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robertogreco : 1915   7

When San Diego Hired a Rainmaker a Century Ago, It Poured | JSTOR Daily
"Critics claimed Hatfield was a huckster who merely benefited from coincidence. As Spence pointed out, many so-called rainmakers “were little more than gamblers, betting their time and what reputation they may have had that rain would fall while or after they commenced their machinations.” By working only in the midst of dry spells, Hatfield could improve his odds of timing an impending rainfall. Indeed, Hatfield likely profited from his keen knowledge of meteorology and close examination of weather records. Knowing when storm fronts were imminent, he could target cities in advance of the rain and claim success when moisture fell from the skies.

Others saw Hatfield as a forerunner of modern-day cloud-seeding, in which chemicals such as dry ice and silver iodide—perhaps among those used by Hatfield—are introduced into cloud banks to foster the formation of ice crystals and raindrops. These chemicals provide particles around which water vapor can condense and eventually fall as rain once the droplets reach a sufficient size. The condensation process generates its own heat, which causes air to rise and fosters the growth of additional rain clouds.

While Hatfield relied on the ascension of chemical vapors into the skies, rainmaking went airborne with the advent of the aircraft. The U.S. Army Air Service began experiments to determine if rain could be produced from electrified sand in 1921; however, the modern science of rainmaking truly began in 1947 with Project Cirrus, a joint venture of General Electric and the U.S. military under the direction of Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir that seeded clouds with dry ice. “The results of Project Cirrus gave scientific credence to the mystic works of such pioneer rainmakers as California’s now famous Charles Hatfield,” wrote Donald D. Stark in the California Law Review.

A century after Hatfield’s exploits, the science of rainmaking and the effectiveness of cloud-seeding remain points of contention, as Virginia Simms wrote in a 2010 article in The International Lawyer. Even so, cloud-seeding is on the rise. A 2014 report from the World Meteorological Organization found that 52 countries had active cloud-seeding programs, up from 47 the previous year, and 39 weather-modification programs were in place west of the Mississippi River.

Even after its experience in 1915, San Diego continued to be seduced by the hope offered by rainmakers. Incredibly, in 1961, the city council considered hiring Edmond Jeffery, who promised he could make it rain 40 inches in 40 days for a fee of $8,000. This time, with memories of “Hatfield’s Flood” still echoing in their minds, San Diego’s councilors refused the offer."
sandiego  california  drought  history  charleshatfield  rain  water  via:vruba  1915  1961  edmondjeffery  cloudseeding 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Your guide to California in the Pacific world, past, present, and future
"California is a queer place... it has turned its back on the world and looks into the void Pacific."—D.H. Lawrence: "

"At Boom, we think of our mission as opening up conversations about California in the world and the world in California. California was part of the Pacific world long before it was part of the United States. Today, we live in many worlds. The Pacific is not the only one. But it is arguably most important for California—and one we are still trying to figure out.

We put together our new issue looking backward and forward on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco to try to provoke, inspire, and sustain a conversation about California in the Pacific world: 1915 | 2015 | 2115.

In the process, we found a strong current we didn’t anticipate running from the past through the present and into the future: the quest for a California cosmopolitanism in the Pacific world.

Our spring issue, in the mail to subscribers now, is divided into three sections. Colin Marshall, Wendy Cheng, Robert Gottlieb, and Jean Melesaine kick things off by exploring the state of California in the Pacific world—or Latin-Pacific world—today. Elizabeth Logan, Abigail Markwyn, Phoebe S.K. Young, and Suzanne Fischer explore the 1915 roots of California’s cosmopolitanism in an optimism for peace and prosperity on the eve of World War I, but also in the deeply troubling scientific racism that underpinned imperial aspirations abroad and segregation at home. And then we look ahead to 2115, with help from Gustavo Arellano, Alex Steffen, Alexis Madrigal, and Annalee Newitz. Will Silicon Valley's view of itself and California still at the center of the Pacific world prevail, or will a broader Pacific cosmopolitanism win out, one in which California may not be the center, but will always be a part?

The full issue is already available on JSTOR, and over the coming weeks we’ll be rolling it out at, where historian Thomas Osborne’s introductory essay [ ] is up now, along with my letter from the editor's desktop, the full list of contributors, and our quarterly Boom list of things to do, see, and read around California this spring. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be sure you don't miss a thing."

