WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Pat Shingleton Column Pat Shingleton Column en-us Copyright 2016, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Mon, 25 Jul 2016 14:07:47 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Pat Shingleton: "Hurricane Father and The Tempest" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-hurricane-father-and-the-tempest-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-hurricane-father-and-the-tempest-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 22 Jul 2016 6:59:29 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

On July 23, 1893, Father Benito Vines died in Havana, Cuba. Father Vines is regarded as the preeminent hurricane scholar of the 19th century. As director of the observatory at Belen College in Havana in 1870, he made meticulous observations of weather conditions, especially during tropical disturbances. His daily observations became a climatological catalog for future forecasts. His notations included excerpts expressing brick-red sunsets, pounding surf and how cumulus clouds would evaporate at the approach of a hurricane. His keen sense of observation allowed him to understand the dynamics of tropical cyclones and by 1875 he was able to issue accurate hurricane warnings. He was late recognized as “Father Hurricane” and invented a device used by mariners to avoid hurricanes and typhoons called the Antilles Cyclonoscope. Another anniversary rewinds 307 years when a fleet of nine ships carrying 500 colonists from England to Virginia ran into a hurricane near Bermuda on July 24, 1609.  One vessel sank and seven of the ships made it to Jamestown but the flagship, Sea Venture, didn’t reach port.  After several weeks it was believed to be lost, including the new governor of Virginia, Sir Thomas Gates.  The Jamestown inhabitants accepted the tragedy and set about the work of building their new home.  Surprisingly, on May 23, 1610 most of the passengers of the Sea-Venture arrived in Jamestown on two small pinnaces. Their ship ran aground on a reef near Bermuda, an island paradise that other sailors referred to as the “Ile of Divels.” They stayed there for nine months while building the two small ships. Back in England a playwright read an account of the miraculous shipwreck and in 1611 he, William Shakespeare, finished The Tempest, his last complete play.


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Pat Shingleton: "Chiller Theater and Studio Wrestling" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-chiller-theater-and-studio-wrestling-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-chiller-theater-and-studio-wrestling-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 21 Jul 2016 7:15:47 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Childhood influences both positive and adverse often remain with us throughout our lifetime.  I remember watching a weathercaster from Wheeling, West Virginia by the name of Marshall Fatkin. He had a wacky approach as did Bob Kudzma in Pittsburgh, John Coleman with Good Morning America and Sonny Elliot in Detroit.  When we were in high school, everyone was tuned into WIIC-TV, Channel 11 in Pittsburgh at 11:30 on Saturday night for "Chiller Theater." The show ran old Bela Lagosi and Boris Karloff flicks that included every Bride that Dracula had and Lon Chaney's "Werewolf" and even some "B" rated Korman films such as "The Tingler." "Chiller Theater" was hosted by Bill "Chilly Billy Cardilly" Cardille.  Bill also hosted Studio Wrestling, on the same channel, that aired from 6:30 until 8:00 PM on Channel 11.  This show highlighted Bruno Samartino, Jumpin' Johnny DeFazio, Killer Kawolski, Krusher Laskoski, The Shiek and Skandar Akbar.  Bill also highlighted a few other characters in the mix including, Ringside Rosie and that famous referee Izzy Moydell.  When I was handling the weather duties at WIIC, later changed to WPXI, I enjoyed visiting with Bill and his "Chiller Theater" entourage including Terminal Stare, who stayed in character on and off the set, and Stormin' Norman. Bill also was available to provide a fill-in weather appearance. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette announced today that Bill died in the early hours of Thursday at the age of 87.  When we arrived home on a Saturday evening to watch television with our Mom, she would always instruct..."Put on a good movie boys and not that "Killer Theater..."


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Pat Shingleton: "Popsicles and Brain Freezes..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-popsicles-and-brain-freezes-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-popsicles-and-brain-freezes-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 20 Jul 2016 10:46:25 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

When Frank Epperson was 11, he took a wooden stir stick, placed it in soda pop and placed it outside one wintry New York evening then enjoyed the frozen treat the next day.  In 1923, Frank used a Birch tongue depressor to hold the frozen delight and applied for a patent for his "frozen ice on a stick," calling it the "Epsicle Ice Pop."  Frank's children encouraged him to change the name to "Popsicle" and later sold his idea to the Joe Lowe Company. Good Humor Ice Cream now holds the rights and during the Great Depression two Popsicles were joined together and named “Twin Popsicles.” In addition, popsicle sticks have been used for a variety of arts and crafts projects. During heat waves there were numerous ways to cool-down in our youth. Years ago, when the inflatable pool was “shot-up” by Doug Kelly’s B.B. gun, Mom instructed us to fill the wash tub with cold water and stick my brother Kevin in there for a few days. He enjoyed it even though his lips were purple. Kevin kept cool during the summer months with purple lips and lots of  "brain-freeze" headaches.  Once Dale and Thelma Lutz built a swimming pool, they kindly invited the entire neighborhood to seek relief. Kevin kept cool during the summer months with purple lips and a headache.


