Scientists cloudy over new classification
Not since Pluto was demoted to a space rock has something so controversial shaken up the scientists.
According to sources deep within the esteemed cloud categorization community, this picture, taken by a Cedar Rapids, Iowa office worker, shows what may become the first new cloud type to be recognized by scientists since 1951.
"This is big stuff!" claims Gavin Pretor-Pinney, lead geek at England's Cloud Appreciation Society. "Until now, we've been dealing with 3 types of clouds: cumulus, cirrus and stratus. Can you imagine what would happen if we added a fourth cloud type? It would turn the cloud sciences on its head."
Pretor-Pinney, who is an expert on cloud types, spends his days helping people identify what kinds of clouds are in the sky. "Most people think it's as easy as simply looking up and saying, 'oh, that's a cumulus cloud,' but that's not how it is at all. People confuse stratus and cirrus all the time but I've been trained to tell the difference."
In the meantime, the debate over whether to add a new cloud classification continues, and naming suggestions are pouring in. Pretor-Pinney says that "...tens of people have written in with such noteworthy suggestions as, 'darknscarylus, cunnilingus and getcirrus,' which are all very good. But I think the front runner right now is an entry submitted by a St. Cloud blogger called simply, 'ominous.' It really says it all."