Slow down, you’re go­ing too fast!

Seaway News - - OPINION - Nick Wolochatiuk Dances with Words [email protected]

Those are the open­ing words of Si­mon and Gar­funkel’s de­light­ful song, “The 59th Street Bridge”. It might be of value to take their ad­vice this year.

When I drive at 80 kph, my fuel econ­omy is far bet­ter than at 120. If I’m in a school zone or pass­ing through a fu­neral par­lour park­ing lot, that 120 will earn me de­merit points and get me an in­vi­ta­tion to ap­pear in court.

Some trees are real speed freaks. Stick a row of wil­low or poplar scions in the ground and jump back: by the time it takes to brew a cup of cof­fee there’ll be a sub­stan­tial wind break, a pri­vacy screen big enough to hide a grow op or keep a beaver busy for a week. Un­for­tu­nately, wil­low and poplar are com­pletely un­suit­able for fur­ni­ture mak­ing and even as fire­wood.

On the other hand, if you in­tend to have a for­est of oaks to sup­ply your cab­i­netry factory, the acorns would have to be planted by your grand­fa­ther when he was still too young to get a driver’s li­cence.

Slow cook­ing is the way to go if you’re deal­ing with a tough cut of meat. Be­fore you leave for work in the morn­ing, plunk it in a slow cooker. Let it sim­mer all day. When your daily com­mute is over, the aroma of a ten­der cut will greet you at the door. There’s no such thing as in­stant home- made soup, stew or spaghetti sauce.

When pho­tograph­ing a Chi­nook he­li­copter in flight, use a rel­a­tively slow shut­ter speed, such as 1/60th of a sec­ond. Its mas­sive, slow mov­ing ro­tor blades will be nicely blurred. A fast shut­ter speed, 1/1000, will ‘freeze’ the ro­tor blades as if they had stopped spin­ning. If a he­li­copter’s ro­tor blades aren’t turn­ing, grav­ity im­me­di­ately takes over: crash!

When pho­tograph­ing car races, try us­ing a slow shut­ter speed and pan your cam­era like a hunter’s ri­fle fol­low­ing a bird in flight. If you do it with skill the Maserati will be sharp, but the clut­tered back­ground will be re­duced to a line of streaks.

If you want to cap­ture the sense of move­ment in wind-blown leaves, pound­ing surf, tum­bling wa­ter­falls, a flurry of wind-driven snowflakes, a re­laxed shut­ter speed of 1/8 sec­ond will do the trick. But your cam­era must be as steady as the Rock of Gi­bral­tar.

You should heed grandma or your driv­ing in­struc­tor when they beg,“Please! Don’t drive so fast!” On the other hand, fly­ing too slowly is not good. Lift re­quires the move­ment of air over the wing. No lift: grav­ity im­me­di­ately takes over: crash!

Slow is not al­ways a four-let­ter word.

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