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Authors@Google: Gavin Pretor-Pinney

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Uploaded on Jan 8, 2008

The Authors@Google program welcomed the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society - Gavin Pretor-Pinney for an interactive demonstration on the art of Cloudspotting.

About the Author:

Gavin Pretor-Pinney the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society, which is an online community for cloud lovers to post cloud pictures, learn facts, and discover the best places in the world to go cloudspotting. The CAS website won the 2005 YAHOO!® "weird and wonderful" award. A former science nerd and a graduate of Oxford University, Pretor-Pinney has been obsessed with clouds since childhood. A journalist and co-founder of the Idler magazine in England, his writing has appeared in The Telegraph, The Evening Standard, Harpers, Queen, and other British publications, as well as Weatherwise magazine. He currently lives in London.

About the Books:
The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds

A humorous and instructive tour of the sky, the book introduces each of the different characters in the cloud family in turn. It tells of clouds being used to predict earthquakes and of one in Australia that glider pilots surf like a wave. It also settles such pressing questions as which variety of mackerel is it that lends its name to the 'mackerel skies' of the cirrocumulus stratiformis undulatus? And, more hypothetically, who would win in a fight between a cumulonimbus and a nimbostratus?

Besides numerous diagrams and illustrations, the book also includes over fifty photographs, kindly contributed by the fantastic cloud photographers swelling the ranks of The Cloud Appreciation Society.
Hot Pink Flying Saucers and Other Clouds

The book contains 32 fantastic colour photographs -- from clouds in the shape of dogs barking to flying saucers, from the face of Salvador Dalì to the Michelin Man robbing a bank. They are perhaps the rarest of the lot. Not only did someone have to be looking up just at the right moment, and happen to have a camera with them at the time, they also needed to be in the particular frame of mind required to be able to see shapes in the clouds. It is the playful side of cloudspotting, which is why children are always so good at it.


This event took place at the Google NYC campus on November 26, 2007

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