Reviews

Old Farmer's Almanac

Geist Staff

The Old Farmer's Almanac (Yankee Publishing Inc.) does not believe in chaos theory. "We believe," state its editors in the 1994 edition which arrived in the mail recently, "nothing in the universe occurs haphazardly." Which explains how the Almanac can predict the weather using a secret formula devised in 1792. (By the way, it is expected to be warmer than usual this winter in Eastern Canada, but colder than normal out West.) The Almanac remains determinedly old-fashioned in other ways as well. Founding editor Robert B. Thomas still signs the editorial, even though he's been dead since 1846. And the magazine still features advertisements for products like Michelle's Mink X-Tra, which promises to "dramatically diminish" your crow's feet and prune lips, and Super Sex-Alert tablets for farmers who aren't getting up as early as they used to. There is lots of useful information about the tides and the mating habits of rams and a really interesting chart which reveals the proper days of each month to pour concrete. Nothing, and they mean nothing, in the universe should be allowed to occur haphazardly.

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