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Pat Shingleton: "Weird Heat and Super Cool" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-weird-heat-and-super-cool-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-weird-heat-and-super-cool-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 19 Jul 2016 6:57:57 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

With 11 days left in the month and 63 days remaining in the summer season, few few reviews of weather occurrences. In Portugal on July 6, 1949, meteorological observers reported a temperature increase from 100 to 158 degrees in two minutes.  On June 15, 1960 at Lake Whitney, Texas, the temperature soared to 140 degrees in three minutes with 100 mph winds. This rapid temperature rise toasted a nearby cotton field and fired-up car radiators to the boiling point. As we are accustomed to afternoon-early evening thunderstorms, temperature bursts elsewhere traditionally form after sunset and are associated with thunderstorms that cut off warm, moist air and usually collapse the storm.  Rain on the topside of the thunderhead sinks into cooler, drier air, compressing it and bopping it to the ground as a hot wind. This dynamic creates 100 m.p.h. air blasts. I noted this in other columns and the irony of July weather and an invention has provided needed relief. July 17th marked an anniversary of importance to all of us.  It’s the 114th anniversary of the invention of modern air conditioning. In the 1900s, a Brooklyn printing plant was the first building in the world to be air conditioned by Dr. Willis Haviland Carrier. Some of the older Baton Rouge homes may still house a large attic fan that prior to air conditioning was used to move air from room to room. Carrier’s cooling plant divided the air into two streams, one heated and the other cooled.  In each room, these two air streams are proportionately mixed to produce a desired temperature


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Pat Shingleton: "A Heat Wave?" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-heat-wave-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-heat-wave-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:25:12 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

The seasonal ridge of high pressure, also known as the Bermuda High, remains parked over the southeast portion of the United States. Clockwise circulation advances moisture inland, and this process is often referred to as a sea-breeze front. Lake Pontchartrain also assists in sliding moisture to the west. With daytime highs close to 95 degrees this week and the relative humidity range rising to almost 50%, the heat index could place the feel-like temperature to 104 degrees.  A heat wave is a period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot, humid weather. Depending upon the section of the country, a heat wave should last at least one day, but conventionally it lasts from several days to several weeks.  On July 21, 1991, during the height of a broiling heat wave, 100 people were overcome with heat exhaustion at the Dayton Ohio Air Show.  Forty of these heat-related conditions were serious enough to require the victims to be hospitalized.  Heat stroke is also called sunstroke and is accompanied by a body temperature of 106 degrees or above and includes hot dry skin, a rapid and strong pulse and possible unconsciousness.


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Pat Shingleton: A Flood Aniversary..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-flood-aniversary-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-flood-aniversary-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 15 Jul 2016 6:22:12 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton: A Flood Aniversary...

Following the Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood of 1889, a flood control system was constructed in the Little Conemaugh Valley to  withstand a 100 year flood. Experts declared that the city of Johnstown was flood-proof. On July  19, 1977 in west Taylor Township, northwest of Johnstown, a foot of rain fell and the Laurel Dam burst. The deluge was once again heading for Johnstown with a wall of water in its wake. The second Johnstown Flood in 88 years caused $325 million in damage  in seven counties and killed 77. On a hillside above the city white crosses mark the graves of 777 unidentified dead from the flood of 1889, corresponding exactly to the month and year of the second-worst flood in Johnstown's history.

