WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Pat Shingleton Column Pat Shingleton Column en-us Copyright 2021, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Thu, 17 Jun 2021 HH:06:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Pat Shingleton: "P's and Q's" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-p-s-and-q-s--139293/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-p-s-and-q-s--139293/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 26 Jan 2021 5:09:35 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Near our hometown of Ellwood City, PA are roads that would have been identified as routes of transport during the Revolutionary War.  These roads connected Pittsburgh to Erie where Admiral Perry's Fleet was located during the War of 1812. There are many locations, such as Rachael's Road House near Grove City that displays a house that General Washington visited. In those “early” days, local taverns and public houses or pubs provided lodging, food and drink from inclement weather. Libations were originally a convenient means of combating the winter chill and a “wee nip” could break the bone-chilling cold. For politicians a journey was tedious and they would utilize their assistants to gauge the opinions of their constituents. These assistants were instructed to “sip some ale” and hear the people’s political concerns. When they would “go sip here” and “go sip there” the two words were combined, forming the term “gossip.” Ale would be served in pints and quarts. A bar maid needed to be diligent as to which patrons were drinking a pint or a quart. This duty resulted in the phrase, “minding your ‘P’s’ and ‘Q’s.”


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Pat Shingleton: "Glaze... and Younger Dryas..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-glaze-and-younger-dryas-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-glaze-and-younger-dryas-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 25 Jan 2021 4:52:37 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Glaze is a coating of transparent ice that forms when super-cooled water droplets hit roads during below-freezing weather. Glaze is heavy, sticks to objects that it coats, contains no air bubbles and appears clear and smooth like glass. When freezing rain hits a cold object, glaze can layer several inches thick causing dangerous driving conditions on highways. The Great Southern Glaze Storm of 1951 occurred at the end of January and was one of the most destructive in history. Covering the South in a sheath of ice 100 miles wide from Louisiana to West Virginia, it remains as the costliest winter storm on record with an estimated $100 million in damage. It exceeds all other single storm damage except for hurricanes. It was recently determined that a layer of soil in sections of North America contains fossilized organic matter like fungus, fecal pellets, and charcoal. This same material was thought to be caused by a period of abrupt and intense cold that occurred 12,800 years ago and is related to Younger Dryas. Some scientists believe that Younger Dryas was triggered by an “impact event’ such as a meteor striking the Earth or exploding in space. The result was a massive firestorm that killed early North American inhabitants and most animals in addition to saturating the atmosphere with ash and dust. That amount of residue reduced radiation and cooled the planet. Geophyscial Research Letters reports that it is unlikely a meteor explosion could have generated the intense heat.


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Pat Shingleton: "Blizzard and The Glacier..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-blizzard-and-the-glacier-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-blizzard-and-the-glacier-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 22 Jan 2021 6:47:54 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Three weeks ago a massive snowstorm blanketed sections of the Northeast. “Blizzard” originally meant “a stunning blow,” often referred to a boxer’s knockout punch. Davy Crockett, no relation to Jennifer, used the word in reference to a barrage of rifle shot and to “taking a blizzard” to his prey. On March 24, 1870 the editor of the Iowa newspaper, the Easterville Vindicator, described a massive wind-driven snow event as a blizzard. He compared the event to a severe snowstorm that K.O.’ed the city. The following Spring, an Iowa baseball team changed its name to the Blizzards and within ten years numerous newspapers from New York to Canada were referencing their winter storms as blizzards. The website, Swissinfo.ch, reported that in 1678, the towns of Fieschertal and Fiesch, located in the Swiss Alps, were flooded because of the Aletsch glacier. This led the residents to take a formal vow, praying that the Aletsch glacier would stop growing. In addition to the prayer intentions, an annual procession was instituted to reduce the ice mass. Over the years, the glacier continued to shrink at a moderate rate and reduced the threat of flooding. Scientists determined that the glacier has decreased 3.5 kilometers over three centuries.Years ago, residents Experienced a lack of fresh water and currently pray for the glacier’s growth that included an official request to Pope Benedict similar to the original vow sent to Pope Innocent XI. 


