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The other day, while I was out for my morning run, I looked up to the sky and saw an interesting cloud formation. It looks like ripples.

I know ripples, or a series of small waves, can form in water, that is in liquid form. I guess ripples can form in water that is in gaseous state as well, which are the clouds. I wonder what caused this cloud ripples. Superman’s supersonic boom?

cloud ripples

I am always fascinated with ripples. Have you ever watched it form from a small drop of a pebble to a bigger and bigger concentric circle of wavelets that reaches the other side of the pond? From a small plop, to a huge effect.

When I was a child my father taught me how to skip stones in the surface of the water. So whenever we come to a water’s edge, like a river or a lake, I tried to skip stones. Many times it will bounce once or twice before it sink, though at times, I can have the stone skip more than that. (The world record for the number of skips according to Guinness Book of Records is 88, imagine that!) When I get tired of skipping rocks, I just throw one far out and watch the ripples form.

The science behind the ripples is both simple and complicated. From the disturbance of the medium, to the preconditions of periodic motion, to the formation of traveling waves. I’m sorry if I caused you bad memories of your high school physics. In simplistic term, a wave of energy is created from a source and is send out and grows in magnitude.

Do you know that we can create a ripple effect too? No, I am not talking about plopping yourself in the water. Though I know many of us will create a tidal wave when we jump into a pool.

What I mean is no matter how small our acts may be, it can create an effect that has much bigger consequences. One simple smile, or a little helping hand, or one small gesture of kindness, can induce a wave of good vibes and positive effects on others, more than we know. The same is true with a frown or one little act of rudeness can spread ill feeling to a much larger circle around us.

So what would your ripple effect be?

(*photo taken and edited with an iPhone)



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