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Weather scientists to Thor : "Suck it."
August 2, 2001 10:54 PM   Subscribe

Weather scientists to Thor : "Suck it." Small plane goes into big storm cloud, dumps powder, big storm cloud go bye-bye. It's finally starting to feel like 2001 around here.
posted by dong_resin (30 comments total)

 
I like rain. I love thunderstorms.
posted by pracowity at 11:08 PM on August 2, 2001


Gotta say that combining my Marvel-comics-based mental image of the name 'Thor' with the words 'Suck it' makes me feel kind of weird and dirty, but in a nice way.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:19 PM on August 2, 2001


I like rain too.
but, not all of it.
posted by dong_resin at 11:32 PM on August 2, 2001


"If ya smellllllllllll... what the science.... is... cookin' ! "
posted by owillis at 11:40 PM on August 2, 2001


now if they could just make rain out of nothing...
posted by sixdifferentways at 11:41 PM on August 2, 2001


So where's my flying car?
posted by fidelity at 11:41 PM on August 2, 2001


> I like rain too.
> but, not all of it.

You don't have to tell me about that. I had to swim home not long ago. Up our street.

But I still don't want people turning off the rain so they can watch baseball.
posted by pracowity at 11:48 PM on August 2, 2001


Yeah, the test was up in Palm Beach County last month. The product is from the same outfit that developed a gel to spray on houses that are in the path of an approaching wildfire. The fire rescue people then spray the gel with water from a hose and let the gel become a sort of super water barrier to protect the house.

Naysayers point out that most storms are dozens, if not hundreds of miles wide and would be almost impossible to neutralize. A hurricane or tropical storm always zips near South Florida in the last week of August. I'll wait and reserve judgement for one of those tests.
posted by stevis at 11:52 PM on August 2, 2001


I first heard about this on Fox news...sounds like something that might work...but would cost millions to execute...although...think about it:

Hurricanes typically form near Africa, or way out in the Atlantic...and actually start rather small. Why not just dump a bunch of this stuff on 'em out there...could save people billions of dollars worth of property damage.

sixdifferentways - haven't you ever seen that episode of Gumby where they shoot a bunch of dust into the sky and then it rains? That was a classic!
posted by canoeguide at 1:44 AM on August 3, 2001


First, that link made me laugh.

Second, didn't the government try the opposite of this (making rain) in the 60s or 70s and wash away several medium-sized towns?

Third, has anyone asked the dolphins if they like the taste of rain-gel? Do they sneeze if it gets in their blowholes?

Fourth, if the raincloud they turn to gel had acid rain in it, would the gel turn into a sort of acidic napalm?
posted by joemaller at 1:46 AM on August 3, 2001


Hm... This tech is pretty old, I think. I remember hearing about the Russians having some sort of anit-hail missles way back...

Heh. That's the ticket. Got a problem? Shoot a missle at it!
posted by whatnotever at 1:59 AM on August 3, 2001


Neat... current state of the art until this was silver iodide flairs and dry ice.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:47 AM on August 3, 2001


Heh.
Acidic napalm.
I like that.
Very Bruce Sterling.
posted by dong_resin at 4:39 AM on August 3, 2001


There seems to be an ill wind brewing. The whole pharse: DOn't fuck with Mother Nature was not created for nothing. I'll pass.
posted by Stretch at 5:10 AM on August 3, 2001


Thor : "Suck it."

Watch it, weather scientists. That's what the Absorbing Man said, and he got turned into a cardboard box.
posted by straight at 5:11 AM on August 3, 2001


The way it was reported on the BBC, this is more of a cosmetic treatment for weather than a means of preventing storms. The Soviets used silver iodide to seed clouds and prevent rainouts of the Moscow Olympic opening ceremony; and I'm sure that the organisers of Wimbledon would gladly pay for guaranteed blue skies over Centre Court, even if it means that those queuing for tickets get gelled upon beforehand.
posted by holgate at 5:41 AM on August 3, 2001


Man vs. Nature

Hmmm.... wonder who's going to win that one in the end??
posted by msgoff at 6:03 AM on August 3, 2001


I can't wait to hear what happens when they use this magic powder to save Disneyworld and upper-class housing developments while hundreds of trailers go unprotected.

[From the article:] [the company] refuse[s] to say exactly what is in [the powder]

It's PEOPLE! Soylent Gel is PEOPLE!
posted by daveadams at 6:12 AM on August 3, 2001


You know, I can't help but think that messing with the Earth's weather patterns like this can't be a Good Thing.
posted by CrayDrygu at 6:21 AM on August 3, 2001


Here is another thing to worry about it. There is no reason that the military might not get a hold of this cause a small country that we do not like to have a serious drought. Why fight a war when we can just starve them to death?
posted by aj100 at 6:40 AM on August 3, 2001


The human race continues to send me to the nearest dark corner to shiver like a frightened child. I fear by our constant efforts to make the earth more convenient we are going to eventually make it unliveable.
posted by fluxcreative at 6:44 AM on August 3, 2001


I remember when I was in pilot training, my instructor told me that the biggest thunderstorms had an equivalent energy of one Hiroshima-sized atomic bomb.

And we want to put some powder on that?

PS> I like that the BBC headline is "US makes 'weather control powder'" Yes, the entire country was involved....ph33r u5.
posted by thewittyname at 6:45 AM on August 3, 2001


Using powder to solve the world's weather issues? Who did we contract? Robert Downey Junior?
posted by Hankins at 6:53 AM on August 3, 2001


I'm only happy when it rains/
posted by panopticon at 6:57 AM on August 3, 2001


Hurricanes typically form near Africa, or way out in the Atlantic...and actually start rather small. Why not just dump a bunch of this stuff on 'em out there...could save people billions of dollars worth of property damage.

Sure! Every time nature gets in our way, just blow it up, right? I mean, it's annoying!

Seriously, though -- if a single butterfly flapping its wings can start a hurricane (true, actually), then imagine what preventing an entire annual hurricane would do to the tropical ecosystem. I'm working for SUNY Stony Brook's Marine Sciences Research Center over the summer, and I can tell you -- it would be disasterous. Fish would die, water temperatures would change, etc. Bad Stuff would happen.
posted by tweebiscuit at 6:59 AM on August 3, 2001


And a hurricane has the energy equivalent to exploding an atomic bomb every second.

I'm generally very pro-science, but ... I would be very concerned about any attempt the screw with the weather. Like forest fires, even the most destructive storms have a roll to play on Earth. Will we ever learn?
posted by quirked at 7:01 AM on August 3, 2001


Reminds me of Vonnegut's Ice-9...
posted by the bob at 7:10 AM on August 3, 2001


i like the name of the company, Dyn-o-mat. how silly.
posted by adampsyche at 7:27 AM on August 3, 2001


Well, let's not dismiss this technology straight-out. Given a narrow scope it could still be appropriate. Screw sporting events, but if there's another Hurricane Audrey brewing--and it's obvious it's going to be a Hurricane Audrey--let the storm have it.

That said, strict regulation would be necessary to prevent usage creep and its effect on ocean ecosystems would have to be thoroughly researched.
posted by mrbula at 9:32 AM on August 3, 2001


You can't manufacture enough powder to neutralize a full-blown hurricane, much less spread it over the entire surface of the storm.
posted by Ptrin at 10:16 AM on August 3, 2001


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