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Pat Shingleton: "To Date Weather-Events and 'Under the Weather'" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-to-date-weather-events-and-under-the-weather-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-to-date-weather-events-and-under-the-weather-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 21 Jan 2021 6:41:35 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

January is a strange weather month and here are some strange weather items. Steam was billowing from the paper mills of Green Bay, WI, on Jan.15, 1999. The steam was trapped under an inversion causing the moisture in the clouds to coalesce into snowflakes. Downwind of the mills, the town of Allouez reported an inch of artificially produced snow. You've heard of lake-effect snow but "ocean-effect' snows occurred on Massachusetts' Nantucket Island on Jan.17, 1997. Arctic air, blown by west, southwest winds over the warm ocean water, dumped 8 inches of snow between the mainland and the island. In 1973, a baby was carried 400 yards by the winds of an F2 tornado near Corey in Caldwell Parish. Prior to COVID dilemmas, our weather shifts from warm and dry to wet and cold  were sending some to the Doc’s office in year's past. Hopefully, you're not "under the weather" today. Weather ranks as a determining factor in numerous categories. The yield of the harvest and the price of food are determined by the weather. In business and industry, companies depend on more extensive forecasts to ensure productivity. Viewers share with me their arthritic aches during episodes of changing weather and it’s certainly a determining factor in the movement of airborne viruses. Many years ago when sailors were on deck and the elements and the motion of the ocean made them sick, they were ordered below deck to ride out the storm or get “under the weather."


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Pat Shingleton: "Mistake on the Lake and Greenland Block..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-mistake-on-the-lake-and-greenland-block-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-mistake-on-the-lake-and-greenland-block-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 20 Jan 2021 5:41:01 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

During my stay at Gannon University in Erie, PA, students would refer to it as the "Mistake on the Lake," possibly due in part that it caught on fire due to pollution. At times, the lake would freeze over, great for ice fishing or a walk into Presque Isle Bay. During the winters of '93-'94, most of the Great Lake's surface was solid. In '79, all of the Great Lakes were frozen. On Memorial Day, '96, picnickers along Lake Superior's shoreline, cooled their drinks with chunks of ice floating in the lake. Here, we use sand on bridges during episodes of freezing weather. Kentucky used more than 140,000 tons of salt during the winter of 2020 for their roadway and Chicago has reported numerous episodes where piles snow along the Chicago River elevate to a height of 100 feet. Did you ever hear of a snow fence? Snow fences are placed near highways to prevent snow from drifting onto the roadway. The fence reduces wind speed and increases turbulence, causing the snow to pile downwind of the fence. Occasionally, episodes of winter weather in the country are attributed to the “Greenland Block.” This feature is a buckle in the jet stream, a river of air between 25,000 and 35,000 feet, positioned above Greenland. The “block” traditionally shows up a few times each winter, lasting for a couple of weeks. There have been winters when it hasn’t been recognized. Its position drives cold air into the eastern United States from central Canada and blocks big storms from sliding up the coast. A shift in the “block” has actually created an avenue to permit winter storms to blast New England then returning to its traditional location when the storms depart. It won't occur from now into the weekend but we can expect additional episodes of cold, rainy weather well into February.


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Pat Shingleton: "Fog Elimination and a S.A.D. Moment..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-fog-elimination-and-a-s-a-d-moment-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-fog-elimination-and-a-s-a-d-moment-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 18 Jan 2021 5:48:15 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Since March and the implementation of mask usage, you may be experiencing episodes of "foggy glasses." Foggy glass has been a challenge for scientists for years and anti-fog sprays, that are available in stores, dissipate over time. Recently the suggestion of coating your glasses with shaving cream then wiping-away may have assisted.  Titanium dioxide based solutions have been used to chemically coat glass but only work in ultraviolet light. Researchers at the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at Massachusetts Institute of Technology could have solved the foggy glass problem. These scientists have developed a transparent polymer coating that is made of silica nano-particles that can be applied to surfaces to stop fogging. Once water vapor in a warm environment hits a cool area like your windshield, the vapor condenses causing water droplets to form. The droplets make the light scatter in different directions, fogging up the glass. The new coating attracts the droplets and coagulates them into a sheet that prevents fogging. From fog to sunlight. The lack of sunshine can have an effect on our disposition.  In Baton Rouge we occasionally experience consecutive days of gloomy weather, including drizzly rain and showers.  Our weather can’t compare with Whidbey Island, Washington where they experience rain and overcast conditions for 260 days a year. Due to these conditions the suicide rate is high and duty deployment at the local naval base is limited to 18 months.  Many in the Pacific Northwest suffer from S.A.D. or Seasonal Affective Disorder, a specific type of major depression, which reoccurs at specific times of the year. The amount of sunlight exposure and changes in sunrise can affect suffers of S.A.D.