[See also:
and ]
california  pacific  2015  history  dhlawrence  1915  2115  cosmopolitanism  colinmarshall  wendycheng  roberthgottlieb  jeanmelasaine  elizabethlogan  abigailmarkyn  phoebeyoung  suzannefischer  optimism  gustavoarellano  alexsteffan  alexismadrigal  annaleenewitz  boomcalifornia  thomasosborne 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Galerie Chantal Crousel - Exhibition Dom-Ino - Rirkrit Tiravanija
[via: ]

"Once the sports compétitions (or other shows) over, stadium architectures becomes meaningless. Without spectators, they are nothing but empty shells. The onlookers on the step form a passive controlled mass. Each individuel being completely directed by the spectacle in the center. In an evocation of this center, Rirkrit Tiravanija has chosen to install a replica of the « Dom-Ino » project (1915) by le Corbusier. In this wooden replica, Rirkrit Tiravanija invites the visiter to invest the 2 platforms of the habitat. Thus, the Spectator bec omes the inventer and the actor of his own environment, in the interaction with his fellows visiter. The lower plat-bord is equisetum with a CD and cassette player, a TV monitor, a kitchen corner with table and butagaz-cooker, a low table with poufs. The visiter are invited to use the house as they wish, and to share what they bring or find with the others."
art  architecture  design  rirkrittiravanija  lecorbusier  homes  housing  dom-ino  1915  1998 
june 2014 by robertogreco
San Diego Historian Chronicles Balboa Park 1915 Exposition In New Book | KPBS San Diego Public Radio & TV: News, Arts & Culture
"The 1915 Panama-California Exposition drew national celebrities, international attention and created much of the Balboa Park that we know today.

But did you know that San Diego competed against San Francisco for the right to hold the exposition? Did you know that the organizers of the 1915 exposition were afraid they'd have to close the event only a month in, because attendance was so low? And did you know, the exposition actually gave Balboa Park its name?"
sandiego  1915  history  balboapark  panama-californiaexposition  michaelkelly 
january 2014 by robertogreco
The Fallacy of Success
"In a book called All Things Considered published in 1915, G.K. Chesterton deftly skewers the glut of books by gurus, articles linked to from Hacker News, and conference talks by entrepreneurs about how to be successful.
That a thing is successful merely means that it is; a millionaire is successful in being a millionaire and a donkey in being a donkey. Any live man has succeeded in living; any dead man may have succeeded in committing suicide. But, passing over the bad logic and bad philosophy in the phrase, we may take it, as these writers do, in the ordinary sense of success in obtaining money or worldly position. These writers profess to tell the ordinary man how he may succeed in his trade or speculation-how, if he is a builder, he may succeed as a builder; how, if he is a stockbroker, he may succeed as a stockbroker. They profess to show him how, if he is a grocer, he may become a sporting yachtsman; how, if he is a tenth-rate journalist, he may become a peer; and how, if he is a German Jew, he may become an Anglo-Saxon. This is a definite and business-like proposal, and I really think that the people who buy these books (if any people do buy them) have a moral, if not a legal, right to ask for their money back. Nobody would dare to publish a book about electricity which literally told one nothing about electricity; no one would dare publish an article on botany which showed that the writer did not know which end of a plant grew in the earth. Yet our modern world is full of books about Success and successful people which literally contain no kind of idea, and scarcely any kind of verbal sense.

Chesterton continues:
It is perfectly obvious that in any decent occupation (such as bricklaying or writing books) there are only two ways (in any special sense) of succeeding. One is by doing very good work, the other is by cheating. Both are much too simple to require any literary explanation. If you are in for the high jump, either jump higher than any one else, or manage somehow to pretend that you have done so. If you want to succeed at whist, either be a good whist-player, or play with marked cards. You may want a book about jumping; you may want a book about whist; you may want a book about cheating at whist. But you cannot want a book about Success. Especially you cannot want a book about Success such as those which you can now find scattered by the hundred about the book-market. You may want to jump or to play cards; but you do not want to read wandering statements to the effect that jumping is jumping, or that games are won by winners.

That Chesterton's observations ring so true today is not an accident. The last time income inequality in the US was as high as it is today? The 1910s and 1920s."
gkchesterson  success  survivorshipbias  2013  1915  incomeinequality  inequality  business 
october 2013 by robertogreco

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