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Google's got nothing on the asperatus
June 3, 2009 9:13 AM   Subscribe

The Cloud Appreciation Society is trying to get the Royal Meteorological Society to recognize a new form of cloud (pix). More about how cloud naming got started and more cloud photos. [previous clouds, via]
posted by jessamyn (56 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's a Cloud Appreciation Society?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:14 AM on June 3, 2009


I know, right?
posted by jessamyn at 9:14 AM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Via Twitter?

Begone, devil woman!
posted by Joe Beese at 9:17 AM on June 3, 2009


New, my ass. I patented that cloud in 1996 and I have the documents to prove it.
posted by DU at 9:17 AM on June 3, 2009


There's a Cloud Appreciation Society?

And it costs money to join?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:19 AM on June 3, 2009


And it costs money to join?

Hey, clouds don't just make themselves, you know.
posted by eriko at 9:23 AM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


I know, right?

What? The Cloudspotters guide is a great book!. I don't mean that facetiously. Its one of those cheerful and funny books - the kind that replenish your childlike wonder.
posted by vacapinta at 9:23 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Saw the BBC photo-set yesterday - made me homesick for the ever-changing heavens of home. used to love being working up on some hill and watch the weather rolling in off the Atlantic. Didn't realise how comparatively recent the current naming scheme was.
posted by Abiezer at 9:25 AM on June 3, 2009


I know, right?

What?


Nonono clouds are amazing, I just didn't know there was a group I could join to go share that "omg clouds!" feeling with. You're talking to someone who just bought the Golden Guide to Weather.
posted by jessamyn at 9:26 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Those pictures are unreal!
posted by nosila at 9:27 AM on June 3, 2009


But seriously, those are awesome clouds and I'm surprised they aren't already classified. And they look exactly like the wave-y formations you get between an oil and water layer. Maybe for the same reason?
posted by DU at 9:29 AM on June 3, 2009


In these articles I sense the crafty hand of the HDR Appreciation Society.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:32 AM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


asperatus (as per A tus), n.
1. A green, leafy vegetable that makes some people's urine smell funny.
2. A lesser-known curse or spell, first appearing in Harry Potter and the Fenced-In Area Behind the Garden Shed, IYKWIM(AITYD).
3. A particularly embarassing part of the body ("Call a doctor! You'll never believe what he got stuck in his asperatus!!")

posted by yhbc at 9:32 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


My father is actually a member, and has won Cloud of The Month.
posted by phrontist at 9:35 AM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


I wonder if there's a significant overlap in the membership of the Cloud Appreciation Society and the Getting Baked and Laying in the Grass on a Nice Day Society.

Cause I would totally join both.
posted by electroboy at 9:37 AM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Those are some awesome clouds, yes they are. Wow.
posted by rtha at 9:39 AM on June 3, 2009


I dub thee "Explosions and Boobs".
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:41 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cloud Appreciation Society

Oh right, like we need an uppity society of "cloud appreciators" to show us when to look up at a beautiful cloud. /Sarcasme


Anyhoo....

What a delightful site.



(Also, what a potentially great name for a band.)

posted by Skygazer at 9:42 AM on June 3, 2009


Speaking of boobs, I think the last picture in the link shows mammatus clouds.
posted by exogenous at 9:45 AM on June 3, 2009


But the first idea was not to shape the clouds
In imitation. The clouds preceded us

There was a muddy center before we breathed.
There was a myth before the myth began,
Venerable and articulate and complete.

From this the poem springs: that we live in a place
That is not our own and, much more, not ourselves
And hard it is in spite of blazoned days.

We are the mimics. Clouds are pedagogues.


from Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, by Wallace Stevens
posted by xod at 9:47 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


My father is actually a member, and has won Cloud of The Month.

I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:48 AM on June 3, 2009 [13 favorites]


That is not a "cloud", that is the apocalypse in the sky right there!
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM on June 3, 2009


ooooohhh....ahhhhh...whoaaaa......gaahhhhhh......

Favorite new site hands down. Fuck yes.

On a sidenote: the Asperatus formations are gorgeous and the word has got to have it's latin root in the same words as: Aspire, respire, inspire, expire, respiration etc... Just guessing.

/languagehat impression.
posted by Skygazer at 9:53 AM on June 3, 2009


Those are stunning clouds! I would love to see them first hand - now that I'm forewarned that they exist - I can only imagine the panic I'd feel if I saw them without any context.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:56 AM on June 3, 2009


ahhh clouds. Those are wonderful cloud formations! Truly awesome.
But asperatus? The name doesn't ring true, even if asperatus is Latin for ‘roughened up’, like a choppy sea. The meaning is good but it's too much like asparagus. But maybe that's the kind of thing kids and people will remember. "Oh, those asparagus clouds."

Looking at other options on the Cloud Appreciation Society's site, none of the other name options are that good either. Burled Mammatus isn't bad. Armageddon, heh. Needs a TS Eliot to cook up a Growltiger or Rum Tum Tugger of a name for those cloud creatures.

