A sunny look at the Cloud Appreciation Society and its founder

Jon Mooallem, writing in the New York Times, appreciates the Cloud Appreciation Society and its founder, Gavin Pretor-Pinney. (Gavin was one of the stars of the Ig Nobel show this past March at Brunel University, part of the Ig Nobel EuroTour.) Here’s a little chunk of that profile:

Who were they all? Why were they there? They were a collection of ordinary people with an interest in clouds. Behind all those user names on the Cloud Society website were schoolteachers, sky divers, meteorologists, retired astronomy teachers, office workers and artists. Many people had come alone, but conversations sparked easily. (“I’ve just seen the best cloud dress I’ve seen in my life,” a woman said on the stairway. A second woman turned and said, “Well, yours is quite lovely, too.”) The atmosphere was comfortable and convivial and amplified by a kind of feedback loop of escalating relief, whereby people who arrived at a cloud conference not knowing what to expect recognized how normal and friendly everyone was and enjoyed themselves even more.

The program Pretor-Pinney had pulled together was a little highbrow but fun….


(Thanks to Gus Rancatore for bringing this to our attention.)

Here’s a TED Talk by Gavin Pretor-Pinney:

Here is a song favored, frequently, by many members of the Cloud Appreciation Society, composed and performed about a half century ago, in seeming anticipation of the creation of the Cloud Appreciation Society, by Joni Mitchell:

BONUS: Here’s video from a Cloud Appreciation Society event held, a while back, in Erbil City, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan: