For an incredibly simple concept — keeping you dry — rain jackets have involved into awfully complicated products. Air flow rates, water pressure resistance, durable water repellent coatings, hard shells, soft shells... the list of technical terms goes on. Here's what they all mean, and how you can use them to find the best jacket for you.
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There are three primary sources of smells that commonly occur after rain. The first, the "clean" smell, in particular after a heavy thunderstorm, is caused by ozone. Ozone (scientifically known as trioxygen due to the fact that it is comprised of three oxygen atoms) is notably pungent and has a very sharp smell that is often described as similar to that of chlorine.
Sure, you could just download a weather app to see what conditions are like outside your front door, but where's the fun in that? Ken Kawamoto's Tempescope actually creates rain, clouds and simulated lightning right inside your house. It's the ultimate push notification.
Despite the many wonders of our modern mobile phones, using them to call a real live human can kind of suck. The sound is fuzzy, the calls drop randomly, and a simple rainstorm can make it all even worse. But there is surprising upside to all this: we can monitor the quality of mobile phone calls to track rain and floods in real time — especially in places like West Africa that lack traditional rain gauges.
Yugo Nakamura is one of the most famous digital designers in the world. In his latest project, The Origin of the Sound of the Rain, he wanted to prove that a single drop of water sampled and reproduced a million times would actually sound like rain. And it really does.
To me, whimsical umbrellas — you know, the kind printed with Starry Night or cats — have always seemed like a mockery of the rain-drenched commuter's misery. But this reflective version actually makes practical sense, since it turns its owner into a glowing beacon of safety.
Most folks pick up the pace or seek cover when the skies open up and it starts to pour, but that's precisely when Gustavo Sousa takes to the streets to collect some creative inspiration. The Brazil-born, New York-based art director uses h20 sent straight from the heavens for his Rain Paintings, a series of small watercolor clouds identified by the date and location they were made.
Humans have been trying to control the weather since the day we traded in our spears for shovels. Cultures from every corner of the globe have worshipped rain-granting deities, and our sci-fi villains have been obsessed with flood and drought. But in the modern era, we no longer have use for the old water gods. We've got the technology, finally, to make the clouds do our bidding.
In 2011 Facebook reported that their first data centre in (Prineville in the US) had a high humidity issue. Probably not the best condition for servers, sure. But it turns out that wonky temperature controls were actually causing condensation in the data centre. Like indoor rain. Like it was literally raining in the server room.
The first thing you notice about Rain Room, the sure blockbuster installation that opened at MoMA on Friday, is the tropical humidity. The second thing is the sound from hundreds of litres of water pouring from an artificial ceiling. Finally, after your eyes adjust to the darkness, you actually see it: Rain Room, a 1,000-square-foot space that’s in a state of perpetual downpour.
Weather reporters are just a bunch of liars in the end. They may say you're in for sunny skies, but you'll find yourself beneath a torrential downpour, umbrella-less and unprepared. Hammacher Schlemmer has found a solution to the unreliable virus that is weather forecasts in the form of the pocketable, keep-it-with-you-at-all-times World's Smallest Automatic Umbrella.