SMOKE BREAK #1193 | Eccentric Ghost Town Resident Heralded As Gift To Climate Science

January 20, 2017.


(via) New Jersey-born billy barr likes to spell his name in lower case letters and we’re ok with that. When you live on your own on the fringe of a Colorado ghost town for over 40 years carefully recording snowfall levels and temperatures every day, you’re such a gift to climate science that you could have gone ALL CAPs and we wouldn’t have blinked. And really, who can resist the rare curiosity that is a Yankee cricket fan?

billy bar first came to Gothic in 1972 as a Rutgers University environmental science student doing water chemistry research. He liked the quiet life here so much that he completed his semester to get his degree and became a permanent resident of the mountainous ghost town. He had grown up in New Jersey, but never really liked being surrounded by so many people, so moving to this secluded ghost town was a chance to get away from social pressure. “I grew up in the city. It was too much for me,” he says.

barr began the winter of 1974 camping in a tent, which is not exactly ideal in a place where snow reaches twenty-five feet a year. Luckily, the owner of an abandoned mining shack was kind enough to let billy move in, to keep him from freezing to death. It became his home for the next eight years, and also the place where he started his impressive database on snow. The modern-day hermit claims that the sole goal behind his epic journal was to fight boredom. There’s not a lot to do in a ghost town in winter time, so he just started monitoring things like daily snowfalls, snow density, temperature, and anything else he could measure. “I didn’t have anything else to do. It was simple curiosity,” billy says.

His original shack burned down eight years after he moved in, but he didn’t let the incident drive him away. He just found another place to stay and continued his amateur research. What’s amazing about his work is that he only uses measuring devices of his own invention. He uses a marked pole to measure the depth of snow, and a snowboard – which he cleans twice a day – to measure daily snowfall. A hanging butcher’s scale lets him weight the snow to determine its density. barr also makes notes of the first arrivals of animals in the spring, and of when the ground first reappears after a snowmelt.

In a separate journal, 65-year-old billy bar has kept detailed notes about the avalanches he observed in the valley, a record which many consider to be the most comprehensive data on natural avalanches in the world. Put together, his mountains of data paint a clear picture of the radical transformation that Colorado’s high alpine landscape has sustained in the last 40 years, and provide valuable insights into the effects of global warming.

Full article here.

#ScoutThis

There are no comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Smoke Breaks Just a few minutes is all you need…

SMOKE BREAK | Trailer For New ‘Awaken’ Doc Produced By Terrence Malick Looks Amazing

SMOKE BREAK | Trailer For New ‘Awaken’ Doc Produced By Terrence Malick Looks Amazing

(via) "Awaken" is an upcoming feature-length documentary that explores "humanity’s relationship with technology and the natural world". Directed by Tom Lowe… more 

SMOKE BREAK | It Costs $2 Million A Day To Maintain The GPS System, So Why Is It Free?

SMOKE BREAK | It Costs $2 Million A Day To Maintain The GPS System, So Why Is It Free?

Invented by the US military in 1978 so its forces could guarantee pinpoint accuracy around the world, the Global Positioning System is now made up of a… more 

SMOKE BREAK #1206 | ‘The Atlantic’ Delves Into The Science Of What Makes Things Cool

SMOKE BREAK #1206 | ‘The Atlantic’ Delves Into The Science Of What Makes Things Cool

(via) This new short from The Atlantic magazine takes a look at the MAYA method, the Mere-Exposure Effect, and the evolutionary psychology that goes into… more 

SMOKE BREAK #1205 | Artist Animates 1000s Of NASA Photos For Moon Race Dramatisation

SMOKE BREAK #1205 | Artist Animates 1000s Of NASA Photos For Moon Race Dramatisation

(via) Lunar is a short film made by Christian Stangl. It was put together by animating thousands of still images taken by NASA and its astronauts during the… more 

SMOKE BREAK #1204 | ‘The School Of Life’ Says Your Weird Fantasies Are Totally Normal

SMOKE BREAK #1204 | ‘The School Of Life’ Says Your Weird Fantasies Are Totally Normal

(via) The always informative and thoughtful folks at The School of Life explain how our species' occasional indulgence in fantasy is nothing to be ashamed of… more 

SMOKE BREAK #1205 | A Master Craftsman At Work In ‘The Birth Of A Dugout Canoe’ Doc

SMOKE BREAK #1205 | A Master Craftsman At Work In ‘The Birth Of A Dugout Canoe’ Doc

(via) This short, quietly therapeutic film - The Birth of a Dugout Canoe - follows Latvian craftsman Richard Vidzickis' efforts in making a dugout canoe by… more 

SMOKE BREAK #1204 | Walking The Pacific Crest Trail All The Way From California To BC

SMOKE BREAK #1204 | Walking The Pacific Crest Trail All The Way From California To BC

(via) Despite its comparative accessibility, to hike the Pacific Crest Trail has long been one of those dreams up there in the hierarchy of likelihoods as… more 

SMOKE BREAK #1203 | The Story Of Crocker Land, The Island On The Map That Didn’t Exist

SMOKE BREAK #1203 | The Story Of Crocker Land, The Island On The Map That Didn’t Exist

(via) Considering the human cost of colonial endeavour, it's a good thing the era of 'discovering' new lands is well behind us. It got pretty weird at the end… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Agrius Ai & Om Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio Anh and Chi AnnaLena Araxi Arbor Ask For Luigi Au Comptoir Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Bar Oso Bauhaus Beach Bay Café & Patio Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Bishop’s Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Botanist Bottleneck Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Bufala Burdock & Co. Cabrito Cacao Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cartems Donuterie Chambar Chefs’ Table Society of BC Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chill Winston ChocolaTas Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante + Bar Cioffi’s Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Cocktails & Canapes Catering + Events Cook Culture Crowbar Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen District Brasserie Dixie’s Authentic Texas BBQ Earnest Ice Cream East Van Roasters Cafe Edible Canada El Santo Elementa Espana Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Mao Fayuca Fernwood Coffee Company Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Hart House Restaurant Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joe Pizza Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper Kafka’s Coffee & Tea Keefer Bar Kin Kao Kissa Tanto Knifewear Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Lucha Verde Made By Pacific Maenam Mak N Ming Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mister Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, The Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Salt Tasting Room Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Sorella St. Lawrence Stable House, The Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tavola Tempranillo Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timber Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Torafuku Tractor Foods Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats UBC Farm Uncommon Cafe, The Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ Program Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana Vij’s Restaurant Virtuous Pie West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .