See that dark purple spot of heavy activity in North America? That's more or less centered over where I grew up. God, I miss thunderstorms.
And, speaking of deities, what is up with this, anyway? How did Kansas and Missouri anger Thor so very badly?
In reality, this picture is somewhat distorted. It only shows lighting strikes for the last six months. Look at NASA's documentation of all lightning strikes since 1998, and it becomes clear that the American Midwest, while an active spot, isn't quite the epicenter of the Lord's Righteous Wrath that it first appears. Instead, it's just one of several global hot spots. The place with the most lightning is actually in central Africa, specifically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, "near the small village of Kifuka." NASA's Hugh Christian, project leader for the National Space Science and Technology Center's lightning team, explains:
And where does lightning strike most frequently? Central Africa. "There you get thunderstorms all year 'round," Christian says. "[It's a result of] weather patterns, air flow from the Atlantic Ocean, and enhancement by mountainous areas."
Image originally from the WeatherMatrix blog, via my friend Joe Jarvis. Although, it's worth noting that the WeatherMatrix blog makes some claims about lightning behavior—like, "it doesn't happen in the mountains"—that seem to be contradicted by the village of Kifuka's location .... in the mountains. Make of that what you will.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, […]
In a lead editorial in the current Nature, John Wilbanks (formerly head of Science Commons, now “Chief Commons Officer” for Sage Bionetworks) and Eric Topol (professor of genomics at the Scripps Institute) decry the mass privatization of health data by tech startups, who’re using a combination of side-deals with health authorities/insurers and technological lockups to […]
The Wall Street Journal reports that storytellers—people with a natural inclination to craft concise yet compelling narratives without rambling—were found to be hot by science. Feels good to be a writa. The results were the same across all three studies: Women rated men who were good storytellers as more attractive and desirable as potential long-term […]
Having to pack and drag your stuff through security can put quite the damper on your vacation plans. Thankfully, we’ve got your back with one way to make traveling more painless: the Jumper Overnighter Travel Bag.This compact bag is so lightweight that you can effortlessly carry it, and fit it into any overhead compartment. But just […]
Learning is a 24/7/365 proposition, and it never ends. And if you’re truly serious about leveling up your skill sets and career prospects, get a subscription to Stone River Academy’s massive course collection. This offer normally is worth over $1,400, but is now available for just $89 in the Boing Boing Store.A respected name in information technology […]
Home audio has taken some big leaps forward in recent years–not just in terms of sound quality, but also in the style department. The FRESHeBAR Leather Soundbar, now 56% off in the Boing Boing Store, is proof.The FRESHeBAR comes packing almost all the options you’d ever need for a home sound system, including Bluetooth streaming capabilities.The unit’s 90 […]