 


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Pat Shingleton: "Bats..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-bats-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-bats-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:41:04 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Is it ash or maple when it comes to the best baseball bat?  Terry Bahill, an engineer at the University of Arizona wrote “Keep Your Eye on the Ball: Curveball, Knuckleballs and Fallacies of Baseball,” and researched how much energy was released when a bat struck a baseball.  Scientists can’t determine whether ash or maple is more effective and could be the relationship with the person swinging the bat. Some scientists do see a threat to the quality of the northern white ash because of rising temperatures over a period of decades.  Bat manufacturers, Rawlings, believe that Ash growing in the warmer Southeastern States is softer due to the longer growing season. Three years ago, The New York Times reported that Russell, PA could have lost their livelihood. Russell is located in the heart of the mountain forests that supply the best baseball bats.  A warmer climate assists in the invasion of the emerald ash borer, an Asian beetle detected in 2008, that killed 25 million ash trees in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Maryland.  To combat the beetle, Asian wasps were recruited to gobble them up.  Authorities in Michigan have stored ash tree seeds for storage. Ash trees have survived the competition of aluminum bats, outlawed composite bats and sugar maples.


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Pat Shingleton: "Fore! and against Lightning" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-fore-and-against-lightning-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-fore-and-against-lightning-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 13 Jul 2016 7:05:31 PM Pat Shingleton: As a young boy, Matthew Nordbrock was struck by lightning on a lake in Arizona’s White Mountains.  On the summit of Mount Whitney, on this date in 1990, he was struck again. Nordbrock and friends from Huntington Beach, California, broke camp and began their ascent of Mount Whitney. By mid-afternoon they were three-quarters of the way up the mountain when a thunderstorm struck.  They sought shelter in the old Smithsonian hut, built in 1909 to house equipment for scientists. As reported by “Acts of God, The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” lightning scored a direct hit on the stone house injuring all the occupants. Emergency messages were received by a passing jetliner that contacted Los Angeles air traffic controllers initiating rescue efforts. All survived the lightning hit except for Nordbrock. Local lightning prediction systems  target activity minutes before a deadly strike on football fields, baseball diamons and the "links."  Once a threshold is reached, horns blast, directing golfers from the course. More than 8,000 Americans have been killed by lightning over a 50 year period.  Your chances of being struck by lightning in the United States are 1 in 250,000. Your chances increase if you are golfing. In the United States, between 75 and 150 people are killed by lightning each year with 5 to 30 times that number suffering injuries. The deadliest month for lightning fatalities and injuries in the United States is July. Golfers Lee Trevino and Jerry Heard were hit by lightning during the 1975 Western Open.  In Minneapolis on June 13, 1991 a spectator and five others were injured while taking shelter under a tree during the U.S. Open. On that same date, a 37-year-old man was killed by a bolt while golfing near Louisville; two others were injured, while standing under a cluster of trees.


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Pat Shingleton: "Nature's Candy..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-nature-s-candy-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-nature-s-candy-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 12 Jul 2016 6:53:38 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

In the 1800s, a Chinese-American gardener found a sapling near an orchard brush pile. The slow, patient propagation of the tree endured its survival for future generations. The gardener's name was Bing and today his cherries arrive from the high altitudes of the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes. Starry nights and cold mountain snow melt produce the world's finest cherries.  These cherries are available in area stores today. Last Saturday I carried a zip-lock bag loaded with these cherries on the golf cart. I purchased them from Calvin's and after a few holes only enjoyed a few.  Sharing the golf cart with me was Mike Sause, who also shared the majority of the cherries. Years ago, we enjoyed sweet cherries that belonged to our neighbors, Harry Schott and Vivian Van Gorder. They didn't mind us climbing, picking and eating the sweet fruit. On our property they too enjoyed our grapes, pears, apples, peaches, plums and tomatoes. From sweet cherries to tart cherries. The pucker power for these cherries, also known as tart, red or pie cherries deterred consumption during the picking process and were better used in preserves and desserts – especially my Mom’s famous cherry cobbler.  U.S. production this year is expected to be at 283.6 million pounds and the country’s 650 farmers should receive an average of 39.1 cents per pound. Nearly all are frozen, canned or dried.


