The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Traffic Jam, Soo-style

Update: 2014 04 24: At least one ship has made it to Thunder Bay, and others are following.

There is some small attention in the press right now paid to the continued ice-coverage status of the Great Lakes. Because it's no longer 1930, some of the focus on Great Lakes shipping as a component of the economy has slipped.  However, a large amount of bulk cargo, including ore and grain, still goes back and forth between Thunder Bay and Duluth, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, and, um, other places on Lakes Erie and Ontario, not to mention up and down the St. Lawrence to the Atlantic and onward.  So each year, the shipping industry waits impatiently for the ice to go (or be pushed) away.  This year, they continue to wait:

This is a shot from an app that uses ship position reporting to present nice maps of who's where and (to some extent) what they're doing.  It was screen-grabbed this afternoon. Just look at all those ships (triangles, meaning stopped, and boat icons, meaning underway) lined up, trying to get up the Saint Mary's river and out onto Superior.  The lower lakes are at least passable (or these boats wouldn't have gotten this far), but Superior is still gummed up.

The green icons are cargo ships, the red ones are tankers, and the light blue symbols are tugs and/or Coast Guard craft, trying to move things along.

Yet another thing to waste time when I should be writing.

Screen Grab from Marine Traffic's Android app.

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