When I worked for Microsoft in the early 2000's, one of the main features I developed was a cloud rendering system for Flight Simulator. I published a couple articles about it afterwards.
In 2007, I got an email from someone working on special effects for a movie. We have a friend in common, so we had exchanged emails previously about computer graphics. Now his team was reviewing previous work in cloud rendering, and my system came up on the list. He alerted me to a broken link on my cloud page.
I thanked him. He didn't end up using my real-time cloud techniques, but we kept in touch over email now and then.
This week he emailed me saying (paraphrased), "You may not remember me asking about your cloud paper a long time ago, but the movie finally came out. If you see it, check out the clouds."
I thought to myself, "Oh, what is this movie?"
The movie is Avatar!!!
I haven't seen it yet. Tonight he and I are going to go see it together, and then discuss the cloud rendering. I am very excited! We are seeing it in 3D at the Mountain View Shoreline theatre at 9:30pm! (All the IMAX 3D showings were sold out for San Francisco and South Bay.)
While everyone else in the theatre is captivated by the lush forests or the blue people, I will be wishing for them to get out of the way so I can see the clouds better!!!