A Reporter’s Least Favorite Story

August 29, 2012 - 0 Comments

When I worked as a newspaper reporter, there was one type of story my fellow writers and I always dreaded.

Weather stories.  I’m not talking about covering a major event like a tornado threatening the region or about investigating the impact of a drought on the local agriculture industry.  Those are compelling stories and we were glad to do them.

When I say weather stories, I mean those innocuous articles about how a run-of-the-mill rainstorm passed through town or about how temperatures had warmed up and prompted some folks to visit a local park.  I dreaded these stories because they’re predictable – if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all – and pointless.  There’s nothing newsworthy about yesterday’s minor weather.

“Why are we wasting time and ink telling people something they can learn from looking out the window?” I would ask my editor.

This usually caused said editor to start shuffling paperwork on his desk, searching for an even more thankless task for me.  I would quickly come up with something to do outside of the newsroom – and his view – for the next few hours.

One of my less direct co-workers hated writing weather stories so much he would submit the most generic, uninspired copy possible in hopes the task would be assigned to someone else next time.  I’m not sure whose approach was most effective – my complaints or his shoddy writing.  We both seemed to draw the assignment an equal number of times.

This brings me, believe it or not, to this week’s Data Center Deconstructed topic – the potential for using wind energy to power a Data Center.

Because I’m a look-out-the-window-and-figure-it-out sort of person, I like the idea of harvesting the wind.  Set up a wind turbine and watch it spin – you’ll always know at a glance if the thing is producing energy.  Solar panels and fuel cells are great, but you can’t see them at work the way you can a windmill’s blades.

Check out this week’s video for a discussion of wind power and Data Centers.  (And feel free to peek out the window for the latest update on minor weather conditions.)

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