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1930s Meteorological Illustrations from Popular Science Educator

The Popular Science Editor was a long-running American periodical intended to educate children of the wonders of science. Edited by Charles Ray, who himself had no scientific training, it covers a spectrum of topics from mechanics and electricity through to geology and astronomy. Articles are frequently accompanied by marvellous illustrated diagrams, though no illustrator is typically credited.

Meteorology features heavily. Below are images from editions published between 1935 and 1936.

Scan 14
Scan 9
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Scan 8
cover

Variable 4 Portland Bill

We are very happy to announce a new edition of Variable 4, taking place in September 2014 on Portland Bill. At the tip of the promontory of the Isle of Portland, Dorset, Portland Bill marks the southernmost point of an ancient stretch of Jurassic coast. Its rich maritime history and exposed weather conditions will undoubtedly create a perfect landscape for the piece.

Portland Bill Lighthouse

Portland Bill Lighthouse

The installation is a part of b-side Festival 2014, a pioneering art festival commissioning new site-specific works across a range of media. We’re proud to be alongside an excellent collection of artists.

Variable 4 will be installed from 5th—14th September 2014. Travel and access information will be available in due course on the festival website, or via our mailing list.

Global wind patterns, visualised

Earth is an interactive web-based visualisation of global wind conditions, based on readings and supercomputer forecasts of current and future weather conditions. Not only does it render this data live within the browser; it also allows for the interactive display of multiple height readings, overlays, and cartographic projection types.

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By Cameron Beccario, it’s a staggering example of the insights that interactive visualisation can give. What’s more, the code used for the data analysis and visualisation is all available on Github.

Can’t We Change The Weather?

An article from New Scientist, 20 January 1966 (click to read the article in full).

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Jeremy Harding on Britain and the weather

Jeremy Harding writes in the London Review of Books on Richard Mabey’s Turned Out Nice Again and the quintessentially British fascination with the weather:

“Because of where we live, on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Storm Belt, just offshore from a huge, breathing land-mass, our meteorological lot is messy and erratic, whether we like it or not.”

Read more

the reading festival of weather, art and music, 1st-3rd june 2012 http://t.co/drk0Mjbi


an archive of classic meteorological papers from the royal meteorological society http://t.co/qmu93PTT


ocean surface currents visualised over two years, using a NASA/JPL computational model https://t.co/GDEZJ8P5


a beautiful interactive map of wind flow across the USA http://t.co/OjSIE9rA (via @_jbag @sebemina)


wind (2008), a sound sculpture that responds to wind patterns in the viewer’s visual field, by @damian0815 http://t.co/yYUsNMcV


windswept (2012), a wind-driven kinetic façade indicating the direction of windflow over the surface of a building http://t.co/76hs5PHt


weather station (norbert schnell & robin minard, 1995) uses climate sensors and 310 piezos for weather-reactive sonics http://t.co/bJlglbBr


david bowen, “tele-present water”, uses NOAA wave data for an installation that is profound in its simplicity http://t.co/uAEW3Wsm


ken goldsmith, “the weather”, transcribing a year’s 1-min weather bulletins http://t.co/YwM2Hp27


some more weather-related works for the archive: john cage, “lecture on the weather” http://streamingmuseum.org/john-cages-lecture-on-the-weather-a-political-statement-relevent-today/


mark ballora discusses data and sonification, featuring a lovely audio rendition of weather parameters http://t.co/39cAstKQ


this season’s soho house magazine features an interview on variable 4, now available online and as a pdf (p17/18): http://t.co/UTLc7S9v


After Variable 4 Elizabeth Castle

Over the Channel to Jersey, and across the St Helier causeway to the ramparts of Elizabeth Castle, the recent four-day Variable 4 installation at Branchage was a true adventure. We inhabited the castle (below) for almost the duration, housed in a WWII bunker beneath a grassy verge, overlooking oceanic vistas and craggy rocks.

Though we were continually buffeted by the promontory’s unceasing winds, Variable 4 has yet to break its curse of rainlessness: four consecutively dry days made for a temperate installation. Thanks to everybody who came to visit, and to all of the team at Branchage for their endless support.

We also owe thanks to BBC Radio Jersey, who replaced their normal MW programming with a continuous 18-hour marathon transmission of Variable 4. Possibly a first to be able to tune in on medium wave to the sound of weather-driven generative music. Apologies to any local listeners who wondered where your normal programming had disappeared to…

looks like wolfram alpha can generate useful graphs of historical weather conditions: http://t.co/GJqEZLf4


mark nystrom’s automated drawings based on wind conditions are things of beauty: http://t.co/PkwItQJB (via @mariuswatz)


we urge everybody to sign this petition to save coastguard maritime rescue stations under threat: http://t.co/ZsMhAsq0 (via @RomneyHoy)


really nice video report about the piece on itv channel tv @channelonline: http://t.co/efZnr27A


many thanks to @branchage and to all the people who came down to visit. an unbroken record of four entirely rainless installations!


magical times as the @branchage folk walked across the causeway to visit us late tonight. nighttime movements still broadcasting on 1026mw.


high tide, and we’re alone on elizabeth castle island. exploring the 6thC hermitage & neighbouring ww2 bunkers. http://t.co/hgU0Yw13