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1.21 gigawatts

2012-10-07T20:41:24+00:00

Today my flying bomb was struck by lightning as it sat at the gate awaiting departure. That’s put a kink in my travel schedule this week, meaning I will be late to teach a class. Oh well. At least my flying bomb didn’t detonate. With as much fuel and electrical wiring as the typical airplane has, it’s surprising there aren’t more fires and explosions. I make sure to wear fire-retardant clothing when I use such transportation.

The study of lightning is called fulminology. If I have to switch careers, maybe I’ll focus on that.

A bolt of lightning can easily carry more than 1.21 gigawatts of energy (1210 megajoules per second). The reason that number sticks in my mind is that we bought some Hallmark Christmas ornaments today (Hallmark releases them in July and October). This year, the time-traveling DeLorean car from the movie “Back to the Future” is one of the ornaments. I bought it, even though our tree necessarily has a spaceship theme, not a car theme. I like the car, quaint though it is. And I love the film. Great fun.

 

One Comment
  1. 2012-10-08T23:19:46+00:00 23:19

    I bought a toy VW Beetle for my xmas tree one year. It was so heavy it practically makes the tree bend down to the floor. I have to put it on the mantle now, instead.

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