WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Pat Shingleton Column Pat Shingleton Column en-us Copyright 2020, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 7 Jul 2020 HH:07:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Pat Shingleton: "St. Swithin's Day and Smiley..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-st-swithin-s-day-and-smiley-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-st-swithin-s-day-and-smiley-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 1 Jul 2020 10:34:03 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

In my daily review of Smiley Anders Column, entitles "The Smiley Anders Column," a reader corrected him on the difference between St. Medard and another. The Bishop of Winchester was a Benedictine monk who died July 2, 862. Upon his death, he requested to be buried outside so the rain would fall on his grave. Apparently there was a mix-up in the village as he was entombed in a cathedral and a drought began. Once he was buried outside, the drought ended and the rain returned for 40 days. The English tradition states that if it rains on July 15, St. Swithin's Day, it will rain for 40 days. This seems to apply only to England. "St. Swithin's Day if thou dost rain, for 40 days it will remain. St.Swithin's Day if thou be fair, for 40 days 'twill rain nae mair."! Smiley called me yesterday and concocted another diddy... "If in Baton Rouge from May 'til 'tember, the rain may fall on family members." Thanks Smiley...Finally, James Heintze researched weather conditions for the Fourth of July and noted that in New York City from 1789 to 1855 rain fell on thirteen “Fourths.” On July 4, 1860, eight members of the German Fusiliers died from sunstroke in a Charleston, S.C. parade. On July 4, 1874 the New York Herald reported that “whole blocks of houses” in Washington, D.C. lost roofs when a tornado roared through the town. In Boston on July 4, 1831, The National Intelligencer reported that, “The Northern Lights were beautifully vivid at the close of the 4th.” The hottest Independence Days have come from seven cities in the Southwest including: Needles, Palm Springs, Thermal, Daggett and Blythe, CA, Phoenix and Las Vegas, AZ. Schenectady, New York reported an earthquake on July 4, 1806.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "A Fireball and a Storm Declaration..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-fireball-and-a-storm-declaration-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-fireball-and-a-storm-declaration-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 30 Jun 2020 10:31:48 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Before we head to July we return to June 30, 1908, when riders on the Trans-Siberian railroad witnessed a fireball as bright as the sun streaking across the sky. It exploded above the Tunguska River and flattened over a thousand square miles of forest. For 1,000 miles the fireball was seen and heard as scientists believe a chunk of asteroid vaporized in the lower atmosphere. July 1, 1935, found three major tornadoes ravaging Watford City, North Dakota. There was no trace of a school leveled at the mouth of the White River. Atop Stone Mountain, Georgia, on this date in 1992, two brothers were only slightly injured by lightning while flying a kite. In closing, on July 1, 1776, the final debate was underway in Philadelphia concerning whether the 13 American colonies should declare their independence from Great Britain. John Dickinson of Pennsylvania appealed for loyalty to Britain. When John Adams began his oration a summertime thunderstorm erupted. He delivered a powerful speech in the midst of flashes of lightning and rolling thunder. At Independence Hall, candles were lit for the Continental Congress while Adams continued his passionate address that some noted it to be louder than the weather outside. The following day the momentous vote was taken during another storm. Two days later, the front moved through the Philadelphia area ushering in cool air for the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "P's and Q's..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-p-s-and-q-s-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-p-s-and-q-s-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 23 Jun 2020 10:33:39 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

In the “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.”


