April 29, 2004

Gotta Have It

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If it’s the last week in April, then you can bet that thousands of solar-deprived Cornell students are more than primed for the upcoming Slope Day festivities next Friday. But, as we all know from going to school in a meteorological anomaly like Ithaca — the weather can and will change on a dime. For instance, today’s precious warming sunshine might bring tomorrow’s hail storm which brings more rain, which then brings an hour and a half of sunshine, which then in turn could give way to … you guessed it: more dark, concrete colored clouds and merciless rain. If you’re hopelessly anxious about how you might be able to salvage your Slope Day amidst the pounding rain (I’m going to defer to a guy named Murphy and his law protesting that everything that can go wrong will, leaving us with the conclusion that Slope Day and Slope Fest 2004 will quickly degenerate into Mud Bowl 2004), look no further than the following paragraphs. I’ve gathered together a group of items manufactured to battle whatever ill weather Mother Nature can throw your way. You, 1; The Elements, 0.

Be the First One to Know When it Rains! (Even if you aren’t the tallest person around)

This Desktop Weather station is the very thing you need to tell what kind of day it is outside — if you’re too lazy to open a window and stick your head out, that is. The LCD screen displays temperatures and icons for three different weather “situations”: sunny, cloudy or rainy. Simply place the transmitter outdoors for the lowdown on the current conditions, and the Wireless 433 MHz transmitter instantly sends the outdoor readings up to your display unit anywhere up to 82 feet away. Feel free to mount it on a wall close to a doorway so you’ll know whether or not to grab that extra coat, or leave it on your desk if you happen to be banished to a dark, windowless dungeon of a room or basement dwelling and need some artificial eyes to check on the outside happenings. (http://www.new-gadgets.com/)

Make it a Kodak … errr … Canon Moment

There’s nothing like fully documenting your every moment the last time you went to the ballgame with your brand-spanking new digital camera and its seemingly thousand-picture memory bank. The next step, clearly, is to upload every single picture on your computer, convert them into your own personal slide show, and invite (force) friends and relatives alike to see what you’ve created. “Oh, look,” you gleefully proclaim, “This is what the parking lot attendant looked like … this is what the parking space looked like … ” By the time you’ve gone through all 46 pictures, you realize that your guests have succumbed to the deepest sleep of their lives. Congratulations, you’ve just discovered the newest (and inarguably most effective) form of organic sedation known to man. But hold on here … if it should rain on Slope Day, you’re going to have to find a better way to protect your camera. I don’t think you can afford to hire somebody to follow you around carrying an umbrella so your camera doesn’t get wet. There’s a solution, thanks to our friends over at Canon in the form of their Waterproof Case model DC-900. Costing a “mere” $240.00, (more than the price of a lot of decent digital cameras themselves these days) this waterproof case is crafted to keep your camera safe and dry in harsh environments where snow, sand, excess humidity, or dust could lead to severe camera damage. Simply insert your compatible Canon PowerShot camera into the sturdy case and you’re ready to say cheese. The case is good in depths of up to 130 feet. (www.canon.com)

Take Cover in Style

If you’re one of the stubborn ones who, up to this point, have refused to buy an umbrella, this is your last chance to rejoin the sane. I hate to break it to you — but the drowned rat look is certainly not in. Protect yourself from the pouring rain with a ShedRain Titanium model umbrella. Sounds hardcore enough to keep the second guessers at bay; works well enough to garner its solid reputation. The first thing you might be curious about is what, exactly, would prompt a manufacturer to price an umbrella at $30. I was too, until I decided to skimp with a cheaper model, and after only a few moments’ exposure to the harsh Ithaca winds, I found myself with an inside-out metallic spider web. I beg of you: heed my sob story and dare to dream of a better umbrella! The ShedRain Titanium features a super-lightweight flat frame design, covering a 42-inch polyester-coated arch to keep you (and all of your Dijon Burger-infused body) high and dry. The black anodized aluminum shaft is molded together with titanium reinforced ribs to keep the weight to a minimum while the strength-factor is at its peak. Worried about being “that person” with the huge, clumsy umbrella? Fear not: the ShedRain Titanium easily closes to a compact 8.5 inches long. (www.rei.com)

Archived article by Jason Mednick