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Pat Shingleton: "The Index and The Coal Shute..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-index-and-the-coal-shute-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-index-and-the-coal-shute-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 15 Jan 2021 5:13:17 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Years ago, mechanical engineer Maurice Bluestein tested the authenticity of the wind-chill  index on February 11, 2000. The index was originally developed to determine how excessive wind and bitterly cold temperatures react to exposed skin and possible hypothermia. On a bitterly cold day when the temperature was -25 and the wind chill factor -65, he noticed that his skin wasn’t freezing as prescribed by the index. This index was tested in the Antarctic in the 1940s, measuring the time it takes for cans of water to freeze at different wind speeds and temperatures. Human skin freezes at a different rate, prompting Bluestein to develop a new model to utilize the “thermal properties of the skin” based upon the “modern heat transfer theory.” In conclusion and another "look-back" to a recent column that highlighted the workings of a coal furnace. In the 1950s, the arrival of the coal truck was a treat for me and my brother Kevin. With faces pressed against the living room window, the coal-man positioned his dump truck adjacent to the basement “coal” window.” His metal chute was attached and once the truck bed was elevated, here came the coal. For us it was the excitement of watching a dump truck dump and the sound of the coal funneling down the chute then rumbling below us into the coal cellar. It sounded like bowling balls hitting a tin roof. The only way the coal-man made his delivery was “if” the ground was frozen. A stuck truck was even more exciting.


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Pat Shingleton: "Frozen Digits and Molasses..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-frozen-digits-and-molasses-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-frozen-digits-and-molasses-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 14 Jan 2021 5:29:50 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Miriam Johnson was our piano teacher and her three worst students were me and my brothers Denis and Michael. More interested in sports than classical music, it was a challenge for Mom to ensure that daily practices were completed. From January until "Recital Time" in May our Saturday morning lessons began with a mile walk to Miriam’s house on Spring Ave in Ellwood City, PA with all types of weather. January winter’s were tricky, regardless of how “bundled” you were for the journey. Inevitably our hands were fresh frozen when we reached the side door to her home. Therapy for frozen hands included a regimen of running cold water onto your digits, followed by warm then hot. I’m not sure if she charged my Mom extra for the water before we “tickled the ivories.” Today marks the anniversary of “America’s most fascinating and surreal disaster.” On January 11, 1919, Boston’s Daily Globe reported that “a cold air mass settled in.” By 9:00 a.m. on the 12th, , the mercury tumbled from 36 degrees to 20 degrees at 2:00 p.m to 7 degrees at 10:00 p.m. then dipping to 2 degrees. Crews from the ship Miliero pumped a half million gallons of molasses from its warm hold into tanks holding existing cold molasses causing a bubbling churn and the vibrating the tank’s walls where workers reported that the walls were groaning. This mixture activated fermentation, aided by a temperature rise to 50 degrees. At that moment the top of the 58 foot tank blew and a 50 foot wave of 2 million gallons rushed over the streets of Boston killing 21, injuring 150.


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Pat Shingleton: "Sully and the Hudson River..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-sully-and-the-hudson-river-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-sully-and-the-hudson-river-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 13 Jan 2021 4:57:01 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

On January 14, 2009 a storm system sent gusty winds to New York with light snow showers. On the following day, calm, cold weather was reported. Due to de-icing delays in Pittsburgh, US Airways Flight 1549 left LaGuardia Airport at 3:25 p.m. bound for Charlotte. Less than 2 minutes after takeoff, at an altitude of 2,900 feet, a flock of Canadian geese struck the aircraft knocking-out both engines and sending the 150,000 pound Airbus A320 into a glide. The plane was descending over the Bronx at 1,000 feet per minute and the plane’s Captain made a decision never before performed – ditching in the Hudson River. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles safely off-loaded their passengers in 35 degrees and a wind chill value of 11.


