Monday, December 19, 2011

954 The Fountains of Russia

954 The Fountains of Russia

Ah, Moscow in winter!  The snow on St. Basil’s.  Throngs of holiday shoppers flocking to Gum. Putin and Medvedev ready to switch jobs.  But fountains?  For that you have to move a little to the northeast.  Well, more than a little.

These fountains are under the Arctic Ocean, and apparently there are hundreds of them, where there used to be just a few.  And they are huge.  It’s not easy to make a working fountain when surrounded by water.  So those innovative, crafty Russians use methane.
Can’t wait for the cruise ads.  “Come to the Arctic in Winter... toss coins into the methane fountains.  It’s good luck.”

Um... these fountains are stalking horses (stalking fish?) for climate change.  The Arctic shelf is melting.  Methane spews are a sign of that.  And apparently these lovely plumes throw tons of warm gas into the atmosphere.

The big worry, especially at this time of year, is Santa, his elves and his reindeer. If the area’s melting, what happens to the workshop?

St. Nicholas may be Greek, but look where he moved.  And given the current economic situation in Greece, it’s no surprise he left.  But now what?

Rest assured that he has things under control.  After all, he’s a saint!  And who knows better how to handle crises?

Two things have happened:  First, Santa has outsourced much of his work to China.  You can prove that for yourself by reading the labels of the stuff he puts under your tree this year.

Second, he has established an outpost at the South Pole, which apparently is free of methane fountains, and will re-locate his headquarters there.  Better air, too.

He has dispatched his Chief Deputy Elf to supervise the construction personally.  He also has dispatched several others to establish a flying school for penguins and will hold a worldwide contest to name the 12 or 15 required to pull the sleigh.  (Penguins aren’t as strong as reindeer, so he’ll have more mouths to feed.)

Santa’s workshop and mass transit system will remain intact in a new, larger and less poisonous location.

So while the Arctic may soon be gone, it’ll be business as usual for Christmases to come.  If there are Christmases to come.

(This post is based on information from and an idea first formed and suggested by Carole Mol.)

--As part of the budget deal, the Senate has put off the execution of the most famous resident of death row, the incandescent light bulb.  You’ll now be able to buy them right through October of 2012.  We had some thoughts on that issue in October 2006 and they haven’t changed.

Holiday Shopping Tip:
Give the gift of lightbulbs!  Now’s the time to stock up.  Beat the September, 2012 rush.  They make great presents and the recipients will be ever so grateful. Sixties, 100s, 40s, 25s for the chandelier and the bathroom mirror, soft white, cool white, plain glass, full spectrum.  Any kind will do.  And don’t forget yourself, this holiday season.  

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2011

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