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Ahhh-eee-ahhh-eee,eee,eee,ahhh!" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-ahhh-eee-ahhh-eee-eee-eee-ahhh-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-ahhh-eee-ahhh-eee-eee-eee-ahhh-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:34:01 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Due to the "virus" and the closing of traditional movie theaters, the outdoor venues are having a resurgence. Following Katrina and Baton Rouge absorbing many New Orleans residents, I had the pleasure of getting to know the late T.G. “Teddy” Solomon. Today marks the anniversary of the first drive-in theater, built in Camden, N.J., in 1937. Teddy built the first drive-in theater in McComb, MS and advanced the "Drive-Ins" to many locations around the country. He told me that the majority of income did not come from ticket sales but concessions. In Ellwood City, PA, we enjoyed Spotlight 88, located on Route 88 between New Brighton and Ellwood City, Pa. Today the theaters have a transmitting device that enables one to tune into a specific radio station or frequency to receive the movie's audio. Back then, it was a speaker attached to a post that you lifted and hung on the window. Dad couldn't afford refreshments from the designated refreshment stand so mom would prepare two shopping bags of buttered popcorn and thermoses of Kool-Aid. The feature that particular night starred Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan. Early evening rain increased to thunderstorms. Surprisingly, the movie continued and with static from the window speaker, my Dad clicked on the wipers as we watched Tarzan between the flashes of lightning. Just as Tarzan was swinging from vine to vine including his incredible yell..."Ah, eeee, ahhhh, eee eee eee ah..." – then it happened. Suddenly, Tarzan swung through the jungle and off the screen! The movie was over...The storm toppled the screen! My father peeled out of the parking lot, homeward bound. The next morning, my brother Denis, discovered the audio speaker still attached to the window of the station wagon.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Popping Pop and Covered Bridges" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-popping-pop-and-covered-bridges-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-popping-pop-and-covered-bridges-/ Pat Shingleton Column Fri, 19 Jun 2020 5:26:16 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

The sun is 868,000 miles across and is about 100 times the diameter of our planet.  From our childhood to now we have a greater appreciation of the sun's power. We made our own root beer. The brothers would retrieve a mixing crock from the basement and Mom would mix a root beer extract with sugar and yeast. After cleaning pop bottles, we'd funnel-in the root beer and manually cap them. The next stage included placing the bottles in the sunlight, spinning them occasionally to eliminate the sediment. It took four days to get the effervescence just-right. Before the fourth day, some of the bottles would explode. The power of sunlight and the power of the yeast gave us an extra pop in our soda-pop. Another item from days-of-old...The shade of a tree or building can reduce temperatures by eight degrees. The Ellwood City Area Historical Society Newsletter devoted an issue to the first covered bridge that connected Ellwood City, PA with Hazel Dell, a smaller village on the north side of town. The length of the bridge was 165 feet with a width of twelve feet eight inches. The width was determined to accommodate the size of buggies and wagons. These covered bridges were constructed to provide shelter for travelers during inclement weather. Also in the newsletter was the use of the spring house that preserved milk and meat from spoiling during the warm summer months in addition to supplying fresh spring water.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "No Sunset in Barrow and Memories..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-no-sunset-in-barrow-and-memories-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-no-sunset-in-barrow-and-memories-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 18 Jun 2020 10:24:57 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Springtime has been with us for 93 days. We've experienced a balance of lingering springtime and a taste of summer. Saturday will be the longest day of the year, marking the official start of the summer solstice. At 4:44 PM, Saturday, baton Rouge time, the sun will be positioned at its furthest northern point directly overhead at Noon. Elsewhere, the warmest part of the day is after noon when the sun is highest in the sky. Additional heat kicks-in due to the lag-time required for the ground and water to heat-up. North of the Arctic Circle there’s continuous sunshine for 24 hours. Sunset in Barrow, Alaska won't occur until August 3rd. Along the U.S.-Canadian border the sun appears for 16.25 hours and 14 hours, 46 minutes and 6 seconds in Baton Rouge. From a change of seasons to memories of a great Dad. I remember his "uniform;" short-sleeved shirt, bow tie, and his rolled-up dress hat that resembled "Popeye" Doyle from the movie, "The French Connection." His job involved both the hot and the cold. Going from the chill of the outdoors to the warmth of Krogers, then to the freezing temperatures of a walk-in cooler. He could take a side of beef, schlep it onto his shoulder, toss it onto a butcher-block table; cut it, grind it and have it into the meat case by days end. The drippings from that table, mixed with sawdust, would cling to his boots. Arriving home, with an armful of groceries, a regiment of neighborhood dogs would lap at those boots. He had hands the size of a "meat cleaver," but those scarred hands were also able to hold a baseball bat for "pepper" with his kids in the backyard. In his final years he was able to consistently "shoot-his-age" in golf, bowling in the winter months and gardening in spring and summer. Those same hands guided us in prayer, work, study, physical exercise, eating and sleep. The Angels collected you in 2006. Happy Father's Day, and to all Dad's. Enjoy the day.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "It's 'Kool" and Tastes Good!" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-it-s-kool-and-tastes-good-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-it-s-kool-and-tastes-good-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 17 Jun 2020 10:59:42 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