Related
: Rare and strange cloud formations. Mammatus, lenticular, noctilucent, nacreous, hole in the sky. Basic cloud guide.

I like clouds and weather (as a runaway kid my fantasy was 'I'd like to be the sea or else a cloud, ah, elsa cloud' So I took the name elsa cloud.)

Also related: The Cloud Harp (now only on the Wayback Machine, here). Looks like asperatus cloud music would be Wagnerian.
posted by nickyskye at 10:00 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


My father's contribution, for which he received a little certificate and everything. He wears a button on occasion, and is rather evangelical about the whole thing. He's also a member of the similarly-whismical lighter than air flight society, which just had a big meeting in Seattle.
posted by phrontist at 10:03 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I took some photos of some very unusual clouds last year that looked very like the Asperatus pix (though yeah, at the time, after some research I thought Mammatus clouds - I think it was a combination of the two)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:05 AM on June 3, 2009


A user friendly cloud identification site.
posted by nickyskye at 10:07 AM on June 3, 2009


But despite their stunning and frequent appearances, the formations have yet to be officially recognised with a name.

I say, "Whoozhulus" -- another species of cloud monster.
posted by not_on_display at 10:17 AM on June 3, 2009


Anyone mind if I add a few little fluffy ones?
posted by orme at 10:18 AM on June 3, 2009


At first glance, I was afraid this post would be related to Final Fantasy. Thanks for actually being about clouds.

I spend too much time on computers.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:24 AM on June 3, 2009


It's all fun and games until V'Ger destroys the carbon-based units infesting your planet.
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wicked clouds over Greenland . . .

(There are a million links in this post/thread, so sorry if someone already linked this.)
posted by barrett caulk at 10:28 AM on June 3, 2009


Is there a higher resolution set of the ones that they want to name? The main webpage has 4000 odd photos.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:41 AM on June 3, 2009


The last picture in the 'a new form of cloud' link looks like a Van Gogh painting.
posted by stavrogin at 10:47 AM on June 3, 2009


I think this one kind of looks like a vagina.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:50 AM on June 3, 2009


Either that for the Virgin Mary.
posted by stavrogin at 10:53 AM on June 3, 2009


or, dammit.
posted by stavrogin at 10:53 AM on June 3, 2009


Someone needs to get working on a cloud tag tag cloud. Someone like cortex.
posted by Mister_A at 11:01 AM on June 3, 2009


Life imitates art or something...
posted by Mister_A at 11:04 AM on June 3, 2009


Based on those pix, God does terrible CGI.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:08 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey. You. Get offa my lawn cloud.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:26 AM on June 3, 2009


I have never seen such clouds before, but if I did, I think I'd probably assuming that world is ending.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:46 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you go see Pixar's UP, there's a charming mini feature before, called Partly Cloudy, about one particular cloud. You can buy it off iTunes also, it's worth the 2 bucks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:29 PM on June 3, 2009


Did someone page me?
posted by get off of my cloud at 1:29 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


We get all kinds of clouds here in Indiana. But I'v never seen any Aspertus other than the stuff that makes your pee smell funny.
posted by pjern at 2:31 PM on June 3, 2009


There is something I just like about the word "lenticular"
posted by emhutchinson at 2:44 PM on June 3, 2009


And then there is "It Looked Like Spilt Milk," one of my favorite picture books. I had no idea it was so old. Very handy in bilingual classrooms. Las Nueves/ Clouds/ Les Nuages, and something else in the original Italian.
For all you teachers out there at the end of the year.
posted by emhutchinson at 2:57 PM on June 3, 2009


Cumulo-ominus.
posted by jamjam at 2:58 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hooray for clouds!
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:23 PM on June 3, 2009


Hah. At first I clicked the pix link and saw a picture that looked like cruddy computer graphics and scoffed. Eventually I noticed that it's a real photos and the fake-looking clouds (come on, clouds don't look like that!) are real and ... oh. neat.
posted by aubilenon at 4:29 PM on June 3, 2009


My kids took one look and immediately agreed that asperatus cloud formation should be called Spirit Cloud. Too many Miyazaki films, maybe, but I like it.
posted by eve harrington at 5:13 PM on June 3, 2009


You can learn a lot from clouds. Even kung fu!
posted by homunculus at 5:35 PM on June 3, 2009


I think this one kind of looks like a vagina.

Yikes, no vagina I ever seen.
posted by pianomover at 5:36 PM on June 3, 2009


Wow, very cool. I make my living looking at the weather, but I've never seen anything like those clouds.
posted by weathergal at 6:32 PM on June 3, 2009


I knew I had seen something like these before, but it took a long time to remember what.

I think there are two bands on the planet Jupiter which have patterns that strongly resemble the patterns in some of the asperatus clouds, one band above the equator and one band below.

Take a look at (the full size version of) "The Greatest Jupiter Portrait" (from the Cassini Image Gallery), and tell me you don't think the band below the equator of Jupiter-- the one that runs across the northern border of the Great Red Spot--- isn't asperatus clouds writ extremely large.
posted by jamjam at 11:26 PM on June 3, 2009


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