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March 24, 2020
Issue # 1033
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THUNDERSTORMS by Janet Spencer Your Full Service Jewelry Store • Inventory • Service • Value
As you read this, there are 2,000 thunderstorms in progress across the earth. Around 100 lightning strikes will hit the ground in the time it takes to read this sentence. Storms and lightning are an essential part of our ecosystem. Thunderstorms owe their existence to two scientific principles. First, warm air rises. Second, cool air cannot hold as much water as warm air can.
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• Hot air rises. That’s why smoke goes up a chimney and hot air balloons float. The sun warms the surfaces it falls upon, heating air above it. The hot air rises, creating a vacuum. Cool air flows in from the sides to replace it, and is also warmed. Soon there’s a steady column of hot air rising. • There is much water vapor in air. Warm air holds a greater amount of water than cold air does. When warm air cools, it drops the water, forming a cloud. (This is why you exhale little clouds on cold days.) • Cold air sinks. When the rising air has cooled, it falls and forms a downdraft. After sinking, it heats up again and is swept up in the updraft. The cloud continues to grow as more heated air rises into it, like a balloon being blown up. Now there are conflicting air currents inside the cloud. These currents frequently become unbelievably strong. (continued next page)
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THUNDERSTORMS (cont.) • Tiny droplets combine until they become big enough to fall against the updrafts, creating a stronger downdraft. Soon the downdraft becomes so strong that it chokes off the updraft, and the storm abates. • Billions of particles of water and dust collide and shatter in the cloud’s violent winds. Electrons, the electrically charged particles that revolve around the nucleus of an atom, are knocked loose. Some atoms pick up extra electrons, and other atoms are short of electrons. Therefore, some atoms acquire a negative charge; some positive. The negatively charged particles drop to the lower level of the cloud and the positively charged particles are carried to the upper layers. The cloud has a negative charge on the bottom and a positive charge on top. The ground below the cloud has a positive charge. Lightning occurs when the opposite charges become too strong to keep away from each other any longer. Lightning is the electrical discharge from one region of charged particles to another region of oppositely charged particles. The light is the glow of atoms and molecules that are energized by this electrical discharge.
In this issue of TidbitsMOV our girl Tammy Tidbits is hiding. When you find her, to enter the weekly contest, please send us a message including your name, your contact information: mail address and email, the issue number you are referring to and which ad is hosting Tammy for the week! Visit www.tidbitsmov.com or send the answer with the above information to firstname.lastname@example.org OR you may send us a private message to our Facebook page - Tidbits MOV. PLEASE do not post the answer directly to the page - that ruins the fun for everyone. All winners will be drawn randomly from correct responses and will be posted weekly. As with all our contests, though you are welcome to play every week, you are only eligible for one winner per household per month.
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SHOCKING FACTS • The small shock from static electricity after walking across a carpet or stroking a cat is identical to lightning, on a much smaller scale. • The core of lightning ranges in width from 1/10 of an inch to 2 inches, but the energized area can range from 3 to 20 feet wide. • Cloud to ground flashes are rarely over a mile long, but cloud to cloud bolts can travel over 100 miles, sometimes hitting the earth. This is known as a “bolt out of the blue.” • In Pittsburgh in July of 1947, one bolt was measured at 345,000 amperes. Normal household current is 15 amperes. • A flash may last from 1/500th of a second to 2 seconds. (cont.)
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THUNDERSTORMS (cont.) • A large thundercloud may hold 150,000 tons of water, which would be enough to fill a pond a mile long, 300 feet wide, and 5 feet deep. • During a heavy storm when 2 inches of rain falls, 90 lbs. of water fall on each square yard of earth, or more than 200 tons an acre. • Over 4 trillion gallons of water fall on the continental U.S. every day as precipitation. • The Rocky Mountain area gets about 50 to 70 thunderstorm days annually. Kampala, Uganda has about 242 thunderstorm days each year. Java, Indonesia, has about 223. In Arctic and Antarctic regions where air is cold and stable, there may be a thunderstorm once every ten years. In deserts there is plenty of heat but no moisture, and therefore few storms. In the U.S., Florida is the state with the most storms. In Florida, lightning strikes the average square mile of ground up to 46 times per year.
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THE RUMBLE OF THUNDER • The temperature of the air surrounding a lightning bolt heats up to about 27,000° F. Consider that the surface of the sun is only 10,000°! Thunder is caused when the air along the bolt expands with explosive violence, radiating pressure waves through the atmosphere. Thunder can usually be heard for seven miles clearly, but can sometimes be heard for 40, although it is seldom heard for more than 20.
THE PURPOSE OF LIGHTNING • Lightning serves two purposes: it balances out the electrical charges between earth and sky, and it fertilizes the soil. • There are around eight million strikes per day. Each stroke carries about 250 kilowatt hours of electricity. Lightning is the only way to achieve electrical balance on earth.
