Friday, August 14, 2009

I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph…

It’s nice to know my blog is a good conversation starter. While visiting Scottish Woman Wednesday evening, the subject of lightning came up. She thought it insane interesting that I’m afraid of being struck by lightning while in my car. She said she had never heard of a car being struck by lightning. I believe there is a saying that goes “The absence of evidence does not mean there is evidence of absence.” I believe it could happen. Hello? if it can hit a tree right in front of you, why couldn’t it hit your car?

She reminded me that a car is grounded. While this may true, it doesn’t negate the fact that it has just been struck by lightning. I’m not saying it would kill me, I’m saying it would scare me so bad that I’d probably run off the road and hit a tree or something. I believe that spells dead or pretty darn close.  Then the conversation turned to the whys and hows that people are struck by lightning.

My Wow has heard of people being struck by lightning through the telephone and always taught us not to be on the phone during a thunderstorm. She also warned us not to be in the bathtub during a storm. At this, Scottish Woman snorted did not quite believe me and thought maybe I had taken leave of my senses. She asked, “How?! The lightning can’t come through the window while you’re in the tub.” And I was all, “Sure it can, but I don’t think that’s the reason not to be in the tub. I can’t remember the reason you shouldn’t be in the tub during a storm, but my Wow taught me never to be in one. So I don’t and it has served me well, thankyouverymuch.”

We debated back and forth the characteristics of lightning, until we decided there was only one thing to do: Google it!

Here are some interesting tidbits about lightning, all courtesy of my diligent Google search when I should have been cleaning the house in anticipation of CGMan’s arrival.

  • Texas is the #2 state in the US for lightning deaths, injuries and casualties. (Florida is #1)
  • The odds of being struck by lightning are 300,000 to 1. Too close for my comfort.
  • Men are 4 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women. See? I knew there was more to being a girl than just not having to carry my own luggage.
  • Two women were killed by lightning in Hyde Park, London when the underwire in their bras acted as a conductor for lightning. Thank goodness for my new Victoria Secret bra with no wires! Or better yet, a perfectly good excuse to go braless.
  • According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) phone use is the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. Lightning can travel long distances in both phone and electrical wires, especially in rural areas.
  • Then we talked about cordless phones. What about them? If you have to make a call from a cordless phone, stand away from the base as lightning can arc out it several feet.
  • Then there was the bathtub issue. The reason you should stay out of the tub is because if lightning strikes the house it can send an electrical charge to the metal pipes used for plumbing. If you’re touching those pipes or anything connected to those pipes, like playing with the faucet with your toe, that charge has a path to you. This threat is not as great as it used to be, due to the wide use of PVC use for indoor plumbing. See? Back when I was a kid, we most likely had metal plumbing. Umm, I mean we lived in a really old house, because I’m not very old.
  • As for the window over the bathtub, or any other windows in the house, absolutely lightning can come through the window! A meteorologist says that the lightning will heat the glass and shatter it, thereby letting the lightning in. And think about it, all in a split second.

I’d like to finish up with the lightning vs. vehicle theory:

pic7b pic1b pic2b 

And this just in…

Car Struck By Lightning In Fort Lauderdale

Woman Traveling With Child On I-595

Friday, July 24, 2009

FOR LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A woman was traveling with her child along I-595 Friday when her car was struck by lightning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Michelle Thomas, 23, from Fort Lauderdale was traveling eastbound on the interstate just west of U.S. 1 when the vehicle was struck. The bolt of lightning struck the rear window of the 2003 Chevrolet Impala, which caused it to shatter, officials reported. The force of the lightning bolt deflated the right rear tire and caused the vehicle to become inoperable. Two passengers were in the vehicle, including a 4-year-old child, but no one was injured. Source:


I rest my case.

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