What the Cloud is it?

When I was a kid there were three basic types of clouds with all clouds falling into a combination of those three:

Cirrus, stratus, and cumulus. Throw in a Alto and a Nimbus, plus a combination of the three clouds together, and you got all the clouds you ever thought you needed. It is all shown in a handy, dandy power point from Professor Nenes who teaches at the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Simple, basic cloud fun… but NOOOOOOO!

Today, according to Twisted Sifter you have the basic clouds, plus fifteen more (count them – you have to use your fingers and toes for this one!)

I have to admit, they are pretty spectacular, which is why I’m using them in this post. I’ll just be posting the bits and pieces I like on this page. For the complete description you’ll need to click on the link to the Twisted Sifter web page above. I must note that, like me, Wikipedia is a favored information source – you go!

  1. Lenticular clouds, (Photograph by Coconino National Forest) obviously named for their lens-shaped. Although they can be separated into three of our basic clouds as outlined by Professer Nenes, They have much cooler names. They’ve also been accused of being the cause of Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings.

  1. 2.      Undulatus asperatus clouds, (Photograph by brainiak005 on Reddit) which translates more or less as roughened or agitated waves, really? Couldn’t they be called undulates because they seem to undulate across the sky?

  1. 3.      Night clouds or noctilucent clouds, (Photograph by Martin Koitmae) made of crystals of ice and form under very restrictive conditions. What’s super cool – heh, heh, I made a pun… – is that they are a recent discovery and no one really understands how they’re formed, only that you can only see them 50-70 degrees from the equator (north and south), and when the sunlight hits them from below the horizon. How cool is that?

  1. 4.      A fallstreak hole, (Photograph by H. Raab) is a large circular gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds, believed to be a jet passing through disrupting in the stability of the cloud layer inducing the domino process of evaporation which creates the hole. They too are often mistaken for or attributed to unidentified flying objects. Who knows, maybe someone out there knows something…

  1. 5.      Mammatocumulus clouds, or mammatus,  – mentioned on a previous post – (Photograph by Matt Saal) are pouches hanging beneath the base of a several types of clouds including cumulonimbus, altocumulus, altostratus, stratocumulus, and cirrus. They are mostly associated with anvil clouds and can also be found under clouds formed by volcanic ash. If anyone knows anything about Latin, you can figure out where they got the name mammatus from.

  1. 6.      A wave cloud, (Photograph by NASA Satellite Image) they form at the cooled crests of waves as air flows over raised land ranges such as mountains. As air travels through the wave, it lifts and descends and if there’s enough moisture in the atmosphere clouds will form at the cooled crests of these waves, as the wave descends warm air evaporate part of the clouds. The base on the leeward side is higher than on the windward side, creating the wave pattern.

  1. 7.      Cloud iridescence, (Photograph by Esther Havens (Light the World)) is a fairly uncommon phenomenon, most often observed in altocumulus, cirrocumulus and lenticular clouds, and very rarely in Cirrus clouds caused by small water droplets or small ice crystals of similar size, their cumulative effect takes on the structured form of a corona, a central bright disk around the sun or moon surrounded by one or more colored rings. This, I think, is the coolest of all the clouds put together!

  1. 8.      A Roll cloud, (Photograph by Capt. Andreas M. van der Wurff ) a low, horizontal, tube-shaped, and relatively rare type of arcus cloud (a low, horizontal cloud formation). A solitary wave called a soliton has a single crest and moves without changing speed or shape which appears to be “rolling” about a horizontal axis. Probably the easiest explanation so far…

  1. 9.      A shelf cloud, (Photograph by John Kerstholt) is a low, horizontal, wedge-shaped arcus cloud attached to the base of the parent cloud, usually a thunderstorm. The leading (outer) part of the shelf cloud raises up, while the underside appears turbulent. Cool air sinks and out across the land surface cutting under warm air being drawn into the storm’s updraft. The lower air cools and lifts the warm moist air; water condenses, creating a cloud which rolls with the different winds.

  1. 10.  A pyrocumulus, or fire cloud, (Photograph by Gayle Jones) is a dense cumuliform cloud associated with fire or volcanic activity produced by the intense heating of the air from the surface causing the air to rise. Volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and occasionally industrial activities can induce formation of this cloud. The detonation of a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere will also produce a pyrocumulus in the form of a mushroom cloud which is made by the same mechanism.