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• Nitrogen is the world’s best fertilizer. It’s a vital element in the food chain for plants, animals, and humans. It is absorbed through the roots of a plant, and it returns to the atmosphere through decomposition. The air in our atmosphere is made of four parts nitrogen to one part oxygen. The heat from a bolt of lightning combines nitrogen chemically with rain. The rain brings the fixed nitrogen to earth where it can be absorbed by plants. About 100 million tons of nitrogen are washed down into the soil each year. That’s more than all the fertilizer plants in the world can manufacture. Life couldn’t exist without it. • A single strike can scorch an area as small as a spot or as large as 25 acres. In the U.S., lightning is the sixth most frequent cause of structural fire and accounts for 11 percent of annual fire losses. It is responsible for nearly half of all fires occurring in national forests. The largest dry lightning storm on record started 1,488 fires in the northern Rockies during a 10-day period in June of 1940. Between 1940 and 1975, around 230,000 lightning fires occurred on the national forests of the Western U.S. • The effect of lightning on a tree that is hit depends on how long it has been raining. If the tree is wet to the base, the electricity will follow the water film down the trunk to the ground, leaving the tree intact. If the tree is not wet to the ground, the lightning will follow the sap down the inside of the tree. The sap vaporizes, and because it’s confined to narrow channels, it blows the tree apart. Oak trees suffer from explosions more than other kinds of trees because they have rough barks that don’t carry water as well as smooth bark. • The danger from lightning is at its greatest when the storm is approaching, just before the rain begins. About 25 percent of all lightning fatalities occur when people seek shelter beneath tall trees— an easy target.
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• Several conditions are required in the atmosphere in order for hailstorms to occur. First, towering cumulonimbus clouds must be present. These are the anvil or mushroom shaped clouds that reach heights of up to 65,000 feet. Second, there must be high concentrations of super-cooled water contained within the cloud. Third, there must be strong air currents rising and falling within the cloud. These updrafts and downdrafts tumble ice particles around within the cloud, adding successive layers of ice. • A newly formed hailstone is too light to fall to the ground, so it remains suspended in the thunderstorm by the updraft. Hailstones move through the thunderstorm like lottery balls mixing in a tumbler. The hailstone grows as it collects water on its surface and freezes, a process that forms ice in layers like an onion. • A hailstone the size of a golf ball requires winds of 60 mph (96 kph) to keep it elevated within the cloud. When winds begin to diminish, or when the hailstone becomes too heavy, it falls. When you cut a hailstone in half, you can see rings of ice. Some rings are milky white while others are clear. Counting the layers gives an indication of how many times the hailstone travelled to the top of the storm cloud. • An average of 5,000 hailstorms hit the U.S. every year. • The average size of a hailstone is 1/4 inch (6 cm) in diameter. Only one out of every 800 thunderstorms will produce walnut-sized hail. Hail the size of a grapefruit or larger accounted for just 0.5 percent of all the hail reported during the past 60 years. • The tiniest and softest hail pellets are called graupel and they are more like pellets of snow. The word “graupel” is the diminutive form of the German word “graupe” meaning “pearl barley.” (cont. page #7)
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ridges in the stems are an indication of a lack of freshness. The stalks should not be limp or dry at the cut and of uniform thickness. If you're planning to use the asparagus on the same day, rinse it under cool water, pat the stalks dry with a paper towel. Smaller stalks can be broken or cut at the point where the stem naturally snaps. Peeling the end of thicker stalks with a paring knife or a vegetable peeler removes any woody stems and can be done up to two hours before cooking. Place the prepared asparagus in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to stay crisp until ready to cook. Fresh asparagus should never be washed or soaked before storing. If the asparagus is bound with a rubber band, remove it, as it will pinch and bruise the stalks. Asparagus can be stored for up to two days if the stalks are trimmed and placed upright in a jar with about an inch of water in the bottom. Cover the asparagus with a plastic bag and store the spears in the refrigerator. Asparagus is also a nutritional powerhouse. One half-cup of cooked asparagus contains significant amounts of folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and beta-carotene. It's also a heart-healthy food, and a natural diuretic. This versatile vegetable works well as a roomtemperature appetizer, blended into a soup, as the main ingredient in a colorful salad, a flavorful side dish or as part of a main course like my recipe for Asparagus With Fusilli Pasta and Peas. Preparing asparagus is a delicious and nutritious way to celebrate spring.
