Today’s Solutions: October 23, 2021

A cloud having a bad-hair-day, sneezing and sniffing at the disappearing sun over Erm, the Netherlands. © Nienke Lantman

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ode to Gavin Pretor-Pinney in Somerset, United Kingdom 
 Veerle Corstens | July/August Issue 2012
“In our busy everyday life, it’s essential to sometimes not need to do anything,” says Gavin Pretor-Pinney, who has even turned doing ­nothing into an art. The British philosopher, author and graphic designer established the magazine The Idler, a publication for loungers, in 1993, together with Tom Hodgkinson.
“Watching clouds is a great excuse for doing nothing,” says Pretor-Pinney. In preparation for a lecture about clouds, he thought he’d give the subject more prestige by naming it The Cloud ­Appreciation Society. At the lecture’s end, so many people asked him where they could become members that he decided to actually found it. Currently 30,462 members from 94 countries post photos of beautiful clouds on his website: photos of clouds that resemble ­Dalís or a bank-robbing Michelin Man, or that simply ­enchant the air. “Plain blue skies are uninteresting,” says Pretor-Pinney. “The air is also one of the last wildernesses that haven’t been touched by human hands.”
On a cloudless day on Cornwall’s beach he discovered the meditative power of wave watching. So he wrote The Wavewatcher’s Companion, in which he writes not only of the waves in the ocean, but also the blood that streams through your body in waves and even the waves in ­stadiums. Waves are movements of energy of which we’re barely consciously aware. “Every beat of your heart is a wave,” says Pretor-Pinney. According to him, every wave carries information with it; a ripple in the water, for example, shows that a bird has landed. “But don’t forget,” he says, “ocean waves are a great pleasure to watch—the breathing of the ocean, the mood of the ocean.”

Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Algae wrapped in droplets improves efficiency of artificial photosynthesis

In our quest for the most sustainable, most renewable sources of energy, humanity continues to look to nature for inspiration. One of nature’s most efficient energy systems is photosynthesis, which is how plants convert sunlight, ... Read More

Evidence shows Vikings arrived in Americas nearly 500 years before Columbus

Researchers have known for a while that Vikings from Greenland founded the village of L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around the turn of the millennium, but now, a study published in Nature has finally pinpointed ... Read More

Egypt’s State Council swears-in the nation’s first female judges

Egypt’s State Council was established in 1946 and is an independent judicial body that deals with administrative disputes, disciplinary cases, appeals, reviews draft laws, decisions, and contracts that involve the government or a government-run body. ... Read More

Is group or individual work more productive? Here’s what science says

Are you a group project person or do you prefer to fly solo? We all have our work preferences, but what does science say about teamwork and productivity? A new study conducted by Quartz aims ... Read More

Wildlife filmaker provides a unique insight into the daily lives of bees

You may have seen bees flying around your backyard or local park, but it can be difficult for the naked human eye to grasp the full complexity of the lives of these pollinators. During the ... Read More