Daily archives: July 31, 2002

The must have garden accessory (thanks to boingboing for finding it).

Mind you, when I was a kid, my dad built an experimental wind mill. It was made of two old oil drums, split in half. The halves were offset to act as scoops at 180 degrees to each other. The scoops were placed one on top of the other, at 90 degrees to each other (I hope this makes sense, I’m not drawing a diagram), so that no matter which way the wind came from, at least one scoop would catch it and begin turning.

It sort of worked. I don’t think the dynamo it was supposed to run was much good so it never generated much electricity. The point of this little ramble is- I could sit inside one of the half barrels on the top and when things started moving, it was a lot like sitting in a very tight roundabout. I went too fast once and was terrified and ill.

We had to make our own fun in the old days, you know.

And a little bit of Seeds

At high sun, the light played off the glacier, sparkling on the melting ice. The old road bridge, closed now to all but official traffic, was the only vantage point Boran could find to watch his engineers as they marked fire points and laid remote mines. His office on the southern side of the fjord afforded a nice view of the rail marshalling yards and on the northern side the mass of the city was further to the west.

The twin cities of Cora and Munss, possessing the only bridges on the great fjord which split the continent west of the mountains, had been the first prize of the great thrust northwards. Common wisdom held that if the North were to attempt liberation, troops would stream down the glacier in tracks and powered sleds. They had come that way before, aiding the cities� battle for independence from the South.

Boran had been too young to remember the Glacier war. He did recall the smiling uncle who would take him up on the ice and keep him safe whilst he scoured the surface for wreckage. One time, when they had dared travel further than usual, they had come upon the truncated fuselage of a heavy bomber. The aeroplane had buried itself on impact, but the flow had finally thrust it back into the open. In the half enclosed cockpit the crew were crumpled over the controls. Uncle Hian had made the sign of the Silver Tower and flagged the wreck for recovery. Not long after, Boran�s favourite uncle and mother had died in the same house fire. Within days his father had everything in order and they had moved to the family home in the South.

And now he was back. The military had sought out the young engineer shortly before the cities were due to be attacked, and drafted him. It would have been a pleasure to be back in his old home, if there weren�t such a risk of being knifed or thrown over the cliffs should he stray out of the militarised areas.

The motor trike started on the third pull on its starter cord. Boran raced a gigantic lumber train, on the next bridge over, to the southern wall of the fjord. He had to get some joy in his head before his daily briefing with Commander Janssen.