Lighthouse Park

August 12, 2010

The lighthouse at Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver, BC

[better resolution here]

Weather In The Cold War

August 12, 2010

I am a devotee of linear history: I like to know the order in which things happened, what came first, what came next. Give me the timeline before giving me your explanation or analysis. In an earlier iteration of my blog, I tried to catalog some of these “cultural beginnings” and I have continued this here.

It will come as no surprise therefore that I just love the History of Science Timeline site.

Having been born in 1949, I decided to look at what happened in 1950 and the first thing I noticed was that in 1950 we have the first weather forecast by an electronic computer. The 24-hour forecast took 24 hours to compute. Of more interest to me was the purpose behind the work:

“As a committed opponent of Communism and a key member of the WWII-era national security establishment, [John] von Neumann hoped that weather modeling might lead to weather control, which might be used as a weapon of war. Soviet harvests, for example, might be ruined by a US-induced drought.”

Science for the greater good, eh?