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Pat Shingleton: "Modoki and Crickets Chirpping" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-modoki-and-crickets-chirpping-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-modoki-and-crickets-chirpping-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 8 Jul 2016 6:52:03 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Yesterday I reviewed hurricane seasons of the past and am "re-running" a column that I posted in 2009. "The Japanese word “modoki” means something that is similar but different.  Years ago, Peruvian fishermen noticed a periodic warming of the water in the eastern sections of the tropical Pacific.  Because this event occurred during Christmastime, they named it after the baby Jesus and we know it as El Nino.  Improved understanding of El Nino and its cold water counterpart – La Nina, provide better forecasts; especially during hurricane season.  Peter Webster is a professor at Georgia Tech and believes a hybrid to El Nino has developed due to warming waters farther west in the Pacific.  He has re-named the phenomenon, El Nino Modoki, leading to more hurricanes later in the season. This was last noted in 2004 when there were 15 named storms and six majors." Switching gears, many believe that crickets chirp more in warm weather than during cold times. In 1897, physicist Amos Dolbear believed that the cricket was a thermometer. Not only do crickets chirp for a mate but they also  correspond to "Dolbear's Law" which incorporated listening, counting and addition to determine the outside  temperature. This is how it works. Listen and count the number of chirps that you hear in 14 seconds.  After you have that number add the magic number 38 and it matches the Fahrenheit temperature. Years ago this formula was tested by Thomas Walker who wrote, "Cricket Field Study." Numerous crickets  chirping at the same time is tricky. "Cricket Neely" of Gino's Restaurant uses his own crickets to calculate  the temperature.


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Pat Shingleton: "The Season Continues..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-season-continues--86011/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-season-continues--86011/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 7 Jul 2016 5:59:33 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

As we tolerate the heat with recent advisories and possibly more to come, let's also keep the number "76' in mind. Those should be the remaining days until we enjoy some relief. Another date watcher is Hurricane Season 2016. We will monitor the Gulf of Mexico, the North Atlantic and the Caribbean for another 147 days. The longest the United States has gone without a land falling hurricane was 1,103 days, representing three years and eight days in 1878. It has been 730 days or more than two years since a hurricane hit the mainland and that was over the July 4th holiday in 2016. Hurricane Arthur banged Shackelford Banks, North Carolina with 100 m.p.h. winds as a Category 2 Storm. Within the continental United States we average 1.7 hurricane landfalls each year since 1900  and during that period, landfalls in a given year ranged from six to zero. Finally, the United States went three years between land falling hurricanes with Ike on September 13, 2008 and Irene on August 27, 2011.  So far this season we have recorded four storms: Alex, Bonnie, Colin and Danielle. Alex kicked-up in January in the North Atlantic with the other three storms in June. Our hurricane special, Hurricane "X" will air again this Sunday morning at 11:00 am on WBRZ, Channel 2.


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Pat Shingleton: "Early Observations" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-early-observations-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-early-observations-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 6 Jul 2016 6:44:18 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

In 1776, a systematic network of weather observations only included amateur weather observers that were scattered throughout the colonies. One of those observers was Benjamin Franklin who conducted a variety of weather experiments that included the examination of storm movements. Thomas Jefferson was also an avid observer and for 50 years cataloged systematic records of temperature  and related meteorological conditions.  At his home in Monticello and in his travels he archived numerous weather events. Historians note that he broke his wrist in Paris in 1786 and continued his observations with his left hand. He also owned one of only two barometers in America and purchased 20 thermometers during his life. Archives validate his daily observations that included a recording 76 degrees on July 4, 1776.

 


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Pat Shingleton:"Thunderstones and Hot Stuff..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-thunderstones-and-hot-stuff-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-thunderstones-and-hot-stuff-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 5 Jul 2016 7:15:03 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

In the old days, French peasants would carry "thunderstones," or pierres de tonnerre, in their pockets to ward off lightning.  When they would hear the thunder, they would recite a verse, "Pierre, Pierre, garde moi de la tonnerre." which means. "Stone, stone, protect me from the thunder." Many believed the oblong pieces of rock are the arrowheads of spent lightning bolts. After the thunderstorms, people would head to the fields, sifting through the dirt for these objects.  The artifacts they found were probably from the Stone Age.  The tradition continued for years with German soldiers carrying thunderstones or "donnerkeile" to battle, thinking they would ward off real bullets. On Tuesday another Heat Advisory was issued. The Center for Atmospheric Research has used climate modeling techniques to predict where heat waves will occur.  They have concluded that Europe and North America are most likely to experience more frequent, longer and more intense heat waves.  With oven-like weather expected until the end of August heat is the single largest killer of all weather phenomena and those that perished were the poor and elderly. In late July and early August, 2006, Paris and Berlin hit 95 while London jumped to 98. Hundreds of fatalities were reported but didn’t compare to the 35,000 live lost in the summer of 2003.  Many all-time heat records in the United States were established during the hot Dust Bowl Summer of 1930's.


