KA-BOOM!! The house shook and my dog frantically darted out from the cozy spot where he’d been snoring only seconds ago! An explosion of bright light and a deafening roar of thunder, of a magnitude unlike any I’ve ever seen or heard, made me scream. Had my home been hit by lightning? After calming down my dog and checking out my house and yard, I was thankful to discover that all remained unscathed. Heading out for a walk the following morning with my neighbor from across the street, I noticed a tall redwood tree in her front lawn had some broken branches. Upon closer inspection, we spied the telltale, vertical, lightning stripe on the tree where large sections of bark had been blasted off. Splintered branches dangled from their fragile supports, while severed branches hung down dejectedly. Here was the explanation for electrical problems in surrounding homes. I hope lightning doesn’t strike twice, because that was just too close for comfort!
#1 -Lightning News
Most often lightning is viewed as a mysterious or dangerous phenomenon, but did you know that the earth actually benefits from lightning? According to an article by National Severe Storms Laboratory, these are the benefits:
The earth benefits from lightning in several ways. First, lightning helps the Earth maintain electrical balance. The Earth is recharged by thunderstorms. The Earth’s surface and the atmosphere conduct electricity easily—the Earth is charged negatively and the atmosphere, positively. There is always a steady current of electrons flowing upwards from the entire surface of the Earth. Thunderstorms help transfer the negative charges back to Earth (lightning is generally negatively charged). Without thunderstorms and lightning, the earth-atmosphere electrical balance would disappear in 5 minutes. Lightning also produces ozone, a gas that helps protect the Earth from the dangerous rays of the sun.
“When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!” With crazy weather everywhere in our country, that little rhyme from the National Weather Service could save lives. Refresh your lightning safety knowledge by reading this brief NWS article Lightning: What You Need to Know.
#2 – Workout Music
From Shape here’s something we all could use to make working out more enjoyable – Playlists: Best Tunes for Every Workout. Click on an image, like “Killer Cardio Combo” and you will be taken to that playlist with links to iTunes where you can preview and purchase individual songs on the list.
#3 – Lightning Reflexes
Try beating the computer at this Lightning card game. How fast can you process information and react? Play your cards right and you’ll have a fun time challenging your brain!
#4 – Photo a Day
A collection of Polaroid photos dating from 1979 to 1997 tell a story. But there’s more. What started out as a “Photo a Day” project, became Jamie Livingston’s photo journal of the last eighteen years of his life. Read about Jamie’s project in mental_floss and the New York Times. To view all of Jamie’s photos, click here.
#5 – Life Is Like a Flash of Lightning
Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.
Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to snap a few photos of “ordinary” days to capture the days of your life.