Out like a lamb? Maybe a drippy-wet lamb. Maybe a lamb looking up at the occasional flurries and possible thunderstorms lurking in the wings next week. Baaaa! Enjoy it while you can. Quoting The Old Farmer’s Almanac here, “Showers often; the earth softens. Sunny and sweet. Watch out for sleet!”
Sounds like Winter : Lite to me; a sunnier version of what we’ve had going on since November or so. The next entry is, “Dry feet. (around Palm Sunday) A soaking, no joking! Peepers croaking (Easter)” Well, we have THAT to look forward to. Those participating in Easter egg hunts might want to bring along a minnow net. The summer map predicts a hot and dry summer in our area but the specifics of May look pretty damp. Methinks the Old Farmer is hedging his bets.
I have got bulbs of various sorts that desperately need to get out and sink their little green toes in the dirt—have to wait until the dirt thaws. I have snowdrops lifting their shy little heads and looking around the front lawn. There are two clumps of golden crocus (croci? crocuses?) and one anti-social singleton out there. I finally took down the Christmas wreath on the front porch pillar. Spring must surely be here.
“You can step on the flowers but you can never delay the Spring.”—Pablo Neruda
Looking through my latest spring issue of Popular Science , I’ve spotted a number of interesting items on the page revealing new products available.
How about a transportation gizmo that looks “like the love child of a motorcycle and a unicycle.” Called the Ryno, it’s a single wheel with a seat and handlebars; a gyroscope and accelerometers (whatever they are) keep the rider upright. Speeds up to 10mph may be reached by leaning forward. What a hoot! Can you just see people buzzing around town on these machines? No mention of how many miles per gallon but it would have to be amazing. Don’t believe they’re quite “Turnpike-ready” but a little plaza-cruising would not be out of the question. Drag racing with riders really dragging off the machines running on their own! $5300
The world’s first beer-flavored jelly beans have been produced by the Jelly Belly people. It is, apparently, a Hefeweizen-style confection, has no alcohol, and can be paired with a Red Apple jelly bean to approximate an apple cider shandy(beer mixed with apple juice or a soft drink or lemonade, popular in Germany). You won’t see a Budweiser commercial for this one next Super Bowl. $8.99/lb.
Here’s something that you didn’t know that you needed, a cubic rubber band, made by Nendo. Right, it looks like one of those illustrations in the plain geometry textbook. There was no indication of how big it is, no scale but PS did comment that it was easier to pick up than the standard round rubber one. Also mentioned that it might be difficult to shoot the thing. Too bad, little boys! $10 (No mention o whether this was for just one or a box of the little buggers, the way rubber bands are usually sold)
How about the Flir One, a thermal imaging device for the iPhone which detects infrared energy from 32 degrees to 212 degrees (freezing to boiling). Suggested uses include seeing in the dark, locating heat loss (energy assessments, like around doors and windows to determine ways to reduce your energy use) and cheating at hide and seek.
And, finally, the latest from Kings Island, The Banshee. This is the world’s longest inverted roller coaster. Oy! Speaking as one who gets dizzy and suffers from borderline vertigo just looking out of a second story window( I passed up the opportunity to go up in Seattle’s Space Needle and the CN Tower in Toronto. I was clutching nearby structures at the time), I don’t think that this will be on my summer plans. Speeds of up to 68mph can be reached (not by me!) in a transit time of approximately two minutes and 40 seconds. Zoweeee! No wonder they named it the Banshee (In Irish folklore, a woman who starts to wail when someone is about to die; a messenger from the underworld; a keening woman whose wail can be so piercing that it shatters glass). The one about to die would be me, were I to, somehow, be put aboard such a ride from—and to– the pit of Hades. I have to be with a particularly charming child to get on a carousel, even with a Joe Leonard-carved horse. The last such contraption that I was on was dubbed the “WildMouse” and was just about the size you’d imagine with such a name. Small children ride the roller coaster and wave their hands in the air; I stand on the ground and quiver just watching.EEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!