Thursday, August 11, 2011

Better Than Silver

For generations, Native Americans have done traditional rain dances in an attempt to cause precipitation. While i'm not sure that anyone has ever researched the percent of success or failure of such ceremonies, the fact that many of them involve throwing silver jewelery into a fire might mean they could, theoretically, work. After all, modern cloud seeding is done with silver iodide.

It would all depend, of course, on how much moisture is in the air to begin with. No moisture to condense around the silver particles, no precipitation.

Well, i think i've discovered something that seems to work better than silver, in any form.

It's called laundry.

Let me explain.

A couple of years ago, i read that not using the clothes dryer could cut your electric bill by a huge amount. So i tried it, and sure enough, it has.

This, of course, means a clothesline. It also means, in this swamp, dodging the rain.

If i do a load, as soon as i head outside, the clouds turn threatening.

If i look at the radar, and see no rain for over a 50 mile radius, and there's only a 10% chance of rain, and i try to put out the laundry, i will walk out into the one little sprinkle of rain the radar missed. In other words, i get the 10% and it's not even a big enough amount to register.

If i go ahead and hang it up inside, the sun comes out. When i gather it to go out, the clouds come running to receive me.

Bigger Girl says i should go do laundry anywhere there is a drought in the world, it will cure it.

While i'm not sure about that, i'd be afraid to try.

Today is:

Alcatraz Day

Day of Honor for Oddudua -- Santeria religion (cognate of the Roman Catholic St. Clare of Assisi; credited with the creation of humans)

Dog Days end -- yes, supposedly, in this heat

Feast of St. Attracta -- Irish Catholic Saint (founded a hospice and convents, and supposedly slayed a dragon)

Fiesta de Santa Clara -- Santa Clara Pueblo, NM, US (Native American celebration of St. Clare of Assisi, with a corn dance and prayers for rain)

Great River Tug Fest -- Port Byron, IL and LeClaire, IA, US (the only tug-of-war across the Mighty Mississippi or any other moving body of water, plus festivals on both sides and fireworks; through the 13th)

Heroes Day -- Zimbabwe

Independence Day -- Chad

Ingersoll Day

Jersey Battle of Flowers -- St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands (colorful parade of floats decorated with flowers, annually since 1902 to mark the coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra; through tomorrow)

National Hobo Convention -- Britt, IA, US (held since 1900, a celebration of current and former hoboes, with a Hobo King and Queen crowned; through the 14th)

National Raspberry Bombe Day or Raspberry Tart Day -- whichever one you like best, or both, if that's the way you roll

Osaka Castle Takigi-noh -- Osaka Castle, Osaka City, Japan (free Noh performances, through tomorrow)

Play in the Sand Day (Yeah, like at the beach, nothing like sand in your shorts, I get enough of that on vacation, thank you.)

Presidential Joke Day --
because presidents have a sense of humor, too, as shown this day in 1984 when Reagan thought the microphone was off and joked about Russia being outlawed and bombed

Skowhegan State Fair -- Skowhegan, ME (193rd annual! ten days of grand fun; through the 20th)

Son and Daughter Day -- the day to give your son(s) or daugher(s) the gift of time

St. Clare of Assisi's Day -- Foundress of the Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares) Franciscan nuns (patron of embroiderers, eye disease, gold workers, good weather, needle workers, telegraphs, telephones, and television writers)(
why tv? because when she became too ill to attend mass at the end of her life, a miraculous image of the service would display on the wall of her room)

St. Susanna's Day

Watermelon Festival -- Hope, AR, US (through the 13th)

Birthdays Today:

Hulk Hogan, 1953
Arlene Dahl, 1928
Mike Douglas, 1925 (Note: he also died on this date in 2006)
Alex Haley, 1921
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, 1667 (Last of the Medicis)

Today in History:

First day of the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar, used my the Maya and other pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, BC3114
Traditional date of the defeat of Bel by Hayk, progenitor and founder of the Armenian nation, BC2492
Battle of Artemisium, naval battle of the Greco-Persian War, fought at the same time as the Battle of Thermopylae of the same war; Leonidas, King of Sparta, dies in the land battle, BC480*
Papandayan Java volcanic eruption kills 3,000, 1772
Charles Lawrence gives expulsion orders to remove the Acadians from Nova Scotia beginning the Great Upheaval, 1755
The world's first roller rink opens in Newport, RI, 1866
The first civilian prisoners arrive at Alcatraz, 1934
Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a frequency hopping, spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi, 1942
A bomb explodes on Pan Am Flight 830, en route from Tokyo to Honolulu, killing one teenager and injuring 15 passengers, 1984
NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history, 2003

*some put the date as Aug. 7, some as Sept. 8

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