a resilient device, typically a helical metal coil, that can be pressed or pulled but returns to its former shape when released, used chiefly to exert constant tension or absorb movement

Sure, I know the meaning of words.

It is snowing in Morris.

That is all.


  1. says


    It is snowing in Morris.

    Meanwhile, next door in ND, it has been snowing the past three days. Still snowing. If I go out on my front deck, I now sink well past my knees. *sigh*

  2. moarscienceplz says

    I’m sorry for you PZ, but you chose to live in Minnesota, which means you are pierced by an inclined plane wrapped helically around a cylindrical or conical shaft.

  3. says

    Methinks you are engaging in a bit of a curve consisting of two distinct and similar branches, formed by the intersection of a plane with a right circular cone when the plane makes a greater angle with the base than does the generator of the cone.

  4. iiandyiiii says

    Typical whiny liberal… why don’t you cry about it, PZ? Or better yet, why don’t you move down to real America, where it doesn’t snow for 6 months a year?

  5. Maureen Brian says

    Meanwhile, here in Yorkshire, the temperature is about 6C and the dust blown in from the Sahara is making my eyes very uncomfortable.

  6. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    1- Spring
    2- Screwed
    3- *thinks desperately back to GCSE maths*… isn’t that a hyper bola? I think. Are you trying to say he’s engaging in hyperbole?

    Do I win something?

  7. Kelseigh says

    This sort of thing puzzles me, how people forget the weather in every other preceding year when March and April roll around.

    I grew up in Nova Scotia, and have lived in Ontario for a decade. It’s snowed in the spring all my life in a climate not that much different from the northern bits of the continental US (NS tends to be a little warmer thanks to the Gulf Stream being so close). But even people who have lived here all their lives are like “why is it snowing in April?” even though it snowed last April too.

  8. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Well, c’mon PZed. You live in Minnesota. The state that has a special holiday to celebrate the melting of the last snow. Called Independence (from snow) Day. Comes on, what, July 4th?

  9. says

    @11: I remember previous years’ weather. Like two years ago when the temperature c. St. Patrick’s Day was in the mid-20s (C), and people were wearing T-shirts on the pubs’ patios downtown. Whereas this year it’s still hovering around freezing, there is ~2′ of snow in my yard, and we’re maybe getting more snow this weekend. The seasonal transitions in Ottawa are always highly variable.

    @7: Excellent. Now just warm it up another 15 or 20 degrees before we get there in August, if you don’t mind.

  10. Kevin Anthoney says

    Also a place where water bubbles out of the ground.

    Oh, wait, do you get liquid water in Morris?

  11. Athywren says

    “A spring?
    …what does that have to do with sn-

    Like Maureen Brian @7, I’m in Yorkshire, enjoying the glow dust cloud. It’s very annoying. I recently got a brand new telescope, and what can I see with it? Sod all. Curse you, English weather in collusion with external pollutants on the wind!
    I’m fine with the temperature, though – I’m correcting the air temperature with the aid of cooked sausage and baguette temperatures. Yum.

  12. says


    But even people who have lived here all their lives are like “why is it snowing in April?” even though it snowed last April too.

    I remember last April’s weather. And the one before that, and the one before that, and so on. In April 2010, we had an icestorm which took out over 1100 towers, and had no power for a good long while. This April, it’s snowing.

    It’s not a matter of not remembering or wondering why. It’s a matter of being godsdamned cranky that it’s bloody snowing again, when we should at least be in mud season already.

  13. Kelseigh says

    @13 Oh, I remember that year. I also remember how all the media was commenting on how extremely unusual that weather was. I also remember that after a week or so of that, it got cold again and killed off all the apple blossoms, which was a pretty crappy thing.

  14. unclefrogy says

    this winter has been somewhat out of the ordinary.
    I wonder what the summer will be like this year.
    when a pendulum swings it swings equally on doth sides of zero will the weather do like wise?
    uncle frogy

  15. Jackie, all dressed in black says

    I’m having my outside kids take indoor breaks to reapply sunscreen / mosquito spray and to avoid the rain. The Lilac is greening. Everything smells like mud.
    I love it.

    It may still snow this month.

  16. Jacob Schmidt says

    3- *thinks desperately back to GCSE maths*… isn’t that a hyper bola? I think. Are you trying to say he’s engaging in hyperbole?

    It ain’t a hyperbola. The only way I know how to make a spring/screw shape would be something like this:

    <cos(t), sin(t), t/10>

    Produces a neat little screw shape.

