The comic strip begins with a caveman drawing extensive hieroglyphics on a wall with a crowd of bystanders carefully observing. He's explaining in worried tones that days continue to grow longer, Earth is warming up dangerously, and the climate is changing. Then a member of the audience shouts at him: “It's called summer, you moron.”

So goes the first weather report—and public reaction to it.

Flash forward several thousand years to 1941—one of the first U.S. television weathercasters was an animated cartoon character, Woolly the lamb, who sang the weather report: “It's hot, it's cold. It's rain, it's fair. It's all mixed up together. But I, as Botany's Woolly Lamb, predict tomorrow's weather.” Botany's “wrinkle-proof ties” sponsored the broadcast. One can only imagine audience reaction in that ...

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