Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Garbage Mystery...

Like most couples, my wife and I have divided up the chores.  In the boringly conventional mode, one of my chores every Thursday morning is to haul our week's trash about 400 feet down our driveway to the nearest public road.  There the garbage truck and its crew will pick them up, empty them, and leave the empties there for me to haul back up to the house in the afternoon.

We've lived here for over ten years now, so I've performed this little ritual over 500 times.  You could say that I'm an expert on certain aspects of our garbage – in particular, how much of it we produce.  There's really little variation; we consistently produce between two and three 50 gallon trash cans full every week.

But for the past three weeks, my wife has been in Indiana with her mom.  That means I've had two trash cycles with her gone.  In those two weekly cycles, I've produced less than a half of one trash can.  I skipped taking it down last week; there wasn't enough to make it worthwhile. 

Now it makes sense to me that two of us would produce more trash than one of us, but I'd expect the difference to be about 2:1 – and instead it's more like 5:1.  This leads inexorably to the mystery: what on earth is my wife throwing out in such large quantities each week?  I don't really feel like inventorying all the garbage to find out.  I'm hoping one of my readers out there has already done this, and knows the answer.



Via reader Tom B.:

You  have to try this please, it takes 2 seconds.  It is from an  orthopedic  surgeon.
This  will confuse your mind and you  will keep trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart your foot, but, you  can't.  It  is pre-programmed in your brain!

1.  While sitting at your desk in front of your computer,  lift your  right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number  '6' in the air with  your right hand. Your foot will change direction.

And there's nothing you can do about  it!  Before  the day  is done, you are going to try it again, if you've not already done so.

The first few times I tried this, it worked as advertised.  I found that if I moved very slowly and deliberately I could keep my foot going in a clockwise circle – but it took great concentration.  Even after many tries, if I move quickly I cannot do it.

Definitely weird.

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Storm Summary...

First, the rain: 6.34 inches (161 mm) of lovely, lovely rain.  The graph at right tells the story (click to enlarge).  Most of this came down in liquid form, but some was solid (hail).

The barometric pressure changes were kinda dramatic (graph at left, click to enlarge), too.

The forecast has a 60% chance of rain on Tuesday.  Wow!