Ino Hayata Hironao seizing the Nue as it falls to the ground amid clouds and lightning. From the series “One of the Eight Hundred Heroes of the Water Margin of Japan” (Honcho Suikoden goyu happyakunin no hitori). Woodblock print, signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga, published by Kagaya Kichiemon (Kichibei), circa 1830-1832. Vertical oban (39.6 x 26.7 cm.)

Welcome QR Code readers!

This post is just a placeholder for REFERENCES and LINKS for a student research poster to be presented at the North Carolina Geographical Society annual meeting in Greensboro, NC on November 1, 2019.

ABSTRACT: Lightning is a short-lived, but powerful part of nature. Although it is often photographed in modern times, lightning flashes have seldom been depicted by landscape artists. Colorful skies were common through art history and paintings, but most lightning storms in western landscape art have depicted the flashes as white, or yellowish. An interesting part of art history is the red lightning bolts depicted in the classic paintings of Japan’s Edo Period (1603 – 1868). All Ukiyo-e artists (at least for those whose work has survived), almost always depicted lightning as red in color. Furthermore, the bolts are painted in a nearly abstract, linear fashion, and not in lightning’s true dendritic shape. Is the red lightning of this famous period artistic license, or can it be explained as something else? Are there meteorological or cultural reasons why these artists painted lightning as red? Could the style reflect mythology and representation of the metaphysical rather than realism? Importantly, are there atmospheric science lessons to be learned, and teaching moments to be made in this discussion? The purpose of this educational project is to advance that dialog.



References and Links for — “Meteorology and Myth Part 3: Krishna’s Monsoon Swing”

Welcome QR code readers! If you scanned the code from my poster, then it brought you here. You are still slightly early. In fact, I’m really not ready. I am still compiling that list of references you are looking for.

This blog post is merely a place holder for an abstract and references for a poster/paper yet to be fully written. I will add to the art gallery and reference list as I go along.

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: I teach a general education “Weather and Climate” course. Understanding the circulation of the atmosphere can be a difficult topic for introductory students. However, Earth’s wind systems largely explain climate – and climate explains the world. The purpose of my ongoing “Meteorology and Myth” project is to develop teaching modules which present concepts in an interesting way. Students in the arts and humanities often struggle with physical science. Equally, students in geoscience or STEM fields often need a greater appreciation of the arts and humanities.

This story of monsoons is made to bridge topics in geography, environment and atmospheric science, with history, art, folklore and culture. Teachable moments, discussion and debate is encouraged.

Update! I have created a poster version of the topic. I just now need to find the correct market for it. If you have suggestions, please post in the comments.


Video: World of Discovery “Chasing India’s Monsoon”


PREVIEW — “Meteorology and Myth — Part II: A Fair Candlemas”

Welcome QR Code readers! If you have scanned the QR Code on my poster, it has brought you here. I am still compiling my full presentation for the SouthEastern Division of the American Association of Geographers Conference, to be held November 24-25, 2019. This post is just a placeholder for the presentation and reference list TBA. In the meantime, enjoy this preview.

I will be continuing my “Meteorology and Myth” Weather-and-Climate Education series this fall with another project on weather lore, this time titled “Meteorology and Myth – Part II: A Fair Candlemas

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSEI teach an introductory course in “Weather and Climate”.  Whenever February 2nd rolls around, a student will  ask if the “Groundhog Day” predictions are true. I used to always answer “NO!” The presence or absence of sunshine on any one particular day can not be used to determine either a shortened or a prolonged winter. Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are just folksy nonsense.

However, I got to thinking about it … and began to hypothesize that there may be a teaching opportunity in this legend. Although the Groundhog’s prediction does not make meteorological sense in the short term, perhaps there are long-term climatological averages about prolonged-winters and early-springs, which may have allowed the folklore to survive and diffuse.

The purpose of the overall project is to develop general education teaching modules which bridge topics in geography, atmospheric science, history, art, culture and folklore. Students in the arts and humanities often struggle with physical science. Equally, students in Geoscience and other STEM fields often need a greater appreciation for the arts and humanities. The intent is not to have students “prove” whether or not Groundhog Day predictions are true.  Instead, the  goal is for students to have a better understanding of atmospheric circulations, global teleconnections and weather patterns. Secondarily, students should have a better appreciation for folklore, history, culture and environment.

Look for more updates and embellishments in November!