March 13, 2011

Lost in a mess of paperclips.

the 87th experience has begun...


The random nature of this blog has meant that I am almost exhausted of ideas. But that doesn't stop me. For there is no limit to the imagination. I have here a slight modification of a hypothetical test I found here: the Fifth Season Test. Here is my entry.


Before I begin, I am going under the assumptions:
  • That the fifth season is for a version of planet Earth in an alternate dimension.
  • That the existing seasons are identical to those on Earth in our dimension.
  • That the existing seasons last approximately 90 days.
  • That the fifth season also lasts approximately 90 days, giving a year that is approximately 450 days long.
For there is an Earth, somewhere in the ether of the universe, that has a fifth season: lopler. Lopler, to us, is perhaps the most peculiar season possible. The general populace here on Earth is too used to the rain of spring, heat of summer, wind of autumn, and snow of winter to consider the implications of the dust storms of lopler.

Perched right between autumn and winter, lopler is the time of year that always felt as though it was missing from Earth, for me. Smooth as the transitions between summer and autumn, between spring and summer, and even between winter and spring may be, it is a completely different case with autumn and winter. Suddenly winter is sprung on us, with no advance warning except for a rough estimate of the date (predictably June 22nd every year).

With lopler, however, things are very different. The dust storms are a very good reminder/warning to start preparing for the upcoming colder weather. Although they are not generally damaging in any way, residents are always advised to stay indoors during a storm, lest their eyes get irritated. But I digress somewhat. Let me start from the start.

The last couple of weeks of autumn float past. Some trees still have some of their autumn leaves still hanging on by a thread, and the evergreens are swaying in the breeze, expecting the frosts to arrive. And arrive they do, as the humidity slowly increases to no less than 30%, and temperatures slowly sink from the milder, 25-degree days to anywhere between 15 and 27. Low temperatures overnight provide for frosts, though the days are still mild.

As we enter lopler, we start seeing more and more of these frosts, but also a very predictable, three-week cycle. The temperature rises and falls throughout the week in a pattern that vaguely resembles a sinewave (although it is by no means perfect). The cloud cover across the land for two or so days out of every week brings the temperatures tumbling - counterintuitively, there is very little to no rain, despite the season-long high humidity. If you see more than 2in. of rain for the whole three months, it's evidence of climate change.

Of course, the winds from autumn still haven't abated, and since there is almost no rain, this brings dust storms. These are not actually a natural occurrence on their own, but merely the consequences of relatively dry weather and high winds. These occur roughly every three to four weeks, usually closer to the former. So one should see three to four dust storms for the whole lopler season.

The dust storms themselves are not damaging, save for if you happen to get some of it in your eye. The winds are not too damaging, either - they tend to stay strong at high altitudes and "dump" the dust downwards. Regardless, there is always good advance warning about their occurrence. In addition, due to the rainless nature of lopler, it is child's play to remove any traces of dust that remain - the dust is dry, easily shifted (perhaps with a bucket of water) and leaves very few traces.

The dust storms, inexorably, have a routine nature of slowing temperatures down. The thick dust at higher altitudes tend to block UV rays and cool down the land, before the sun heats them up and begins the next cycle (albeit a little cooler this time, and a lot closer to the onset of winter).

Any dust that settles on the ground and/or becomes wet is generally very helpful for the growth of plants, so it is often advised to water down any plants that one really wants to see grow. This aspect of the dust is somewhat limited - too much of anything is bad, and too much of this dust settling on a plant is equally dangerous for the growth of that plant.

Incredibly, this weather pattern is usually very predictable - however, there is one aspect which is very unpredictable. Although rain during lopler is uncommon, as mentioned, during the later month or so of lopler (borderline winter) it has been known to absolutely pour down with rain for a day or two, causing widespread flash-flooding and minor damage to buildings. Scientists attempting to discover a predictable pattern are still at a loss - these rains come with very little warning, kick around for a few days, then disappear almost as quickly as they arrive, almost as though it is the will of the gods.

Aside from this one quirk of lopler, the season is, by and large, bearable. Every three weeks, it is National Family Game Night, otherwise life generally carries on as if it were spring, summer or autumn. In fact, people from the alternate Earth where lopler exists are very satisfied with lopler, and it is overall the third most-preferred season behind spring and autumn.

All too soon, it is winter; time for freezing temperatures, hail, snow, sleet, and unbearably erratic/volatile heaters.

join the experience again soon...


Gretchen T Myers said...


Anonymous said...

agreed. teal deer. also, sometimes you try too hard to be funny.

CJ Curry said...

This one wasn't supposed to be funny...

Anonymous said...

always nice to get a little randomness for the week

CJ Curry said...

I try to get them out every five to six days... I've been kinda falling behind this year.

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