The Summer Solstice begins Saturday, June 20th at 4:44 PM, Baton Rouge time.  Prior to the official start of Summer we've noticed the opening of the "Stands." Whether they're snow-ball or ice-cream, they provide lots of flavors and an occasional "ice-cream headache." I noticed in our neighborhood, there are also some lemonade stands. When we were kids, lemons were expensive, so my mom stockpiled a fruity beverage that was invented by Edwin Perkins in 1927 called Kool-Aid. She also purchased gallons of a beverage concentrate called Reamer's Lemon Blend. It was also a popular beverage for fans at Forbes Field, where the Pittsburgh Pirates played. Following our own ball-game we'd bee-line it to the frig, quaffing down these refreshing drinks. However, my mom also saved the water from boiled potatoes to better activate the yeast for her home-made bread. Next to a pitcher of "Blend" was a same-colored quart of potato water. For me and even today, potato water is very refreshing... Whether it's a packet or a tub, more than 563 million gallons of Kool-Aid are consumed each year with 225 million gallons gulped during the summer months. Gallon-for-gallon, it's the number one most consumed beverage for kids.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Waterloo Mud and Icy Frogs..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-waterloo-mud-and-icy-frogs-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-waterloo-mud-and-icy-frogs-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 16 Jun 2020 10:27:15 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Baton Rouge, unfortunately, has experienced its share of flooding rain. Torrential rains on this date in 1815, created so much mud at Waterloo, that Napoleon delayed his attack on the British for six hours. It gave the British, with the help of Prussian reinforcements, the assistance they needed to defeat the French. During the retreat from Gettysburg, Pa, during the Civil War, storm-swollen streams stopped the pursuit of Confederate troops. In 1856, lightning struck St. Jean Church on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes. Exploding gunpowder, stored in the basement, killed more than 4,000 villagers. On May 6, 1937, the dirigible Hindenburg burst into flames over Lakehurst, NJ; due to electrical flickering from a thundercloud, igniting a mixture of air and hydrogen. Another anniversary...On this date in 1882, Dubuque Iowa’s Monthly Weather Review noted that “frog-hail” was recorded following a thunderstorm. Residents reported that melting hailstones disclosed small living frogs while larger chunks of ice also contained living frogs. The ice chunks measured between one and seventeen inches in diameter, varying from an inch to the size of baseballs and the biggest chunk weighed nearly two pounds. The Monthly Weather Review believed that the objects may not have been legitimate hailstones but a cluster of larger stones that melted together. In Pontiac, Canada, in 1864, falling ice between an inch and two inches contained small frogs and in a town that no longer exists, Bovington, Mississippi, a six-by-eight inch gopher turtle fell from a thunderstorm, entirely encased in ice.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "More Lightning Examples..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-more-lightning-examples-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-more-lightning-examples-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 15 Jun 2020 10:32:43 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

