When FIFA announced that Qatar would be hosting the World Cup in 2022, there was a lot of head shaking going on. Just how would you get quality soccer in summer temperatures in excess of 120F? And, er, where is all the water coming from to keep the stadia green, in a country that has an average annual rainfall of around three inches? And how do you keep that grass from burning in such high temperatures inside uncovered stadia? So many mysteries.
It turns out the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department at Qatar University, under the lead of department Head, Dr Saud Abdul Ghani, have come up with one partial - and undeniably novel - solution for one of these problems. Artificial clouds.
No, really. In a country that doesn't produce a lot of clouds, they're going to make them.
To be precise, these will be remote controlled, solar powered, helium filled, lightweight carbon clouds. And they'll hover right over the top of the stadia. And they won't crash, or make it too dark inside the stadium, or generate too much noise. Promise!
They also won't make things exactly bearable. Temperatures are recorded 'in the shade'. So, instead of being a blistering 150F in the sun, it'll only be 120F in the shade! Whoop-de-doo! Try running around in that for 90 minutes, when you're from northern Europe.
Some consolation could come from the fact that they'll also be cooling the 12 open-air stadia with solar powered air-conditioning. Cool air will be pumped from under the seats, to keep your tush cool, as you sit and watch 22 players run as hard as they can out on a sweltering pitch under a big hovering blimp that could conceivably land on their heads any minute now.
Brilliant idea, really.
Perhaps the best idea for how to manage this event comes from FIFA President Sepp Blatter - a big supporter of the Qatar bid - who has suggested that the World Cup be played in winter.
Here's a BBC informercial for the cloud: