Author Topic: On Controlling the Weather -- essay  (Read 3842 times)

Offline Tom 10

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On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« on: July 24, 2012, 03:38:34 PM »
ON CONTROLLING THE WEATHER

Being a contrarian by both  inclination and instinct, I often take up arms in challenge to the conventional wisdom, the cultural collective common sense, as it were.  On today’s chopping block is notion that you can’t control the weather. And to this I say hogwash! balderdash! and whimistick! (Okay, so I made that last one up).

I have no doubt that as we walk through this analysis, each reader, drawing on his or her personal experience, will intuitively grasp the rules that have long been obvious to me: rules for controlling the weather!  And yes, the weather is controlled by rules, or laws, as immutable as the law of gravity, or, more to the point at hand, Murphy’s Law.  And precision in the equation is properly stated in Guiden’s Corollary to Murphy’s Law, expressed thusly: “Murphy was an Optimist.”

All will soon agree that controlling the weather through strict application of the rules is simple child’s play.  The first step is to decide what weather you want to have.  Step Two, apply the proper rule.

HERE'S HOW TO GET THE WEATHER OUTCOMES YOU WANT:

SUN: Spread $ 40.00 of grass seed.
SUN AND HIGH WIND: Spread $250 of grass seed.
SUN & DROUGHT: Install a 500 gallon container to catch rain-water for your garden

RAIN: Drive 5 of your kid's friends 1 1/2 hours to the lake for swimming.
ALL-DAY DRIZZLE: Take weekday off from work to do outside chores and projects.
ALL-DAY RAIN: Invite for a picnic more out-of-town people than will fit in your house. 2 DAY RAIN: Cut hay.
3 DAY RAIN: Spend $250 to herbicide your lawn.

SUN & 95 DEGREE TEMPS: Order 12 square lap shingles.
95 DEGREES, 65 % HUMIDITY: Line up 2 friends and buy fiberglass attic insulation.

SUDDEN SUMMER THUNDERSTORM: Drop your pontoon anchor in that hard to find bay, light the charcoal, and crack open a beer.
SUDDEN SUMMER THUNDERSTORM II: Rent the neighbor’s hay bailer.

LIGHT SNOW: Shovel your sidewalk.
MEDIUM/HEAVY SNOW: Miss your appointment to get snow-tires put on.
SNOW STORM: Drop $48 on tickets for Bob Seeger concert 3 hour drive away.
BLIZZARD: Drop $650 on tickets for Bob Dylan concert 3 hour drive away.

NO SNOW: Buy $1,600 deluxe snow-blower.
NO SNOW FOR ALL WINTER: Drop $12,700 on cute his & hers Arctic Cat snowmobiles, and another $950 for the trailer.

The reader at this point has no doubt fully accepted the self-evident nature of these rules and has conjured additional applications that have not occurred to me.  Such is the nature of explicating the truths of the universe, and I humbly accept my small share of the credit.

On tomorrow’s chopping block: “All’s well that ends well”.  In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine because you know that someone, somewhere, just spread a bunch of grass seed.  .

Offline heidi52

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 03:46:36 PM »
Loved it! I've always known this  ;)

I have one to add: want rain? Hang 3 loads of clean wash on the line. Proven just today.

Thanks for the chuckle!

Offline Tom 10

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 03:49:20 PM »
Heidi --

Good one! so does that prompt any certain sort, style, heft or duration?  Or just enough to be a pain?

T

Offline heidi52

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 04:27:03 PM »
I find a direct corollary between the weight of the fabrics hung and the rain it brings.

Heavy towels and sheets will get you a quick downpour that will immediately soak them so they are even more work to bring in.

Lots of light things - light intermittent showers.

Beach stuff that you don't care about? It won't rain for days.  ;D ;D ;D

Offline Tom 10

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 04:33:09 PM »
Yesssss. seems to fit the rules. :) :)

Offline Gyppo

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 07:57:40 PM »
If you want strong winds build a bonfire pile which will endanger the safety net around your neighbour's twenty foot diameter trampoline if the flames can't go straight up.

Strength of wind, and inappropriate direction is directly linked to the size of the bonfire pile.

Small fires create a dead calm night.  Medium fires just enough wind to make you think you can get away with it until you strike the match.  Big fires produce a wind which will have tongues of flame leaping sideways towards the meltable nylon mesh.