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Pat Shingleton: "When Will the Ice Melt?" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-when-will-the-ice-melt-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-when-will-the-ice-melt-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 12 Jan 2021 5:03:09 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

The Nenana Ice Classic began in 1917 by engineers building a bridge across the Tanana River near Fairbanks, Alaska. Work stopped once the river froze and speculation as to when the ice would break began the wagering. For this village of 500, cash prizes are awarded to those who guess the exact minute the ice breaks. A previously constructed contraption, made of wooden logs with a wire attached to the top and to a clock onshore, determined the winner. A more sophisticated device offers a precise time as to the ice melt and the winning time.  The jackpot is determined by the number of entries with a guaranteed payout of $125,000. Ice Classic manager Cherrie Forness reported that Anchorage resident Patricia Andrew was the only entrant to guess the exact time the ice "officially went out" on the Tenana River in Nenana.  It moved at 12:21 a.m. April 14, 2020, the earliest in the contest's 102-year history with her winnings totaling $311,652. For this year's contest, the jackpot is again estimated to nearly $315,000.  You can buy a ticket or on-line at nenanaakiceclassic.com.


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Pat Shingleton: "De-Icing and the Chinook..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-de-icing-and-the-chinook-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-de-icing-and-the-chinook-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 11 Jan 2021 5:49:21 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Years ago, plane de-icing was randomly performed and is now a regimented, regulated procedure. On this date in 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the icy Potomac River, thirty seconds after takeoff from National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. The casualty count noted 78 deaths, including four who were in cars on the 14th Street Bridge. Weatherwise magazine noted that the National Transportation Safety Board determined the cause of the crash was the failure of pilots to abort the takeoff and for not activating anti-icing equipment. Ice on wings is dangerous because of additional weight and the loss of lift for the aircraft, causing drag on the aircraft’s body. A wing can lose 30% of lift with a small accumulation of ice. In closing, a dry, warm, wind that descends from mountains is the "Chinook," also known as the "snow eater." Once it hits, temperatures rise as much as 60 degrees in one day. On this date in 1983, the temperature in Calgary rose 30 degrees in four hours. Mountain evergreens that display a reddish tinge and dried-out needles are known as red belt. This conditions is caused by dehydration from the warmth of the Chinook. As the warm winds slide over the mountains, trees experience the sudden temperature change, losing their winter preparedness and beginning to wake up. With frozen ground, the trees can't replace lost water; the needles dry out and die.


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Pat Shingleton: "Scrapple, Mush and Black Ice..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-scrapple-mush-and-black-ice-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-scrapple-mush-and-black-ice-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 8 Jan 2021 5:07:43 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Sometimes when you don't know what's in it, it still tastes good. Our Dad was a butcher, often referred to as a  "break-down" artist and as an example would take a side of beef then saw, cut grind and transfer all the cuts to the meat case.  He took great pride in the "look" of the presentation. After a health-class assignment we would question Dad about the contents of franks or hotdogs, wieners or weenies. "Is it true Dad what they put in those?" His response,"They don't leave anything out..." There's a common Pennsylvania “entrée” called scrapple. The famous staple originated with the Amish Dutch who utilized all parts of the butchered animal for multiple purposes. The ingredients include pork stock, pork, pork skins,  cornmeal, wheat flour, pork hearts, pork livers, pork tongues, salt, and spices. It's taken from the can and fried and traditionally served with toast and eggs. This morning you may be enjoying some hot oatmeal, grits, pancakes or waffles accompanied by a piping-hot cup of Community coffee to compete with the chill. My mother made another breakfast warmer called “mush.” Cajuns are familiar with something similar to mush, “couscous” - a combination of cornmeal and milk. Our "Mum", better known in her remaining years as "Grandma Shirley," would mix and boil a cornmeal recipe, pour it into a Pyrex dish or tray and refrigerate it. The next morning it was sliced into half-inch squares and fried. We then would smatter the hot mush with butter and syrup. With a hot mug of homemade cocoa, we were ready for the outdoor freeze. Another wintry note includes Sunday evening's expected wintry mix in the northern part of the state. One of the worst weather-roadway events is something called “black ice.” Black Ice is very thin, hidden new ice that lingers on roadways and appears dark in color because of its transparency. Behind the wheel, the roadway appears normal, until you encounter this patchy ice slick. Depending upon the vehicle’s speed, it can quickly send one into a spin. Upon hitting an adjacent dry area, cars have been known to flip.


