Reaching out through his Twitter account (where he has more than a million followers), Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker rallied his troops of plows and shovelers to the places they were needed most. A few examples from TIME’s article on Booker’s heroic efforts:
“Just doug [sic] a car out on Springfield Ave and broke the cardinal rule: ‘Lift with your Knees!!’ I think I left part of my back back there,” he reported in one message. One person let Booker know, via Twitter, that the snowy streets were preventing his sister from buying diapers. About an hour later, Booker was at the sister’s door, diapers in hand.
It snowed and snowed and snowed in Britain this week, enough that many people in the country got stuck at home. But some of those people still had a good time. A Web site intended to help restless married people meet one another called IllicitEncounters.com reports a surge in new members over the last few days—more than 2,500 in the last six days—particularly from areas hit hard by the wintry weather, like Hampshire and Berkshire. From Reuters:
“In light of these figures, I’d be interested to see how much work those ‘working from home’ have actually done,” IlicitEncounters.com spokeswoman Sara Hartley said in a statement.
Since World War II, Russian scientists have been researching ways to bend the weather to their liking. Today, they routinely ensure sun-splashed Victory Day celebrations by chasing away clouds using a technology known as cloud seeding (the same technology the Chinese government used to chase away clouds during the Beijing summer Olympics).
It’s nice to have sunny parades, but Moscow officials believe they can use their technology to alter the weather and save some rubles, according to the Los Angeles Times:
Now they’re poised to battle the most inevitable and emblematic force of Russian winter: the snow.
Moscow’s government, led by powerful and long-reigning Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, has indicated that clearing the capital’s streets of snow is simply too expensive. Instead, officials are weighing a plan to seed the clouds with liquid nitrogen or dry ice to keep heavy snow from falling inside the city limits.
When Montana State University plant pathologist David Sands first proposed that some bacteria that infect plants could spread over great distances through falling precipitation, some thought his idea was crazy. But new research says Sands’ idea actually holds water.
Bacteria, including one species known to infect tomato and bean plants, are found in greater abundance in freshly fallen snow than previously thought, says Brent Christner at Louisiana State University, who led the new research. Christner examined snow from sites with lots of vegetation nearby (France) and places with no vegetation (like Antarctica). He found bacteria in snow no matter where he looked. In some samples, 85 percent of the particles found in the snow were bacterial.