WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Pat Shingleton Column Pat Shingleton Column en-us Copyright 2017, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Wed, 16 Aug 2017 HH:08:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Pat Shingleton: "A Balloon from Space..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-balloon-from-space-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-balloon-from-space-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:30:40 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

On this date in 1960, Air Force Captain Joseph Kittenger attempted the impossible. Kittenger donned four layers of clothing and left New Mexico in a gondola attached to a helium balloon.  No one before had ever ventured into space this way and Captain Kittenger’s flight plan included a trip skyward for 19 miles and a never before attempted jump back to earth.  As temperatures dipped to 100 degrees below zero he soared to 102,800 feet and parachuted. Falling for four minutes and 37 seconds, his camera captured the curvature of the earth and the emptiness of space.  At 14,000 feet his parachute opened and he landed safely on the desert floor. Also, In May of 2012, Gary Connery donned a wing suit and performed a 3,000 foot base jump onto 24,000 cardboard boxes in Henley upon Thames for a world record. On July 25th, 2012, Felix Baumgartner freefell for four minutes at 536 mph, opening his chute for the worlds highest skydive.


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Pat Shingleton: "The Stick and Exhaustion..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-stick-and-exhaustion-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-stick-and-exhaustion-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:39:50 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Candlestick Park, was situated on the western shore of the San Francisco Bay was constructed in the late 1950s on the cheapest plot of land available but suitable for a stadium. It opened in April of 1960 and closed August 14, 2014. The stadium was noted for its windy conditions and architect John Bolles designed the park to protect it from wind by installing a boomerang-shaped baffle in the upper tier.  This design never worked and for its first ten seasons the wind whistled in from left-center toward right center and once it was expanded to accommodate the football 49ers by enclosing it, the wind was stronger and colder.  Built originally with a radiant heating system, Candlestick or The Stick, became known as not only the windiest ball-yard but the coldest in the major leagues. Finally, Whether it's the NFL, the SEC or LHSAA, football players are back at it and they run-the-risk of contact injury and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is a physiologic state brought on when the body is overexposed to high temperature and high humidity. In getting rid of excess heat, the body causes a sharp curtailment of heat production within the body. Symptoms include sub-normal body temperature, clammy skin, dizziness, vomiting and rapid pulse rate. Normal human body temperature is 98.6 degrees. A person cannot handle internal body temperatures more than 108 degrees for an extended period of time. A lethal result of too much heat is heat-stroke. As perspiration stops, body heat accumulates rapidly, raising the body temperature to 110 degrees. The skin becomes hot and dry, the pulse is irregular and fast and the victim falls into a coma and is delirious. Convulsions and death by asphyxia may follow.


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Pat Shingleton: "Animal Forecasters and Napoleon's Wife..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-animal-forecasters-and-napoleon-s-wife-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-animal-forecasters-and-napoleon-s-wife-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 11 Aug 2017 10:29:05 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Long before the advent of weather forecasts and predictions, people relied on nature for the signs of seasonal change. Folklore suggests that donkeys will hang their ears downward, tilt forward and rub against the wall at the first sign of rain. Fish supposedly rise to the surface and go for bait more actively before a downpour. Some believe that horses will stretch out their necks, sniff the air, pull back their lips and grin just before a shower. Other signs of approaching cold weather include: bulls leading the cows out to pasture, cats sneezing or washing behind their ears, mosquitoes biting more frequently - of course that's year-round for jus - dogs rolling on the ground acting stupid, eating grass and straightening their tails. On August 13, 1766, a powerful hurricane leveled the tiny village of Trois-Islets on the island of Martinique. Joseph-Gaspard Tascher was one of the island's wealthy planters and suffered total financial ruin from the devastating storm. In dire straits, he did what many attempted in those days; marrying their offspring into money. After the storm, his young daughter, Marie Josephine Rose, returned to France and married an army officer, the Vicomte de Beauharnais, who was guillotined in 1794. Two years later she married another officer, with a better head on his shoulders. Her second husband crowned himself in 1804 and she became Empress Josephine of France, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.