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Pat Shingleton: Smog and Katie https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-smog-and-katie/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-smog-and-katie/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 6 Jan 2021 5:45:35 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton: Smog and Katie

In October, 1948, smog filled the Monongahahela 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. Another anniversary...The first days of 1988 were "gnarly." The daytime high for New Year's Day was 59 with chilly wind blown rain. On January 3, 1988, we hit 81 degrees, breaking a record high for the date of 80, logged in 1943. Another front zipped through on January 4 sending the temperatures down 28 degrees from the previous day to a high of 52 and a freeze warning. The blustery weather lasted into the next day with an overnight low just shy of the freeze mark. By January 6 a major snowstorm was brewing in the Midwest while Baton Rouge experienced rain and 44 degrees. On January 7, 1988 two events occurred. A freeze warning was issued for the area with just 40 degrees for the high and Katie Shingleton Maxcy was born. The following day, Katie was transported home with some snow on the ground. Happy birthday Katie with great forecasts for you Spence and Nora in the future.


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Pat Shingleton: "Dropping the Grate and Collecting Wood" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-dropping-the-grate-and-collecting-wood-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-dropping-the-grate-and-collecting-wood-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 5 Jan 2021 6:35:40 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Before the gas furnace, many relied on the coal furnace. Situated in the basement of the home the burning coal heated an iron “bell” that radiated heat into the rest of the home through a series of insulated ducts. The radiated heat ultimately made it into registers that warmed the rooms and the house. Before bedtime it was the duty of my father, grandfather and later us, to stoke the fire and layer coal to provide some overnight warmth. Eventually, the grate that held the coal ashes sifted into a chamber that was removed on a daily basis. Traditionally, my grandfather would “drop the grate” on Saturday afternoons to remove remaining ashes and to provide more heat than needed - while he took his bath. Time for some "Ahhhs..." On a remote reservation in South Dakota, Native Americans asked their chief if the winter was going to be cold? Unaware of the ancient forecasting secrets he visited the National Weather Service. The meteorologist verified it was going to be cold and the chief ordered his tribe to collect wood. A week later he called the N.W.S. asking again if the winter would be cold? Another meteorologist responded that it would. He ordered the tribe to collect more wood and two weeks later questioned the N.W.S. folks to be sure it was going to be a cold winter. “Absolutely,” the meteorologist replied, “The coldest ever!” The chief asked, “How can you be sure?” The weatherman replied (here it comes)…”The Native Americans are collecting a lot of firewood!”


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Pat Shingleton: "New Year's Traditions..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-new-year-s-traditions--138478/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-new-year-s-traditions--138478/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 1 Jan 2021 4:51:48 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

New Year's Day traditions to ensure health and prosperity may include the consumption of pork, knackwurst, bratwurst, kielbasa, sauerkraut, applesauce or black eyed peas. If you burn or smolder the Yule log, a huge block of oak, traditional beliefs found that lightning would never hit a house. Another suggestion is to wear some leaves. Roman generals wore laurel wreaths and sealskin coats during episodes of thunder. The ancient historian Plutarch believed that a sleeping body was lifeless, and lightning would pass through it without injury. French peasants would carry "pierres de tonnerre" or thunderstones to ward off lightning. You may want to ring a bell. Church bells in medieval Europe have the inscription: "Fulgura Frango" meaning "I break up lightning strokes." Regardless of the traditions, 2021 will positively be a great year!