  1. 11.  A Foehn gap, or wave window, (Photograph by Dhaluza) if there is sufficient and cool air in the atmosphere form specific cloud formations called lee waves, or standing waves and the rotor; though the site doesn’t explain what the rotor is. These clouds do not move downwind as clouds usually do, but remain fixed in position relative to the obstruction that forms them. Compressed air in the center of each wave evaporates the cumulus or stratus clouds creating a window.

  1. 12.  An actinoform or actiniform cloud, (Photograph by NASA) Okay, these are the second coolest cloud, in my opinion… a collection of low clouds form a radial structure. They can spread 190 miles (I’m American, I use American measurements) across so are normally only seen in a satellite image. They are shallow, and would be classified as stratocumulus clouds by an observer on the ground.

  1. 13.  Polar stratospheric clouds, (Photograph by Alan Light) also known as nacreous clouds, are implicated in the formation of ozone holes; because they catalyze ozone destruction, and increase ozone destruction. The dry stratosphere rarely allows clouds to form. However, in the extreme cold of the polar winter clouds of different types may form and are classified according to their physical state and chemical composition.

  1. 14.  A pileus, also called scarf cloud or cap cloud, (Photograph by NASA) is a small, horizontal, altostratus cloud appearing above a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud. Formed by strong updrafts in the moist air at lower altitudes, they cause the air to cool giving the parent cloud a “hoodie.” They can also form above some mushroom clouds of high-yield nuclear detonations; in that context they are called ice caps.


And finally!!!

  1. 15.  The Morning Glory cloud, (Photograph by Mick Petroff) are Roll clouds that can be up to 620 miles long, 1 to 2 0.62 to 1.2 miles high, 330 to 660 feet above the ground and can move at speeds up to 37 miles per hour. Sometimes there is only one cloud, sometimes there are up to eight consecutive clouds.


I hope you enjoyed this information as much as I did. Who knew, besides meteorologists, that clouds could be more than fluffy cotton balls creating patterns across the open field of blue? Their majesty rules the ceiling of our world and the inner reaches of our imagination. I love clouds from the light fluffy cotton balls to the black angry storm clouds. They not only incite the imagination, but inform or forewarn us of the day, or night, ahead.

Too many words, too little time…

A new word for Extraneous Articulations-

While perusing my twitter account, which is what I’m supposed to do now that I’m a published author. I am finding that ambiguity is meaningless in the world of publication. You want your face out there and loved so that everyone will want to read and buy, don’t forget the buying part, for that is how an author gains the privilege of living by what they love. No longer do you write for the love of seeing your thoughts and characters take form on a piece of paper, or in modern terms, the computer screen… it’s about selling and getting and giving of your soul to gain the public’s trust enough to part from their dollars which are representations of the pieces of their soul that they have given up in the form of employment.

Wow, am I becoming a little cynical? Maybe. I have become part of the social media crowd that I have disdained for so long. Check out my Blog… follow me on Twitter… I have a new Facebook page… I feel as though I am five again pleading for the attention of the adults around who have better things to do in their self-absorbed lives than to listen to the attention-getting attempts of a rambunctious child.

Please don’t do that… My childhood was as pleasant as the next person’s thank-you-very-much. My parents worked hard to get me what I needed; I love and cherish my memories of them. It is society that cheated me out of a functional childhood, not my family. Bullies and assumptive teachers who taught me that the world is a place to be shunned, not a place to be part of… but I ramble and get away from myself…

While perusing my new Twitter follower… yes, I do have a few, surprise, surprise!

I was reading through a review He wrote for Bookslut and was absolutely flabbergasted by the sheer cognicity (a made up form of cognizant-not a real word) of his written opinion. It was a review for the book Rebellion by Joseph Roth; I found myself wanting to read about Andreas Pum and his judgmental donkey, even though I avoid books about reality like the plague, it doesn’t mean I don’t read them, by-the-way, it just means that I’d rather read a book, where I can get lost in the ethereal reaches of my imagination; where I can escape the world and what being a part of the world really means. I loved his review and his cynicism about acting and compassion and, well…

Anyways; first, I stumbled across the word solemnity, and though I had a general knowledge of its meaning, I looked it up because I like to know the whole meaning, and not just what I think, even when my thinking is correct.

And second, I decided that I do not ever want Nicholas Vajifdar to review any of my books. I would never place myself in league with the great author’s; I’m only a humble writer, putting my imagination to the written word. Have mercy, please!



