Pat Shingleton: "Analyzing Droppings and Purple Lips..."
Even with advancements in models researchers continue to analyze ice cores and tree rings to investigate ancient climates. In Africa, scientists continue to invetigate communal toilets for answers. The University of Leicester noted that climate clues have been found in latrines used by rock hyrax which is an animal that resembles a large guinea pig, related to the elephant. When the animal unloaded on the rock toilets, the urine crystallized and stacked up in stratified accumulations called “middens.” Within the “middens,” organic molecules are preserved. Archaeologists believe that these animals have used the same “drop” zones through generations and from these zones researchers can also ascertain a region’s climate over 30,000 years. Hyrax urine preserves organic matter over time scales for thousands of years and the results are compared to computer generated data of past climates. As we return to the combination of high temperatures and high humidity, we embrace numerous methods of cooling down. Years ago, when the inflatable pool was “shot-up” with a B.B. gun from Doug Kelly, my Mom would take a wash tub, fill it with cold water and stick my brother Kevin in there for a few days. He enjoyed it even though his lips were purple. Once Dale and Thelma Lutz built a swimming pool, they kindly invited the entire neighborhood to seek relief. When my wife and I visit Rainbow Delights on North Harrell’s Ferry, inevitably, I get a “brain-freeze.” It also happened to Kevin at J and T Custard Stand where the Krebs family delivered an ice-cream beyond compare. Kevin kept cool with purple lips and a headache.