Explaining the weather

It rained heavily overnight, but had cleared by morning. It was a warm, sunny day, but there was a chilly breeze coming in off the harbour, which we noticed during a lunch time walk with Scully around the Greenwich peninsula, which involved walking along the water in many places.

At home I upgraded my Mac to MacOS Ventura. I’d been putting this off because I didn’t want to do it on a day where I had Zoom classes, lest something go wrong. Some past upgrades have taken a couple of hours or so, so I set it up to begin before we went for our lunch walk. But it was pretty quick, and done in about 20 minutes with no dramas, and the computer was ready even before we left for the walk.

Much of the day I spent working on my lesson on weather for tomorrow’s science class. I found a really cool diagram showing different cloud types on Wikimedia Commons, which I felt compelled to share here:

Cloud Atlas of cloud types

It’s available there in much higher resolutions, so click through if you want to see it in detail.

In cooktop news: I made roast vegetables for dinner tonight. I prepared the potatoes (regular and sweet) by parboiling them first with a pinch of baking soda, to roughen up the surface so they absorb the oil and bake nice and crispy. After ten minutes, I wondered why the water wasn’t boiling, only to discover that the gas had been one the whole time without being lit.

This is a very rare occurrence – I can probably count on the fingers of one hand how often I’ve done this in over 20 years of living here, but it was annoying and a bit worrying. One problem is that I can’t smell gas leaks. The ethyl mercaptan that they put in the gas specifically so that people can smell leaks happens to be a chemical that some significant fraction of people are genetically incapable of smelling, and I happen to be one of them. Anyway, the kitchen window was wide open, and I turned on the rangehood as soon as I realised what had happened, and no harm done. But, add another reason on the side of converting to induction cooking.

Oh, another thing I completed today was converting my travel diary from our road trip to Orange back in September into HTML format and uploading it to my website. I added a map of the route and the distances driven (recorded from the car odometer), and you can see the result here. I still need to insert photos to illustrate it… which I’ll get to at some point.

New content today:

4 thoughts on “Explaining the weather”

  1. Do you have a figure on people who can’t smell the mercaptan? I never knew that.

    Personally, I cannot taste the propylthiouracil in the cruciferous vegetables, meaning that cauliflower tastes vaguely sweet to me. I understand that’s not true for everyone.

    1. I remember looking it up many years ago and being surprised that the rate of people who can’t smell it is as high as 10 or 15%. But searching the Internet now I can’t find any reference to it at all. I guess it may be a false memory, but I have a vivid recollection of being shocked that it was so high and wondering why they’d choose an agent that is ineffective for such a high proportion of the population.

  2. It sounds like you should replace your gas range whether or not you decide to switch to induction. Every range I’ve had has got a safety feature that prevents gas from coming out unless the fire is currently lit (or unless you’re actively holding it open with the button that lights the fire).

    BTW, the banner at the bottom of the screen that reads “This website uses cookies to match readers with their comments. Do you consent to this use of cookies?” doesn’t seem to have buttons on it – or if they are, the layout is somehow off and I can’t see them. I’m on Firefox version 107.

    1. I’ve never heard of that safety feature. Sounds sensible!

      And yes, I know about the lack of any buttons on the cookie notice. When I set it up, it had a button on it, but updates removed the button, and I haven’t bothered to edit the message. I should do that. Honestly, I’m not sure why I have it at all… I’m not in the EU and the chances of someone in the EU taking legal action against me for not having it are pretty slim.

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