Cloud Appreciation

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Just another day, just outside my window

I can remember the first (and only) time I heard someone describe a cloud as something more than just the warning of precipitation — actually, I remember reading it. My friend had gotten an English correspondent off some band’s forum online and she’d sent him a carefully folded letter that involved a thorough description of her most favorite type of clouds — cumulus nimbus clouds.

At the time, I was about 13, he was about 15 and we both had only heard “Nimbus” from Harry Potter’s Nimbus 2000. Thank God for Wikipedia. We looked them up, picked our favorites (pretty much any cumulus cloud), and that was that. Never heard anyone talking about them clouds in non metereological ways again.

That is, until last week, when I somehow ended up watching a documentary on clouds, cloud spotting and how a professor who needed a catchy name for a speech on clouds ended up with the “Inaugural Speech for the Cloud Appreciation Society” — and found followers. He even created an app (Mac/Android) so you can take a picture and figure out what kind of cloud you’re looking at.

And I’m actually very tempted to pay the R$6,23 to use it, except my phone (for all the good qualities that it embeds, such as not breaking when I repeatedly drop it) does not have a decent camera.

But I’ve found myself looking up at the sky more. And finding numerous different clouds everywhere.

And you know when you’re watching a movie or seeing an ad and you think to yourself “Well, that ain’t real”? Unless I’m in some sort of Truman Show my brain is playing tricks with me, ’cause those clouds up there? They were in my backyard. I was closing my window and I was just “Wow… that can’t be real”. But it was. And I can’t even tell how many sights like these I’ve missed because I was indoors or not looking up.

Also, apparently “Cloud Study” is a thing, and has been a thing way before meteorologists were called meteorologists. There was a guy called John Constable in the early 19th century who did a hundred studies of cloud formations —

Cloud Study 400

John Constable

And apparently they (meteorologists) are taking a closer look at these paitings, now with a cientific purpose, since Constable was very faithful to reality. You can see more of his paintings by clicking on the picture bellow and going into the Tate Museum’s website, and more on his life and work clicking here.

“Cloud Study”, 1822. John Constable

Constable, however, was not the only one to like clouds. It’s just a bit unusual to portray reality. Dutch Jacob van Ruisdael, for instance, created his own clouds to make up dramatic scenes.

“A Landscape with a Ruined Castle and a Church”, 1665-70, Jacob van Ruisdael

As well as (Joseph Mallord) William Turner — who was the only painter whose name got stuck in my head because his paintings were denoted “J.M. William Turner”.

“Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington”, J.M. William Turner

But anyways, all that to tell you I like clouds.

Do you like clouds?

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Crappy hotel, fantastic view

To infinity and beyond!

That was the title to a WordPress trending post. Or something. Apparently, we’re getting infinite scrolling at some point. Yay!

But it reminded me of two things.

Firstly, I studied Laplace transforms through Salman Khan’s videos (the ones Bill Gates’s son was using for school and were granted a whole lot of money to form the Khan Academy, an aaawesome place if you’re absolutely lost in Calculus and the textbook isn’t helping), and everytime Sal enunciated the Laplace transform definition, I heard “From zero to infinity – and beyond!“.

Laplace transform definition (from here)

And secondly, eventhough I was outraged when I read that Matt has never read Harry Potter books, I have never watched Toy Story 1 or 2. Which made the 3rd one a bit odd, what with all the people crying next to me.

It got here!

At last, the book I’d ordered from Better World Books, Extras, got here! I thought it had been lost cause of weird shipping address (should have gotten here last week), but I guess it all turned out okay, they told me to wait a bit (very good, fast customer service).  It’s so pretty…. And new, even though it said used…. And it’s the pretty edition I like… And… aaah.

I’m drooling over the book, the BWB wrapping and the note inside. Can’t believe there is such a thing as free international shipping! But here it is, living proof. Pretty sure Dad still doesn’t believe it (he’d told me it was a scam). Too bad it arrived earlier than I’d anticipated and I still haven’t got Specials… Guess I’ll read it ebook form just cause I’m so excited about this one! (Hate ebooks)

Doesn't it look happy at its new home?

 

 

It rains


(From http://prowess.tumblr.com/post/245733007/ieatyouruterus-prettylittlehate-from-heroes, didn’t get if it was the original sketch from Heroes or a fan art…)

I was going to spend my afternoon making snide remarks about all the actors and lines from the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with my one-year-old, once-met reading club, but as it happened to all the other plans of the group over the last year, it too failed. (It’s a holiday! Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in my circle of friends who isn’t busy enough to say “Sorry, I’ve already got plans” to whatever invite they make. Should really consider lying next time.)

Then I was going to go look for wallpaper for my room (amidst renovations, after 19 years of begging), only to find out it’s super expensive.

And then it started raining, which I’m taking as an excuse to stay home and do nothing useful (as if that was something new) for hours on end. Let’s see how far the blogging goes today, shall we?

I found (through very cute Brazilian blog who recently started blogging in English too) this band called Puggy that’s very nice indeed (I’m picky). It’s linked to Grooveshark to anyone interested in listening to their fun, cool album (that I’d buy, but it doesn’t seem to be in national grounds, para variar…).

Also, this is nicer than the original rainy sounds through my window! (Oh, the digital world…)

(Very fond of parenthetical remarks today.)