How to turn your house-party leftovers into a meteorological mash-up.
You don’t need a TV weather forecaster in an expensive windbreaker to tell you what’s happening in your own backyard. Save a few containers from your next wintertime bash and use them to build a simple barometer, wind vane, and rain gauge. Keep an eye on the sky and record the data; tracking local conditions can alert you to the approach of storms or clear, bluebird days. And you’ll have one seriously microbrewed forecast.
Drink a straight-necked bottle of beer, and overturn the bottle into a maraschino cherry jar. The mouth of the bottle should not reach the bottom of the jar. Add food colouring to some water; pour enough into the jar to cover three-quarters of the bottle neck. The water in the neck will rise when atmospheric pressure is high and sink when a low-pressure weather system approaches.
Cut a triangle and a trapezoid out of a beer can or aluminium pie dish to make the arrow’s head and tail.
Fasten the attened pieces to the ends of a sturdy ruler by cutting thin slits into both ends of the ruler and glueing the shapes into place. Nail the ruler to a broomstick, using a washer in between to allow the ruler to move smoothly. Affix the entire thing to a fence post or patio railing.
Serve martinis, emptying a tall, wide olive jar. Starting from the base, mark every centimetre and 2-centimetre increment. Place it away from overhanging branches to get valid results.