Pat Shingleton: "Building Lights, Rescue Dogs and the President's Death..."
When we were kids a road trip included Pittsburgh, PA and the Gulf building, whose lights changed colors with changing weather. Similar to the Gulf Building, The Hancock Tower in Boston shines blue to indicate a clear view, flashing blue when clouds are due, steady red for rain ahead and flashing red for snow. When the Sox won the World Series in 2004, for the first time since 1918, they broke the "Curse of the Bambino" that was placed on the team when Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees. Following their victory, the Hancock Tower lights flashed the team colors of red and blue for the very first time and continually for three days as the team's victory parade motored through Bean Town. Also, February is the deadliest month for avalanche victims and Colorado leads the nation in fatalities. The famous St. Bernard’s are considered the original rescue dogs but golden retrievers, with the use of helicopters, are lowered into the Colorado wilderness. The dogs and their trainers are members of the elite Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment Team. Their mission is to respond to avalanches, saving people before they die. The team not only uses highly trained dogs and medics but ski mounted avalanche technicians. A snow buried victim only has 15 minutes for rescue, and then their chances drop 50-percent. Dogs are the single most important tool that rescuers have and one dog is worth a hundred human rescuers. In closing, yesterday we recognized the birthday of our first president in 1732, here's a review of weather related excerpts from his diaries. Washington was not a scientific observer of the weather, as was Thomas Jefferson. His weather interests mirrored his agricultural interests and in writing to his farm manager, William Pearce on December 22, 1793, he recognized the importance of a thermometer at Mount Vernon. His diary notes the weather difficulties that he experienced, including his seasick days during a stormy voyage to Barbados and the cruel winter at Valley Forge. An ill-advised horseback ride in a December storm could have contributed to his death which today would have been recognized as a streptococcus infection. His prized weather instrument was the weather vane, remaining in use atop the cupola at Mount Vernon.
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