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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Environmental Happening  
  Weather created as a work of art.  

In Varley's future moon, there are many disneylands - enormous caverns carved from the rock and sealed, duplicating environments once found on Earth. They are so large that even the weather becomes a work of art created by man.

An Environmental happening has no opening chords like a musical symphony. It is already in progress when you arrive and will still be going on when you leave. The weather in disneyland is a continuous process and we merely shape a few hours of it to our wills...

You experience the symphony with all five senses and several that you are not aware of. Most people do not realize the effect of a gigantic low-pressure area sweeping over them, but they feel it all the same...

Cyclone has a definite beginning, however. At least to the audience. It begins with the opening bolt of lightning. I worked on it a long time, and designed it to shatter nerves. There is the slow building of thunderheads ... then it hits. It crashes in at seventeen points in a ring around the audience, none further away than a half a kilometer. It is poperly called chain lightning, because after the initial discharge it keeps flashing for a full seven seconds. It's designed to take the hair right off your scalp...

...Weather is an experiential thing, and that's why tapes and films of my work sell few copies. You have to be there and have the wind actually whipping your face and feel the oppressive weight of a tornado as it passes overhead like a vermiform freight train...

From The Phantom of Kansas, by John Varley.
Published by Unknown in 1976
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  - Weather As Art

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