Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Barometer was

invented in 1643

To the Editor:

An Italian scientist, Evangelista Torricelli, invented the barometer in 1643. The word barometer is derived from the Greek word "baros," meaning weight, and the Greek word "metron," meaning measure.

Essentially a barometer is an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure. It utilizes the principal of a vacuum to measure the weight of the air. The thickness of the Earth's atmosphere is not of constant thickness but ripples, like vast ocean waves moving across the surface of the planet, forming regions of high and low pressure above us.

Barometer manufacturing began in the 1670s. But the use of barometers in weather forecasting came to light in the 1860s when an English sea captain, Admiral Fitzroy, provided forecasting rules relating the rise and fall of air pressure with weather conditions. Today, barometers are the primary instrument used in all weather forecasting.

Have you ever wondered why it works the way it does? Why barometric pressure relates to weather! Is there any theory to explain this phenomena?

To explain the theory behind barometers, one must start billions of billions of miles from Earth, in the realm of dying stars. Large, short-lived stars of spectral type "O" and "B" (3-100 solar masses) produce very violent explosions called supernovas as they die. These explosions are so violent that they rip matter apart in the disintegration star sending it at near light-speed throughout our galaxy. This matter is referred to as galactic cosmic rays. Our Milky Way galaxy is awash with these high-energy particles.

Galactic cosmic rays consist primarily of protons and ions. Because the particles are charged, their travel is strongly influenced by magnetic fields. Our sun produces a strong magnetic field that extends to the edges of our solar system. This field deflects most of the cosmic rays away from the inner part of the solar system where Earth resides. But some particles do manage to make it through and penetrate down into lower Earth's atmosphere where they ionize small particles of moisture (humidity) forming them into water droplets that become clouds.

Where the Earth's atmosphere is thin, the high-energy particles are able to drive closer to the surface of the planet amplifying cloud production. Storms will develop if sufficient liquid moisture and heat is available. But if the atmosphere is thick, the particles will expend their energy in the upper atmosphere. As a result, barometric low pressure is commonly associated with clouds and storms and barometric high pressure is commonly associated with clear skies.

James A. Marusek


Road name change

was 'underhanded'

To the Editor:

This is in response to the article: Beard says commissioners done with road name changes.

The changing of the name of Crow-Hawkins Road to Tree Farm Road was done in a very underhanded way. The petition that was brought around in May was not presented to everyone on the road. When my husband was notified of the change, two weeks ago, he took a petition around to everyone on the road and informed them of the significance of the name Crow-Hawkins Road.

The majority of the residents agreed that the name should not be changed. None of this information was taken into consideration by the commissioners at the recent meeting.

The newspaper article made it sound like my husband was another complaining resident, when in reality he is an upstanding, honest citizen who cares about the history of our area. He intentionally left the "E" off of Crow-Hawkins Road because he didn't want people to think that he was naming the road after himself. The Crowe family has lived in Newark for over 100 years.

Mr. Hawkins built the house that my husband grew up in. It was built in the late 1800s, and is still being lived in. It is the oldest house on our road. All of this history of our road evidently means nothing. None of the landmarks or generations of families in our area will be recognized.

Our road will be named Tree Farm Road because a few people had connections to the right people to get it changed.

I am very disappointed in our commissioners. My husband worked very hard to present to our neighbors a road name that held some historic significance. He gave each and every one of them the option of whether they wanted to change the road name. The majority said they wanted to keep the road name Crow-Hawkins Road. My husband is an honest man, and tried to do this fairly. It's too bad that honesty and fairness don't come into play when you're dealing with politics.

Kathleen M. Crowe