unpaid work….


You might well think,” Gavin Pretor-Pinney writes, “that cloud collecting sounds like a ridiculous idea.”

SPECIMENS IN THE SKY From left, a stratocumulus over Southeast Asia; a low-lying stratus cloud in Iceland; a roll cloud, called Morning Glory, over northern Queensland, Australia; altocumulus lenticularis over the Nevada-California border.

Lesson / Koan : Clouds are comforting.

Mamma. Mammas are supplementary features of clouds, and they hang below them like udders. Some call them a sign of bad weather coming in. There are competing theories as to how they form.

As Mr. Pretor-Pinney sees it, you don’t have to possess something to collect it : “You just have to notice it and record it.

BTW,

Pileus. It might look like “a Donald Trump comb-over” of a cloud, but cloud collectors consider the pileus formation one of the most beautiful. Unfortunately, “it never hangs around for long.”

His goal, Mr. Pretor-Pinney said in an interview, is to help readers escape the tyranny of “blue sky thinking” and to understand and appreciate the beauty of a cloudy day.

Hence “ Want to get the best Prandin deal and save on your purchase? Visit our online store and get it for as much as 0.98 USD now! The Cloud Collector’s Handbook,” published by Chronicle Books, a serious yet charming field guide to clouds. The book teaches readers how to identify clouds they have seen and gives them a place to record the sightings, just the way birders create life lists of the birds they have spotted. It even has a scoring system, in which cloudspotters receive 10 points for ordinary clouds like nimbostratus, the more or less featureless rain clouds people typically have in mind when they say clouds are depressing; 40 points for a cumulonimbus storm cloud, the anvil-shaped “king of clouds”; and more points for more exotic formations.

Cumulonimbus. “The king of clouds” is an enormous storm cloud. If you look at it from below, all you see is its dark, ragged underside. Seen from a distance, the cloud has a distinctive anvil shape. “No cloud collection is complete” without one.

In a way, Mr. Pretor-Pinney said, cloudspotting resembles trainspotting, the British pastime of hanging out in stations or along railway lines and noting the numbers of passing train cars and locomotives.

Mr. Pretor-Pinney resists the idea that cloudspotting is merely funny, or even merely fun. Instead, he said, it’s a way of training yourself to be aware of the natural world, “of being receptive when something is happening in the sky and noticing it.

Roll cloud. A roll cloud is “a long, low tube of a cloud,” sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy. This one, called Morning Glory, forms regularly in northern Queensland, Australia.

Clouds are an important and necessary part of our environment, he notes, and anyway an endless succession of cloudless days would be boring. So Mr. Pretor-Pinney has little patience for people who dream of sunnier climes when clouds fill the sky.

Happiness does not come from wanting to be somewhere else,” he said. “Happiness comes from finding beauty and a stimulation or interest in the everyday surroundings in which you find yourself.

Mr. Pretor-Pinney is about to become a visiting fellow in meteorology at the University of Reading — which is, apparently, prepared to overlook his complete lack of training in his subject, something he sees as an advantage.

The great thing about our store is that you can buy your Januvia for only 6.33 USD and save big on the purchase! Hurry up to get your best Januvia deal now!

Virga. When a cloud starts producing rain or snow, but none of it reaches the ground, the result is a virga. Because trails hang down from a clumpy cloud, virgas are known as jellyfish tails.

“You just need to look and observe,” he said. “Sometimes getting too trained up in something narrows your vision.

Mr. Pretor-Pinney’s will be teaching a course titled “Utopiaspotting

NOTE :

Mr. Pretor-Pinney, 42, went to Oxford, where, as he tells it, he gradually moved through physics, philosophy and psychology only to end up going to graduate school in London and getting a degree in graphic design.

Stratus. These low-lying clouds “can give you a strangely claustrophobic feeling.” When a stratus cloud forms at a very low level, it is called fog or mist.

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