During a visit to Germany, I was introduced to all things asparagus. Nothing says spring is here in Germany like a beautiful bunch of crisp, white asparagus, or as they call it, Spargel! The white variety of asparagus is harvested in Germany from about mid-April to June 24, which is known as St. John the Baptist Day. Rich in nutrients and very low in calories, asparagus has become a culinary status symbol for many Germans. According to the website, germanfood.org, it takes three years for an asparagus plant to produce its first tip. For white asparagus, soil is piled into kneehigh banks, which give the fields their characteristic appearance. White asparagus grows best in sandy soil surrounded by mounds of earth, which protects the slender stalks from sunlight exposure and keeps them from turning green. This also affects the subtle flavor of the vegetable. From Baden-Wurttemberg to Brandenburg, certain rural areas in Germany take special pride in being prime asparagus growing regions. Four states are even home to scenic "Asparagus Routes," which have created an asparagus tasting tourism. Green varieties of asparagus are more popular in America and are available year-round. Asparagus is easy to select and to prepare and comes in a variety of vibrant colors, including green, violet, purple ASPARAGUS WITH FUSILLI and white. Asparagus also grows wild and is commercially available fresh, frozen and canned. VariPASTA AND PEAS ous types and colors of asparagus can be used 12 ounces fusilli pasta (or penne or farfalle) without any noticeable difference in the taste, so mix and match colors and sizes for visual interest. 1 pound asparagus, white, green, purple or violet or a mixture Asparagus should be crisp and firm, not limp or 4 ounces sugar snap peas wrinkled, with tightly closed tips. Dull colors and
1 cup frozen peas 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 3/4 cup minced onions (1/2 large white onion) 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper 2 cups chicken broth 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling 1. Bring a 5- to 6-quart pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook as package directs. Add asparagus and sugar snap peas about 3 minutes before the recommended time for the pasta to be done. Add frozen peas 2 minutes before the recommended time for the pasta to be done. 2. Drain pasta and vegetable mixture, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta and vegetable mixture to pasta pot. 3. While pasta cooks, heat oil in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes or cayenne. Saute 5 minutes until tender. Add broth and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. 4. Add onion mixture and lemon zest; gently toss to mix and coat the pasta. Toss with 1 cup of the Parmesan and 1/2 cup of the pasta water, as needed, to create a sauce that coats the pasta. Use the rest of the cheese to sprinkle on pasta. Serves 4. ***
Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children's author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is "The Kitchen Diva's Diabetic Cookbook." Her website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis. (c) 2020 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis
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tidbitsmov.com "Be known before you're needed" advertise with Tidbits© (304) 210-3812 Page 7 Is a Raw Food Diet Better for Pets?
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DEAR PAW'S CORNER: Do you recommend feeding pets a raw food diet? A friend of mine who also is a pet owner told me that my dog would be much healthier eating raw meat than eating kibble. What's your take? -Ð Confused in Seattle DEAR CONFUSED: I try not to endorse one pet diet over another, but I do encourage owners to research different ways to feed their pets. Many owners are justifiably concerned over the ingredients contained in commercial "kibble" type pet foods. Feeding pets a raw food diet needs to be done mindfully. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both (unsurprisingly) recommend against feeding raw meat or poultry to pets, saying that bacteria like salmonella or listeria can contaminate uncooked foods. So there is a risk of pets getting ill. If you're careful about preparing their food, this risk can be minimized. There's also an increasing amount of raw pet food available to purchase, making prep a lot easier and less time-consuming. Another concern whether pets get the right amount of critical nutrients on a raw food diet. Dry kibble is often fortified with a mix of nutrients so that dogs and cats don't suffer from nutrient deficiencies. You might consider continuing to feed your dog kibble at least some of the time, in addition to a raw food diet, if time or fresh ingredients are scarce. Ask your dog's veterinarian about the pros and cons of a raw food diet, and if they have any recommendations for foods to give your dog to ensure good health. Readers, do you feed your pet a raw food diet? Tell your story by emailing email@example.com. Send your questions, tips or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. (c) 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.
The next couple of weeks will be uncharted territory for all of us.TidbitsMOV encourages everyone to continue supporting our small businesses all around us, They are the lifeblood of our community.While for a brief time things may become confused it will all get back to normal soon and this time will be a memory that will make us stronger for the future. Our Tidbits goal is to provide a break from the weight of everyday stress and a bit of levity, so hang in there. If you miss a printed copy take a peak at our online version, or contact us and we will let you know where to get one. It will "Feed Your Mind." Plus visit our Facebook page, it will be loaded with local happy things! As always, Thanks For Reading Tidbits!
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HAIL (cont.) • Cheyenne, Wyoming gets more hail than any other place in the U.S., with about 10 hailstorms annually. About one thunderstorm in six is accompanied by hail in Cheyenne. In Miami, only one in 71 brings hail. • The states with the most severely damaging hailstorms are Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. • About 73 percent of all hailstorms occur between 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm. • July and August are the biggest months for hail in the western U.S. • It almost never hails in the tropics or in the Arctic. It never hails when the ground temperature is below freezing. • Large hailstones fall at speeds of up to 100 mph (160 kph). • An average of about 24 people get hurt from hail each year. • In Kansas, a 1959 hailstorm covered an area 9 miles long (14.5 km) and 6 miles wide (9.7 km) in hail to a depth of 18 inches (46 cm). • A hailstorm over Alberta, Canada in 1953 killed around 36,000 wildfowl. Four days later a second hailstorm killed 27,000 more. • After one hailstorm in Iowa in June of 1882, two small living frogs were found inside hailstones. They had probably been carried into the clouds by a tornado. • A deadly hailstorm in Moradabad, India, in 1888 killed more than 250 people. In 1986, a hailstorm in Gopalganj, Bangladesh, killed 92 people. The hailstones were reported to weigh up to a 2 pounds (1 kg). • The largest hailstone ever documented fell in Vivian, South Dakota, in 2010. It was 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, and 18.5 inches (46 cm) in circumference, making it about the size of a volleyball, and weighed just under two pounds (1 kg).
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Tidbits of the Mid-Ohio Valley Issue#1033 March 24, 2020