First, what a horrible number in the title, the big Eight-Oh! Truly bad. The Grim Reaper can’t be far behind me. Let us calm down by listening to some content about death from the band, Ghost:
Still doing science as best I can with, as of today, with this ancient brain!
Some recent “contributions” posted in the past two months at cloud-maven.com:
One-Sided Citing in Cloud Seeding
The above was submitted to the Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. (BAMS) as an “essay” but was rejected by J. R., Chief Ed., in 2019. This version has been rewritten and expanded from the submitted one and the word “misconduct” removed from the original title which asked the question if one-sided citing should be considered so. I have a low threshold of scientific misconduct.
One sided citing is a plague, not only in science where controversy exists, but also in the media. It is a phenomenon that doesn’t tell the full story but misleads readers. Please read Sharyl Attkisson’s book, “Slanted” for media examples.
The Rise and Fall of Cloud Seeding in Israel
And of course, a special interest of mine that began in 1979 or so when Peter Hobbs challenged me to look into the Israeli experiments after I had outed faulty cloud seeding work in Colorado and Washington State. This history has been updated after the seven season Israel-4 (I-4) experiment ended in 2020 with a null result. Wow. (However, I-4 is not yet in the formal literature; word on the result came from Prof. Peter Hobbs’ former student, Prof. Emeritus, Zev Levin, of Tel Aviv U). I had previously published on the clouds of Israel in 1988, and performed extensive reanalyses in 1995 with Prof. Hobbs as a co-author/editor. Both these pubs were on my own initiative, and considerable time and dime.
A shorter version of this article lacking the result of I-4, was rejected in 2019 by BAMS Special Ed, James Rodgers Fleming, a former member of Peter Hobbs’ group (my old group)! I got two reviews; an anonymous, “accept, important paper”, and a “reject” by a promoter of cloud seeding at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Rosenfeld.
BAMS (Rodgers kindly asked BAMS) would not let me respond to the comments of the reviewers, make those few necessary revisions, which I thought was unheard of, especially due to the disingenuous ones of the seeding partisan.
When I queried BAMS last year after the I-4 null result became known, BAMS officials indicated that they were not interested in this history. I think its a science story that every organization from states to local water districts that have paid for cloud seeding should read. You probably aren’t getting what you think IMO, as the Israeli’s found out when they got independent evaluations.
The Israeli story is an incredible one in which as much as 100 million in 2020 dollars was wasted on ineffectual cloud seeding due to seeding partisans who spun results from imaginary “ripe-for-seeding” clouds into cloud seeding successes as you can read at the link above. I am hoping to get a science medal from Israel for this all volunteer work. 🙂
If you want the big kahuna about how I got into questioning cloud seeding successes, its all here:
Also am assembling “life stories,” a kind of “memoirs,” if you will, a writing task that was inspired by those of my neighbors, Big Bill Cotton, and Big Roger Pielke, Sr. The latter will have his own Amer. Meteor. Soc. Symposium Day next January! The former got a medal given out only once every four years this year from the International Committee on Cloud Physics. Wow. While I am a pop gun compared to these science howitzers, I do think I have some interesting tales to tell.
Here are some chapter titles:
“Joanne, Abe, and Me (Malkus/Simpson, Gagin, and me)”
Contains irony. Joanne advised me to give up the idea of being a meteorologist, and with good reason; my poor grades in math and physics.
“Peter and Me: Conflict Followed by Reconciliation.”
I went from seeing misconduct in a journal while working in Colorado to another kind of science conflict when arriving at the University of Washington; the misappropriation of credit that had embittered some members of the group I just joined. I got sensitive to this issue.
“The Nightmare Before Banff-A Science ‘Coming Out Party’ for a Cloud Seeding Activist Who Had Never Before Presented at a Conference.”
My paper was going to be reviewed before I gave it! WTF.
“The Trials and Travesties of a Seattle Mariners Batting Practice Pitcher.”
Yeah, I did that for a couple of years in the early 1980s before I was fired for throwing balls that had “movement” (cutting the ball) they said. Maybe, too, for beaning Joe Simpson in the knee, the Mariners’ center fielder…
And maybe one entire chapter about that 1960 game I got my third hit, a walk off, in the 10th inning to defeat the hated L. A. Dodger Rookies, a team that no one on my White Front team was good enough to make. Let us review that historic game here:
Brain now empty.