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Pat Shingleton: "The Moon, The Blizzard and Times Square..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-moon-the-blizzard-and-times-square-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-moon-the-blizzard-and-times-square-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 30 Dec 2020 10:32:52 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

This month's Full Moon reached capacity at 10:29 PM Tuesday evening. Native Americans referred to it as the Full Cold Moon. A full Moon, reflecting from a snow surface, increases “moonlight.” Years ago, Parade Magazine’s columnist, David Levy, filed an article, “Why We Have A Moon.” Levy took a “stab” at answering the question: How did the moon get here? He explained, Earth had a “bad day” almost 4 ½ billion years ago when the planet was spurting volcanoes. The planets were closer and the moon was 10,000 miles away and rotated faster with a day lasting just 10 hours. With a 24-hour day, the moon is sliding away at about 3 feet every century and is now 240,000 miles out. From moonlight to street lights. Senator Roscoe Conkling left his Wall Street office in route to the New York Club during the Great Blizzard of 1888. “Freaks of the Storm” reported that when he reached Union Square he became stranded in a snowdrift and struggled to free himself from the surrounding snow. After arriving at the club, he had a drink and collapsed, dying the next day. C. H. McDonald stumbled through the same blinding snowstorm when he collided with a hard object that left a gash on his head. He picked through the pile of snow and determined that the cause of the accident was the hoof of a dead horse. Thereafter he was recognized as the only man ever to be kicked in the head by a dead horse. On this date in 1907, The New York Times was moving its offices to a building on a square that now bears its name. To commemorate the paper’s new home, publisher Alfred Ochs provided a lavish New Year’s Eve celebration intended to attract parishioners from Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. The church was traditionally the gathering place on the eve of a new year. Weatherwise Magazine reports that 200,000 people celebrated New Year’s Eve for the first time, 103 years ago, in the newly-named Times Square. In 1907, Ochs added a 700-pound, 5-foot-diameter ball, made of iron and wood, covered with electrical lights. In 1917 it was -13 degrees with mostly clear skies.


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Pat Shingleton: "A Slip on the Ice and Covered in Snow" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-slip-on-the-ice-and-covered-in-snow-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-slip-on-the-ice-and-covered-in-snow-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 17 Dec 2020 5:04:27 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Yesterday's massive snow event in the northeast will guarantee a white Christmas for those locations. Years ago, an episode of winter weather prompted disciplinary actions from my father. After Mass at St. Agatha’s Church in Ellwood City, PA, Dad would routinely purchase the Youngstown Vindicator or the Pittsburgh Press from the portable news stand. This particular Sunday was snowy as sheets of ice coated the sidewalks and church steps. Unless cleared by the parishioners and without the use of treated salt, care and  extra time was needed to navigate the approach and exit areas/ Outside the church, visiting with friends, a robust lady proceeded down the steps, lost her balance, slipped on the ice and went airborne. Spinning and swirling across the icy sidewalk in the midst of ohhhhs and ahhhs she landed next to my brother Mike and me. For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Our Dad was a butcher and had huge hands. Whenever a disciplinary action was initiated a curled middle finger protruding from the fist created the “thump;” launched to the back of the head. So, as the lady slid to our feet, I imitated an umpire and yelled, “Safe!” In the confusion and thinking Mike made fun of the sliding lady, Dad gave him the “thump.” In our younger years, there was excitement at the approach of a snow storm. Reminiscing about another winter item. Our dog "Pooch" was an outside dog and had a dog house adjacent to a chicken coop. When the temperatures dropped and the snow was flyin’ he spent the night in the basement, next to Uncle Emery – there for other reasons. Another treat were the North Sewickley Township snowplows. The eight foot embankment in front of our house, at a 45 degree angle, was where you got the best blast.
We would await the snow plow, settle into the snow covered embankment and once the plow scrapped the road, we were covered – with three feet of snow.