As a young boy, Matthew Nordbrock was struck by lightning on a lake in Arizona’s White Mountains.  On the summit of Mount Whitney, on this date in 1990, he was struck again. Nordbrock and friends from Huntington Beach, California, broke camp and began their ascent of Mount Whitney. By mid-afternoon they were three-quarters of the way up the mountain when a thunderstorm struck.  They sought shelter in the old Smithsonian hut, built in 1909 to house equipment for scientists. As reported by “Acts of God, The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” lightning scored a direct hit on the stone house injuring all the occupants. Emergency messages were received by a passing jetliner that contacted Los Angeles air traffic controllers initiating rescue efforts. All survived the lightning hit except for Nordbrock. Additionally, local lightning prediction systems  target activity minutes before a deadly strike on football fields, baseball diamonds and the "links."  Once a threshold is reached, horns blast, directing golfers from the course. More than 8,000 Americans have been killed by lightning over a 55 year period.  Your chances of being struck by lightning in the United States are 1 in 250,000. Your chances increase if you are golfing. In the United States, between 75 and 150 people are killed by lightning each year with 5 to 30 times that number suffering injuries. The deadliest month for lightning fatalities and injuries in the United States is July. Golfers Lee Trevino and Jerry Heard were hit by lightning during the 1975 Western Open.  In Minneapolis on June 13, 1991 a spectator and five others were injured while taking shelter under a tree during the U.S. Open. On that same date, a 37-year-old man was killed by a bolt while golfing near Louisville as two others were injured, while standing under a cluster of trees.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "A Pic of the Storm and David..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-pic-of-the-storm-and-david-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-a-pic-of-the-storm-and-david-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 10 Jun 2020 10:50:34 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Years ago the position of an approaching tropical storm was mostly a guess – at best. There was no access to computer generated satellite imagery. In 1977, I remember securing a “picture” of a satellite image of an approaching storm from the National Weather Service in Baton Rouge. This picture or “snap-shot” was dated by many hours but was the only visual to showcase this image from "uter space satellites." The standard operating procedure then was to provide coordinates of the storm’s position, allowing viewers to plot them on a paper chart. That plotting chart was a mainstay for everyone determining the storms location and possible track.  Another look back... Prior to the Pandemic, more than a million people yearly would visit the Galleria dell’ Academia in Florence, Italy, to view the 17-foot-tall masterpiece of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s biblical shepherd, known as David.  Weather has caused damage to the 512 year-old statue.  In 1512, lightning struck its base and in 1527 the left arm was broken during riots against Florence’s ruling Medici family.  From 1808 through 1815, the statue was coated with wax for weather proofing and later cleaned with steel brushes and an acidic solution. Yearly repairs include applications with cotton swabs and distilled water that are applied to David’s face. To remove body contaminants, experts apply cellulose pulp and clay.  In 1991, a vandal smacked David’s foot with a hammer and damaged a toe.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Tex Carpenter and Flying Laundry" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-tex-carpenter-and-flying-laundry-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-tex-carpenter-and-flying-laundry-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 9 Jun 2020 10:31:12 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

I recently reviewed an old Advocate column and after some reminiscing I decided to post this one for the oldies, including me..."Old-timers often reminisce about Tex Carpenter and his shenanigans.  Some time ago Grady Felder wrote, "During the early days of television, we had Tex Carpenter giving the temperature for Frazier, CO. He referred to Frazier as the 'Ice-Box' of the nation. What's the history on this?"  The late Sid Crocker replaced Tex at Channel 9 in the '70s, I followed Sid after that.  I never met Tex, but I understand he was a character.  Of course, so was Sid and Sid said so am I!  Frazier, CO, is actually Fraser and is near Winter Park, southwest of Boulder.  Back then, Tex may have been correct, but the lowest recorded temperature is minus 79.8 F at Prospect Creek Camp in Alaska.  Rogers Pass, Mont. holds the record for the lowest temperature for the Lower 48 on Jan. 20, 1954, at minus 69.7 F. Once again, thanks to Grady for the note and some great memories from 1977."  Another look-back...On this date in 1880, the Scientific American reported that in East Kent, Ontario, two farmers witnessed a cloud of stones flying upward following a cannon-like boom.  When they examined the sight of the stones they noticed a circle, sixteen feet in diameter, swept clean; verifying there was no wind or meteors that could have caused the event.  Another “upward” event occurred in Cupar, Scotland in 1841, spooking cattle. Laundry, in those days, was tramped in a tub.  Included were large sheets, curtains and clothing items that were placed upon the lawn and pinned for drying.  A loud snap, followed by a wind gust lifted the clothing and heavy items in a straight line skyward, never to be found again while smaller articles, remained in place.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Another Covering and another Tropical Storm..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-another-covering-and-another-tropical-storm-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-another-covering-and-another-tropical-storm-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 8 Jun 2020 5:55:49 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

