Pat Shingleton: "A Stinky Acronym..."
Recently Amazon was considering home delivery of ordered items to purchaser's doorsteps. Cargo ships of old are massive delivery vessels today transporting shipping containers that hold thousands of items for worldwide use. Supplies in the 16th and 17th Century were also transported by ship. One product, needed and essential to agricultural interests, was manure. Manure gatherers would collector and bundle the lighter, dry manure. These bundles resembled bales of hay and were stored below deck for a long journey at sea. In the open sea, storms, loaded with salt water would unload on the decks of ships, soaking cargo in the lower holds. These episodes of wet weather would change the composition of the manure from dry to wet, returning it to its original form. This process would activate the fermentation process and rapidly increase methane gas. A ship's lantern, always in close proximity to the stowed manure, would interact with the gas, causing explosions and the loss of ships and seamen. To address this problem, the British Admiralty issued a directive that ordered ship captains and sailors to stow the manure bundles up high 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. If you're boating this weekend, like my friend Grey Hammett, he suggests that you always Stow your perishables High In Transit. As mentioned before, home delivery of my columns is available by clicking www.PatShingleton.com.