Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tornado Alley.

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Tornadoes are one of nature's greatest disasters, yet there are people who would want to see it up close for real !!!

Read On.. an extract from

Which of the following locations does not qualify as a typical vacation destination?:
A) Hawaii, B) Europe, C) the Caribbean, or D) Tornado Alley?

The answer, of course, is "D." But not so fast. An increasing number of people are spending their vacations in Tornado Alley, in the Midwestern United States, to witness up-close one of nature's most powerful and dramatic weather events. Researchers with the University of Missouri label them "Tornado Tourists" and recently profiled them as part of a study that entailed interviews with this unique breed of vacationers and their guides, who charge up to $5,000, besides food and motel costs, for van or SUV tours that can last two weeks. "With the help of movies like 'Twister,' storm-chasing has become an international phenomenon," Carla Barbieri, one of the researchers, said in reference to the 1996 disaster movie, starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. Barbieri partnered with colleague Sonja Wilhelm Stanis in the study, which found that Tornado Tourists are attracted by the risk associated with being delivered so close in proximity to potentially deadly and unpredictable tornadoes, but also the raw, natural beauty of severe weather events. The guides, who have developed a seasonal industry that lasts through the spring and into summer, are generally meteorologists or veteran storm chasers, who operate between three and 10 tours a season. Nearly two dozen tour operators cover an area from mid-Texas northward into Kansas, Minnesota and Canada.

During the 2009 study period, more than half of their clients were from the U.S., but nearly a third came from Europe; 13% were from Canada and 11% were from Australia. (The 2010 storm-chasing season recently concluded.) Most of these tourists were male, middle-aged
and single, earned higher-than-average incomes, and did not have children.
By and large, they were satisfied with their experiences, even though only one-third actually got to witness a tornado.

Half of the clients saw a funnel cloud nearly all of them reported seeing a significant atmospheric event, which might include lightening and hail.
"Although tornado tourism is a small niche market, the market continues to grow with help from television shows and movies," Wilhelm Stanis said.

"Storm-chasing tours continue to develop as part of the Midwest's tourism scene, with tours filling up as much as a year in advance."
The researchers did not mention whether any of the Tornado Tourists have injured or killed by tornadoes. Mike Meadows, a professional photographer who for the past five seasons has accompanied experts in pursuit of tornado-producing storms, said in an interview that he has witnessed the growth of the tornado tourism industry first-hand, and added that not all storm chasers are part of organized tours. During a recent pursuit of a severe storm in southern Kansas, Meadows and his group were chasing the disturbance at 65 mph on a rain-soaked road. "We counted 77 chasers that passed us going at least 90 mph," Meadows said. The photographer added that the storm stalled, as his group had anticipated, and it was the group that saw what the overly-eager chasers had missed by driving to fast: the spawning of two tornadoes.

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Movie Rating Guide. :)

Lately, I've changed my movie ratings a little. (:

Plot :

is the flow & structural plot of the movie itself.

Storyline :

the overall idea & the concept of the movie.


The character's overall acting & character built-up in the movie. Or for animation, the voices & character built-up too.

Effects* :

The visual effects, 3D effects, movie scores/music, graphics, animation of a movie respective to it's genre.

SO, there it is. Thanks! :)