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Pat Shingleton: "The Volcano that Did It!" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-volcano-that-did-it-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-volcano-that-did-it-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 4 Jul 2016 5:45:28 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

In April, 1815, Mount Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa, erupted.  Historians, researchers and scientists have investigated this incident and believe it was the most explosive eruption in 10,000 years.  At the end of the volcano’s convulsions, 4,200 feet of its 13,000 foot height were gone as 25 cubic miles of ash was released into the atmosphere. The effects of this volcanic eruption were felt worldwide and within an area of 200 miles from the eruption site there was total darkness for three days. Mariners reported a one-foot-thick layer of volcanic debris on the sea surface that lasted four years. The immediate fatalities from the eruption were estimated to be at 10,000 with an additional 82,000 deaths on Sumbawa and neighboring islands due to starvation. Additional impacts created global warming and cooling that resulted in “The Year Without Summer.”  The volcano discharged dust and sulfurous gases that spread around the globe.  The diary of Hiram Harwood of Bennington, Vermont, noted that on June 11, 1817, frigid temperatures found New Englanders building “roaring fires in their hearth, as killing frosts turned leaves and gardens black.”  Once the cold spell ended, the farmers replanted their crops only to have temperatures plummeting again in July.  On August 21st, hard frosts killed crops in Boston and a snowstorm whitened the peaks of the Green Mountains. The eruption inflicted climatic changes all over the Northern Hemisphere and is one of the first examples of global cooling. 


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Pat Shingleton: "Ben and Tom's Notations..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-ben-and-tom-s-notations-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-ben-and-tom-s-notations-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 1 Jul 2016 6:56:52 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

John Adams suggested that the day should be celebrated "by pomp and parade, with games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires,  and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other..." Independence Day falls in summertime with today's activities including: picnics, baseball, watermelon and hotdog eating contests, and beach trips. Our schedule included a huge backyard  picnic, wash tubs stocked with beer and "pop" - super cold from ice house, ice blocks. On the grill, foot-long hotdogs and burgers  and wiffle-ball, volleyball or touch football. From Longview Drive the valley offered fireworks blasted skyward from the Conquenessing  Country Club, Blue Sky and Spotlight 88 Drive-In Theatres. We'd trek to J-T Frozen Custard to wrap-up the day. In 1776, a systematic network of weather observations only included amateur weather observers scattered throughout the colonies. One of those observers was Benjamin Franklin who conducted weather experiments and examined storm movements. Thomas  Jefferson was also an avid observer and for 50 years catalogued systematic records of temperature  and related meteorological conditions that were complied at his home in Monticello and in his travels.  Historians note that he broke his wrist in Paris in 1786 and continued his observations with his  left hand. He owned one of only two barometers in America and purchased 20 thermometers during his life. Archives validate his daily observations and one notation recorded 76 degrees on July 4, 1776.

 

 

 


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Pat Shingleton: "An Acronym and St. Swithin" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-an-acronym-and-st-swithin-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-an-acronym-and-st-swithin-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 1 Jul 2016 6:46:41 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Supplies in the 16th and 17th Century were transported by ship.  One product, needed by agricultural interests, was manure.  Collectors would bundle and bale the lighter, dry manure. The bundles were stored below deck for the journey and in the open sea, salt water and storms often soaked cargo in the lower holds.  Wet weather returned manure to its original form activating the fermentation process that advanced methane gas.  Any ship lantern that was in close proximity to the stowed manure ignited the bales, causing explosions and the ultimate loss of ships.  To resolve the problem, the British Admiralty directed sailors to elevate the manure bundles and off the lower decks to eliminate water contact. The decree also insisted that all bundles be stamped with an acronym identifying; Stow High In Transit. Also, the Bishop of Winchester was a Benedictine monk who died on July 2, 862.  Upon his death, he requested to be buried outside  in order that rain would fall on his grave. His request was not relayed to those in charge of his funeral arrangements in the village of Winchester and he was entombed inside the local cathedral.   Reportedly, a lengthy drought immediately began. Citizens remembered his request and in experiencing the dry conditions, the good Bishop was re-interned outside and the drought immediately ended and rain returned for 40 days. The tradition states that if it rains  on July 15, St. Swithin's Day, it will rain for 40 days. "St. Swithin's   Day if thou dost rain, for 40 days it will remain. St. Swithin's Day if thou be fair, for 40 days 'twill r  ain nae mair." This seems to be only applicable in England.

