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Hurricane Podcast Recommendation


Since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are current events, I wanted to recommend a podcast episode that I really enjoyed this summer.

I’m talking about the podcast “Undiscovered,” by Science Friday, and this particualar 30 minute episode: Kurt Vonnegut and the Rainmakers.

The novelist Kurt Vonnegut’s older brother, Dr. Bernard Vonnegut, was a famous atmospheric scientist.

In the 1940’s, Kurt needed a job. Kurt majored in chemistry in college, but had dropped out to fight in World War II. After the war, Dr. Vonnegut got Kurt a writing job in his research lab at General Electric. Kurt was there when his brother discovered the role of silver iodide in cloud seeding.

In 1947, Dr. Vonnegut’s team cloud-seeded a hurricane that was off the Eastern seaboard but not expected to hit land. Then, the hurricane changed course and hit near Savannah, Georgia. ┬áThe public blamed the hurricane’s destruction to Georgia on the cloud-seeding. The GE hurricane experiments stopped as a result of the course change and the public outcry.

Kurt Vonnegut later based some of his science fiction work about altering the weather on his brother’s real-life research.

I have blogged in the past about how much I enjoy the podcast “Radiolab.” Well, I have listened to every “Radiolab” episode available for free on Itunes, so I clicked on the link that shows me other podcasts that “Radiolab” listeners also downloaded. This is how I found “Undiscovered.”

I recommend these two science podcasts as a person who studied Liberal Arts in college.