2018-01-14 3 min read


Hey there, it's me, Lisa, again. I'm excited to be back for another round guest editing The Prepared.

Bomb cyclones. Hydrologic outlooks. Snow. Record cold in the Northeastern United States. (Meanwhile, Australia is so hot the highway is melting.)  The weather's been big news lately, consequently you'll find a bunch of the links in today's edition of The Prepared to be weather related.

Stay warm/cool out there.  

Planning & Strategy.

  • California State Senator Scott Weiner recently introduced a bill that would effectively rezone large swaths of SF/LA for denser housing; it's novel in that the zoning exceptions are based around existing transit lines.
  • This Portland startup wants to fill in suburb sprawl a different way: ADU's.
  • If you ever need to know more about an upcoming storm, look no further than NOAA's monitoring systems site.

Making & Manufacturing.

  • Ever wondered what those multicolored pools are that you see when into SFO? They're one of two active US salt production ponds.
  • Impressive old videos of small scale, handmade carpentry by New Jersey craftsman Frank Klausz; this one on freehand drawer dovetails is particularly awesome.
  • Thinking about getting a home solar battery setup? It may be a good idea to find your nearest battery service provider, like this one for forklifts.
  • Check out this clock I made that tracks the moon in real time.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • NOAA has been working to update their weather models; the newer model is more granular and faster than the existing GFS model. It's scheduled to come fully online in 2019.
  • Researchers discovered that basically every modern computer chip has a security hole; it can be patched with software, but the patch will probably slow your machine down. No word yet on estimated global power consumption impact of reduced global computing power.
  • Cold snap last week highlighted the impact of falling behind on maintenance in public schools; meanwhile we're still waiting for details on the Trump administration's infrastructure plan.
  • DARPA's working on a satellite that will repair other satellites.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • A piece on the feasibility of building a DC power grid in the US, alongside the current AC one.
  • China announced plans to set up a carbon emissions marketplace for power plants; stateside, RGGI, a carbon emissions collective that monitors 9 north eastern states, is going into their 9th year.

Inspection & Testing.


  • Wal-Mart's readying it's first prototype of 'cashier-less' stores; I worked at Wal-Mart as an intern back in 2010 and had the opportunity to tour one of their facilities that was working on developing cashier-less checkouts using RFID tags. The biggest roadblock then was there were too many things that could block the tags' radio waves: cans of beans, water bottles, or even human bodies. One proposed solution to this problem was to have shoppers pass their cars through X-Ray scanners, kind of like putting bags thru airport luggage scanners. If this Recode article is correct, it seems like they've moved away from radio tags towards visual tracking.
  • The cold snap froze iguanas in Florida.
  • A real-time wind map of the United States.
  • Net neutrality is a thing again; if you're in NYC you may be interested in checking out the community run ISP, NYC Mesh. In SF? Check out Monkeybrains' beam powered Internet grid.

More on the Bay Area Salt Ponds

Read the full story

The rest of this post is for SOW Subscribers (free or paid) only. Sign up now to read the full story and get access to all subscriber-only posts.

Sign up now
Already have an account? Sign in
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Scope of Work.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.