  17. qwerty says

    My father towards the end of his life thought it was snowing and it was in July. That’s what happens when you live in Minnesota. You begin to think it snows ALL the time.

  18. playonwords says

    Are you Dreaming of a White Easter, PZ? You might want to look at moving to Alaska, given the result of the Iditarod Invitational this year.

  19. blf says

    Snowing at commencement is probably better than a volcano. There was one at a commencement I attended…

    (Ok, ok, it was an artificial volcano — a prank — in honor of that year’s scheduled speaker, the governor of the state containing the then-exploding Mt St Helens…)

  20. says

    We just installed a new couch made by a mattress and a couple of pallets on our north facing balcony. When I came home with the kids, we got of our tops, and lingered in the last rays of the sun drinking coke, and seating profusely.

    Yesterday we had a thunderstorm with hail – and tomorrow we will have blood rain from Sahara, it sure is spring.

  21. says


    Last year it snowed for our commencement ceremony. In May.

    Yeah, a May snow isn’t unusual here. Usually happens after you’ve decided it’s safe to plant. And a hailstorm in July is par for the course.

  22. blf says

    Seating profusely sounds more fun! I could get into that, if I didn’t already do profuse sleeping.

  23. Daniel Storms says

    FSM, I still recall the bright, warm April day when i was a student at Macalester. Went riding with a friend in his Sun Bug, roof open. Glorious to feel that Spring had arrived. Got 8 inches of snow that night. A tad miffed at that.

  24. Rich Woods says

    Chilly breezes and occasional rain, interspersed with allergies from plants having sex in public underneath an inversion layer. Fortunately the Saharan sand seems to have missed my arms-breadth of Gloucestershire today.

    Better this than snow.

  25. John Horstman says

    Oh, please, PZ, it snows in Slinky pretty much every year in the upper Midwest.

  26. alexmcdonald says

    Typical Murrican softie.

    Here’s Billy Connolly on the subject

    Ah wis headin’ wi ma cromack up frae Gretna Green tae Skye
    But ma journey has an element of farce.
    ‘Cos the calendar has stated – it’s the middle o’ July,
    Yet here ah am wi’ snow up tae ma arse, Oh – yo!

    (chorus) Wi’ ma pipes below ma oxter an’ ma sporran neatly pressed
    Ma pockets full o’ porridge for the road.
    Wi’ some Crawford’s Tartan Shortbread an’ some tattie scones as weel
    An’ ah’m jist aboot tae paint masel’ wi’ woad. Oh – yo!

    There’s more, but it goes off the subject of the weather and onto something else we Scots are really good at. Shagging.

  27. jimnorth says

    HA! You all are lucky. I live in Iowa. And I like snow/hail/rain/heat/pollen all within one hour…oh, and the lazy tornado or two…

  28. gog says

    This week in New York weather: Snow, mild, cold, mild, warm. I took my dog to the park today. He went for a swim.

  29. robro says

    Ah, California…It’s a balmy day here with a light breeze off the ocean, scattered patches of cloud, blue sky, 14°. Tomorrow some rain supposedly but then sunny, sunny, sunny. Of course, there is the small matter of insufficient water, but what the heck…it’s beautiful weather. Maybe you folks in the midwest could send us a few million tons of snow because we could sure use it…just for the ski industry, of course. Oh, and the farmers…yeah, food’s nice. And um, while we’re at it, remember us this summer when the fires really get going.

  30. Lofty says

    Dear Pharyngulites of the Northern Americas,
    On Tuesday my little city of Adelaide reached 36.8°C and nearly broke its hottest April day record, only missed by 0.1°C Please be so kind as to pack one gumboots worth of snow and send it by Fedex freight collect and have them dump it on the little mountain-of-my-nym next door. I’d love me some snow, it’s been a while.
    Kind regards, Lofty.

  31. John Pieret says

    If it is any comfort, it snowed rather heavily on Long Island last Monday during the morning rush hour, causing the Long Island Expressway to more than live up to its title of World’s Longest Parking Lot.

    On the other hand, by the afternoon the temperature rose to the high 50s (F).

  32. says

    Next time another Brit states that ‘mericans are uncouth I’ll point to this thread where you are all civilly chatting about the weather.

    In London its been spring since mid December and I’m sitting under the same Saharan dust storm that the Northerners are, but I have a friend in Moscow who is complaining that its snowing there also.

  33. Menyambal says

    I went to school without a jacket, kinda cool. First recess was outside, breezy with thunder rumbling and tornadoes in forecast. Second recess was held inside because of rain, but it was sunny by the end of it. Dismissed into warm wind and a kind of electric feel. Needless to say, the kids were nutzo.