Whew! Each moment, every day, as I creep closer to publishity, my world is slowly becoming something unreal. Thoughts of launch dates and signing parties loom in my mind and I wonder ‘what have I gotten myself into?’

My life of near obscurity is coming to a close, a new life peeks over the horizon and I have to wonder if that’s what I really want when all I thought about was sending by baby out for the world to see, read, love, hate, criticize, praise, applaud, throw away…

I really had no clue what would happen, does anyone really? Their first time around?

Luckily I have a great support team; a great publisher, a soon to be great publicist, and a lot of family, friends, and coworkers who are willing to buoy me every step of the way. What can I say?

“Okay, okay, show me the door. I’ll dash into the fresh air outside, show my face to the sun, and let the world know who I am.”

Market? Me?

Okeeday! I talked to my editor today, I know, it should have been Saturday, but I do have a day… er, night job, seein’ as how I don’t make megabucks as an author yet. Anywho, Sean asked “So, how do you want to market your book?”

First; I was paraphrasing.

Second; Me? Market? Really, I’m the one who does that? Oy, I am in a world of hurt…

My brain went into overdrive for a moment as Sean politely continued our conversation without me.

Finally I had to halt everything. “Do I need an agent?” I asked timidly, but that didn’t sound quite right as he offered to set me up with someone to talk to.

Once my brain kick-started, yep, offer to turn me over to a stranger for help… that really pushes my ‘I’m independent of all logical necessities’ button, and my brain will rev up to overdrive trying to figure out a way to keep from looking like a total ignoramus in front of a stranger, or anyone for that matter; even though the shoe fits rather nicely in this case—but you didn’t hear that from me…

Alright then, “Tell me what to do and I will do whatever it takes,” I told Sean

Third, there is no ‘What to do to market your book’ list. But Sean offered to send me some suggestions and insights on the matter, since he and his wife, both published author’s themselves, have been in the same shoes as I. I plan to outgrow them very quickly.

Last, this is by no means going to deter me. Everyone knows, or should know how much I love Google, the information highway. Tonight I will be driving down the Google freeway at top speed, creating my own book-marketing to-do list. Fun, fun, fun!

And here I thought book authoring ended with getting said book published, as it turns out, it’s just the beginning of a long uphill road. Luckily I have a 5.8L supercharged 4-V V8 engine to get me up the hill. (Yes, that is the engine of my dream car.)

Publishing date!!!


I have a publishing date!! My book comes out on September 25th, 2013.

It’s just wrong that I’m at work right now. I can hardly sit still, I’m so excited. When Sean, my publisher, called I just sat down at my desk. Not two seconds after he told me my publishing date, my work phone rang, and one of the doctors needed me make a phone call for her (unit coordinator—it’s my job) and I couldn’t ask what I wanted to…

Breathe… breathe… Okay, I’ll get through this.

The official announcement is on the Publisher’s website, rookpublishing.com.

AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! I’m so excited. My heads floating, I can’t think!!!

Slow down, breathe deep… inhale… exhale… you’re not the first person to have a book published, and you won’t be the last.

Okay… okay… I’m okay.

I’ll find out the details and post them when I can.

-See, I told you I could do this.

Yeah, yeah…

Photo courtesy of hypable.com

Okay, I haven’t posted in a while, so shoot me…

I really don’t have much going. Just waiting for a publishing date… and getting very anxious while waiting.

In the meantime, I’ve seen a couple of movies with the vagrants… uh, kids… uh, no, uhm children, yes that’s it, the children, though children they are no longer… does that make me old? -Nah, never grow up, never surrender…

Anywho, let me just say, I like to be entertained. I don’t care if the acting is spectacular or if the Academy is looking closely to see if it’s award worthy, just tell me a story that makes me feel good when it’s over.

That said, I saw the new Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters last night with a friend of mine and her… uh, children, and was thrilled to see my most favoritest TV captain in the whole ‘verse, Malcolm Reynolds, portraying his altar ego, the actor Nathan Fillion, as Hermes. I grinned like a lovestruck teenager and hung on his every word, sighing sadly when his all too short cameo was over. I gotta tell ya, I loved the Firefly reference; “Greatest television show ever so of course, canceled.” (Bad Fox, bad, bad network!)

Yeah, it was great… oh, the movie was good too. So, if you, like me, like to enjoy a good clean story, with your good clean boys-and girls too, the girls liked it too! Go see Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. Enjoy, laugh, cry, be disappointed… pick whatever emotion you want, it don’t bother me none… I liked it.