Saturday, August 23, 2008


In July of 2008, a curious cumulus condensed above South Central Los Angeles. Unlike other clouds, it did not move with the wind.

A team of researchers at UC Berkeley designed and built 5-channel sensor boxes, PuffTrons, which transmit data about the air directly to a web server, using on-board cell phones. A network of PuffTrons installed in a neighborhood reveals a cartography of pollution: practically, this tells us where it is good and bad to be at which times of the day. Combining statistics with field research like interviews, photographs, video, and synthetic sonic analysis, we have learned much about this anomalous phenomenon.

Thanks to the valiant efforts of 40 seniors at Manual Arts High School, finding twelve missing PuffTrons and using their data to improve the quality of the air around them, the Cloud was compelled to drift. Now it is a nimbus of Notus, and it appears to be headed straight for Echo Park.

Between August 23rd and 30th, we (who have been tracking this Cloud) ask you (fair citizens of Echo Park) to become us, the Black Cloud Citizen Scientist League.

08/23/08 12-5PM for a DIY air quality sensor building workshop.
08/23/08 8-10PM for a symposium of research led by Greg Niemeyer, Penny Woods, Maury Green, and the students of MAHS.
08/30/08 8-10PM for a celebration of what we can only assume (or hope) will be a mission accomplished.

Log into the CLOUD:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOw876H-xUg : View an informational video.
http://twitter.com : Register & become a follower of user “blackcloud” to receive clues & post answers.

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