I recently became concerned for the well-being of our nation’s clouds. This worry swelled inside me while I was picking out a thoughtful gift for a friend, a membership to The Cloud Appreciation Society. Gifts can say a variety of things. This one in particular says: “Look, this is a real thing, and now you’re a part of it whether you like it or not.”
I recently became concerned for the well-being of our nation’s clouds.
This worry swelled inside me while I was picking out a thoughtful gift for a friend, a membership to The Cloud Appreciation Society. Gifts can say a variety of things. This one in particular says: “Look, this is a real thing, and now you’re a part of it whether you like it or not.”
But while visiting the Cloud Appreciation site (cloudappreciationsociety.org), I noted that there are more than four times as many members in the United Kingdom than in the United States, which has 2,816 members. It’s not right when we’re at the brink of a new cloud discovered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, being named to the most prestigious arena for clouds, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The new cloud is called undulatus asperatus, or literally translated, “new cloud.” Cloud enthusiasts want it to become the first cloud category admitted into the International Cloud Atlas since 1951. There, it would join other prestigious clouds like cumulus, cumulonimbus and that one cloud that looks like Danny DeVito, if you squint.
People don’t have time to stare at the sky and discover clouds anymore. It’s not like they can just take time while they’re driving down major highways to stare up into the sky at clouds; they’re too busy texting.
The questions you’re probably asking: Where does this new cloud come from, and does it have a Facebook page?
Cloud Appreciation Society President Gavin Pretor-Pinney theorized to Wired magazine that it’s from “warmer, moister air above and colder, driver air below, with an abrupt boundary in between,” or “a cartoon character who is in a really bad mood.”
And, of course, it has a Facebook page. What person or thing in their right mind doesn’t?
Atlas officials don’t go around accepting every new cloud under the sun. There are three main groups of clouds accepted: cumulus, cirrus and stratus. And each has its subcategories, like altostratus, cirrostratus and Dodge Stratus.
The Appreciation Society, whose actual, real motto is “to fight the sun fascists and their blue-sky thinking,” is fighting to get asperatus its just due. The society has a mission to stop cloud negativity.
If they had their way, it would be faux pas to say “he has his head in the clouds” in a negative way, like for a person who has unrealistic expectations. Which brings me back to my friend and the gift. This person asked for an $800 camera as an early birthday gift eight months before the day. If you’re going to have that kind of expectations, then you belong with other members who have their head in the clouds.
Rockford Register Star columnist Kevin Haas will accept your cloud pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon receiving them, he’ll look at them and shrug his shoulders. “Huh,” he’ll say. “Looks like a cloud.” Or call him at (815) 987-1354.