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The Next Big Thing: Social Video [Business Insider]

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo, Video December 15, 2016

At the latest Business Insider IGNITION conference, Henry Blodget teased up the Future of Digital 2016 with a collection of amazing slides, data and insights. The take away: social video is the next big thing! See selected slides below, and full original post here.

The trend is loud and clear: digital media consumption is exploding, and traditional TV is collapsing, especially among the younger demographics:

Digital media consumption is growing, everything else is shrinking (Source: eMarketer via BusinessInsider)

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Yoyo Recital #3

Michael Audio, Photo, Video December 14, 2016

First recital at a new school, Juliet Music at Forest Hills Gardens.

Yoyo played Dance and Theme Variation a duet with teacher Alejandra and then Little Playmates by himself, error free:

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“Thanksgiving” Inscription in Chinese Found on Moon

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo November 23, 2016

FNN, November 24, 2016 1:01pm Beijing time – It is that time of the year again, as Americans express their loud thanks by busting any doors at shopping malls around the country, saving a few bucks while salvaging the US economy. This year, though, the Chinese have a quiet way of joining the Thanksgiving tradition.

Some rights reserved © MichaelZhao.net

Chinese inscription of “feel” and “gratitude” were discovered in two craters on the moon, as announced by CASA.

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Moonshot 2016

Michael Animation, Interactive, Photo November 13, 2016

November 2016 has been an eventful month in the US. Someone has made a moonshot in the most colorful presidential election. And here below are some of my moon shots, starting with the biggest full moon in almost a century on November 13, with a few variations of shutter speed, in GIF:

moon_shutter-speeds_20161113

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Top 10 GIFs on Climate for Trump

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo November 9, 2016

Dear President Trump,

Congratulations on being elected the 45th President of the United States.

In all seriousness though, I have to say climate change isn’t some scheme cooked up by the Chinese, which I am one of. Look at this chart below showing the historical CO2 emissions of the US, Asia and China, my best estimate is that China will probably catch up on the US as the biggest cumulative emitter by 2045-2050. But I am hoping that you will provide much needed leadership on this regard and push both the US and China to the positive direction and for the good of all humanity.

Asia would have surpassed the United States as the world's largest cumulative CO2 emitter by 2016. (In the chart below, the leogryph icon, from the Asia Society logo, in the orange background represents Asia)

Asia would have surpassed the United States as the world’s largest cumulative CO2 emitter by 2016.

Now here are 10 most important GIF animated pictures/maps/etc. that you may want to have a quick read/watch before entering the White House: Read More

Video: Yoyo Recital #2

Michael Audio, Photo, Video October 23, 2016

悠悠第二次登台演奏,这首是巴赫的小步舞曲,腾讯视频往下翻…

Here our family duo iPhones worked quietly to properly capture Yoyo’s second recital performance (sound not by Apple device) . We are really proud of how he handled the pressure, and he was the youngest, by a lot. Here below is a clip of his A Minuet for Mr. Bach’s Children. Click here for his first recital performance.

虽然不是第一次了,悠悠还是有点紧张,本来可以不看乐谱弹下来的,后来临上阵还是让妈妈把乐谱带着上了舞台。不管怎么说,他很顺利地演奏完了两首曲子,让人格外骄傲!【点这里看他的第一次演奏】

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Poll: When Will Sea Level Rise to Deadly Levels

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo October 1, 2016

做气候变化和环境议题也有些年头了,理论和模型也了解了不少,但是这个跨世纪的全球大难题最确定的就是诸多的不确定性——比如海平面上升啥时候真的会威胁到我们的海滨城市呢?【点这里看ClimateCentral.org的一系列全球升温两摄氏度和四度的海平面上升对城市影响的系列假想图。】

在举国度假的闲暇,还是一起娱乐一下吧,不想总是那么严肃和忧虑了,看看自己朋友圈里的大伙们是乐观还是悲观占主流吧【纯娱乐,没有正确答案,如果声称掌握正确答案的,可以请Elon Musk的SpaceX过几年发配火星了】:请从四个答案中选择一个你认为最靠谱的,海平面上升会淹没很多海滨城市CBD核心区的年份!

[playbuzz-item url=”//www.playbuzz.com/michaelz14/when-will-the-bund-in-shanghai-or-lower-manhattan-in-new-york-city-be-flooded”]

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Perspective B: Climate Ain’t A Joke (, Politics Might Be)

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo, Video September 22, 2016

Earlier this year, I dived into the New York City public school application mechanism and studied everything inside out, upside down. By May, my family got the letter from the Department of Education notifying us that my son got into our dream school. And his first couple of weeks in this school have been nothing but perfect.

Now this is about something that is also close to my heart but is way out of my control, or out of control by our species at large. (Someone correct me if I am wrong , please!) I have also studied the question of climate crisis for a number of years and it is worrisome, and alarming to be precise.

First, take a look at the 20-year difference between these what I’d call heat maps, color coding the temperatures’ anomalies compared against the 1951-1980 average. In August 20 years ago, only Antarctica was boiling like a hot pot. This past month, the world map looks as orange (and red) like a U.S. presidential nominee. I don’t think there’s anything else that needs to be said about such a drastic change in just a generation. (For more about the maps and to generate your own months or versions, click on the links on “NASA” in captions.)

