Snowbanks perform many functions, but it is a liberating event when they show signs of disappearing. John Weeks discusses everything that is coming to life within snowbanks and everything that is left behind after the final ones melt.
As upstate New York heads into some of the darkest days of the calendar year, researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy are trying to shed some light on our individual cycle of sleeping and waking known as the circadian rhythm.
John Weeks discusses the first widespread freeze of the year, and the gorgeous day that proceeded it. He also explains the significance of microclimates and their undetected presence nearly everywhere we turn.
A return to normal winter weather means New Yorkers can expect to see a rise in their heating bills. Those using natural gas to heat their homes will see higher bills despite a 12 percent drop in pricing.
From birds using celestial navigation, to salmon using chemical sensors to "smell" their way home, John Weeks discusses the migration phenomenon of various species. Weeks notes that many migration patterns hold mysteries that are still unexplained.
As the equinox approaches, Weeks explains the rules of winter ecology and the basic rules of supply and demand as they apply to the critters gathering food in preparation for the winter months. He also describes how, for him, enjoyment of winter depends upon bounty of the growing season which proceeded it.
Flu season is peaking this week in Onondaga county, a month behind schedule. This year's flu bug is a particularly mild one. According to federal figures, this year reports the fewest cases since the 80s.
"I think that we're peaking now, which is a late peak, but our numbers were still going up as of last week... but very, very low numbers, not anything I'm concerned about," Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow said. "But it is not over yet."
Morrow tracks flu numbers every year. She says that the mild winter could have something to do with lower numbers.