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August 30, 2019

Experts' Experts: When caught in a lightning storm, should you stay in a car or get out?


C. Claiborne Ray's always informative and useful Q&A feature in the New York Times Science section addressed this as follows:

Q. When caught in a lightning storm, should you stay in a car or get out?

A. Stay in the car — but not necessarily for the reason you may think. The four rubber tires of a car provide no insulating protection, most authorities agree.

Instead, the National Lightning Safety Institute advises, it is the conductive nature of a mostly metal vehicle that actually offers the best chance of protection from lightning. Most of the current is carried on the outside of a conducting object. This phenomenon is called the skin effect, and the protective shield is sometimes referred to as a partial Faraday cage (named for the English scientist Michael Faraday, who developed shielding based on the effect).

So the best advice for a driver in a lightning storm is not only to stay within this protective perimeter, but to make sure not to touch any conductive object that might penetrate outside it, like door and window handles, the radio dial, the gearshift, or the steering wheel. A school bus is the type of vehicle likely to offer the most protection, the institute says.

Lightning is capricious, and many variables — among them whether the vehicle is wet or dry, metal or fiberglass, a hardtop or a convertible — can have an unpredictable effect on what happens to a car and its passengers.


Graphic by Victoria Roberts.

August 30, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Who Cares"?* The wonderful titles of early Jasper Johns paintings


Above, "Out the Window" (1959).

Below, "False Start," another 1959 work.


Below, "According to What?" from 1964.


*My Crack Research Team®™© told me to sod off when I pressed them to produce an image of his painting titled "Who Cares?" so you're just going to have to seeth silently along with me about this unintended absence.

Maybe an enterprising reader will send me a picture of the work; should that happen, it'll go up right here as soon as it's received.

August 30, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Standard Ebooks: "High-quality electronic presentations of public domain books"

Screen Shot 2019-08-07 at 7.11.11 AM

Free, the way we like it.

Fair warning: there goes the rest of your life.

August 30, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


I only recently heard of this series, from Finland on Netflix, via a reader's recommendation — yo Rob!

It's excellent.

Twelve episodes.

Again, superb native actors whom I'd otherwise never have seen in action.

August 30, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fried Chicken Erasers


6-piece bucket.





August 30, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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