Tag: Raining Cats and Dogs

Raining in the Solar System

 

Venus lightning and clouds
Lightning and clouds on Venus – an artist’s impression.
Earth is not the only place in the solar system where it rains.

Venus takes acid rain to a new level. In the clouds of Venus, it rains pure sulfuric acid, which is better known for being in your car battery. NASA probes have also confirmed the presence of lightning – not surprising, given just how thick the clouds are. Not to worry, though, the rain doesn’t actually reach the surface, which has such insane heat and pressure that the battery acid rain evaporates before hitting the surface. The surface of Venus is a volcanic hellscape (you could have pools of molten lead, and the carbon dioxide atmosphere becomes a hybrid of liquid and gas called a super-critical fluid), so the acid rain is the least of your concerns.

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Over There, the Rain Beats Down Old Ladies with Ugly Sticks

 

In English, we say, “It’s raining cats and dogs.” Explanations for why we say this are numerous, and all fairly dubious. In other lands, other stuff falls from the sky during heavy storms. In Croatia, axes; in Bosnia, crowbars (I’m sensing a pattern here); in France and Sweden, nails. In several countries, heavy rain falls like pestle onto mortar. In English, it may also rain like pitchforks or darning needles. While idioms describing heavy rain as the piss from some great creature (a cow or a god) may not be surprising, a few idioms kick it up a notch (so to speak), describing the rain as falling dung.

And then there are the old ladies falling out of skies. Sometimes with sticks, sometimes without. Sometimes old ladies beaten with ugly sticks. The Flemish say, het regent oude wijven — it’s raining old women. The Afrikaners, more savagely, arm the old women with clubs: ou vrouens met knopkieries reën. Yes, good ol’ knobkerries — ugly sticks, indeed! Afrikaners and the Flemish speak variants of Dutch, so it’s not surprising they share cataracts of crones, armed or not. Why the Welsh also share them is more of a mystery, but yn’ Gymraeg, again we find old ladies raining with sticks: mae hi’n bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn. Traveling to Norway, we find the outpouring of old ladies beaten with the ugly sticks: det regner trollkjerringer — it’s raining she-trolls.

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Member Post

 

I came across this delightful short poem while searching for a Quote of the Day. Since it includes a cat and water, it seemed appropriate for the Group Writing theme of Raining Cats and Dogs. The final line of the poem contains a common phrase in use today, made popular by Shakespeare in The Merchant […]

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Group Writing: The Tragedy of the Tiger Temple

 

Over 20 years ago, my husband and I visited a temple in Thailand with a Thai friend of ours. She had become friendly with the head monk who, along with his monks, had taken in many tigers. These tigers had, for the most part, been picked up as cubs by people who were visiting the forests; when they recognized their foolish decisions to capture the tigers (since the cats grew to be substantially larger and more fierce), they took them to what came to be called the Tiger Temple. The head monk felt he could provide a place of safety and care for the tigers, and gradually housed many tigers around the temple.

Every day the monks would take the tigers for a walk. They had an incredible rapport with these wild animals, and could often be seen relaxing with them in the open land nearby. The cats were kept and fed in very large cages, with plenty of room to walk around. We realized that there was no long-term planning involved; food for the cats was provided by people who knew of the monks’ work, including locals and tourists. Visits by outsiders were infrequent, and the cats looked well-cared for. It appeared that the monks were just doing what they believed was needed; theirs was the compassionate action to take.

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Florence Nightingale: The Lady with the … Cats?

 

If Florence Nightingale were still alive, she’d have been 199 years old in 2019. She was born on May 12th, 1820, just a few short months after Mad King George (of American Revolution fame) breathed his last. By the time she died on August 13, 1910, George V (the current Queen’s grandfather) was on the throne, the England of her youth had vanished forever, and what had taken its place was about to be rocked to its foundations by the First World War.

If anyone might have achieved her bicentennial birthday, it would have been Miss Nightingale. She was determined, cantankerous, precocious, intellectually gifted (she was a brilliant mathematician with a bent for statistics, who popularized the “pie chart” as a visual aid in making her points), difficult, stubborn, opinionated, smart, a prodigious writer, and a woman who never took “no” for an answer without testing the bounds of the proposition herself. I’ve always admired her greatly. I’m not sure she’d have been a comfortable person to have as a friend, but I think she’d have been a very good and very loyal one.

