Qatar's World Cup in the clouds

A report of a remote-controlled, solar-powered hovering shade, which could be used to cool soccer stadiums in Qatar, has taken on a life of its own.


  1. So almost a week ago, the Peninsula newspaper wrote a brief, three paragraph article describing research at Qatar University for an "artificial cloud" that could be used to keep stadiums cool, attributing the story to an Arabic newspaper:
  2. Two days later, the story made it onto the BBC Sport page, this time including an animation of the artificial cloud from Qatar University.
  3. And then the next day, it was on CNN:
  4. Qatar: Robo-clouds to cool World Cup
  5. And by now, it's had a run in Time, NBC Sports, Fast Company, Bldg Blog, the Daily Mail, Engadget & io9, to name a few.
  6. Perhaps the most amusing - and most retweeted - take on the story though, was by Yahoo! Sports:
  7. The claim that Montgomery Burns first came up with the idea of using an artificial construct to block the sun,  even illicited a response from former Simpsons writer Bill Oakley:
  8. In its many iterations, the World Cup "cloud" story has illicited thousands of tweets.
  9. Some joked:
  10. While others have expressed exasperation at the seemingly endless life of this thinly-sourced story.