Category Archives: Trivia

Barrel Planter Repair

OK, I admit it. I will probably never need to know this again but in the off chance that I do here is how I repaired our ailing barrel planter.

You know those half barrels you can purchase at hardware stores? Well, my wife and I have two of the things. One is out back near our greenhouse with flowers planted in it. We haven’t exactly found a use for the other one yet. It was beginning to fall apart from weathering and lack of use. I had put it on top of a tree stump we have in the back yard. This was a mistake! As the barrel sat there, the stump placed pressure under the bottom part of the barrel which eventually led the bottom to warp and come out of place.

That was my problem and here is the solution: I had to reassemble the barrel. How it works is rather simple, but you probably wouldn’t know that just to look at one. It’s basic physics – levers in fact. Here goes:

  1. Disassemble the barrel. (Pull the pieces out until they all fall out.)
  2. Place the metal ring on the group with the other metal rings (mine had 2 more) around it. You can’t really get this step wrong since the metal rings are each a different size. Put the smaller into the larger. Repeat until you have all the rings in place.
  3. Now take the base and lay it inside the innermost ring.
  4. Jam your first side piece down between the innermost ring and the base. My side pieces had a groove at one end to hold the base in place.
  5. Add some more right next to the first one.
  6. When you have a few in place, place one on the opposite side from the others. This one will act as both a simple lever to keep pieces on the other side in place and a placeholder for future pieces next to it.
  7. Now, simply continue to add pieces until they are all included. You may need a hammer.
  8. The final step is to pull the metal rings up and into place on the barrel.

This should only take a fem minutes.Enjoy!

Scientific Progress: A Home Computer in the year 2004

2004 Home Computer

A Home Computer in the year 2004

This image was scanned from a 1954 issue of Popular Mechanics, the magazine. The text says,

Scientists at the RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a “home computer” could look like in the year 2004. However the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the averate home. Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems. With teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use.

Gotta love those early computer scientists!

Easter 2008 Trivia

Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20 this year). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see during the remainder of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!

Here are the facts:

  • The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you’re 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).
  • The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!