Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My son found some information about ball lightening last week and passed it on to me, and I thought I would share it with anyone who reads my blog. I had never heard of this, even though the stories have been around since 1638. One of the earliest possible descriptions was reported during The Great Thunderstorm at a church in Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon, in England, on 21 October 1638. Four people died and approximately 60 were injured when, during a severe storm, an 8' ball of fire was described as striking and entering the church, nearly destroying it. Large stones from the church walls were hurled into the ground and through large wooden beams. The ball of fire allegedly smashed the pews and many windows, and filled the church with a foul sulfurous odor and dark, thick smoke.
The ball of fire reportedly split in two, one exiting through a window by smashing it open, the other disappearing somewhere inside the church. The explanation at the time, because of the fire and sulfur smell, was that the ball of fire was "the devil" or the "flames of hell". Later, some blamed the entire incident on two people who had been playing cards in the pew during the sermon, who they say must have invoked God's wrath
Other accounts that were reported were On 30 April 1877, a ball of lightning entered the Golden Temple at Amritsar, India, and exited through a side door. This event was observed by a number of people, and the incident is inscribed on the front wall of Darshani Deodhi.
In July 1907 the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse in Western Australia was hit by ball lightning. The light house keeper Patrick Baird was in the tower at the time and was knocked unconscious. His daughter Ethel recorded the event.
Pilots in World War II described an unusual phenomenon for which ball lightning has been suggested as an explanation. The pilots saw small balls of light moving in strange trajectories, which came to be referred to as foo fighters.
Submariners in WWII gave the most frequent and consistent accounts of small ball lightning in the confined submarine atmosphere. There are repeated accounts of inadvertent production of floating explosive balls when the battery banks were switched in/out, especially if mis-switched or when the highly inductive electrical motors were mis-connected or disconnected. An attempt later to duplicate those balls with a surplus submarine battery resulted in several failures and an explosion.
On 6 August 1994 a ball of lightning went through a closed window in Uppsala, Sweden, leaving a circular hole with a diameter of 5 centimeters. The incident was witnessed by residents in the area, and was recorded by a lightning strike tracking system on the Division for Electricity and Lightning Research at Uppsala University
This next paragraph really captured my attention because I used to work with silicon wafers. It was my first job that I got right after graduating High School. It was a hush hush job, one of those you are not suppose to talk about. So many years ago...1969, so that would be 40 years ago. This report is from 2007 just 2 years ago.
Some more recent experiments in 2007 involve shocking silicon wafers with electricity, which vaporizes the silicon and induces oxidation in the vapors. The visual effect can be described as small glowing, sparkling orbs that roll around a surface. Two Brazilian scientists, Antonio Pavão and Gerson Paiva of the Federal University of Pernambuco have reportedly consistently made small long-lasting balls using this method. These experiments stemmed from the theory that ball lightning is actually oxidized silicon vapors.
Well, this concludes my post for the day. Hope you found it interesting, or at least the part about my very first job, 40 years ago. Ha....
Info about this came from Wikipedia.
Monday, September 21, 2009
With the new shows coming back on, I have now started to turn the TV back on. That means I will get some more knitting or sewing done.... hopefully. Tonight I watched "Dancing With The Stars" and taped "House." The beginning of Dancing was really good with all of the professionals dancing. Then came the stars. I only really knew who one of them was. Donny Osmond. He did good. I thought the little snowboard youngster was better than they gave him credit for. It always amazes me how little I know about famous people. When ever this shows starts up, I might know one or two stars, if I am lucky. Of course by the end of the season, I know a little more about them. But the sad thing is that I could not tell you who won last year, or who even danced. If I thought about it long enough I might be able to remember a few. I do love to watch dancing though. I really admire what good shape they are in and how hard they work at trying to get it to look good.
House was interesting because it was about dealing with Greg's inner most Greg and what makes him tick. I have always been fascinated with psychology ever since my first class in High School. Human behavior is very mysterious. I did not like House's face hair though. It just doesn't work on him. And he looks skinnier to me.
Thursday night I may try and watch a new show called Flashforward..or was it Flashback....one of those.....
I found a few more photos of the butterflies for Ann. Some are interesting but not all that good. It really is a challenge to capture them. I feel any photos I was able to get were pretty lucky ones.
This one stayed still for a long time. Ha! Ann, maybe you could photo shop yourself on this chair for your blog. I wouldn't know how to do that, but maybe some computer geniuses in your family would. Or maybe you know how to also.
This one is not all that good of the butterfly but I like the plant.
This one looks like an airplane to me.
This butterfly seemed to be the one that was the easiest to capture.
This one is a Sapho Longwing and its native location is in Costa Rica.
I am not sure if this was two butterflies mating or if I just captured two flying by at the same time??? Not sure because I really don't know much about butterfly mating or their habits. I hesitated to put it on here, but just thought it was very unusual to capture a photo of it, if that is indeed the butterflies mating.
Butterfly House is located right there where the festival was held, so I decided to go through there and see what was going on. I had only been there one other time last year with the family.
If you have time or the interest in looking at the web site I have linked to under Butterfly House, it will provide some information about what the Butterfly House has to offer. I wish now that I had looked at the web site to see what types of butterflies may be out for that particular month. When you first go in here, it has a very peaceful calming feeling. Seeing all of the hundreds and hundreds of butterflies flying around. You have to just stand still and try and find one that has landed somewhere so that you can try and capture a photo of it. This particular butterfly is called "Common Blue Morpho " and it's native location is in Central and South America.
The size of the room does not feel all that large as you are walking through it. You have to walk slowly or maybe go through 2 times to take in the beauty of scenes such as this one. It has a jungle feel to it.
I am surprised that I captured this photo because when I looked at the web site I could not find this one, so that I could identify it. Now I will have to try and do some research a little later to see why this one was not on their website. It really is very beautiful isn't it? I think I enjoy looking at the red ones and orange or yellows one the most, but was unable to capture any photos of those.
I was not sure how long I had been in there but realized I was becoming so hot and uncomfortable that I needed to get out of there. Right before leaving I looked up and saw the steam coming out and got a photo of it. I would imagine that humid climates would be very good for our skin. Maybe I will end this little journal post I have here and go do some digging into that for a few minutes. Then it is off to mow the lawn and do some housework.