Finished The Cloudspotter's Guide by Cloud Appreciation Society founder Gavin Pretor-Pinney. Short, whimsical book covering clouds, with tips for spotters, some reasonably informative stuff on the science behind them, and a bit of their importance in art culture.
Serious meteorologists would find it a bit basic, but I enjoyed it. Worth a read if you're interested in knowing a little more about our vaporous companions.
However, I feel cloudspotting should remain a disorganized hobby: the whole beauty of it is that you require no equipment and no budget; it's democratically available to everyone with an eye or two.
Just bought my first ever pair of boots. (I have monstrously wide feet so boots are a problem). Anyone have any great boot-wearing tips? I believe I have to "break them in" before walking great distances in a single day.
Also have some new glasses. Same as the old glasses but the wire frames are black. Can see a bit better though.
Essay: why Internet debate is bad.
...why are Americans so gloomy, fearful and even panicked about the current economic slump?
...The slump is the longest, if not the deepest, since the Great Depression. Traumatized by layoffs that have cost more than 1.2 million jobs during the slump, U.S. consumers have fallen into their deepest funk in years. "Never in my adult life have I heard more deep- seated feelings of concern," says Howard Allen, retired chairman of Southern California Edison. "Many, many business leaders share this lack of confidence and recognize that we are in real economic trouble." Says University of Michigan economist Paul McCracken: "This is more than just a recession in the conventional sense. What has happened has put the fear of God into people."
...U.S. consumers seem suddenly disillusioned with the American Dream of rising prosperity even as capitalism and democracy have consigned the Soviet Union to history's trash heap. "I'm worried if my kids can earn a decent living and buy a house," says Tony Lentini, vice president of public affairs for Mitchell Energy in Houston. "I wonder if this will be the first generation that didn't do better than their parents. There's a genuine feeling that the country has gotten way off track, and neither political party has any answers. Americans don't see any solutions."
...The deeper tremors emanate from the kind of change that occurs only once every few decades. America is going through a historic transition from the heedless borrow-and-spend society of the 1980s to one that stresses savings and investment.
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