10 thoughts on “on the occasion of my 80th Birthday-a progress report on Science doings and more”
Art- glad you’re still alive!! I wondered what happened to you. I was thinking about you recently, as here in Vancouver (well, it’s in North Vancouver, a separate nearby municipality) there’s an exhibition going on an art Gallery going on called ‘The Cloud Album “- all about pictorial renderings of clouds over history. I want to attend it-(It runs til May 1st), and if I do, I’ll give you a report. Intrested??
Hi, Roland! Nice to hear from you. Yep, somehow still going, still trying to think as best I can and get some science out there. I am even still peddling cloud chart posters to school catalogs. If you’d like one (the 15th edition was printed in 2020), I’ll send you one. Nature writer, Maria Mudd Ruth, wrote a great book on clouds that was partly inspired by the cloud chart poster. The book is called, “A Sideways Look at Clouds.” She mixes humor with solid science.
That sounds like a fascinating exhibition about how clouds have been depicted over the centuries. You’ll have to give me a report on who you think did the best job. Since I am now ensconced in Catalina, AZ, I will have to pass on your nice invitation.
I sincerely hope you are in good health and enjoying life there in a great Canadian city.
Nice to get your response, Art. Are you still living at that address in Catalina, AZ? I’ve got it down on a piece of paper. Anyway, went to the exhibit, and it was great. A lot of photographs by various photographers, paintings and books in glass cases, including what looked like a journal from Luke Howard, the originator of cloud names. I bought a fantastic book there, entitled ” A cloud day; 365 skies from the Cloud Appreciation Society.’ Full of intresting cloud photos and some paintings. As far as paintings go, one that really grabbed my attention was on page 212 by a 17th century Dutch artist Aelbert Cuyp. He made a landscape scene of a village with a sky that had clouds identified as ” statocumulus castellanus lacunosus”. I’ve seen clouds like that in my lifetime! An early photo on page 230 by the French photographer Gustave Le Gray is considered a landmark because he was able to make the sky and seascape scene look balanced by using 2 separate negatives(one of the sky, the other of the sea) putting them together somehow(don’t ask me how),and so for the first time a photograph showing clouds works with the rest of the scene. Anyway, it was worth seeing! RD
p.s. the author’s name for the book is Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Yep, we are still here at the same place, Roland. Thanks for the report on the exhibit. I have not yet seen that book by the Cloud Appreciation Society, but I bet its terrific.
And thanks for the detail and descriptions of those paintings and photos you deemed most memorable. I know of Gavin Pretor-Pinney. I asked him if he wanted a critique
of his earlier book, some IDs weren’t quite right. Recall I worked in airborne studies of clouds. He did not respond which was odd I thought.
Great, Art! I’m going to send you another cloud photo (like I used to) soon, that’s why I asked about the address. I would be interested in another cloud poster- the one I bought from the Polygon Gallery (where the exhibit was) wasn’t what I really wanted. But how much does it cost?
Happy 80th! Glad you’re still a “gad-fly” on the snout of the cloud-seeding beast. In my cloud physics and physical meteorology classes I often pull out the Art Rangno and his “calibrated eye” stories, and rants about cloud seeding for extra flavor.
My best wishes for your 9th decade
Hey, great to hear from you, Tim! I still fondly remember the time you caused the a car horn to honk as our pilot passed by it in Barrow. You are a fun and brilliant guy I was lucky to know in the Cloud and Aerosol Research Group. How I sped by 80 so fast is still a mystery to me. We are both doing well here in Catalina and have magnificent views here in our dirt road paradise. Bill Cotton lives just down the road…we will be hiking the Catalina foothills shortly. You and yours should get down “thisaway” sometime!
Art- I received a warning on my e-mail system that your address could not be verified, so I’ll send my mailing address here:
#5-5681 Lincoln Street
Thanks so much for your generosity! I moved over a year ago, and seem to have lost the original poster! 🙁
You dont know me but I would like to take a moment to thank you for this wonderful site which I stumbled across by accident years ago while looking for sky references for my paintings. You see, I’m an artist in the video game and movie business and perhaps unbeknownst to you your photographs and writing has influenced a lot of cool work done not just by me but a lot of other artists around the world. Your in depth explanations of weather phenomenon has helped shape my, and the understanding of fellow artist, on how this facet of the world around us works. It’s inspired many paintings and has never stopped to amaze me. I wish you all the best and thank you again for your work.
All the best,
Thank you so much, Titus, for your very kind comments on that stage of this blog where I was trying to explain all that I knew about clouds and weather with a little sophomoric humor thrown in at times. Again, thank you!
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