Pat Shingleton: "Mom, Snowflakes and Bandaids"
Later this afternoon we welcome the start of Spring, also known as the Vernal Equinox. As we enjoy the blooming Azaleas and patches of daffodils, folks in the northeast also seek weather relief from the brutal Winter. However, the first day of Spring in the northeast will have another snow event. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania a Spring warm-up was often followed by another blast of cold air, accompanied by a final dusting of snow. During the first snowfalls of the season, Mom would sternly announce, "I don't want 'younze' kids eating that 'thar' snow!" A few years ago, Science Magazine reported that snowflakes form around bacteria seeds such as Pseudomonas syringae which cause a fatal disease in beans and tomatoes, sparing humans from any ill effects. Mom knew there were possible dangers in falling snow and rain and often caught us catching a few flakes on our tongue. A few flakes shouldn't cause concern, but buckets of snow may result in a tummy ache! Another "Mom Directive" was taking off a Band-Aid to let a cut "air-out." In 1962, Dr. George Winter compared open-air abrasions to covered wounds on young pigs. His research determined that skin cells grew twice as fast on covered wounds that were moist rather than scabbed. Thus, the development of the Band-Aid.