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Pat Shingleton: "Homemade Battleships and Baby Powder" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-homemade-battleships-and-baby-powder-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-homemade-battleships-and-baby-powder-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 10 Aug 2017 9:55:48 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Thursday's thundershowers triggered reminder of an earlier childhood event. Prior to a strong thunderstorm we would stash make-shift battleships and destroyers either in or outside the garage.  A couple of pieces of two-by-fours replicated the hull of the ship and by nailing additional scrap pieces to the hull we were able to replicate the needed vessel. Ten-penny nails angled into the sides of the boat had us believing that they looked exactly like the guns on a battleship.  While our ships were in “dry-dock” a strong thunderstorm sent a river of water over Longview Drive with enough force to carry the boats onto Brighton Road.  It was fun, while it lasted, as complaints from neighbors found Tommy Ferruchie’s Gas Station extremely busy replacing and repairing punctured tires. In closing, baby powder isn’t just for baby, especially at this time of year. I told our Sports Director, Mike Cauble, that many athletes use baby powder before they suit up to reduce sweat and discomfort. When I told him I use the lavender, Johnson’s baby powder, he told me to, “Get Lost!” Even though heat advisories and excessive heat warnings haven't been as numerous as previous summers we’ve encouraged our readers and viewers to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks. Talcum and baby powder can cool you down by sprinkling some on your bed sheets. Powder eliminates squeaky floorboards and can assist in untying the hard knot of a shoelace. If you see Mike Cauble out and about this weekend, ask him if he’s using baby powder.


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Pat Shingleton: "The Hat Wager and The Indianapolis..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-hat-wager-and-the-indianapolis-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-hat-wager-and-the-indianapolis-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 28 Jul 2017 10:29:09 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:


At Daly & Spraggs Drug Store in Waynesburg, PA, a customer told owner Byron Daly it would rain on July 29, 1874. Questioning how he knew, the customer responded that it always rained on his birthday – July 29th. Daly began wagering customers, not for cash but a hat. Over the last 143 years, it’s rained 115 times. Byron’s son, John, continues the tradition and the Rain Day Festival of hat-wagering continues today. John has won hats from Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Johnny Carson, Arnold Palmer Jay Leno, and Chubby Checker. Harry Anderson, of TV's Night Court, was a bettor in 1988 which was the year it didn't rain, and was sent a hat that appeared on the bookshelves behind his desk for several episodes. Another anniversary rewinds to this date in 1945, during the final days of World War II. The moon rose at 10:30 p.m. in the Philippine Sea; peeking through an overcast sky. Because of the glow, Japanese submariners targeted the silhouette of a cruiser and torpedoed it. If not for the moon glow, the USS Indianapolis would have passed unnoticed. SKY and TELESCOPE magazine predicted a repeat of this celestial scene on July 29, 2002 over the Philippine Sea, marking the 57th anniversary of the disaster. Nine hundred of the 1,200 sailors escaped the attack, only 317 survived four days of exposure and shark attacks.  The USS Indianapolis was delivering components of the first atomic bomb to Tinian Island for the bombing of Hiroshima.


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Pat Shingleton: "Stretching the Clothesline and Washtub Cool Downs" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-stretching-the-clothesline-and-washtub-cool-downs-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-stretching-the-clothesline-and-washtub-cool-downs-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:29:12 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

A summertime task during our younger days was “stretching the clothesline.”  The line was secured at the garage, the flagpole, the porch, and stretched back to the garage. Here is where my mom “hung-out-the-clothes” - kept off the ground with a “clothes-prop.”  A shower emptied the house whereby kids, a grandfather and a few neighborhood buddies scrambled to retrieve the clothes before they were rinsed again by Mother Nature. My brother Denis was never alert when it came to bike riding and often strangled himself on the line, traversing the yard before it was taken down. In the latest green initiative, people are opting to hang their laundry on clotheslines instead of using energy-sucking dryers. And finally, with 50 days left until a break in the heat, our Heat Index could register above the 100 degree mark until the end of Summer so keep the A.C. humming, the ceiling fans rotating and stay hydrated.  Years ago,  my mother instructed me to “fill the washtub” so that my brother Kevin would get a “cool-down” during episodes of blistering weather in Pennsylvania. That same wash tub was also used to ice down beer and pop for summertime events. The washtub became obsolete when inflatable pools came along and another invention – the lawn sprinkler - offered another quick cool-down as we dashed through it. As we got older, the Ewing Park Swimming Pool provided heat relief. One of the best neighborhood gifts was the decision by the Shultz and the Lutz families to install backyard pools.


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Pat Shingleton: "The 1st Hurricane Hunter" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-1st-hurricane-hunter-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-1st-hurricane-hunter-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:29:05 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

As we enter the third month of Hurricane Season ’09, here’s an anniversary item that appeared in a previous Weather News. On this date in 1943 and for the first time in aviation and meteorological history, Col. Joe Duckworth and Lt. Ralph O'Hair took off from Bryan Field near Galveston and flew into a hurricane.  Flying blindly through storms, turbulence, downdrafts and updrafts, their single-engine, A-6 trainer broke through the eye wall and enteried the calm center of the storm. The only way out was back through the storm.  Bumped and bruised, the pilots exited the  hurricahne and landed safely at Bryan Field.  The team then refueled collected weather officer Lt. William Jones-Burdick and flew back into the storm. This flight was the first to gather meteorological data from a plane flying inside a hurricane.