    Home with window open and a persistent cough. Feeling helical.

  34. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    It was at least 16 degrees (Celsius) here today, I walked into town and didn’t actually need my (lightweight) fleece, and I was pretty warm in just a t-shirt.
    We are apparently also in the Sahara dust-storm, but the only thing I notice about it is the sudden increase in dirtiness of the cars. Happily, it doesn’t affect my lungs or anything.

  35. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    PZ, you got me to click on this post with your great Hooke.

    Not to force the matter, but your position here is *ahem* TOO DERIVATIVE. :P

  36. Al Dente says

    “A Song of the Weather” by Michael Flanders

    January brings the snow,
    Makes your feet and fingers glow.
    February’s ice and sleet
    Freeze the toes tight off your feet.
    Welcome March with wintry wind
    Would thou wert not so unkind!
    April brings the sweet spring showers,
    On and on for hours and hours.
    Farmers fear unkindly May
    Frost by night and hail by day.
    June just rains and never stops
    Thirty days and spoils the crops.
    In July the sun is hot.
    Is it shining? No, it’s not.
    August, cold and dank and wet,
    Brings more rain than any yet.
    Bleak September’s mist and mud
    Is enough to chill the blood.
    Then October adds a gale,
    Wind and slush and rain and hail.
    Dark November brings the fog
    Should not do it to a dog.
    Freezing wet December, then
    Bloody January again!

  37. Rich Woods says

    Referencing Lofty #43:

    Dear Pharyngulites of the Northern Americas,

    Did anyone else mentally read this in ‘Strine?

    If it’s just me, it must be the weather.

  38. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Anyway, PZ, as for the weather, consider it a sine.

  39. carlie says

    I’ve been in my current location for over a decade now, and I still can’t quite get used to the fact that it’s not safe to do the majority of planting until Memorial Day.

  40. CaptTu says

    We’re dodging tornadoes and golf ball plus sized hail here north of Dallas… I’ll trade you!

  41. praestans says

    my custm lamskin yearling with sno-tipt fur lining shud be redy tmoro.
    but the thing is, it’s quite mild in Exeter, if mildly pluvial.

  42. robro says

    Lofty — Surely there’s enough in Morris alone for us to share. And there’s the Dakotas.

  43. magistramarla says

    I’d rather be back in California!
    It’s been hot here in Texas this week, but I know that this will seem cool by August.
    I hate the heat!

  44. inflection says

    Whee! I just got back from a drive from Duluth to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I left at 4:30pm Central and got in at 10:30 Eastern. The last hour coming in to the UP was spent driving (occasionally skidding) at an average of 40mph, slower on curvy downhill roads, which were in many places covered by a uniform white blanket of snow broken not by previous passing cars but by the very handy grooved lane strip we have around here, which both sounds an alert when you wander into the middle of the roadway and textures the snow somewhat when it has just accumulated an inch or so.

  45. Artor says

    I’m caked in dust, but that’s only because I just refinished a floor. It’s beautiful here in Oregon, and I think I’ll wear my kilt tomorrow.

  46. johnhodges says

    In the town where I live, in southwest Virginia, I have long said that Spring is a tossed salad of all the other seasons.

  47. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Apparently a Slinky is a place, and a spring which can be placed at the top of a set of stairs and it will use the stored energy and the resilience of the spring to move down the stairs.

  48. Brother Yam says

    As my grampa Einer said (he was from NW MN), “Ja, it’s snowing in April, shoful fast afore it melts. It always snows at least vunce. It’s Minnuh-soo-tah. No suprise.”

    I miss his lilting accent and his calm demeanor. And the Skandihoovian humor. I live in Minneapolis, and my calm acceptance of winter is bewildering to the residents.

    “It’s winter and it’s snowing in Minnesota. Why are you surprised?”

    “But I’m sick of winter.”

    “Ja. So. Vinter isn’t done yet.”

    Drives ’em nuts…

    (Also, I like winter.)

  49. azhael says

    We had some snow a few days ago that barely covered the ground and last night was supossed to be the last cold night…from now on….no more cold….just the inoxerably approaching summer…Oh, it´s pretty at first, with all the life thinking that they have a chance…but then before you know it, it´s here…
    And my salamanders have only just spawned…how will they cope? how will i?

    Oh gods….summer is coming….

  50. David Marjanović says

    Damn it… where’s the sarcasm font?

    It’s the <q> tag. Warning: will automatically generate quotation marks.