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November 27th, 2006
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The study of damage to a human caused by lightning is called 'keraunopathy'.

When a human is struck by lightning, there are two forces that cause damage.

The first is the heat of the blast. Lightning is extremely high temperature. It will cause the victim to breathe in superheated air and burn the skin and clothes. Hot lightning is extremely rare. It is very high voltage and most dangerously, can remain charged for up to a second. Most lightning lasts less than a tenth of this time. Hot lightning can melt pretty much anything, including steel and stronger metals. Because it lasts so long, huge amounts of current are pumped into the area affected. A human being would be utterly destroyed by such a blast. Lightning may also turn sweat and water into steam, blowing clothes of the body and quite literally poaching someone alive. The heat also focuses on metal on the body, such as keys, belt buckles, spectacles and the like.

The second form of damage lightning does is purely electrical. Humans, of course, run on electricty and dumping so much electricity into it is dangerous. The most common form of death from lightning is actually a cardiac arrest. The heart simply stops beating. Despite popular fictions, humans don't hold the charge so they can receive immediate care. Myocardial infarcs are also common effects, as is severe arrythmia.

The central nervous system, which is basically a stream of electricity, is also endangered by lightning. The brain and the spine can suffer massive damage during a strike. This can lead to brain damage, a host of nerve damages and electrochemical systems damage. Long nerves in the body can be completely 'blown out'. This can lead to things like the brain forgetting how to breathe as respitory centres are destroyed. Apparently up to 20% of all lightning deaths are via this rather ghastly mechanism.

Even if a human survives lightning, which to be fair is between 60-80% of the time, research varies, there are many conditions that can be caused, including Parkinson's Disease, liver damage and cornea and ear drum damage.

Most fascinatingly, a fairly common wound is called the Lichtenburg Figure, a very early example of fractal, that are by themselves fascinating.

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From:kitling
Date:November 27th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)
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That marking looks very cool.
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From:blithespirit
Date:November 27th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
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I don't envy that chap but the scar is freaking awesome.
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From:kaeze
Date:November 27th, 2006 05:55 am (UTC)
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Very fascinating stuff.
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From:teacher_dave
Date:November 27th, 2006 06:03 am (UTC)
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Science be cool... and can leave interesting scars.
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From:vaingloriesque
Date:November 27th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
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First thing I thought when I saw that photo was 'what a bizarre and amazing tattoo'.
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From:douglasbot
Date:November 27th, 2006 07:11 am (UTC)
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The boy can't google...but he sure can Wikipedia.
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From:the_christian
Date:November 27th, 2006 08:28 am (UTC)
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I don't use wikkipedia for research. Or if I do, I follow the links. Wikipedia is often inaccurage and biased. As wikipedia can be written over, and sometimes often is quite frequently, you cannot reproduce research. Wikipedia is like having a chat with a mate in a bar. It might be useful if you're very casually interested, but carries no wait as an authority.

I already knew the term for lightning damage. It was one of my search terms. The only thing I really didn't know about was the Lichtenburg scarring.

When I'm doing science research, my first stop is always the NASA site. I love NASA. http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/essd18jun99_1.htm

http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/primer/lightning/ltg_damage.html

That one turned up in a google search. It was less helpful.
I used a book I have on treating morbid pathologies as well.


Since day one, since the first post, I have always treated this as a writing journal. I have always put research here and has been my habit since I was a boy, I often write small essays to myself.

You may recall such entries I have made like the Doc Holiday, William Parnell, Battle of Brisbane bios that I have written. Along with my discussion of Gravitic Spiders, Brane Theory, Catastrophe Theory, Chinese forgery techniques, or any other thing.

Many of these articles I have written long since predate the entire existence of Wikipedia.

So tell me, are you accusing me of some sort of plagiarism or what? Cos last time I checked, I never saw you more insulted that when someone did the same thing.

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From:douglasbot
Date:November 27th, 2006 08:38 am (UTC)
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"So tell me, are you accusing me of some sort of plagiarism or what?"

- crickets chirp - lead balloons - tumbleweeds-

No.
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From:the_christian
Date:November 27th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC)
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Then, please, explain your meaning to me. Because I really don't understand it.
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From:douglasbot
Date:November 27th, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
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It is a humourous anecdote. Written within the context of your inability to use google. As witnessed various times on this very journal of Brane Theory and Gravitic Spiders in which you ask your fellow philosomates to "research" your various topics of discussion for you...and more often than not...they google the answers.
Wikipedia being...as you're clearly aware...a similar research tool.

ho ho ho.

It's pretty highbrow humour...

...
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From:douglasbot
Date:November 27th, 2006 08:56 am (UTC)
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I also get the distinct impression you need to look at this picture of a kitten.

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From:the_christian
Date:November 27th, 2006 08:56 am (UTC)
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Umn. They don't. I ask here because represented are several scientists, research and field, several philosophers, writers, journalists, musicians, editors, fetishing hobbyists and people with various interests outside my own scope. And quite often, I am emailed answers after asking the questions. Sometimes from quite odd sources. As many of these folks have been studying and working in the fields, in some case, for fifteen and twenty years, I feel pretty justified and happy with talking to them. I let their expertise and years of study speak for themselves.

So no, they don't google. And besides, some of the questions I ask require specific discussion, which is outside the scope of online research. Or at least, easy online research.

And if nothing else, I like asking the quesions because I really like talking about the answers.
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From:douglasbot
Date:November 27th, 2006 08:59 am (UTC)
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no seriously...just look at the kitten.


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From:the_christian
Date:November 27th, 2006 09:18 am (UTC)
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From:douglasbot
Date:November 27th, 2006 09:36 am (UTC)

forget the kitten...

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More appropriate?

From:comixnut
Date:November 28th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
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ROTfuckingFLMAO!!!!!!!!
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From:douglasbot
Date:November 27th, 2006 09:09 am (UTC)
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Before or after Warcraft?
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From:the_christian
Date:November 27th, 2006 09:12 am (UTC)
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These days, long after. Hunter.

For the record, I have long included you and your own very thorough grounding in art theory and interesting ideas in that list. And I bet you don't google neither.
From:freakflipmonkey
Date:November 27th, 2006 07:17 am (UTC)
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Spending a lot of time on the near tropical beach as a kid we used to hear of people being hit by lightning quite frequently (I guess more then in most places since in the summertime daily storms around 3-6pm are normal).. it was horrifying. The worst story was a women being hit jogging down the beach.. when they came to her aid, her eyeballs were gone....gone! I say!

My redneck stepfather was hit by lightning talking on the phone one night:
"I wuz a talking on tha goddamn phone and all the sudden goddamnbamhowdy! tha goddamn lightning hit the goddamnhouse and goddamnit I wuz a thrown back into the goddamn table, goddamn!"
...it didnt seem to cure his torrettes..alas
(this was a true story.. goddamn it)
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