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Pat Shingleton: "Car Hopping and Hitting the Sleds" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-car-hopping-and-hitting-the-sleds-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-car-hopping-and-hitting-the-sleds-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 16 Dec 2020 5:36:14 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

In South Louisiana, car-hopping occurred at Hopper's or Sonic where "car hops" delivered the burgers, fries and shakes.  Car hopping in Western Pennsylvania occurred during the winter months after a heavy snow. Our favorite "jump-on" spot was Pete Pavlovic's Store.  With a half-foot of snow on Brighton Road and without traction, cars would spin across the icy, snow-covered road, trying to make it up the grade. Hiding behind the store we'd wait for the right moment to "hop the cars" by grasping the rear car bumper at the right moment then gliding down the road for at least forty yards as our boots created a snow wake. This same scenario was experienced by Pat Quigley and his buddies in New Jersey and was referred to as "skitching." The next day at school we often found a car-hopper with a gigantic bump on his head. There were always be a few dry spots on the road where our boots stopped sliding and our heads met the trunk of the car. another December memory...Both ends of Pennsylvania are experiencing a dumping of snow and it was rare if we didn't receive the "white stuff" around Christmas. The Sudano brothers were n charge of the bonfire, at the bottom of the sledding trail. The night before, "the hill" was watered down and as the temps dropped a solid sheet of ice formed. By morning, cars couldn't get up the icy mound but the sleds sure went down. The trail cut across Longview Drive, just to the left of Aunt Mae's house and ended in the woods with a series of homemade "jumps," putting us airborne. It ended not far from Nick and Tom's fire. In the fire was lunch that consisted of baked potatoes and apples, wrapped in foil.


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Pat Shingleton: "Ice Storms and the Decorated Tree..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-ice-storms-and-the-decorated-tree-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-ice-storms-and-the-decorated-tree-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 15 Dec 2020 5:18:31 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

On this date in 1973, Central Connecticut received a crippling storm causing more damage than the famous New England Hurricane of 1938. Power outages were the worst in New England history as lines snapped, putting thousands of homes without electricity. In year’s past, we experienced power outages from snow and its weight on trees and roofs. The worst ice storm in U.S. history struck the south from January 28 through February 1, 1951. The load of ice carried on the sides of an average evergreen tree 50 feet high and 20 feet wide would be five tons.Reminiscing -  To complete the Christmas assignments, Mom got the kids “out of the house.” Sled riding and snow-football were options however a freezing rain-snow-mix meant indoor boredom. When I was eight-years-old and my little brother Kevin was five, we found plenty of things-to-do. Playing “cars,” Lincoln logs or the Erector Set were options. Looking out the window sometimes found a fight or an arrest across the street at the Kennard’s house. Circular streamers were used to decorate the Christmas trees. Today they resemble a “crepe paper lei” and noticing a garland streamer, dangling from the tree, I tied it to Kevin’s ankle. From an adjacent room I yelled, “Yo, Kev, Santa brought us an early gift, a puppy!” He barreled after me dragging a decorated ten foot tree.


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Pat Shingleton: "Snakes and Earthquakes..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-snakes-and-earthquakes-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-snakes-and-earthquakes-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 14 Dec 2020 10:30:40 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Today marks a unique anniversary on the south side of Memphis. During the morning hours of December 15, 1876, light rain turned to torrential downpours lasting about 15 minutes. Acts of God, The Old Farmer’s Almanac reported that dark brown snakes measuring 12 to 18 inches long were crawling all over Vance Street. The snakes took over the sidewalks, streets, yards, and street gutters. There were no witnesses that the snakes fell from the sky and there were no snakes on higher places such as rooftops. Many believed it was a hoax and no plausible evidence resolved the mystery. On October 23, 1947 thousands of fish fell on Main and Monroe streets in Marksville, Louisiana. Another item, Scottish naturalist John Bradbury explored the Mississippi River on a flatboat for the Botanical Society of Liverpool. On the evening of December 15, 1811, he and his crew moored at a small island on the horseshoe bend of the river for the night. In the early morning they were awakened and Bradbury’s journal notes that multiple earthquakes rumbled through the area known as New Madrid. The shocks continued until daybreak with extensive damage along the shore as Bradbury and his crew noted that the river was covered with foam as empty boats floated by with no cargo or crew. In the first series of shocks, witnesses noted that acres of riverbank crashed into the channel in huge columns creating eight foot swells.


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