How does one measure the wind speed inside a tornado? Bernie Vonnegut looked back at an early state-of-the-art method, and wrote a report called “Chicken Plucking as Measure of Tornado Wind Speed” [published in “Weatherwise,” October 1975, p. 217]. Vonnegut told the world why that early method, which involved a chicken carcass and a cannon, may have been imperfect. For this achievement, Bernie Vonnegut was posthumously awarded the 1997 Ig Nobel Prize for meteorology.
Vonnegut was a scientist — by all accounts a good one. A tribute written the year Bernie Vonnegut died says: “Bernard Vonnegut is best known, however, for his discovery on November 14, 1946 at the General Electric Research Laboratory of the effectiveness of silver iodide as ice-forming nuclei that has been widely used to seed clouds in efforts to augment rainfall.”
BONUS: Vonnegut also wrote about The Smell of Tornadoes.