Pat Shingleton: "Windows Down, Air Up..."
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..."