Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Boats and the Major League All-Star Game

If you plan to spend the All-Star Game on your bass boat beside Great American Ballpark, you might have a problem.

The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing a set of rules to deal with boating traffic on the Ohio River at Cincinnati in the four-day period of the Major League All-State Game in July. You can find details of the proposal here.

The main point, or nut graf as we call it in the news business, follows:

The Captain of the Port (COTP) Ohio Valley is proposing to establish a special local regulation for all waters of the Ohio River, surface to bottom, extending from Ohio River mile 469.5 to 471.2 at Cincinnati, OH July 10, 2015 through July 14, 2015. This special local regulation is necessary to protect persons and property from potential damage and safety hazards during the “86th MLB All-Star Week/Game”, an event which will likely involve a high density of boater traffic in the river miles specified. This proposed special local regulation is intended to temporarily restrict vessel traffic in a portion of the Ohio River and implement a moving security zone for certain vessel traffic within the special local regulated zone during this event in order to promote the safety of life and property on the navigable waterway. There is no regulatory history related to this proposed special local regulation or the event triggering a need for the proposed special local regulation.
The effect of this proposed rule will be to restrict general navigation during the event. Vessels intending to transit the Ohio River through the designated mile markers will only be allowed to transit the area when the COTP Ohio Valley, or a designated representative, has deemed it safe to do so or at the completion of the event each day.

The link has more information on how to comment.

On to 200,000

Today the Ohio River Blog passed 175,000 page views in its nearly six-year history. That's about as many (I'm guessing and exaggerating here) as Instapundit gets in an hour or the Drudge Report gets in ten seconds, but I'll take it.

My thanks to everyone who reads this very personal and very specialized blog. I've made some great online friends and contacts, and I appreciate you all. Lucky for me the trolls have been few and far between. The Russian spammers I can do without, however.

Wave action

Yesterday evening I had to spend an hour or so in town while Adam played in the Huntington High School band at an event organized by the mayor. Part way through that hour I found myself up on the bridge looking out over Huntington and the Ohio River. Eventually my thoughts found their way to a dump truck and a college physics textbook. Here is how I got there.

The Ohio River here at Huntington flows east to west. This evening there was the usual wind blowing west to east. That created some small waves on the surface of the Ohio. Lots of them.

As I watched them, I decided to follow one wave crest and see how far it went. As it turned out, not far. The wave would travel a short distance and then disappear into the water. When I looked back to where I first noticed the wave, a new one was forming.

It wasn't what I expected. Then an old memory popped into my head. It was fall 1992. I was in another city, standing on a third- or fourth-floor patio near an exit ramp of an interstate highway. I saw a dump truck heading my way. The truck bed was covered by a tarp, and the tarp was flapping in the wind. I watched the air move through the tarp like a wave or a swell on water. As the truck descended the exit ramp, it neared a light pole. I figured I would focus on the light pole and watch the wave of air go through the tarp so I could judge its speed.

What did I see? The wave of air was not moving under the tarp. When I looked at the light pole and the tarp at the same time, I noticed the wave of air was stationary and the truck was moving under the wave. So instead of the wave of air moving across the truck, actually the air was standing still and the truck was moving under it.

As I pondered those waves on the Ohio River and that dump truck from nearly 23 years ago, that led to another thought in my stream of consciousness when I remembered a college physics textbook back at the house. It said water waves consist of molecules rotating in a nearly circular motion. That would explain why the same wave kept appearing in the same spot.

Here is a shot of a diagram from that textbook that explains all this:

For the curious, this is from Page 420 of "The Mechanical Universe: Introduction to Mechanics and Heat" by Richard P. Olenick, Tom M. Apostol and David L. Goodstein, © 1985, Cambridge University Press. The book went with a television course in introductory physics. It was one of my favorite programs of all time. For something from the 1980s, it had pretty good graphics that helped you follow along, even with the calculus-based math. At times you just sit back and enjoy the moving parts of the equations because you have no idea what they're doing.

To make a short story long, that's what went through my mind that evening as I watched waves on the surface of the Ohio River at beautiful downtown Huntington, the second-largest city in the Great State of West Virginia and, I believe, the sixth-largest city along the Ohio. Or, as people here seem compelled to say, the Mighty Ohio.