 

 


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Pat Shingleton: "Keeping the Light On..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-keeping-the-light-on-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-keeping-the-light-on-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 30 Jun 2016 6:59:50 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

The “keeper of the light” used kerosene to light the lamps.  The lighthouse man donned a pair of colored goggles, preventing blurred vision from the ignition flash.  From the coast of the Pacific Northwest to California, the Gulf of Mexico and to the Atlantic seaboard, more than a thousand lighthouses guided the ships at sea away from coastal tragedy. The lighthouse brought many a captain through gales, storms or fog. The tallest lighthouse is located in Cape Hatteras. By an Act of Congress, only one manned lighthouse remains and is located in New England, referred to as "The Boston Light." The other two are "The Sandy Hook Light" in New Jersey and another that was kept for 65 years by Frank Schubert who manned the Coney Island Lighthouse.  He and his dog, Blazer, remained on duty until December of 2003. Schubert died at the age of 88, the last Coast Guard civilian lighthouse keeper.


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Pat Shingleton: "Ben Saves a Turkey..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-ben-saves-a-turkey-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-ben-saves-a-turkey-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 23 Jun 2016 5:50:18 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Louisiana ranks second to the number of lightning hits on a yearly basis, Florida is number one. Yesterday's column reviewed the ability of the Turkey Vulture to stay cool in a strange way. The Old Farmer’s Almanac-Acts of God notes an excerpt from one of Benjamin Franklin’s journals which may have placed the famed statesman and inventor as one of the first to execute resuscitation. The Journal notes,  “A pullet (turkey) was struck dead by the lightning shock directed through its head.”  Franklin furthered in his journal that he attempted to revive the turkey by repeatedly “blowing into its lungs.”  His attempts with this procedure met with success and apparently the bird recovered.  However, once it was “set down”, the confused and delirious turkey ran headlong against a wall. Historians believe this was one of the first cases of artificial respiration being used as a treatment of electric shock.


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Pat Shingleton: "Gobble, Gobble then What?" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-gobble-gobble-then-what-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-gobble-gobble-then-what-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 22 Jun 2016 6:44:44 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Turkey vultures are beneficial to Louisiana as they not only clean the roadways of decomposing animals, also known as “road-kill,” but feast on trash discarded by motorists. Its head-shape gives it easier access inside a carcass. You may have noticed a few scavenging vultures along our Interstates and highways. Their appearance and eating habits could be a stomach turner and another characteristic of the bird may be borderline gross.  To stay cool, turkey vultures initiate a process known as urohydrosis, which is a polite way of noting that it urinates on its legs to prevent overheating.  This serves two purposes for the vulture.  The evaporating urine cools blood circulating through its legs and activates a disinfectant that eliminates germs that the scavenger may have absorbed from an earlier breakfast, lunch or dinner. Gross!


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Pat Shingleton: "A Kool Down and an Explosion..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-kool-down-and-an-explosion-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-kool-down-and-an-explosion-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 21 Jun 2016 6:49:36 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

We're into the second day of summer with 91 remaining. When we were kids, lemons were expensive, so my mom stockpiled a fruity beverage that was invented by Edwin Perkins in 1927 called Kool-Aid, and a concentrate called Reamer's Lemon Blend. After a ball-game we'd bee-line it to the frig, quaffing down these refreshing drinks. However, my mom also saved the water from boiled potatoes to better activate the yeast for her home-made bread. Next to a pitcher of Kool-Aid was a same-colored quart of potato water. Even today, potato water is refreshing. More than 323 million packets of  Kool-Aid are sold each year and gallon-for-gallon, it's the number one most consumed beverage for kids. From Kool-Aid to another beverage. The sun is 868,000 miles across and is about 100 times the diameter of our planet. I realized the sun's power as a kid when we made our own root beer. We would retrieve a mixing crock from the basement and Mom would mix a root beer extract with sugar and yeast. After cleaning pop bottles, we'd funnel-in the root beer and manually cap the bottles with caps purchased from the local hardware store. A "bottle-capper" assisted in the process. This device have an adjustable height selector for either beer or soda bottles and a lever to press each bottle with a cap. The next process included placing the filled bottles in the sunlight. We would also spin them occasionally to eliminate the sediment.  It took four days to get the effervescence just-right.  Before the fourth day, some of the bottles would explode. The power of sunlight and the power of the yeast gave us an extra pop in our soda-pop


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