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A Leaf Blower is a gardening tool that propels air out of a nozzle to move yard debris such as, but not only, leaves. Leaf blowers are typically self contained handheld units, or backpack mounted units with a handheld wand. The latter version is the excess debris solution favoured by the truly lazy - or as they are sometimes known -'fat'.
Since the dawn of time mankind has struggled with excess leafage, and poorly deployed foliage. leaves piled up to such an extent that early man was being pushed more and more into contact with fierce mammals such as the sabre toothed tiger.
Early attempts such as manually blowing were doomed to failure and as men were hunter gatherers ,it often fell to the women folk to actually brush leaves to one side with implements now known as 'rakes', which were made from whale bone.
After the industrial revolution ,several technological leaps were taken which brought mankind’s dreams closer to reality. However coal as a power source was heavy, unreliable, and dangerous. Small children often had to undertake this unrewarding work and many were lost in the resulting fires. Some had their spines irretrievably twisted by the weight of the machines and this gave rise to a new underclass of 'leafers', as mentioned by Charles Dickens.
The final technological barriers were finally overcome by by Dom Quinto in the late 1950s. It was originally introduced to the United States as part of an agricultural chemical sprayer. Shortly thereafter manufacturers discovered that many consumers were removing the chemical dispensing parts from the device, leaving only the blower behind. Manufacturers then saw the potential of their invention as a common lawn and garden maintenance tool. Drought conditions in California facilitated acceptance of the leaf blower as the use of water for many garden clean-up tasks was prohibited. By 1990, annual sales were over 800,000 in the U.S., and the tool had become a ubiquitous gardening implement.
At first leaf blowing was seen as just a chance to move leaves from one place to another. Recently however the craze has swept across the West Coast starting of course in Hollywood. Leaf blowing parties are now an established part of the social calendar. Many celebtrities have bought designer leaf blowers.
Britney went for Dolce and Gabanna. David and Victoria Beckham have recently been seen sporting a Jimmy Choo. David Hasselhoff has got a very large and ostentatious Gio Goi machine. He is unique among celebrities in that he actually uses his on a regular basis - although it is usually vomit that he usually has to shift.
Stephen Hawking is now believed to be more leaf blower than man. Tony Hadley is just a fat new romantic fool who has nothing to do with leaf blowers, but was prepared to appear on the front of Hello to revive his flagging career.
edit The Backlash
In the end ever pop culture went the way it always went - someplace else.
Two California cities moved against the craze and banned leaf blowing in cinemas. Carmen Electra-by-the-Sea in 1975 and Beverly Kills in 1978, as a noise nuisance. It was alledged that during one matinee of 'ET' the constant blowing had got so bad that many viewers believed that they had been unknowingly transported to a busy airport where Black Sabbath were playing live. It was just a matter of time before leaf blowing in public became unacceptable and eventually illegal. However the clockwork and hamster powered versions are usually exempt.
This legal red tape from Obama has led to leaf blowers going 'underground', and a huge black market has developed. In some cities leaf blowers are often bought and sold in the stairwells of blocks of flats or 'projects', despite police activity and stiff punishments being meted out. Another 80 cities have ordinances on the books restricting either usage or noise level or both. Other cities have discussed and rejected leaf blower bans.
edit Environmental impact
pollution from gasoline-powered groundskeeping equipment is a significant source of air pollution. US emission standards specifically limit emissions from small engines. It is now estimated that leaf blowers makes up one third of all pollution in the USA. This is equivalent to the total CO2 production of Africa.
The US government has been developing a nuclear powered leaf blower which will be able to strip entire forests of their leaves and thus depriving terrorists of their cover. It is believed that it will contain advanced facial feature recognition technology that will recognise wildlife, which will be filtered and 'hardly blown at all', although 'some collatoral mammalian damage will be unavoidable'.
electric models produce no emissions at the point of use, but may shift pollution to power plants, while clockwork ones shift it to the wrist. Emissions may still be reduced by the use of renewable energy in grid generation. However it must be noted that even if conservative estimates are to be believed and Solar technology makes reasonable progress it will take an area the size of fucking Russia to charge the leaf blowers in Morocco. And there aren't even any leaves that country. You'd also need to dispose of all of the leaves in Russia and how you gonna do that eh? Is your cable gonna get there all the way from Morocco? Do you even know where Morocco is?
New research by MIT and Hull University has cast new light onto the habits of a hitherto unstudied species.
Previous studies have concentrated mainly on asking the users, and assuming that they would tell the truth.
This study was different however because it used tracking devices implanted into individual leaves. ‘The work was painstaking’ said a Scientist. We had to secretly plant devices on thousands of blowers across America but crucially we also secreted them in millions of leaves as well. These were tracked over the course of a leaf blowing season and Analysed. Computer models were then used to basically ‘make up’ the results.
A spokesperson for Hull University said ‘this is the smoking gun – finally we have conclusive evidence’.
A representative of MIT said that this research was the equivalent of the Keeling curve, whereby it was shown that CO2 levels were increasing across the globe. He went on to say that all governments now needed a strategy of how to deal with the leaves, ‘we can’t just sweep them under the carpet anymore – we need a government plan to dispose of them safely. We don’t want to see anyone get hurt’.
Hull University also said that they had confirmed Jaynus’s law which had long been suspected but hitherto unproven. It goes on to state that…
When you do the math the figures are ‘startling’ said MIT. Even just using Ball Park figures the numbers involved just leave me ‘awestruck’. He later went onto say that he had been ‘slack jawed and staring into space’ when the implications were realised.
The implications for global warming are also drastic. The amount of CO2 produced by leaf blowers is already greater than the entire output of Africa AND Australasia COMBINED. Within a couple of decades it is predicted to be equal to all other sources of CO2 in the USA.
- Inflation of the Anal passage.
- Cranial impact from high velocity leaf detritius.
- Acute perforation of thorax by leaves.
- blower AIDS.
- Eating too much.
- Suffocation in giant pile of leaves.
- Being blown away.
- Being sucked in.
- H1N1 Blower flu.
- Eating waaaaaay too much.
Leaf blowers have become gradually more powerful, and shifted increasingly large volumes of material at speeds that are now a significant proportion of the speed of light (300 000 000 m/s). In this sense the largest leaf blower ever conceived is the Large Hadron Collider on the border of France and Mauritius. It recently recommenced leaf blowing having been out of action due to super cooled liquied helium leaking into the powerful magnets within the 2 stroke engine.
Lead blowers lead a life of torment and unfulfilled expectations claims Hugh Jaynus, spokesperson of Leaf blower and Proud. The term ‘leaf blower’ suggests a device that is useful only for leaves, and one that ‘blows’, suggesting an alternating ‘inhale / exhale’ motion. The wind created is a constant flowing motion and thus the word ‘blow’ really only tell half the story.
Less demeaning terms for leaf blowers would include...
- Greenery guster
- Phylos anemos
- Fuscus ventus
- Former photosynthesiser re-distributer
- Foliage accelerator
- Foliage forcer
- Vegetation velocifier
- Former glucose producer propellor
- Dicotyledon driver
- Cotyledon kinetifier
edit Other Uses
Leaf blowers make use of a powerful pump and as such they have been employed for many bizarre activities including home made hovercrafts. This most famously occured in the TV program Brainiac: Science Abuse starring Richard Hammond. They have also been used to power bicycles and skateboards.