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Member Post

 

We’re experiencing a short drought in theme posts, so I’m doing some cloud seeding here. Group Writing themes help generate conversations that are not necessarily about politics or current events. For August, our theme is “Raining Cats and Dogs” All you need do is write a short post to start the conversation. Perhaps you could […]

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Member Post

 

Yes, it continues to rain cat and dog songs. Now we are getting gusts of popular tunes. Let’s start with Big Mama Thornton and her 1952 “Hound Dog:” More

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Member Post

 

We are all aware of a certain musical about felines’ feelings, or some such thing. Perhaps it is one of our guilty pleasures. But were you aware of a canine counterpart, of a sort? In the great tradition of This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, and the unforgettable And God Spoke (the Making of…), a short […]

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Witch Way

 

It was raining, cats and dogs (well, a witch’s cat and a sort-of werewolf with bones for brains – she really shouldn’t say that, even in the privacy of her own thoughts, but bless him it was true) were taking cover, and she still had to finish this blasted potion. Never, never, never, the dripping young woman thought to herself, brew a potion from a recipe book that actually specifies it be made ‘on ae righte blasted heathe on ye first true dark midnight after th’ full moone, and thatte at the height of ae summer storme’.

But here she was, soaked to the skin and getting more and more drenched by the moment, frantically stirring a bubbling cauldron with a long hazel stick (‘exactlie five foote in lengthe’), as the wind blew against her trailing black cloak and threatened to take her with it. She’d already seen her hat go whistling away over the horizon. ‘I tried to tell you,’ said a voice from under a pair of wet, flattened-down ears somewhere in the undergrowth.

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Member Post

 

So your friends called again, Urging you to slip the chain. More

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Member Post

 

So many videos, so little time. I’ve found a few open days. Nature abhors a vacuum, so brace yourselves! We’ll start with a classy take on cat songs. No, there will be no show tunes from a certain alleged musical…unless you drive me to it! Aaron Copeland wrote a short piece for piano entitled “The Cat […]

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Member Post

 

Who plays it best? Black Dog is a blues rock song composed and first performed by Led Zeppelin. It was the first cut on the A side of their fourth album, creatively titled Led Zeppelin IV. Heart, fronted by the Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, have the strongest cover version, decade to decade. Hey, don’t click […]

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Group Writing: Raging Storms

 

When the rain falls gently, soothing the leaves on trees, darkening the streets slowly, satisfying the thirst of eager flowers, I welcome those soft showers. But my experience with the “raining cats and dogs” variety of storms has been terrifying, and I could definitely do without them. Unfortunately, nature will have her way.

Three terrifying experiences that have never been duplicated came to mind when I thought of raining cats and dogs. The first was on a cross-country drive, and we were on a Texas highway. My husband drove one car and I drove the other, as we were in the process of moving from CA to MA. We amused ourselves by taking turns being in front, and to make sure I didn’t get sleepy, he would occasionally call me on my cellphone. (This was in 2006* when you couldn’t get arrested for using a cellphone while driving.)

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Member Post

 

While brainstorming about about this month’s Group Writing Theme, It’s Raining Cats and Dogs, I asked my millennial and teenage kids if they knew what the phrase meant. “Yes Dad”, they answered smugly, “it means it’s raining hard”. That got me thinking about other rain related idioms and how I could incorporate them into conversations […]

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Member Post

 

Your friendly Ricochet weather forecaster here, announcing a projected long dry spell ahead. After a lovely set of summer showers to start the month, we have only scattered showers ahead. But there is hope for those who want to go splashing in puddles or singing in the rain. We’re looking for a series of cloud-seeding […]

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Member Post

 

I used to run out in the rain when I did more honest work. God’s mercy on the working man. Head back soaking up the welcoming cool. In the spring seeds need just a few drops to break the earth and reach toward the sun. Acres wake up and millions of invisible seeds swell and […]

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The Mother

 

This isn’t an account of Raining Cats and Dogs as much as it is a story of the flooding that resulted.

Mr. Cowgirl and I had both been raised in a world of animals. His family did cattle ranching, and mine did dairy farming, and that world always included cats and dogs. Our barn cats had an essential role in keeping the cow grain safe from rodents. Beef cattle and milk cows will follow directions from dogs much more quickly than directions from humans.

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Member Post

 

I double-dog dare you to top the first few posts under the August 2019 Group Writing Theme: Raining Cats and Dogs! Lots of days left, if you’re not a scaredy-cat! Don’t be a wet blanket, come in out of the rain, especially if you’ve not written here before, or in a long time. There are plenty […]

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