Deep brain stimulators -- pacemaker-like implants that deliver electrical impulses to specific regions in the brain -- are common treatments for Parkinson's and other neurological disorders. It's known that strong electromagnetic fields from the likes of ham radio antennae and arc welders can damage the devices. Now, researchers report the case of a 66-year-old woman whose deep brain stimulator was knocked out when lightning hit her apartment. Fortunately, the lightning shut off the device without damaging her brain.
“The patient was not charging the battery of her IPG (implantable pulse generator) during the event, and the recharger for the IPG was disconnected from the power supply during the storm," the researchers wrote. "The recharger and IPG were therefore not destroyed. The patient realized that something was wrong only 1 hour after the storm subsided, when the dystonic tremor in her neck reappeared.”
"Lightning may pose a danger to patients receiving deep brain stimulation: case report" (Journal of Neuroscience via Mysterious Universe) Read the rest
Filmmaker Dustin Farrell spent his summer traveling 20,000 miles to film lightning around the United States. He used a Phantom Flex4K camera to capture these brilliant bolts at 1,000 frames per second. The film is called "Transient."
“Lightning is like a snowflake. Every bolt is different,” Farrell says. “I learned that lightning varies greatly in speed. There are some incredible looking bolts that I captured that didn’t make the cut because even at 1000fps they only lasted for one frame during playback. I also captured some lightning that appear computer generated it lasted so long on the screen.”
(via The Kid Should See This)
Yowza! Read the rest
On Monday, Nick Gemayel was seated at his office desk in his Rochester, New York auto repair shop when he saw a bright flash spark from a light switch and heard a loud crack. Then he realized that his hand hurt like hell was blistered. A co-worker reported that he had seen lightning strike the building. It apparently arced from the light switch into Gemayel. Hospital doctors treated and released him. No word yet on what superpowers he may now have.
— Cedric Haynes KLTV (@CedricKLTV) January 22, 2016
Motorists behind the cyclist saw lightning strike his helmet. Dazed, the gentleman pulled over and then rode on to look for assistance.
Via Fox KTPV:
Firefighters said, at that point, he got back on his bike and kept on riding. The man took Exit 76 into Chehalis, where he stopped at a convenience store and asked for help.
I don't think he was going very far. Read the rest
Zeus is pissed. Read the rest
Rod. His name is actually Rod. Read the rest
Have you ever been on a plane during a thunderstorm that experienced a direct lightning strike? While most commercial airliner will do their best to avoid thunderclouds delivering the wrath of the atmosphere, it's estimated that every plane in the U.S. is struck more than once per year.
Large commercial planes are equipped to route the electrical current from a lightning strike so that it avoids sensitive electronics, and most passengers may not even realize that a plane has been struck when it does occur. However, the electrical current and loud clap of thunder are not all that is produced by a bolt of lightning. It's only within the past 20 years that research has confirmed that lightning also emits x-rays and gamma-rays.
One source of x-rays is normal lightning, under normal atmospheric pressure that occurs near the ground. These x-rays are measured at strengths analogous to the energy range commonly emitted by CT scanning devices used in the health care industry. Then there are gamma-rays, high energy x-rays usually seen emitted by particle accelerators, exploding stars, and black holes, that have been detected as a continuous kind of glow within clouds. Additionally, a separate class of gamma-rays, called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes or TGFs, are even more powerful, brief bursts that can be seen by spacecraft and satellites in low earth orbit. TGFs are the most energetic phenomena on the planet, and are thought to be caused by intracloud lightning (lightning that occurs between clouds). TGFs appear all over the world where there are thunderstorms, but nobody understands exactly why or how. Read the rest