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Pat Shingleton:"Thunderstones and Hot Stuff..."

6 years 10 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, July 06 2016 Jul 6, 2016 July 06, 2016 4:20 AM July 06, 2016 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

In the old days, French peasants would carry "thunderstones," or pierres de tonnerre, in their pockets to ward off lightning.  When they would hear the thunder, they would recite a verse, "Pierre, Pierre, garde moi de la tonnerre." which means. "Stone, stone, protect me from the thunder." Many believed the oblong pieces of rock are the arrowheads of spent lightning bolts. After the thunderstorms, people would head to the fields, sifting through the dirt for these objects.  The artifacts they found were probably from the Stone Age.  The tradition continued for years with German soldiers carrying thunderstones or "donnerkeile" to battle, thinking they would ward off real bullets. On Tuesday another Heat Advisory was issued. The Center for Atmospheric Research has used climate modeling techniques to predict where heat waves will occur.  They have concluded that Europe and North America are most likely to experience more frequent, longer and more intense heat waves.  With oven-like weather expected until the end of August heat is the single largest killer of all weather phenomena and those that perished were the poor and elderly. In late July and early August, 2006, Paris and Berlin hit 95 while London jumped to 98. Hundreds of fatalities were reported but didn’t compare to the 35,000 live lost in the summer of 2003.  Many all-time heat records in the United States were established during the hot Dust Bowl Summer of 1930's.

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