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Pat Shingleton: "Mummified Bodies and Surfing..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-mummified-bodies-and-surfing-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-mummified-bodies-and-surfing-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 25 Jul 2017 9:39:05 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:
Three years ago on this date, The Daily Telegraph reported that the bodies of more than
80 soldiers from World War I were recovered from melting glaciers. Experts from
the Archaeological Heritage Office in Trento, Italy noted that the mummified bodies
of the soldiers were discovered near the small northern town of Peio. Glaciers began
to melt in the 1990s and the first evidence of mail, apparently written by the soldiers,
began flooding from the mountains into the town. Bodies then began to emerge that were
amazingly well preserved due to the ice. Two soldiers died on the Presena Glacier in
May, 1918 and were discovered in the crevasse. Weather was an enemy to both sides and
at 12,000 feet the temperature plunged to -30 degrees. Avalanches also took many lives.
Finally, without a unique combination of sunshine, rising heat, wind and a land mass,
there would be no waves. I pulled from my archives an interesting story on former
champion surfer Laird Hamilton. Laird has a reputation of surfing the world's biggest
waves. He pioneered "tow-in surfing," where a personal watercraft pulls the surfer
directly into a wave, too large to paddle into. There's a place in Tahiti that experts
consider unsurfable, where a steep wall of water crashes with unbelievable speed and
power into a coral reef below. Hamilton has conquered it. He developed a new kind of
tow-in board that incorporates a hydrofoil fin, allowing the surfer to coast above
the surface for indefinite periods of time, rather than being pounded by the wave.
The device has linked a snow board, with a boot, and a hydrofoil keel that cuts through
the water. James Bond utilized one in one of his movies...

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Pat Shingleton: "The Dog Days" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-dog-days--99187/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-dog-days--99187/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 24 Jul 2017 9:51:50 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Canis Major or Sirius was designated the “Dog Star” by ancient astronomers. Romans believed that because Sirius rose before or at sunrise they were convinced this star was the cause of hot, sultry weather.  To appease the rage of Sirius and believing that the star caused the pattern, they sacrificed a brown dog which began the reference – Dog Days.  Ancient Rome catalogued the Dog Days from July 24 through August 24 and The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing as the 40 days from July 3 to August 11. Since June 20, the sun has reached its highest point and slowly begins its track toward the equator. From now through September we will be alert for 100 degree readings. Traditionally we record ninety, 90 degree days for the Summer months and last year we logged 115 days.


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Pat Shingleton: "Father Hurricane and The Tempest..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-father-hurricane-and-the-tempest-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-father-hurricane-and-the-tempest-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:27:26 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. Also, 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: 'The Second Johnstown Flood" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-second-johnstown-flood-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-second-johnstown-flood-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 20 Jul 2017 9:56:12 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton: 'The Second Johnstown Flood

Following the Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood of 1889, a flood control system was constructed in the Little Conemaugh Valley. The dams and slews were designed to withstand a 100 year flood.  In 1977, city officials and flood experts declared that Johnstown was virtually flood-proof.  On the evening of July 19, 1977, showers began and a stalled low pressure system drenched the area for eight hours.  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 that was leaving destruction in its wake.  The second Johnstown Flood in 88 years caused $325 million in damage in seven counties, killing 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. Finally, we've experienced a couple of weekend "wash-outs." The rainouts cause “cabin-fever,” further compromising our outdoor activities. Many years ago my brothers and I would settle in to enjoy episodes of the “Three Stooges” on rainy summer afternoons.  However the respite was short-lived, especially when the soggy weather pattern advanced to the next day.  The early morning began with the traditional hearty breakfast and with baseball games cancelled, Mom directed us to seasonal chores that included cleaning the basement, attic and garage.  A large compliment of tools and lawn equipment were moved as the garage floor was swept. The basement was swept down, hosed down and straightened. Those were the chores then and except for the basement, it could be a chore for some this weekend. 


