Rain's Complicated Cultural History

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 (Benjamin Watson/Flickr)

These days Californians are often too preoccupied with the drought to consider rain's cultural significance. But journalist Cynthia Barnett explores just that in her book, "Rain: A Natural and Cultural History." Barnett discovers the true shape of a raindrop, how rain inspired perfume in India and even, rain's effect on Kurt Cobain's music. Barnett also discusses rain's complicated history: from humans' desire to control precipitation to present-day water-conservation efforts.

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Cynthia Barnett, environmental journalist; author of "Rain: A Natural and Cultural History"