Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Make it Rain!

"Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." -Mark Twain

(actually, he never said that or anything much like it, but whatever).

Anyhow, my sister recently wrote from Chengdu ("think of it as the Chicago of China"), where it was really hot (no, like, way hotter than it is in New York), but then it rained a lot and it cooled down:

In the most interesting news of the day, yesterday's torrential rain showers were man-made. Apparantly the Chengdu government decided that it had been too hot for too many days. They tracked a cloud by satellite, and at the precise moment it moved over Chengdu, they fired 48 cannons spread around the city with rain-seeding chemicals, and started the monsoon. It was all over the newspapers and TV, though of course we couldn't read it and heard through others. Apparantly this is common practice in China.

Well holy shite. Cloud seeding technology has actually been around for decades, though it's not used that much in the US (China is the biggest user). Using chemicals, you can make a cloud rain before it otherwise would have rained. Good to know.


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