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Pat Shingleton: "The Popsicle and Odditi4es..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-popsicle-and-odditi4es-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-popsicle-and-odditi4es-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:31:08 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. Frank 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 proprietory 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. Also, the National Severe Storms Forecast Center analyzes tornadoes and over the last 152 years, have documented some oddities.  In 1842, Elias Loomis shot a chicken out of a gun to simulate tornadic wind speeds that de-feather chickens. In 1920, an Illinois tornado lifted a freight car, carrying 1500 pounds of cargo, 40 feet into the air, dropping the load into the side of a train station.  A tornado hit the passenger train Empire Builder at a right angle on May 27, 1931 and lifted five coach cars, each weighing 70 tons, from the track.  Weather historian, Snowden Flora reported in 1919 that a Minnesota tornado, "split open a tree, jammed in an automobile and clamped the tree shut."  In May of 1953, an airplane, safely flying upside down, went from 12,000 feet to 16,500 to 2,500 and back to 4,000 feet in 25 seconds with the "help" of a tornado.


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Pat Shingleton: "An Anniversary and Harvesting Vanilla" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-an-anniversary-and-harvesting-vanilla-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-an-anniversary-and-harvesting-vanilla-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:30:41 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

I neglected to note that July 17th marks an anniversary of importance to all of us.  It’s the 115th 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. Older Baton Rouge homes still have 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. One way to "cool-down" is that favorite treat, the ice cream cone.  Tucked away on a mountainside in Paauilo Hawaii is the Hawaiian Vanilla Company. Tom Kadooka started cultivating vanilla orchids in 1941 and landed on an abandoned vanilla plant in 1941. While others were harvesting Hawaii’s famous Kona coffee, Tom determined that five acres of coffee would net $15,000 while vanilla could do the same on about a quarter of an acre. The climate in Hawaii is perfect for the cultivation of  Vanilla planifolia but the plant must be hand-pollinated to produce a vanilla bean pod.


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Pat Shingleton: "Lightning Oddities" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-lightning-oddities--98989/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-lightning-oddities--98989/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:36:00 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:
On this date in 1689, lightning zapped the altar church of Saint-Sauveur, 
in Ligny, France. Fifty witnesses watched a statue of Christ levitate as
altar cloths were scorched and curtains were blown off their rings. However
the rings remained on the rod. In 1812, in Combe Hay, Somerset, United Kingdom,
six sheep were killed by lightning and witnesses noticed tattooed pictures
of the landscape on their skin. Two similar incidents occurred in Greece
where a sailor, struck by lightning, had a shadowgraph of the number 44
on his body that was attached to a nearby rigging. Another sailor, in the Adriatic
was hit while sitting below the mast. Imprinted on his groin was the image
of a horseshoe, nailed to the foremast.

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Pat Shingleton: "Bats and Lightning" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-bats-and-lightning-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-bats-and-lightning-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 11 Jul 2017 5:59:54 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

I prepared a column years ago concerning bats. Gaines Garrett, also known as “Big Ron,” was sharing a story concerning some bats in Jay Babb’s belfry.  I reprimanded Gaines until he verified that the infestation was accurate and it did involve real bats in an attic not Jay's helmet. Dr. Eddie Wren was contacted to resolve Jay’s bats as his specialty is "batology" with a minor in baseball. The Journal of Wildlife Management reported that in Canada, bats suffer from wind turbines.  Researchers discovered that migratory bats in southern Alberta were killed by decreasing atmospheric pressure caused by blade rotation, impacting the bats’ lungs.  Professors at the University of Calgary reported that bats fly when turbine speeds are low. To reduce fatalities without compromising energy, blades were slowed on 38 turbines during low-wind periods and during peak wind periods when bats are unable to fly. Since then, “Big Ron” and Dr. Wren have a turbine installation business.  Finally, from bats to lightning. Many years ago, at the kitchen sink, Mom was hit by lightning and it could be the reason for her instructions at the approach of a thunderstorm.  We understood the reasoning of “taking the clothes off the line” once a shower erupted.  It was a mad scramble as we bee-lined it outside to basket the clothes. Gathered around the tube watching "The 3 Stooges" she would also instruct us to “close the upstairs windows.” Our screened windows were open all summer, providing cooling breezes.  On rare occasions a passing front would require some to be closed.  The other “closure” occurred whether it was a few sprinkles or a downpour. Once closed, we forgot to open them, leading to a stuffy evening and a missed episode of Moe, Larry and Curly.


