Sunday, July 5, 2009

Natural Danger, but Not Too Much

I guess I'm back on the kick of writing about natural phenomena. This time it's lightning, quite possibly the coolest natural phenomena on its danger scale. What's that you say? What's this "danger scale?" Allow me to explain. Natural phenomena have a scale of coolness vs. danger. Sometimes, the more dangerous they are the cooler they are. For example, sunsets are absolutely harmless, unless you stare directly at the sun part for two long, and if you do that you're a dipstick anyway. So, as far as the danger scale goes, (it's a 1-10 scale) sunsets would be a 1. Other things low on the danger scale would be things like rain, and other stuff. Heck, let me just write out a natural phenomena (I really like that word) danger scale right here. It won't have everything, and I may disagree with myself later, but it will be rather informative. Keep in mind that I'm kind of making this up as I go along.

Natural Phenomena Danger Scale
1: Rain, sunsets, sunny days
2: small (up to grape seed size) hail
3: snow, medium (up to marble size) hail
4: Dust devils
5: Lightning, small earthquakes
6: Slow flooding
7: Dust/sand storms, strong winds
8: Volcanoes (they usually happen away from people), medium earthquakes
9: Flash floods, alien invasions
10: Large earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis

So, there you have it, the danger scale. I have to point out that, though a lot of these things are scary, I would love to see every one of them. In fact, I have seen all of them up to number 6. Sure, they cause destruction, and they can be dangerous, but I would really like to observe these things from a distance, because the awesome power of God's creations is made manifest in them, and they would be really cool to watch.

However, as I was saying, lightning is the coolest thing on its danger scale. I put it in the middle, because there is an aspect of danger there, as it can cause forest fires and the like. However, one would have to be either really dumb or really unlucky to actually get struck by lightning. Therefore, it's relatively safe to go outside and watch.

So, aside from the danger, what's cool about lightning? Well, it's really awesome how it's generated, for one thing. I mean, who wouldn't be impressed by Zeus throwing lightning bol--wait, what? Static electricity? Oh, well, that's cool, too. In fact, I just looked at Wikipedia, and it turns out that we don't know exactly how lightning works, we just have a lot of hypotheses, and that's something else that makes it cool. It's almost magical!

I would like to put something in here about screaming, but I think that would be beating a dead horse. Besides, lightning doesn't really scream. It shoots! It engsmsplodes! It blasts across the sky and sometimes hits the ground. Lightning bolts can travel up to 60,000 meters per second (really fast)! It is also accompanied by thunder, which is also awesome. A loud, rolling boom, sometimes a crack. Being right in the middle of a thunderstorm is an awe-inspiring thing.

Well, I guess I've made this post a bit longer than I planned to. I hope you all still put in the effort to read it, because I like it. Just remember, pound for pound, lightning is a great way to get your money's worth when you are interested in natural phenomena. Dangerous enough to be edgy, not so dangerous that you're likely to die, and FLIPPIN' AWESOME!

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