Thursday, 31 July 2014

July 31st 2014 - Shamanic Rites or Rainstorms..

Thought for the day: "Sometimes I wonder what it is like to be normal ...  Do those people even have fun??"

After weeks of very hot and dry weather, today I have been musing on the subject of making rain!!

In Africa rain makers have different methods. Some of their techniques are scientific at times while at other times purely religious. The scientific method uses a type of stone often referred to as the crystal stone on one hand while on the other way the rain maker would enter the bush and pluck leaves, stems and even roots of plants, shrubs and grasses. The combination of these things are burned in fire and as soon as the smoke reached the heavens the rain should start pouring... Is that not amazing science? But this is true to the core. In the use of the crystal stone, the performer washes the stone and as soon as the stone starts glazing the sky starts changing and soon the rain starts. But the latter is apparently dangerous in some seasons because it often attracts heavy thunderstorms.

In Nigeria, apparently a place where a lot of prostitution take place, it is a common yearly occurrence that drought exists at the time when water is most needed. A writer states "I have witness this happen two years consecutively. The solution to this was that the prostitutes were forced out to sweep the main roads as a plea to the god of rain. In addition the chief priest offered prayers and within the next two days after the ritual ceremony heavy rain fell with thunderstorms that wrecked some buildings."

Endless and unbearable heat that has been tormenting Russia for weeks non-stop makes many people wonder whether there is any possibility to escape from hot summer temperatures. 

Test pilot Alexander Akimenkov, who studies the issues of artificial climate change, said that just one squadron of fighter jets could solve the problem of draught on Russia's entire European territory. The pilot believes that combat aviation can easily shower Russia with rain. 

It turns out, though, that Russia's Air Force does not have any combat planes designed to struggle against the draught. Aviation can be used to disperse clouds when there is a need to have the clear blue sky for an important national event. The planes drop chemicals on the clouds and they eventually disappear. The chemicals are provided to the Air Force by civil laboratories of the Russian Meteorological Service and a number of research institutes. Civil specialists board military planes to conduct the chemical attack on the clouds. 

However, pilot Akimenkov claims that practically all Russian combat planes are equipped with thermal traps which are used in combat action to mislead infra-red guidance missiles.

A senior specialist of the Russian Meteorological Service said that the pilot does not understand what he is talking about.
"Dispersing clouds with the help of chemical substances and provoking artificial rain above the territory where there is not even a cloud, as it is now above Moscow - these are two completely different things. We do know how to accomplish the first goal, but we have serious problems as far as the second one is concerned. Scientists do not know how to provoke rain.

Another scientist put forward an idea to build a giant tube the height of 500 meters. Powerful fans would pump hot air up the tube, the air would get cool above the ground and would thus create rain clouds. However, it is hardly possible to build such a tube, not to mention the fact that the rain would cost a fortune.
Of course, plans to make rain are not new..  In the plains of America attempts have been on going for years...

It is not surprising that European American settlers in the Great Plains, dependent on agriculture and plagued by drought, would develop an interest in rainmaking. The earliest attempts involved the concussion method, which was premised on the theory that gunpowder explosions triggered friction and generated nuclei to produce rain.

In 1890 Congress appropriated funds to put this theory into practice. The task was given to Gen. Robert St. George Dyrenforth. Experimentation began on the c Ranch in Andrews County, Texas, in 1891 and continued at San Antonio, Texas, in 1892. No rainfall occurred. General Dyrenforth was dubbed "General Dryhenceforth," and the remaining funds appropriated for rainmaking experiments reverted to the Department of the Treasury.

The public did not give up on rainmaking. Frank Melbourne of Australia, the "rain wizard" who claimed to possess a "secret formulae" to produce rain, launched a successful career in Goodland, Kansas, in 1891. Although Melbourne guarded his techniques, other rainmaking companies soon claimed knowledge of his method. By 1892, the Goodland Artificial Rain Company and the Swisher Rain Company competed for business in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Utah, and California.

By 1893, five rainmaking companies hailed from Kansas, all claiming use of Melbourne's method. Even then doubters were still in abundance across the Great Plains. Not much had changed since the early days of rainmaking: once while Melbourne was working in the Nebraska Panhandle, Old Jules Sandoz rode down to watch; following the performance that produced thunder, wind, and a few drops of rain complete with double rainbow, Old Jules remarked to his neighbors, "I'll keep catching skunks for a living." Eventually, fraudulent practices disillusioned farmers, and rainmaking companies lost support.

By the end of the nineteenth century, interest in irrigation had supplanted interest in rainmaking in Kansas. Still, Americans' faith in science and progress carried the rainmaker into the twentieth century. The cereal manufacturer, C. W. Post of Texas, maintained belief in the concussion method. From 1911 to 1914, Post executed "rain battles" near Post City, Texas, detonating dynamite along the Caprock Escarpment. Inspired by an occasional rain fall, Post optimistically predicted that rainmaking would one day replace irrigation.
By World War I, as public interest in traditional methods of rainmaking waned, scientists turned to airplanes and cloud seeding with sand, dust, and dry ice. This method used existing clouds, rather than the earlier attempts to create clouds, and met with some local success.
 Welcome to Sunny Crete - the Road to Agios 

Of course there is another way to get rain without chemicals, science or mystery, without Gods or Shamanic Rites...  It is quite a simple method....

Spend a long time waiting for rain..  Then get two hoses and a leaky joint.. Borrow a key for the local Deaf Centre, where the Plotment is. Buy the connectors for a tap. Run the hoses up the garden but find that the water pressure is insufficient to force the water up to the water barrel. Start filling a watering can half way up the lawn with the water coming out at a trickle. Get a couple of water carriers and another watering can. Spend two hours watering the beans and courgettes and trying to half fill the water butt...  Come home exhausted after wrapping up all the hoses, connectors, watering cans, water carriers, some onions, courgettes ( I think they are marrows really!) for a well deserved G & T ...

Yes - that is guaranteed to do it ..  Next morning it will be raining sure as Mustard...
Well it was this morning !!!!   Thank you Mister Weather !!!


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