Huge fires produce changeable and fitful gusts which will alternately threaten the net and your daughter's Mini stored on the far side of your own garden.  Plus the occasional third direction which will catch you out and briefly surround you with flames no matter where you stand.

Gyppo
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Offline Tom 10

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 07:35:02 AM »
That's really funny, Gyppo! ;D ;D
T

Offline heidi52

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 08:36:46 AM »
You forgot the smoke/wind variant: If your fire produces smoke the wind will shift and blow it at you no matter where you stand.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 11:38:10 AM »
I've become quite adept at avoiding the smoke, no matter what it tries to do.  It's a basic survival skill for asthmatics ;-)

Ordinary woodsmoke isn't too bad, but the chemical cocktail from fireworks can be nasty ;-(
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Offline geoffnelder

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 06:33:45 PM »
I've become quite adept at avoiding the smoke, no matter what it tries to do.  It's a basic survival skill for asthmatics ;-)

Ordinary woodsmoke isn't too bad, but the chemical cocktail from fireworks can be nasty ;-(
Then there's the little matter that allowing bonfire smoke to go into your neighbours space (house and garden) has been illegal since 1936, and reinforced by several laws since. This is partly because the average bonfire smoke is 8 times more carcinogenic than ciggie smoke. However, not to worry, most policemen don't know any of this.
The best quote about weather for me is that by Oscar Wilde, who said 'Everyone complains about the weather but no one does anything about it".  ;D

Offline Gyppo

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 08:42:25 PM »
Our local council actually supports my right to have a bonfire.  They suggest not before 6 PM as a guideline  I checked on their website.  Just because it can be deemed antisocial doesn't mean they see it as illegal.

Plus, I have to put up with stinking barbecues ;-)

Not all laws are enforceable.  After all, when was the last time you heard of a licensed hackney carriage driver being fined for not carrying a truss of hay or a bucket of water for his horse.  But the law's still on the books.

Gyppo

 
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Offline geoffnelder

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2012, 02:53:28 AM »
Then your council is an ass. Bonfire smoke isn't illegal as such but it is when it goes into your neighbours' homes and gardens, and for better reasons than it is illegal to smoke in public places. There are exceptions (for stupid economic reasons) eg some industries are allowed to burn some things though there are grades of smoke in the regs.

The law does not back up those old-wives tales of being to have bonfires on Sundays or after dark (blind eyes on Nov 5 but we know to keep windows closed for that) but if you insist on a bonfire best to use days when the wind is going to take the smoke over non-populated areas, or no wind so it goes straight up, although it just means it collects in an inversion high up, spreads out and everybody gets it later.
 
My initial interest in all this came from my MSc work on air pollution (leading to my election as a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society) but I became an activist in it when large smuts of bonfire smoke landed on my sleeping daughter's face in her pram in the garden. I went round to that neighbour, helped them to extinguish the fire, and for years after helped them compost their lawn cuttings and waste food they felt they needed to burn. Professor R S Scorer at Imperial College calls the fire brigade out when he sees neighbours bonfire smoke. (haha. I've not gone that far but near enough. I've distributed leaflets on why its unhealthy and which parts of the 1936 Public Health Act, !956 Clean Air Act, and Pollution Acts of 1974 and 1990 says you're a criminal that always worked so far. In fact our local council revamped and distributed my leaflet with their newsletters)

You feel you have a RIGHT to a bonfire, but we have a RIGHT not to breathe in your smoke.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2012, 10:32:28 AM »
Geoff.

Sorry, but you and I will have to 'agree to differ' on this.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

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Offline geoffnelder

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2012, 10:45:28 AM »
Geoff.

Sorry, but you and I will have to 'agree to differ' on this.

Gyppo
Gyppo,
I thought as much and that's okay. There's not much that get's me going, but that's one. I'm sure we can still share a drink or two sometime and have a laugh.
Geoff

Offline geoffnelder

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Re: On Controlling the Weather -- essay
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2012, 10:52:39 AM »
Back to Tracy's essay. Really enjoyed it. The title reminded me that the US Navy used to call forecasting: 'Weather Control'. A bit of real control is possible with cloud seeding to force local rainfall, but humans have been excellent at global weather control by releasing so much CO2, we have global warming. Another way to trigger good weather here in the UK is for me and Mrs N to go on holiday somewhere else. We're off on Wednesday - enjoy the sunshine. :)