Like a boid on a wire: Spring(s) tales to harden the heart

Spring has sprung, the edatrix has spoken

“Spring iz sprung, da grass iz riz, I wonder where dem boidies iz? Da little boids is on da wing. Ain’t dat absoid? Da little wings iz on da boid.”

That’s the famous Brookyln take on an old, much-loved piece of verse. It tends to resurface at this time of the year when tired hacks are looking around for something to say about the changing of the seasons. 

Wednesday (23 September), 3.30pm, SA time, marks the spring equinox in the southern hemisphere. It’s when the sun is directly above the equator. From then on it starts getting closer to the Tropic of Capricorn as the Earth continues its slightly egg-shaped orbit around the sun, the very source of life as we know it on our planet.

spring birds
TALK IS CHEEP: No larkin’ about when the Ed says she wants spring season stories. Picture: TheOtherKev/px

Yes, yes, but what has all this high school astronomy got to do with a Weak in the News? Precious little, in truth. But Chronicle-Pravda edatrix Niki Moore is not a woman to be trifled with. Her laptop runs on Linux; she frightens cellphone companies; and rescues cats from places where firemen fear to tread. So when La Moore “suggested” to contributors that the “loose topic” for this week’s edition was “spring”, the smarter among us treated it for what it was: a diktat (Didn’t you get the memo, dummkopf? This week’s theme is ‘how social media is deliberately manipulating and enslaving us through our phones’. – Ed)

But it’s not to Brooklyn that we turn for inspiration (they are facing autumn; da little boids iz leaving, after all). Our first story comes from the Mystic East… the East Rand that is and its acknowledged jewel, the city of Springs.

COLOUR OF MONEY: RE/MAX is seeing real estate opportunities flowing from a growing awareness of climate change. Picture: ph

Springs is in the air – let no crisis go to waste

The Springs Advertiser early in the week carried a contribution among their local news items from the regional director and chief executive of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslet.

The estate agency boss, it seems, has spied, in cataclysmic events beyond our immediate control, an opportunity to flog houses.

The Covid-19 pandemic has awakened the world to how quickly we can change our behaviours when confronted with a crisis that threatens our very existence, Goslet tells us. Yet, once we overcome the current crisis, we face another: global warming and climate change. 

 “If we as a society can change our ways as quickly as we have in response to this pandemic, then we can hopefully avoid falling into yet another state of disaster later in history,” he says. 

“We all have a responsibility to do our best to live more eco-friendly lifestyles. If we all start searching for greener options, we will soon see how the market will change to meet our demands.”

Compost call

Goslet  reckons this was already happening in the property market. “With many young buyers preferring homes with eco-friendly installations, new developments are arising to cater to this growing demand.”

A list of handy hints to save the planet follows: work from home; walk to the shops; start a compost heap (it needn’t be stinky if done right, Goslet advises); and take shorter showers.  

“If we all pull together, we can hopefully prevent a future global crisis.” 

Thanks RE/MAX. All pull together and search for lifestyle options with a bit of help from your friendly local realtor, perhaps?

BURN BABY, BURN: A gender-reveal party led to the blaze that has claimed the life of a California fireman and devastated 8 000 hectares of San Bernardino National Forest. Picture: Cameron Strandberg/Wikimedia Commons

California screamin’

More cataclysmic events, this time from a hot and dry western Untied States on the brink of autumn, where evacuations have been ordered as runaway fires spread. 

A blaze broke out near Palm Springs, California, on Thursday. It was one of a number that have scorched across more than two million acres in California, Oregon and Washington, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes, according to the New York Times on Friday. 

Some 95 percent of fires in California are started unintentionally, “but people who accidentally set off large blazes have been criminally charged in some cases”, the paper says.

The same report mentions a fire at the San Bernardino National Forest, which on Thursday claimed the life of a fireman. It has burned through more than 8 000 hectares since it started on 5 September. 

Son of a gun!

Officials have blamed the San Bernardino fire on a family who had been hosting a “gender-reveal party”. It seems they had been using a “pyrotechnic” or smoke generating device when it ignited  nearby grassland.

The family had tried to douse the flames with water bottles but was soon outmatched, said Captain Bennet Milloy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

All very tragic and farcical, but what exactly is a “gender-reveal” party? 

The Guardian provides a useful explanation. These are events “at which expectant parents announce the genders of their soon-to-be-born infants” and often feature “elaborate ways of saying whether the baby is a boy or a girl”.  

The Guardian tells of a April 2017 gender-reveal party where an off-duty US border patrol agent caused $8 million of damage to a 9 000 hectares Arizona forest when he shot at a target of blue coloured explosives. Presumably the child was a boy. 

The waters broke

In other gender-reveal horrors in the past few years, as mentioned in the same Guardian report, a woman died when a homemade device meant to discharge coloured powder exploded. And an aeroplane crashed that was supposed to dump a ton of pink-coloured liquid. 

Like so much folly in the world today, social media is partly to blame having spread the trend since 2008 like, er, wildfire. 

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