Snow Depth Days

To truly tell which winters have been the worst, I propose a variation on the HDD (heating degree days… along with cooling degree days, great tools for comparing climates) calculation of “snow depth days” that also includes a multiplier of air temp (or maybe even adjusted for wind chill).

Or maybe the temperature should be an inverse of some sort, so good winters would be lots of snow, but also somehow mild temps.

Factoring in the amount of sun would be good too!

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The next internet is TV

Sounds mostly right….

See also:

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Filed under computers, erik-web, future, television


“As far as I know, the only person ever to put Japanese lyrics to the Beatles song “Yesterday” (and to do so in the distinctive Kansai dialect, no less) was a guy named Kitaru…”

from: Yesterday by HARUKI MURAKAMI (Translated, from the Japanese, by Philip Gabriel.)

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Alternative Methods for Roof Snow Removal

Sure you can pay someone to shovel off your roof.

But also consider these other ways!

Wire Trick

(Comment: “Snowblower $900 Ladder $190 Gas $5.00 New Shingles every year $5000″)

Sounds crazy, but if your roof is flat, an electric snowblower might not be a bad alternative since small ones are much lighter and some are mostly plastic. I’ve seen stores do it.

Electric, like the Toro or Snow Joe ones.
example: Toro 38371 15-Inch 12 Amp Electric 1500 Power Curve Snow Blower

Or a “power shovel” might be even better. Won’t be able to do very deep snow, but maybe worth it since it is so light and easy to get up there.
example: Snow Joe 323E 13-Inch 10-Amp Electric Snow Shovel

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Save me from high school

“I’ve never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the idea that high school is a portal to hell seems pretty realistic to me.” –Peter Buck, R.E.M.

from: (Every Body Hurts by REM)

OK, so I appreciate that many HS experiences are less than ideal shall we say, and I understand part of this is brain development and hormones and such, but I think very often (95%?) it is largely institutional.  Instead, people look back at their HS days and often blame themselves and/or think “well, that’s just the way it is”.   Kids are actual people.  But schools do not treat kids like actual full human beings who want autonomy, freedom, responsibility, etc, etc.  It should not be so.  And it is not so at Sudbury Valley School.

But hey, he can write a song if he wants to. I will report back once our kids are teenagers (at their school Sudbury Valley School but seems like there is absolutely no reason why most teenagers can’t be perfectly happy too.

SVS: Where does happiness come from?

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Filed under contrarian, happiness, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

ENViROnMENTAL FAIL: review: Briggs & Stratton Smart-Fill Spout vs…

1.9 stars. Typical 1-star review excerpt: “I’d like to discuss this matter with the numb-skull who though that it would be more friendly to the polar bears to pour gas all over oneself rather than venting the can as it has been done for years…through a vent hole.” LINK

So stick with the vent hole method if possible! 1 spill is worth 1000 ventings. Go with the ventings.

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BPA free receipts — stores in Massachusetts

If anyone knows off-hand that a store in MA uses BPA-free paper for their receipts, please email me at the address at the link in my ABOUT page and I will list them here.

A while back I stopped taking receipts at gas-station self-serve kiosks.

I think I will stop pretty much with any receipt now. I mean, why bother?


“The receipt for a McDonald’s Happy Meal™ purchased in Clinton, Conn. on April 21, 2010 had an estimated 13 milligrams of BPA. That equals the amount of BPA in 126 cans of Chef Boyardee Overstuffed Beef Ravioli in Hearty Tomato & Meat Sauce, one of the products with the highest concentrations of BPA in EWG’s 2007 tests of canned foods (EWG 2007)”
(EWG also publishes a helpful guide to cosmetics & sunscreen safety. Last I looked, this (by Beyond Coastal) was one of the top sunscreens that is chemical, not physical.)

“In a groundbreaking study, researchers have shown why a chemical once thought to be a safe alternative to bisphenol-A, which was abandoned by manufacturers of baby bottles and sippy cups after a public outcry, might itself be more harmful than BPA.”

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