The shade of a tree or building can reduce the temperature by eight degrees. I posted a column years ago from the Ellwood City Area Historical Society Newsletter. These folks devoted an issue of the newsletter to the first covered bridge that connected Ellwood City, PA with Hazel Dell, a smaller village on the north side of town.  The length of the bridge was 165 feet with a width of twelve feet eight inches.  The width was determined to accommodate the size of buggies and wagons. These covered bridges were constructed to provide shelter for travelers during inclement weather.  Also in the newsletter was the use of the spring house that preserved milk and meat from spoiling during the warm summer months in addition to supplying fresh spring water. Now that Christobol is downgraded and moving to the western Great Lakes, another system created consequences for us. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison weakened to a depression and stalled over eastern Texas.  On June 8, the remnants of the storm drifted south, re-forming over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.  The system lingered, spun and reorganized as a tropical cyclone before moving inland over Louisiana on the 11th. That morning, the winds increased to 45 m.p.h., as the center moved across southeastern Louisiana and southeastern Mississippi.  On June 14 it became a sub-tropical depression and tracked east-northeast, stalling over eastern North Carolina. For three days it wandered around the mid-Atlantic coast, merged with a cold front and dissipated in Nova Scotia on the 19th.  Allison was a tremendous rain machine dumping 36.99 inches on Houston and more than 20 inches in Baton Rouge.  It caused $5 billion damage and 41 deaths and became the costliest and deadliest U.S. tropical storm on record.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Allison and Another Landing..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-allison-and-another-landing-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-allison-and-another-landing-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 2 Jun 2020 10:31:56 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Arthur and Bertha were the first two of the season and Tropical Storm Critobal become the earliest Gulf Storm of the Hurricane Season, besting Colin on June 5, 2016.  Tropical Storm Allison brings back June memories. that weakened to a depression and stalled over eastern Texas.  On June 8, 2001 the remnants of the storm drifted south, re-forming over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.  The system lingered, spun and reorganized as a tropical cyclone before moving inland over Louisiana on the 11th. That morning, the winds increased to 45 m.p.h., as the center moved across southeastern Louisiana and southeastern Mississippi.  On June 14 it became a sub-tropical depression and tracked east-northeast, stalling over eastern North Carolina. For three days it wandered around the mid-Atlantic coast, merged with a cold front and dissipated in Nova Scotia on the 19th.  Allison was a tremendous rain machine dumping 36.99 inches on Houston and more than 20 inches in Baton Rouge.  It caused $5 billion damage and 41 deaths and became the costliest and deadliest U.S. tropical storm on record. Finally, the invasion of Europe on June 6, 1944 was the greatest military operation in history. If the weather was unfavorable for Operation Overlord, it would have postponed the invasion for two weeks until tides were suitable for landing.  Weatherwise Magazine reported that in 1944, there were no meteorological observations or the use of computer models. Years ago, predicting the weather over the English Channel was challenging.  Weathermen depended on secretive ship and plane reports and from spies on the European mainland.  These observations were coded, forwarded to England and tediously plotted to maps by hand. Numerous groups extrapolated the data including: a civilian group in Dunstable, England, The British Meteorological Service, U.S forecasters called “Widewing” and the British Navy. On May 31, 1944, a series of low pressure systems from Nova Scotia to Scotland displayed characteristics of a possible hurricane. The persistent Azores high could deflect the storms however with too much cloud cover, the advance bombers would be useless with too much wind as the landing craft couldn’t function.  Dr. J.M. Stagg , Operational Meteorologist, coordinated all forecasts to produce a consensus that met the approval of General Eisenhower who attended the daily weather briefings.  Initially, Stagg was not optimistic about the invasion and encouraged a postponement to the Supreme Commander on June 4. On June 5, he predicted that “tolerable” weather was expected on the Normandy Coast for the landing on June 6.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Thank Goodness for the Bouquet..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-thank-goodness-for-the-bouquet-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-thank-goodness-for-the-bouquet-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 1 Jun 2020 10:36:16 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Welcome to June with 18 days until summertime starts.Traditionally, May and June were the months that the majority nuptials took place. Long before air conditioning, antiperspirants and perfumes, hot temperatures and high humidity created some bothersome odors. To combat these “smells”, brides would carry a bouquet of flowers and the tradition continues today. Years ago, roofs on houses were thatched with thick straw and no rafters. The straw protected dogs, cats, mice and bugs from the elements. During persistent showers, thunderstorms or a brief downpour, the animals and insects would fall from the roof. These episodes initiated the saying… “It’s raining cats and dogs.”  If your wedding is this weekend, prepare for a few more showers possibly complemented by Tropical Storm Cristobal, currently a Tropical Depression in the "toe" of the Gulf of Mexico the Bay of Campeche.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "The Little Conemaugh River..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-little-conemaugh-river-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-the-little-conemaugh-river-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 28 May 2020 10:35:49 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

