Fading snow

With temps climbing into the 60s today, I decided to tempt fate and move the snow blower from the front yard to its summer place by the sheds. The last chunk of snow, well, really, ice, is almost gone from our deck.

The corner of our yard, sheltered from the sun, is still snow-covered. At the camp, there’s still a foot or more of ice that’s been pushed into the cove by the strong northwest winds.

I’m guessing that it will take at least a week, maybe even two, before the cove is open. We’re still hoping to open up around the first of May.


When we worked in cubeland and needed concentrate, we’d often put up a virtual door across the cubicle entrance. The door was a long piece of masking tape with a Do Not Disturb sign stuck to it.
Some people don’t even have a cubicle and so must become their own door.

via Boing Boing

Best uses for old tech

You might not think that disk drives are obsolete. Increasingly, though, solid-state drives are replacing the types with spinning disks. The solid-state devices (SSDs) are faster, lighter, and consume less energy. SSDs are more expensive, but the other features outweigh the cost for sleek laptops.
In addition, you might have upgraded a desktop system, replacing an old drive with a higher-capacity one.
So, you’ve got an old disk drive sitting around. What can you do with it?
Make cotton candy, of course.

Turning an Old Hard Disk Into a Candy Floss Machine

John C. Wharton, a candy maker, and William J. Morrison, a dentist, received a patent in 1899 for “certain new and useful improvements in candy machines.” (US Patent # 618,428). This bit of hackery builds on that patent with modern tech and spare parts.
via LifeHacker

One of an occasional series of best uses and reuses for old computer gear and related stuff.

Educational merry-go-round

Bill Cosby talked about how the grown-ups “improved” the playground by adding monkey bars and other malevolent inventions that were deemed fun for kids. He vowed never to play on any playground equipment that he didn’t see adults using.
He tried the merry-go-round once. “You sit on it and three of your friends push you around in a circle for five minutes and then you throw up.”
I was talking with a middle-school student recently. She said that she likes math but is terrified of the upcoming MCAS test.
Tracy Novick recently blogged that sixty percent of adults failed a Rhode Island math test required for high school graduation.
If testing is such a good way to prove that we’re competent, why don’t adults have to re-take the graduation exams to prove that they still deserve their diplomas and degrees? Why do we put kids on rides that we won’t use ourselves?