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Subject: Snow, and Selective Editing rss

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Ben Vincent
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This story from Accuweather keeps popping up in my Facebook news feed because I attended the number 1 school on the list:

The 10 Snowiest Colleges in the US.

Briefly, the list is:

Quote:
10) University of Alaska Fairbanks - 62"
9) Cornell University - 65"
8) Western Michigan University - 67"
7) Southern New Hampshire University - 69"
6) University of Vermont - 81"
5) University of Minnesota Duluth - 86"
4) SUNY Buffalo - 94"
3) University of Rochester - 99"
2) Syracuse University - 124"
1) Michigan Technological University - 'almost 200"'


However, one of my friends noticed that the version of the story running on a popular news site is slightly different.

Quote:
10) Dartmouth College - 61"
9) University of Alaska Fairbanks - 62"
8) Cornell University - 65"
7) Western Michigan University - 67"
6) Southern New Hampshire University - 69"
5) University of Vermont - 81"
4) University of Minnesota Duluth - 86"
3) SUNY Buffalo - 94"
2) University of Rochester - 99"
1) Syracuse University - 124"


There's no attempt to rewrite the story - all of the descriptive text and photos are exactly the same, and it has an Accuweather byline.

The editing here is kind of perplexing to me. It seems like it would be more work to change the story than to copy it exactly. Are they trying to make some sort of ideological point? Did they just not believe the numbers could be accurate?

Incidentally, MTU's record low snowfall season would place it at 6th on the list. There are many individual months that would put it in the top 5 (three during my term there: Dec '95: 90", Jan '96: 98", Jan '97: 105"). source
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いい竹やぶだ!

South Euclid
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That particular news site has never been great at math when reporting climate-related stories.

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Lee Fisher
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Ben Vincent
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RoverGuy wrote:
It looks like maybe one was updated with heavy snow fall at MTU, pushing Dartmouth off the list and everybody up (down?) one spot. The dates on the article differ by two days. Or maybe someone noticed bad data and corrected it between the dates.

No grand conspiracy, I think.


I don't know what was changed in the latest revision of the Accuweather article, but I saw it on Monday and the list was the same then as it is now.

The facts of the original story are pretty suspect, anyway. There are two other colleges in upper Michigan that average over 100" per year (Northern Michigan in Marquette and Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste Marie). I'm pretty sure Univerity of Colorado Boulder is over 80", and there must be more Rocky Mountain college towns that get a fair amount of snow.
 
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Professor of Pain
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My guess is, someone doesn't like MTU...
 
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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Elfbane wrote:
My guess is, someone doesn't like MTU...


It's probably those meddling Grand Valley State Lakers.
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Dave G
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SabreRedleg wrote:
This story from Accuweather keeps popping up in my Facebook news feed because I attended the number 1 school on the list:

The 10 Snowiest Colleges in the US.

Briefly, the list is:

Quote:
10) University of Alaska Fairbanks - 62"
9) Cornell University - 65"
8) Western Michigan University - 67"
7) Southern New Hampshire University - 69"
6) University of Vermont - 81"
5) University of Minnesota Duluth - 86"
4) SUNY Buffalo - 94"
3) University of Rochester - 99"
2) Syracuse University - 124"
1) Michigan Technological University - 'almost 200"'


However, one of my friends noticed that the version of the story running on a popular news site is slightly different.

Quote:
10) Dartmouth College - 61"
9) University of Alaska Fairbanks - 62"
8) Cornell University - 65"
7) Western Michigan University - 67"
6) Southern New Hampshire University - 69"
5) University of Vermont - 81"
4) University of Minnesota Duluth - 86"
3) SUNY Buffalo - 94"
2) University of Rochester - 99"
1) Syracuse University - 124"


There's no attempt to rewrite the story - all of the descriptive text and photos are exactly the same, and it has an Accuweather byline.

The editing here is kind of perplexing to me. It seems like it would be more work to change the story than to copy it exactly. Are they trying to make some sort of ideological point? Did they just not believe the numbers could be accurate?

Incidentally, MTU's record low snowfall season would place it at 6th on the list. There are many individual months that would put it in the top 5 (three during my term there: Dec '95: 90", Jan '96: 98", Jan '97: 105"). source


Looks like a bad copy/paste job. Someone grabbed 11-2 instead of 10-1 on the ranking list.
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James King
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SabreRedleg wrote:
Incidentally, MTU's record low snowfall season would place it at 6th on the list. There are many individual months that would put it in the top 5 (three during my term there: Dec '95: 90", Jan '96: 98", Jan '97: 105"). source

Without regard to snowfall, is the permafrost ground in Alaska still thawing out at an alarming rate?

 
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Dan Schaeffer
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Koldfoot wrote:
I never paid too much attention to this thread, but the snowfall amounts for Fairbanks are off by so far as to not be researched at all. Many years we don't get enough snow for good cross country skiing.

In an average year we get slightly more precipitation than Phoenix, and less than Tucson. Granted that is yearly total, not snowfall, but the snow season is 9 months long. And August is typically the highest precipitation month.


The three months I spent in Fairbanks (late February through mid-May 1991) were at the tail end of one of the snowiest winters on record. When I landed, there was about five feet of snow on the ground, some of which went away, and about two to three more feet fell during March. The Anchorage paper was running graphs comparing the total accumulation to Robert Parrish of the Celtics. Reportedly, the woods were so snowy that more moose than usual were taking to the roads, with predictable (and unfortunate) results.

I had a great time, except when I was trying to drive the pickup belonging to one of my coworkers (for whom I was housesitting one week) on an ice-packed road. Even all the gravel in the back didn't help me get up the slope of his driveway.
 
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