On May 31, 1889, heavy rains brought the Little Conemaugh River in Pennsylvania to bank full. The force of the river blasted through the South Fork Dam and funneled a wall of water 40 feet high at 22 feet per second into Johnstown, killing 2,100 people, leveling trees, houses and buildings in its path. Venice, Italy, is called the world's most serene city. Because of flooding, ancient buildings are dissolving and in 2003 they launched "Project Moses." Three inlets to the lagoon that surround Venice are now fitted with sixty foot, hollow steel gates. The gates lie flat on the sea floor and when high tide threatens, the gates will rise on hinges and block the flood. In addition to the virus that plagued Italy, this year the gates could not retain the massive rain that impacted the city.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Too Much Light and Heat..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-too-much-light-and-heat-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-too-much-light-and-heat-/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 26 May 2020 10:33:56 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:


We're fortunate in south Louisiana to have the atmospheric characteristics to enjoy marvelous sunrises and sunsets.  Research indicates that after sunset there are physical benefits. Scientists discovered that only when it's really dark can your body produce the hormone melatonin.  Melatonin fights diseases, including breast and prostate cancer.  Small amounts of light around your bed at night switch off the production of melatonin. A dark night may keep certain cancers under control. Light during the evening hours, even emanating from your bedroom television, turns on other immune system hormones that should be activated only in daytime.  If these hormones are depleted, you could be more likely to catch a cold.  Scientists believe nature also needs darkness, as animals' immune systems grow weak if there's artificial light at night.  So turn off everything, enjoy your rest and wake up with dawn's early light. Finally, bogus stories lace the colorful history of Death Valley, CA. Here's a good one.  In 1874, the editor of the Virginia Territorial Enterprise needed some space to fill.  He concocted a story about a scientist who invented a suit called, "solar armor."  The scientist covered himself with a sponge-like material, saturated himself with water and set across the desert.  According to the newspaper article, they discovered the inventor perched on a rock, frozen solid.  The rapid evaporation of water had supposedly turned the sponge into ice.  The scientist's beard was covered with frost and a foot-long icicle hung from the end of his nose.  Back then, the story had the trappings of scientific fact.  The hoax was so successful that newspapers all over the world reprinted it. Perspiring does lower the body temperature, as more people have died of dehydration in Death Valley than heat stroke. 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Windows Down, Air Up..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-windows-down-air-up-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-windows-down-air-up-/ Pat Shingleton Column Thu, 21 May 2020 10:38:53 PM Pat Shingleton Pat Shingleton:

