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Episode 1509

Ding-Ding Man

In 1803, a shy British pharmacist wrote a pamphlet that made him a reluctant celebrity. The reason? He proposed a revolutionary new system for classifying clouds — with Latin names we still use today, like cumulus, cirrus, and stratus. Also: when...

The Names of Clouds

In the early 19th Century, a shy British chemist named Luke Howard self-published a pamphlet called Essay on the Modifications of Clouds, which proposed a taxonomy of cloud formations. To his surprise, the pamphlet captured the public imagination...

Shelley’s “The Cloud”

Inspired by Luke Howard’s groundbreaking Essay on the Modifications of Clouds, the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley penned his poem The Cloud, an example of personification. This is part of a complete episode.