18 months old. During this stage infants explore new possibilities of objects; they try different things to get different results", but this is a sub-stage of the Sensorimotor stage. I wonder how Piaget adherents distinguish between the 4 primary stages and the 6 sub-stages of infants.

Bottom Line
To learn more about hurricanes see the excellent booklet by NOAA at http://hurricanes.noaa.gov/pdf/hurricanebook.pdf

P.S. Happy Anniversary to my wife. Twenty years married today.

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1 Comments:

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October 15, 2011 at 9:04 AM  

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