Open vehicle windows will cool the occupants through evaporation and closed windows reduce automobile drag and possibly less fuel consumption. In 1933, conditioned air was introduced for luxury cars and limousines and Packard’s were the first manufacturers to install them in their 1940 models. Twelve years later, air conditioning became a standard feature in the Chrysler Imperial. Since then, virtually all vehicles have air conditioning and around here it is certainly welcome. Experts suggest opening  the windows before activating the AC controls.  Research indicates that the car dashboard, seats and even air fresheners emit a cancer causing carcinogen called Benzene and a vehicle in direct sunlight at 60 degrees increases Benzene levels by 40 times over acceptable levels. These directives are also identified in your vehicle owner’s manual. Car manufacturers suggest vacating the internal heat by opening the windows first and activating the air conditioner-second.  Years ago, researchers at "ExxonMobil" extracted citrus oil from orange and lemon peels to eliminate Benzene in vehicles.  The implementation of a hydrocarbon substitute involves manipulating molecules in similar ways that polymers are processed. As dashboards, steering wheels, seat covers and other plastic components have been implemented in the past, current vehicles include the same components made from citrus products. Finally, with face masks becoming the newest accessory, the response to someone sneezing is, "God bless you," or "Bless You." This practice originated in 77 AD when it was believed that a person's soul could be tossed from their body when they sneezed. It also opened the body for a Devil invasion. Through the centuries it was also believed that the heart stops beating during a sneeze and could possibly be exacerbated by holding back the sneeze. "Gesundheit," following a sneeze means "good luck or all the best." The wind speed from a common cough has been determined to be around 17 miles per hour and a sneeze is around 20 miles per hour.  The Natural Resources Defense Council verifies each year that one-in-three Americans reside in the sneeziest and wheeziest cities and regions in the country. Ragweed, pollen and ozone contribute the increase in sneezing. Prior to Covid-19, researchers believed that as climate change warms the planet, millions more Americans could become ill with severe respiratory allergies and asthma. The report targeted 35 cities where exposure to ragweed and ozone smog is at its highest. The most vulnerable regions are the Los Angeles Basin, the St. Louis area, the Great Lakes Region, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Of the 35 cities not one is located in Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama. Orlando and Dallas are the only cities in Florida and Texas. Four cities are in Pennsylvania, six in Ohio and Los Angeles is the only standout for California. I find it interesting that when I hear folks sneeze during religious ceremonies, no one responds with "God Bless You..."


 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Lightining Shockers and the Weather-Schtick" https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-lightining-shockers-and-the-weather-schtick-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-lightining-shockers-and-the-weather-schtick-/ Pat Shingleton Column Wed, 20 May 2020 10:52:36 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

We’ve presented numerous columns on human lightning rods and on this date in 1946 in Kenton, Ohio, it happened again. Charles Brown was bonked by a lightning bolt for the tenth time while visiting the public library.   The Almanac of the Infamous, Incredible and Ignored reportsed that Roy Cleveland Sullivan, a forest ranger from Waynesboro, Virginia, was zapped seven times within a 36-year-period.  This included episodes while on duty in a fire lookout tower when he was popped in his toenail while other times included scorched eyebrows, shoulder burns and hair fire. Carl “Sparky” Mize has been hit four times when the first occasion occurred while riding a bull in the rodeo circuit. He was also “bolted” when lightning ricocheted into the handle of his pick-up truck. Trees attract lightning hits. A “weatherstick” is made from a branch that was once attached to a portion of a tree trunk. Traditionally the balsam fir tree was used with the bark stripped from the stick allowing it to bend.  If the stick bent skyward, fair, dry weather was expected and should it bend toward the ground, foul, wet weather could be expected.  The stick was usually fifteen inches long and pencil thin and surprisingly displayed some assembalance of accuracy. The reason the stick bent was due to relative humidity. Coniferous and other softwood trees such as pine or spruce were composed of two different kinds of wood. Similar to the Rittenhouse Hygrometer, the top contains plain wood while the bottom is compressed wood. The stick moves because the wood on the bottom contracts lengthwise more than the top and it bends down.  The opposite occurs when relative humidity rises towards its original position.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Anniversary Events..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-anniversary-events--131372/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-anniversary-events--131372/ Pat Shingleton Column Tue, 19 May 2020 10:36:45 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:


