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A special day, in so many ways

It figures. What I have been referring to up here on Weathering Heights as “The Winter It Didn’t Snow” was, in one fell swoop, erased from the record books on a day that only rolls around once every four years.

Yes, Leap Year Day 2012 was ushered in by the first significant snowfall we’ve had in this part of Upstate New York. It also re-ushered in this not-quite-daily, sort-of-weather-centric blog that has been on hiatus for a variety of reasons since last spring. In other words, winter is back and so am I.

What else is going on this special day? Some very odd things, to be sure.

  • North Korea, which has been content to rattle its nuclear saber while its population endures year after year of famine, surprisingly announced it has agreed to stop nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and nuclear enrichment activities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for food aid from the United States.
  • The credit card-sized $35 Raspberry Pi computer went on sale today, crashing its distributors’ websites on the way to selling out within hours of launch. The fully-programmable British PC can plug into any TV and can power 3D graphics and Blu-ray video playback.
  • In celebrity “news,” speculation is that Snooki is pregnant and Angelina is anorexic. If either requires more explanation, please skip to the next item.
  • A day after word leaked that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was going to require automakers to install rear-view cameras in all cars by 2014, the agency formally announced it would not.
  • And, finally, The Onion reported on the GOP presidential primary results from Michigan thusly: “Romney Thanks State He Was Born And Raised In For Just Barely Giving Him Enough Votes To Beat Total Maniac.”

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• Nice, Tatas

nano1

India is the second most populous nation on Earth. That creates a whole array of problems. An erratic transportation system and a substandard living for many of its people are just two.

Today, Tata Motors took aim at those woes by introducing the world’s cheapest car, the Nano. It has a two-cylinder engine, a four-speed manual transmission but no air conditioning, electric windows or power steering. The initial cost will be about $2,000, although some upgraded versions will be available for more. The Nano is about 10 feet long, and has a top speed of 65 mph.

Deliveries will begin in early July, with a drawing to select 100,000 people to be the first to get the Nano, according to the folks at Tata, commonly referred to as Tatas.

No word yet on whether the Nano service center calls will be handled by out-of-work Detroit autoworkers now looking for something to do.