Pat Shingleton: "Blizzard and The Glacier..."
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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