A little Flu Update: If you’ve been a regular visitor to this here blog, then you can recall the information that I set forth about the Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1918. That pandemic killed 50 million around the world and it has been a mystery as to how that strain of flu got so tough. Well, researchers may have found an answer. Somehow these guys have managed to find three genes that were specific to the 1918 bug that caused the flu to cause extreme pneumonia. What seems scary to me is that they have recreated the virus or at least have that virus. Maybe I’ve seen too many movies but let us hope that someone doesn’t swipe the virus or it doesn’t inadvertantly get released. Here’s the story of the latest discovery.
On This date in History: This one is pretty odd. On This date in 1823, the citizens of Hamilton and Rossville
Ohio heard a lecture by John Symmes and the following day the two towns passed resolutions that the earth was hollow!
In the late 17th Century, astronomer Edmund Halley suggested that the earth had four concentric spheres and that there was a hollow area in the center with small entrances at each pole. Inside the hollow area, Halley said there was life and there was illumination. He thought that the auroa was caused by gasses being released from the openings at the poles. Well, this guy John Symmes carried on that idea and began a series of lectures designed to gain financial support for an expedition. He said, “I ask 100 brave companions…to start from Siberia…I engage we find a warm and rich land, stocked with thrifty vegetables and animals…northward of latitude 82.” He wanted to sail over curved rim of a polar hole into a hollow earth. Believe it or not, Symmes not only convinced the people of the Ohio towns, but also some Congressmen who tried to get public funding for the expeditions. A hollow earth fellow traveler, Jeremiah Reynolds, joined the chorus by stressing the commercial potential of the eccentric expedition. Today, Congress might hide an earmark for the funding but in 1823, it showed fiscal restraint.
However, that restraint didn’t last too long because, 15 years later, the Congress actually appropriated $30,000 for Charles Wilkes to sail to Antarctica. In 1838, Wilkes set sail with 6 wooden ships to check out the South Pole. He first tried to nose in but was rebuffed when amidst strong winds, high seas and pack ice, one of his ships sunk taking the full crew with it. So, he decided on a different route, venturing into the South Pacific and charting Hawaii, Tahiti and Samoa. Sounds like the government funded a nice vacation in island paradises to me. However, unlike Fletcher Christian, Wilkes did not get so enamoured by Tahiti and he sailed to Australia and then to the South Pole. He actually ended up making a pretty decent map of the frozen continent and today there is a 1500 mile stretch of coastline in Antarctica named Wilke’s Land.
None of that would have happened without the outlandish claims of Symmes and Reynolds, who planted the seed for Congress to fund an expedition to Antarctica to find the hole in the earth. Now, when Admiral Byrd flew over the poles(1926 and 1929), it should have put to rest the rumors of a hollow earth. But, like those who want to chase Chemtrails, hollow earth proponents refused to accept the facts and instead claim that Byrd actually entered “Symmes Hole” because Byrd had referred to Antarctica as the “Land of Everlasting Mystery” and said, “I’d like to see the land beyond the pole. That area beyond the pole is the center of the great unknown.” In 1906, William Reed took a different tact and said there was no north and south pole but instead there were entrances to the center of the earth and in 1913, Marshall Gardiner went so far as to say that there was sun 600 miles in diameter in the center of the earth. Of course, no one has reported any holes but…the claim was it was a government cover-up!! So, there you have it…it can’t be any more clear…Admiral Byrd has gone into the hollowed out earth and there is a government conspiracy to prevent anyone from finding out…I told you that it sounded like Chemtrails.
Weather Bottom Line:
We have a system that will drop down on Friday. If you look at the GFS critical thickness,
all lines are south of our region. However, it would appear that moisture is limited with this scenario and the GFS tosses out numerically less than a quarter inch of snow. That’s it. Now, just because the GFS has all of the critical lines south, it does not mean that will necessarily come to bear. Instead, it would be possible that what precipitation does occur could very well do so during a time of transition and so some of the critical thickness lines may indeed not be so neatly lined up and instead there could be air at the surface that is slightly above freezing or perhaps even some layers in between the bottom and top of the atmosphere that is above freezing as it is precipitating. So, this bottom line at this time would be perhaps a little nuisance snow at best with a real possibility that we have a mixed bag of stuff that will not bring joy to anyone. It’ll be fun to watch and see how it shakes out but I wouldn’t break out the snow shoes just yet. I’m really getting tired of us being cold but not getting any action. Quite boring. Snow White and I spent Christmas in Houston where it was in the mid to upper 70s most of the time and if we can’t have snow, then I’d rather have that than this boring, cold stuff. But alas…in the words of US Grant..”man proposes, God disposes.”