Pat Shingleton: "Mittens or Gloves"
Gloves were in use from December 9th through the 18th and will certainly be needed this weekend.
Mittens are more effective for hand warming. Exposed body parts such as ears, nose, toes and
fingers are vulnerable when the mercury dips to dangerous levels, sometimes causing frostbite.
Duck hunting this weekend will be tricky and fishing enthusiasts and golfers sometimes experience
"chilbains," caused by prolonged exposure to cold, damp weather. The chilbain symptoms include:
redness, burning, itching and chafing of hands and feet. Years ago, the U.S. Army designed a
climate-controlled high-tech "uniform." These waterproof suits included tubes, similar to NASA's
space suits and effectively circulated cold and warm air to accommodate body temperature.
"Objective Force Warrior" was a computerized suit, originally designed in the 90s, with a
tele-screen helmet and purifying system. Finally, In October, 1948, smog filled the
Monongahela Valley in western Pennsylvania. Damaging oxides of nitrogen, halogen acids, zinc
and lead claimed 20 lives with 2,000 afflicted with respiratory disorders. Fog and industrial pollution
created the worst episode of smog in London from January 5th through the 9th in 1952. Stagnant air
over the four day period found sulfur dioxide and particulate concentrations reaching deadly levels.
The smog was so thick that Londoners couldn't see their hands with outstretched arms,traffic stopped
and only the blind could navigate. Close to 100,000 residents became sick as deaths from bronchitis
and influenza increased ten times leaving 4,000 dead. Four years later, Parliament enacted the British
Clean Air Bill as the burning of bituminous coal was banned.