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 1996 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

 

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 2016 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 2016 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

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GIF: Tibet Dumped World’s Largest Ice Avalanche

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo September 6, 2016

On July 17, 2016, a huge stream of ice and rock tumbled down a narrow valley in the Aru Range of Tibet. When the ice stopped moving, it had spread a 30-meter-thick pile of debris across 10 square kilometers. Nine people, 350 sheep, and 110 yaks in the remote village of Dungru were killed during the avalanche.

[Before and after ice fall on July 17. Images showing June 24 and July 21, 2016 via NASA, original post here]

7月17日,西藏阿鲁错湖边的一个冰川怒了,甩了个大包袱下了山,一个创世界纪录的冰崩,在山脚下10平方公里铺开了一个厚达30米的冰床,九人和数百头牲畜当场死亡。【NASA原文点这里

“On July 17, 2016, a huge stream of ice and rock tumbled down a narrow valley in the Aru Range of Tibet. When the ice stopped moving, it had spread a 30-meter-thick pile of debris across 10 square kilometers. Nine people, 350 sheep, and 110 yaks in the remote village of Dungru were killed during the avalanche. ”

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Flooding: Yangtze Vs. Ganges

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo August 24, 2016
ganges_tmo_2015-2016

Ganges River near Patna on August 10, 2015 and August 21, 2016, via NASA

中印看来是两个难兄难弟,两个备受洪水肆虐的文明古国。不过,今年的洪水季,印度恒河的洪水看上去要来得更猛烈些,这场景才更叫看海模式吧!如下图2015年8月与2016年8月的对比动图【NASA原文点这里】:

In August 2016, heavy monsoon rains pushed the Ganges and other rivers in eastern and central India to the breaking point.These images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase contrast between water and land. Water is blue. Vegetation is green. Notice that the water is a slightly lighter shade of blue in the lower image due to all the suspended sediment in the water.

 

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Floods along the Yangtze 2016, 2011

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo August 8, 2016
March 27 vs July 28, 2016 along the Yangtze River

March 27 vs July 28, 2016 along the Yangtze River

以上是一组对比今年3月27日和7月28日长江中游沿岸以及洞庭、鄱阳两大湖水位变化的动图。如果两大湖春季的水位更接近正常的话,恐怕今年汛期的洪灾将更加惨烈。今年的洪灾已经造成了220亿美元的损失,也成为仅次于1998年洪灾的中国第二大最具破坏性的天气灾害事件,也是1980年有记录以来全球(美国以外)第五大最具破坏性的自然灾害事件(下图)。【NASA原文点这里

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Heat Island Effect Thermal Imaged in NYC

Michael Data & Graphics, Photo July 17, 2016

热成像拍摄纽约热岛效应及雾霾的增温效果

The Statue of Liberty trapped in smog-generated heat

50F = 10C, 68F = 20C, 86F = 30C

纽约的这点雾霾(以上右图)对于见过世面的国人来说最多也就是点雾吧(这里看到的所谓的霾应该大多是臭氧)。即使就这点雾霾,也令地表空气和地面温度陡然升高,比海水高出近20华氏度,专家说,这些颗粒物和水汽会散发红外波段的“长波热辐射”,地面在阳光和这些辐射的共同作用下,温度就比周围环境高出许多。幸好雾霾在北京的夏天不是爆发季。拍摄者是 Nickolay Lamm,是几年前的一个7月用热成像相机在纽约拍摄的。

The water remains relatively cool (blue) all day while the Statue of Liberty warms up when exposed to the sun (red). A haze layer exits near the ground, and the particles and droplets in this layer emit “longwave thermal radiation” in the far infrared portion of the spectrum. The haze closest to the ground is relatively warm (red, orange), while the temperature decreases with increasing altitude (yellow to green to blue). The ground is heated both by sunlight and the longwave radiation emitted by the atmosphere. Haze layers over urban areas increase the longwave heating, especially overnight, and promote warmer temperatures.

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NO2 & Air Pollution Tracking by NASA

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo, Video July 15, 2016

空气污染和二氧化氮的监测及趋势(2005 – 2014)

美国宇航局过去十年对全球195个城市的空气污染监测发现,欧美日本等地空气质量有所改善,但中国、印度及中东空气污染面积有所扩大。这里被监测的污染物是二氧化氮,主要来自汽车尾气、发电厂及工业活动的排放。二氧化氮可以很快变成地面层臭氧,是城市中雾霾的主要成分之一。如下图,中国的二氧化氮高浓度覆盖面积扩大最为明显(红色为浓度5000万亿分子/立方厘米):【点这里阅读英文原文

NO2 concentrations in Asia between 2005 and 2014, with the blue indicating 0 and the red indicating 5,000 trillion molecules per cubic centimeters (images: NASA)

NO2 concentrations in Asia between 2005 and 2014, with the blue indicating 0 and the red indicating 5,000 trillion molecules per cubic centimeters; China has witnessed an expansion of high NO2 pollution. [Images: NASA]

