In all my years of clunking around on the internet, I've never found a combination of words that can make my head explode with visions of rainbows, unicorns and childhood dreams come true, like the phrase 'Clouds That Rain Ice-Cream'. And if Catherine Kramer and Zoe Papadopoulous have their way, it will be more than just a storybook fantasy.
The pair are working on a project that uses nanotechnology to seed clouds with the flavours and aromas of ice cream. While the project is still in its development stages, the theories behind it seem sound. It uses the process of cloud seeding (pumping silver iodide into the cloud to change its microphysical structure) which the Chinese seem to be particularly fond of. But instead of the chemicals, they seed it with an isolated gene from bacteria that (hang tight, it gets technical) have a membrane protien that allows them to enable crystalliation in supercooled water.
They have started off by going on tour in a vintage ice cream truck-laboratory, where they make icecream using the same nano process and talk to people about nanotechnology and The Cloud Project. I'm not sure how long it will be until we're swimming in sundaes, but my 8 year-old self and I will be cheering them on.
This is so much better than Chocolate Rain.
Image: The Cloud Project