Monday, April 05, 2010

685 Who Needs Real?

685 Who Needs Real?

They've been using artificial snow on the ski slopes of the world since its invention and patenting in about 1950. But there's been a flurry of activity in this little known industry lately. Improvements in the quality of the stuff. New variations. New chemicals, near-nano sized objects that completely disintegrate and don't hurt the environment. All for the good. What would the ski biz be like without snow. And sometimes, old man winter just doesn't comply.

But this is the 21st century, and this is America, land of innovation. So now, we have ... artificial sand. Really. If a ski slope snow making machine goes berserk and starts rumbling down your residential street, spewing tons of the stuff like a regular natural snowstorm, what better to make the roads safe again but with artificial sand.

Like there isn't enough REAL sand? Long Island is 110 miles of nothing BUT sand. Real sand. And there still are sand pits and sand mines operating. They could expand that into other areas of the area as long as they leave the wetlands and pine barrens alone. And if artificial sand isn't enough for the snow clearers, how about artificial salt?

You want to treat those roads right. Artificial salt could go a long way toward making sure Mr. Macadam doesn't get high blood pressure. He has enough trouble with all those kidney stones and gal stones that lie beneath his upper layer.

So. Artificial snow, artificial sand, artificial salt. Is it cheaper or better or more efficient or more plentiful than the real things? Or are these just marketing tricks?

While we're at it, why limit all this to small, gritty particles. Why can't we also have artificial oxygen. And what about artificial natural gas? That sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it? Or at least a paradox. How about artificial water?

Since water soon will be the New Oil, it might pay to get a head start in that direction.


--Quote worth note: "It's black soot on top of copper, brass and silver. You wipe the stuff off and it looks good as new" -- Past president Randy Noel of the Louisiana Homebuilders association on what he sees as overreaction to the dangers of tainted Chinese-made drywall in about 3,000 homes which the Consumer Product Safety Commission says have to be completely gutted and refurbished.

--Preparing for a long trip, you get to learn all kinds of things you never knew. Like how valuable geometry is. Especially when you're trying to figure out how many linear inches this or that bag or case is, preparing to prepare carry-ons.

--Thanks to the Associated Press, we all are the proud knowers of two vital and previously undisclosed facts. (1) Tiger Woods has arrived in Augusta to practice for the Masters and (2) He was wearing a lavender shirt and sunglasses. How did we ever live without knowing that!

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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