On this date in 1932, Amelia Earhart began a solo transatlantic flight from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. The take-off occurred five years to the day when Charles Lindbergh flew from Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris.  Her red Lockheed Vega logged a smooth flight until midnight.  She then hit a severe thunderstorm and decreased her altitude after experiencing ice conditions.  Three hours into the flight her altimeter and gasoline gauges broke. With fuel running down the back of her neck, flames were shooting out of the manifold. Skimming the ocean surface to reduce icing and after 15 hours and 2,026 miles, she landed outside Londonderry, Ireland, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the “pond” and the first person to cross the Atlantic twice by airplane. Also, on this date in 1946 in Kenton, Ohio, Charles Brown, while checking out a book at the public library, was struck by lightning.  This was the tenth time that he was hit.  “The Almanac of the Infamous, The Incredible and The Ignored” reported that there have been numerous documented human multiple lightning strikes.  A forest ranger from Waynesboro, Virginia was bopped seven times in a thirty six year stretch.  Cleveland Sullivan lost a toenail while on duty in a fire lookout tower in 1942.  In 1969 a bolt scorched his eyebrows and in 1972 and 1973, lightning lit up his hair.  Carl Mize, known also as Sparky, was hit four times, once on the rodeo circuit and another strike put a hole in his shoe.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Pat Shingleton: "Rittenhouse..." https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-rittenhouse-/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/pat-shingleton-rittenhouse-/ Pat Shingleton Column Mon, 18 May 2020 9:47:25 PM Pat Shingleton: Pat Shingleton:

Hygroscopic means having an affinity for water in both vapor and liquid form.   The slow, silent influence on wood is relative humidity and through the constant exchange of water vapor with the air, wood absorbs moisture when humidity rises and releases that moisture when it drops. The moisture content of wood is the weight of the water it contains as a percentage of the wood’s oven-dry weight and is identified as the EMC or equilibrium moisture content. The moisture content of wood in live trees ranges from 30 to 200%. As the wood swells and shrinks it gains or loses water once it is at or below the 30 percent mark. This is referred to as the fiber saturation point. We live in an area with elevated measures of humidity and experience the shrinking and changing shapes of indoor wood.  Examples include gaps between floorboards, creaking stairs, trim joints opening up, piano sound-boards changing tunes with doors and drawers that once stuck, opening easily.  Of course the process reverses when higher levels of relative humidity restores moisture content to its original levels. David Rittenhouse made mathematical instruments for surveying and astronomy and in the 1700s invented the Rittenhouse Hygrometer. This weather instrument registers the relative humidity of the air by using wood as its sensor. Rittenhouse's device registered the expansion and contraction of wood detected through the wood’s grain.  Wood swells and shrinks about 80 times as much around the growth rings and 40 times as much across the rings.  Rittenhouse took two identically sized strips of mahogany, glued them together to complete a single slat and attached one end to a base; placing a tipped pointer on the other end.  When the humidity rose, the strip swelled, forcing the slat to bend and when it dropped the strip shrank and bent.  Realizing technology has advanced needed measurements, Rittenhouse’s invention is used today by designers of plywood, laminated floors and layered wood to ensure that these products remain flat as they adjust to the power of relative humidity.


Permalink| Comments


]]>