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GIFs: Wuhan’s Shrinking Lakes

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo July 11, 2016

动图组:武汉被吞噬的湖泊

沙湖曾是武汉市仅次于东湖的第二大“城中湖”,2000年以来被房地产开发潮不断蚕食;卫星图显示2000.11.1 - 2.16.2.20

沙湖曾是武汉市仅次于东湖的第二大“城中湖”,2000年以来被房地产开发潮不断蚕食;卫星图显示2000.11.1 – 2016.2.20 【新华社原文

This year’s rainy season and floods have wrecked havoc on the city of Wuhan, which was home to 127 lakes in its urban areas. Now the city has 38 lakes remaining. Even though this many have survived the dramatic urbanization and land reclamation over the past few decades, they have most likely shrunk a great deal. With many new neighborhoods on low-lying lands that used to be lakes, the battle against floods this year is a particularly difficult one. Here below are a couple of examples viewed from space, thanks to Google Earth and those who care to find these images. [Tap on the link in the above image’s caption for original Xinhua post in Chinese language.]

Shahu Lake (or literally translated as sandy lake) used to be the second largest lake after the East Lake in Wuhan City. Since 2000, due to the encroaching real estate development and urbanization, the lake has been divided by a road and surrounded by high-rise buildings (above). Read More

GIFs: Indian Drought Now and Flood 10 Years Ago

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo June 17, 2016

India is too hot, literally. This, again, comes from NASA Earth Observatory:

Monsoon rains began arriving across India in early June 2016. For many Indians, it was not a moment too soon. After three underwhelming monsoon seasons, broad swaths of the country have been gripped by drought. An estimated 330 million people have been affected by depleted water supplies.

Of all of India’s reservoirs, Panchet Hill in Jharkhand was among the lowest compared to the 10-year average. In the first week of June 2016, the reservoir stood at 4 percent of capacity; the average for June is 40 percent.

Of all of India’s reservoirs, Panchet Hill in Jharkhand was among the lowest compared to the 10-year average. In the first week of June 2016, the reservoir stood at 4 percent of capacity; the average for June is 40 percent. These two images were taken on June 10, 2015 and June 12, 2016

This is what it looks like at night on June 17, 2016, with much of India hotter than China’s biggest dessert in Xinjiang.

Some parts of India were as hot as 45 degrees Celcius in the evening of June 17, 2016, via earth.nullschool.net

Some parts of India were as hot as 45 degrees Celcius in the evening of June 17, 2016, via earth.nullschool.net

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Internets, Speeds and Cyber Tips Traveling in China

Michael Photo June 9, 2016

For a China veteran traveler like myself, this 2-week journey has not been worry-free, yet it has been productive, if not efficient.

The difficult part of working in China, or just vacationing in China, could bring unwarranted stress if you care much about using the Internet, which may be better known in China as an Intranet behind the Great Firewall. This could be especially troublesome when you have multiple large files to transfer between the Pacific Ocean. Here are some of the stress points that are particularly painful:

  • Internet speed: This is a problem particularly for budget hotel travelers, who at times could be experiencing Internet connections as slow as a few Kbps, see chart below scenario #4. The fastest (WiFi) connection I’ve hopped on so far in China was at a university library, almost triple my NYC home’s already impressive 50 Mbps (#7). But even with this truly fast connection, it is still pretty slow to visit sites overseas, especially if you need to go around the Firewall using a VPN (virtual private network). Most hotels don’t offer fast Internet as taken for granted in the US, at least not for budget hotels. I’ve stayed at hotels (that cost a lot) where they have installed a master VPN before beaming the WiFi to your rooms, which is really sweet, but note that any connection going through a VPN most likely only allows you to visit Facebook, YouTube, etc., but it also slows down the connection a great deal, so watching videos could still be a painfully awful experience. I haven’t tried many VPN services, but I have always seen the connection dropping to excruciating double digits of Kbps, or even single digits, from as fast as dozens of Mbps (according to speedtest.net).
Internet speeds of some places in China compared with my home in NYC (#7)

Internet speeds of some places in China compared with my home in NYC (#7)

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GIF: Global Temperatures, Dubai Palm Island Building

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo, Video May 27, 2016

Month after month, the world’s temperature records have been reset over and over again. And NASA Earth Observatory archive has it all. First one below on the rising temperatures on a global scale over more than a century, decade by decade with latest one of 2005-2014; second one about the first artificial palm island Dubai built on a beachfront.

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade.

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade.

 

The first Palm Island constructed was Palm Jumeirah, and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed its progress from 2000 to 2011. In these false-color images, bare ground appears brown, vegetation appears red, water appears dark blue, and buildings and paved surfaces appear light blue or gray.

The first Palm Island constructed was Palm Jumeirah, and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed its progress from 2000 to 2011.
In these false-color images, bare ground appears brown, vegetation appears red, water appears dark blue, and buildings and paved surfaces appear light blue or gray.

Dubai, in early-morning hours, still registered temperatures in the 30s on May 28, 2016, only cooler than India.

Dubai, in early-morning hours, still registered temperatures in the 30s on May 28, 2016, only cooler than India, via earth.nullschool.net