A “cloud on the horizon” means that something bad is about to happen. Meanwhile, someone with their “head in the clouds” is thoroughly out to lunch. As Gavin Pretor-Pinney points out in today’s talk, clouds get a bad rep when it comes to language.
Gavin Pretor-Pinney: Cloudy with a chance of joy“But I think they’re beautiful, don’t you?” he says. “It’s just that their beauty is missed because they’re so omnipresent, so commonplace that people don’t notice them … unless they get in the way of the sun.”
Pretor-Pinney is the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society and, in this talk, he asks each of us to do something we excelled at when we were kids — looking up at the clouds and letting our imaginations run wild. He shows many evocative cloud formations — some created by specific, named types of clouds — and calls on us all to take part in this global Rorschach test. To that end, the Cloud Appreciation Society (which has 32,000+ members) last week released a CloudSpotter iPhone app that allows people to capture and share their own cloud images. Bonus: NASA will use anonymous data from the app to help calibrate its cloud-observing satellites.
Below, Pretor-Pinney (and a few guests) shares a few cloud images with the TED Blog.