Pat Shingleton: "Clearing the Desk..."
It's desk, clean-off time and few items, hopefully, of interest. If a baseball at Alex Box Stadium-Skip Bertman Field is blasted into humid air it will travel father than in dry air provided the force and trajectory are the same. If the earth were the size of a billiard ball, it would be smoother and closer to a perfect sphere. The widest tornado ever recorded touched down in Nebraska in March 2004. At its widest point, the twister measured 2.5 miles in diameter and traveled 62 miles. To determine the effect that sustained high temperatures have on the human body, Dr.Craig Taylor once subjected himself to 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 and a half minutes without serious medical complications. Discarded liners previously used to encase offshore oil-rig piping were once recognized as a model of “green” engineering and were later recycled for another important use. In tornado prone areas, storm shelters provide valuable protection and the National Storms Shelter Association tests products to improve storm shelters. The Texas Tech Debris Impact Test Facility fired 15-pound two-by-fours from a pressure cannon that did not penetrate the panels. The wooden projectiles hit the discarded liners at 100 mph, replicating objects that exit a funnel cloud. Applying modern materials science to storm shelters started after Hurricane Katrina and was advanced after 62 tornadoes ravaged Alabama. The newly designed panels are made of thermoplastic and fiberglass resins and fibers and are stronger per density unit than steel, currently used in shelters. Michael Cauble mentioned the gimmicks ball parks use to entertain the crowds. My brother Kevin and I reminisce about our trips to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh during our Little League years. There were no gimmicks at this ball park, just baseball. Hab Shingleton would load his sons into the station wagon and head to a double header. Of course we had our Wilson glove with us just in case we snagged one during batting practice or during the game. Dick Stuart was at first, Billy Maz at second, Smokey Burgess behind the plate, Roberto in right and of course the Voice of the Pirates, Bob Prince. As for concessions - it was Mom’s meatloaf sandwiches on homemade buns and a thermos of Kool-Aid. We say goodbye to April and rewind to some interesting weather events on this date.