Lightning

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Chris Kotsiopoulos

Photo: Chris Kotsiopoulos

Lightning Man

A Man Hit Seven Times

Roy Sullivan was born 1912 in Greene County in central Virginia, today home to just a shade over eighteen thousand people. He was the fourth of eleven children and lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his family.

In 1940, at the age of 28, Sullivan joined the national park’s fire patrol. He became one of three rangers to monitor the forty mile area between Waynesboro and Swift Run Gap in the southern area of the park, less than eight miles from where he grew up.

In April 1942, Sullivan was in a fire tower lording over his land when a thunderstorm struck. This was a serious problem owing to the fact that the tower had no form of lightning rod installed. According to Sullivan himself, he saw lightning strike seven or eight times and the valley engulf in flames. He fled the tower, fearing what would become the inevitable. He didn’t make it far when he got hit.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Rolf Maeder. Lightning seen from Moran Point, Grand Canyon, Ariz August, 2013.

Photo: Rolf Maeder.
Lightning seen from Moran Point, Grand Canyon, Ariz August, 2013.

Lightning Storm in The Grand Canyon

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Carlos Gutierrez Lightning bolts appear above and around the Chaiten volcano as seen from Chana, some 30 kms (19 miles) north of the volcano, as it began its first eruption in thousands of years, in southern Chile May 2, 2008. Cases of electrical storms breaking out directly above erupting volcanoes are well documented, although scientists differ on what causes them. Picture taken May 2, 2008.

Photo: Carlos Gutierrez
Lightning bolts appear above and around the Chaiten volcano as seen from Chana, some 30 kms (19 miles) north of the volcano, as it began its first eruption in thousands of years, in southern Chile May 2, 2008. Cases of electrical storms breaking out directly above erupting volcanoes are well documented, although scientists differ on what causes them. Picture taken May 2, 2008.

Lightning Storm Generated by Chilean Volcano

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Who would have known frying a plasma TV could be that much fun?

For the impatient, start at 3:30.

Map of the Day

Global_lightning_strikes

Frequency of Lightning Strikes Throughout the World

Plagiarism? You be the judge

Stuff is carrying a story on its frontpage by Harry Pearl and Nicola Brennan-Tupara about two guys hit by lightning.

Near the bottom of the article is this sentence:

The charge of a lightning bolt – a tube of ionised air as thick as a thumb – is about 300,000 degrees Celsius. That’s the same temperature as the surface of the Sun.

An astute reader thought something was amiss…especially about the temperature claim. He thought they should be talking about the unit of electrical charge which is the coulomb. He found that a google search on the exact phrase “a tube of ionised air as thick as a thumb” showed a 2008 article by Carolyne Meng-Yee on the NZ Herald website.

A lightning bolt is a tube of ionised air as thick as a thumb. The charge is about 300,000C – the same temperature as the surface of the sun.

An interesting coincidence of words?

As there is no independent source that Google can find for this or related text, we must then assume that Stuff have clearly plagiarised the NZ Herald content, which in itself is erroneous. Note the order of words is altered, indicating they knew what they were doing. Google is smart enough to show results for “iononized”, but there are no other results other than these two articles.

plagiarism

 

It is small beer, but one easily found. What do you think?

 

The Tesla Gun

Boing Boing and hackerfriendly.com

The Tesla Gun is a hand-held, battery powered lightning machine. It is a spark gap Tesla coil powered by an 18V drill battery. You pull the trigger, and lightning comes out the front.

Shocking

Yesterday was pretty shocking weather for Auckland:

Almost 12,000 lightning strikes have been recorded over the North Island today.

WeatherWatch.co.nz said the thundery weather peaked today and was to finally ease back this evening.

Wild thunderstorms continued in some parts of the North Island tonight, mostly around northern parts of Auckland and central eastern parts of the North Island. Flooding was being reported in west Auckland.

“There was a flash flood immediately after the heavy rains in Atkinson Road,” wrote Ashok Sudhakaran in an email to the Herald about flooding in Titirangi. “A huge amount of water cascaded down the slopes and collected in the front yard of two houses.”

As the evening continued to cool, the thunderstorms would ease.

WeatherWatch.co.nz head weather analyst Philip Duncan said storms may pop up in the afternoon tomorrow but were likely to be far more isolated and far less intense.

Mr Duncan said thunderstorms peaked this afternoon with a few thousand lightning strikes detected in just 60 minutes.