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Glitch [Jun. 14th, 2013|11:14 am]
So my job. I am a data manager. Other people run regional climate models, I collect up the data and make it all pretty and share it with users.

Part of that process is quality-checking the data to make sure it doesn't have anything weird going on in it that needs to be fixed. Like this:


This is an air temperature field. The swirly colorful stuff is all values in the 200-300 ish range. The stripe of obviously wrong? The red is 1e+38, and the blue is -1e+38. Yeah, I'm gonna have to throw that bit out.

And then you occasionally find things like this:

This is three separate vertical layers of v-wind. I have no idea how we managed to get a big geometric blob of glitch values like that. My best guess is that it was stored on tape, that the layout on tape matches the layout in memory, and we're seeing some kind of physical flaw in the storage medium. (But the important thing is, it's probably not a problem with the model -- the model would have crashed and died if it managed to produce values like this -- so all I have to do to fix it is delete the bad values.)


[User Picture]From: drdeleto
2013-06-14 05:24 pm (UTC)
Clearly that's Yog-Sothoth briefly passing into our time-space matrix just long enough to be detected by your air temperature meters.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2013-06-14 05:33 pm (UTC)
Iä! Iä!
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[User Picture]From: danthered
2013-06-14 07:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah yeah yeah, blah blah blah. Get to the part where you emit showers of sparks and go ERROR…ERROR…ERROR in an urgent monotone while waving your arms.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2013-06-17 05:36 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry Dave Dan, I'm afraid I can't do that.
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[User Picture]From: Spider N.
2013-06-16 05:06 am (UTC)

book for you

Do you already know about "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information" by Edward Tufte? I love it, and I'm not even a data geek. If you don't already know it, then I've just done my very good deed for the day.

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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2013-06-17 05:29 pm (UTC)

Re: book for you

I do know about it! I have not had a chance to read through it, but you have reminded me to see if we have a copy in the library here at work...
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From: detailbear
2013-06-17 01:00 pm (UTC)
The wind data is wearing a one-piece bathing suit. Well, we knew it was female - "They call the wind Maria." ;-)
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2013-06-17 05:30 pm (UTC)
Ha! That's totally what it is, isn't it? :D
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