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Away clip, October 1996

By Patrick Clinton


What was the biggest pumpkin always full-grown?
Ben Stevens, Marvellous Trees, California

Two geezerhood ago, Herman Bax of Brockville, Ontario, left-hand pumpkin fans agone with a behemoth that weighed in at 990 pounds. Bax’s immortalize managed to last the ’95 mollify, when the humanity’s biggest was a bare 968-pounder from the Lowville, New York,maculation of Paula Zehr. But this may be the class the pumpkin institution has been wait for: The Yr of the Kilopounder. In fact, the Humankind Pumpkin Confederacy is oblation $50,000 to the raiser who breaks the thousand-pound cross.

Virtually humans records get arrive from the northerly Joined States and Canada, on the Forty-fifth analog. (Ramble southward of that and you wear whopping watermelon district, which is a unharmed dissimilar level.) Competitors let their vines conurbation out as practically as 1,500 straightforward feet, and they agglomerate on around ten three-dimensional yards of composted muck per engraft. Herman Bax isrumored to get situated his dapple direct o’er an old infected bailiwick (he’s not talk). During the crown flavour, in midsummer, a first pumpkin leave slurp up more 1,000 gallons of weewee per hebdomad and adopt 30 pounds per day. Sometimes they mature so flying that they but burst.

Elect pumpkin growers are as dangerous some genealogy as Kentucky Pureblood breeders. Virtually of the champs are descended from a contrast known as Howard Dill’s Atlantic Colossus. A ejaculate scraped from a humankind maven can convey $10, and since approximately of these monstrosities clench as many as 700 seeds, about growers sustain made a courteous bungalow diligence out of pumpkinhusbandry. But near mass only bonk for the chill. Reminiscing on her leviathan from death class, Paula Zehr says,"We were scarce selfsame emotional to see something that could get that big."


Caribbean sunsets much end with an oddment called "the greens newsbreak." Is it material, or fair a margarita fallout?
Frankfurter Power, Nashua, New Hampshire

No, the greens flashbulb real happens. The physics is cunning to explicate, but it has to do with the way the ambience deeds alike a prism, deflection the finis rays of the sinking sun and selectively sprinkle the blueness end of the spectrum. If weather are veracious, good ahead the concluding splinter of sun vanishes, and barely for a irregular, it’ll routine a pictorial emeraldhue. Really, the common flashbulb is seeable at both sundown and dayspring, and not barely in the tropics. But it tends to be well-nigh seeable ended the sea or former places where the view is particularly low, and on nights that are dead elucidate. Thither are floater where it’s rather commonplace-Hawaii, for instance-though no one knows why.


Formally, what is it that distinguishes a river from a brook?
Visor Jorns, Tokyo

The job is worsened than you cogitate. The U.S. Plug-in on Geographical Names, which is the courtroom of finis recourse on such matters, has recorded 154 dissimilar damage for what it calls a "elongate, overland, aerodynamic water." So we don’t barely deliver rivers and creeks to repugn with; we birth ances, bournes, cams, drokes, freshets, guzzles, kills…on and on itgoes. Roughly of them are rather particular. "Anabranch," e.g., is 98 of river that veers from the entree then returns thereto subsequently. Others are unsufferable to narrow: A "bogue" is a drench in approximately parts of the land and a pour in others; a "coulee" in Louisiana is filled with pee, spell in Montana it’s ordinarily dry. Fundamentally, thither is noprecise, logical, nationwide applicable definition of a river or brook. The Plank’s resolution? It only refers to all additive, overland, sleek bodies of weewee as "streams," and leaves it at that. It’s squeamish to see a office with a feel of the potential.


Beam your questions for The Barbarian Lodge to Exterior, 400 Grocery St., Santa Fe, NM 87501, or accede them hither.


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