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Pat Shingleton: "Wildfires and Waterlogged..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-wildfires-and-waterlogged-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-wildfires-and-waterlogged-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 10 Jul 2017 9:55:28 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Wildfires continue to plaque western states, many have been started by lightning.  A wildfire or firestorm modifies the wind, produces its own wind and spreads the fire.  The winds also have the capability of creating a cloud that grows aloft, similar to a thunderstorm and are complete with thunder, lightning and heavy rains that do not contribute to extinguishing the fire. Fiery winds from the firestorm can create tornadic swirls, lasting a few minutes and moving in random directions sparking new fires.  If you’ve ever blown on a campfire or charcoal grill to increase the flames the same occurs with a blowup.  This is a wildfire that gains intensity from strong winds that come from the jet-stream or by the wildfire itself.  Closing out the column with a "look-back...
“You kids get out in that yard and pick-up those balls gloves, they’re gonna get waterlogged.” Those were Mom’s instructions at the onset of a shower or thunderstorm. Waterlogged is an old nautical term used when the hold of a ship was so saturated that the vessel was similar to a log and was unmanageable.  With so much baseball in our neighborhood, we were notorious for leaving our gloves, bats and balls scattered over the property. A glove, loaded with rain and left out overnight, was quickly waterlogged. A typical glove, weighing less than a pound, now weighed about three. Putting it in the sun could dry it out and the consequence was not only a sore pitching arm but the other arm holding up the waterlogged glove.


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Pat Shingleton: "Mosquitoes and a Drunk Elephant" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-mosquitoes-and-a-drunk-elephant-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-mosquitoes-and-a-drunk-elephant-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 7 Jul 2017 10:30:36 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Officials from the Mosquito Abatement Department are increasing spraying operations and making random home inspections. With daily showers, removing water containing debris from our property can assist their efforts. A supercold winter can whack the mosquito larvae. At the University of Florida, 16 nationally sold repellants were put to the test. Using the hungriest mosquitoes available, the researchers gathered volunteers with exposed arms. The results showed that on average, the skin softeners provided protection for 10 minutes. Citronella products were good for 20 minutes, but repellents containing the chemical N-N diethyl-m-toluamide or DEET, were the longest lasting. The 24 percent DEET solution lasted more than five hours - a product that has been around for 45 years. Also, realizing that we are 18 days into the season of summer, I found a cooool archived story.  Moscow experienced its coldest winter in 26 years in 2006 with temperatures approaching all-time record lows of -42 degrees Celsius.  Traditionally, the Moscow circus would give their famous elephants small amounts of vodka to deal with the harsh Russian winters. Humans have survived when their body temperatures were lowered to 75 degrees F for a few minutes.  One of the traveling circus’s more famous elephant’s, Indira, went from consuming a wee nip to combat the nippy weather, to overindulging and falling into the drink.  One of the trainers’s provided Indira with a bucketful of a vodka-based drink during the January icy blast.  Indira responded as any animal would when drunk and went ballistic.  The Pachyderm tore a radiator from the wall and smashed it before being further sedated.


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Pat Shingleton: "Thunderstones and Heat Episods." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-thunderstones-and-heat-episods-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-thunderstones-and-heat-episods-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 6 Jul 2017 10:25:19 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. As we move through the hottest days of the year, by averagte, 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: "Store-High-In-Transit" http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-store-high-in-transit-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-store-high-in-transit-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 5 Jul 2017 6:45:19 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

In the 16th and 17th centuries, supplies were transported by ship.  One product, needed by agricultural interests was manure.  Dry manure, was lighter as “collectors” would bundle the substance and deliver them to nearby port cities for shipping and distribution. The bundles were then stored on ships and positioned below deck for the journey. 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 which also increased the production of methane gas.  A ship’s lantern, in close proximity to the stowed manure, caused explosions when it interacted with the gas that resulted in the loss of several ships.  The British Admiralty investigated these episodes and insisted that sailors stow the manure bundles high enough off the lower decks to prevent contact with rain and water-logging. The decree also insisted that all bundles arriving at the docks before shipment be stamped with the acronym Stow-High-In-Transit. That acronym is widely used today in identifying a variety of substances...


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Pat Shingleton:'"A Volcanic Explosion and Bing Cherries..." http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-volcanic-explosion-and-bing-cherries-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-volcanic-explosion-and-bing-cherries-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 4 Jul 2017 10:30:12 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:'

My memories of Summer include the variety of fruits from the backyard and area orchards.  Our property included a concord grape arbor, a pear tree, two apple trees, a few peach trees and even a plum tree.  The harvest of these fruit trees relied on cool summer evenings, warm days and adequate rainfall. A favorite for the neighborhood kids were two Bing cherry trees, one belonging to Harry Schott, the other - was Vivian Van Gorder's.  They didn't mind us climbing, picking and eating the sweet cherries. In the 1800s, a Chinese-American gardener found a sapling near an orchard brush pile.  His labor of love included a slow, patient propagation of the tree  that endured its survival for future generations.  His name was Bing and his cherries can be found in local supermarkets, arriving from the high altitudes of the Pacific Northwest. Clear starry nights and cold mountain snow melt produce the world's finest cherries. Also, what occurred in early 1815, was evident by the end of the year. 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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