Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a Shocker!

Today's Wonder of the World is...Lightning!

Public domain photo
Lightening can be trés magnifique--as long as I'm watching it tucked away somewhere safe, doing my deep cleansing breaths. And as long as there are no big beautiful trees in its path.

What? You're a lightning hater?
Watch the first five seconds of this video and you might change your mind.

Striking, huh?
I started thinking about lightning while writing yesterday's robot post.
I remembered my two robot buddies, Ben Franklin and Mark Twain, who have the same old conversation day after day at Epcot.
Hey guys!

Flickr photo by Captain Oblivious
Oh Ben, I have a major crush on you! What a renaissance man you are!
Writer, inventor, diplomat, lover of France and lightning!
Except you didn't really experiment exactly like this...

Flickr photo by mynameisnotbarry
Or else you'd have been French toast!
(I hope the dogs don't discover that hydrant!)

I've also been thinking of lightning for different reasons.
It's been kind of a shocking week.
Sort of a storm.
Shall I catalog it for you?

This week's fun and games included:
*the discovery of half a chipmunk on our bedroom carpet, beside Tanner the Slobber Dog, who was happily licking his lips.
*my 16 year old runner boy developed a stress fracture, thus ending his cross country season and making him exceedingly grouchy.
*a tough week for my college sweetie. Mommy had to lock herself in her house to keep from getting in the car and driving straight to her dorm room. Mommy knew college girl would work it out for herself. And she did. All is right with the world again.
*breakdown of a kitchen appliance
*national economic disaster
*did I mention the half eaten chipmunk?
Okay, it could have been much worse.
But still, I was glad to have Zorro to save the day!

(You do know that he leaves a Z mark that looks like a lightning bolt, (kind of) right? Or else his presence in this post wouldn't make sense.)

Do you know my other lifesaver from the week? Jolts of coffee!

Flickr photo by subliminalshiver1
At night, when my friend Caffeine had left me high and dry, I tried my best to cope by watching the last of these guys flit around the backyard.

Flickr photo by vzonabaxter
Lightning bugs!
How I wish I had a cute pajama-wearing friend like this to catch them with me!

Flickr photo by patrick moore 75165
And then set them free!

I'd also feel better if I could drop by my favorite French patisserie and pick up an éclair or two.

Flickr photo by jennerator
Or four or five!
See the lightning zigzag on that éclair? Did you know that éclair is the French word for lightning? That's why it has a lightning bolt squiggle on it!

Another French word for lightning is foudre.
And coup de foudre, literally translated stroke of lightning, means love at first sight!
It was a coup de foudre with my sweetheart, back in the dark ages when we were mere babes. He still electrifies me!

If I were a girl antelope, I might have a coup de foudre for one of these handsome animals, with its curly lightning bolt antlers.

Flickr photo by Cabellas Lightning Bug Creek
Have you ever heard that in some ancient Asian cultures, people thought lightning came from the scales of dragons as they flew through the heavens? That'd be something to see, wouldn't it?

I know the lightning bolt is a symbol of power or danger, but if you stretch it out, all you have is a zigzag. I love zigzags. I like their regularity.

Flickr photo by Virtual Sanity
Lightning bolt zigzags can even make a dangerous descent a little safer!

Flickr photo by cruisemac
Ahh. Beautiful mountains. Calm blue water. A gorgeous scenic zigzag ride.
I'm feeling better already.
And look, lightning bolts can even give you shelter.

Flickr photo by Mark Rutter
If they're part of a roof.
Or part of a shade tree.

Flickr photo by elmoraux
Just don't stand underneath it in a storm!
Have a wonder-full Friday and a great weekend, y'all!
Love, Becky

And enjoy this weird éclair candy commercial from India! It's weirdly wonderful!

25 comments:

a Tonggu Momma said...

Your posts always make me smile!!! Oh, and there's always Lightening McQueen from the movie Cars. Oh, how I wish I could forget him...

"Momma, can we watch the vroom vroom movie again?"

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

great photo of the Tour d'Eiffel - I would be glad to view from a distance!

lotusloq said...

I also love to say "coup de foudre." It's one of my favorites French phrases. It just rolls around in your mouth. There are so many wonderful kinds of lightning. You forgot Harry Potter's lightning scar.

Whoa! Les eclairs au chocolat! Yum! I could never get enough of those in France. It's a good thing I did a ton of walking.

Those eclair candies from India look good too. That commercial reminds me of the bollywood films I've seen. They are so funny. Have you seen any of those?

I've always loved lightening and thunderstorms. Growing up in SC we sure had plenty of both. I loved how they would cool things off in the summer. Flash, drumroll, kebang! Cooler air. Ah! It was nature's own way of announcing relief on the way.

JaxPop said...

Cool Post - liked the video too. I don't think I ever saw REAL lightning 'til moving to Fla - Wicked stuff. Maybe it just shows up better cuz it's so flat here - I dunno.

~~ATTIC CLUTTER~~ said...

Hi Becky ..oh your posts(:) you just have such an eye to discover these things(:)
AND thanks on my Carter ~~ yes bring on OCTOBER (:) Halloween..hehe ..We shouldn't wish away ''our time'' though.. LOL
big hugs, Patty

TattingChic said...

Always something new and fun here! How do you do it? Thanks again for the fun post, friend!

adrienne said...

Now I'm missing those great thunderstorms of the east coast - but once in a while here we get a great lightning show, without the rain. Very cool post!

Rosemary said...

I love lightening! We just don't get enough of it here in Southern California, so when we do it's a big deal.
Have a great weekend!
Rosemary

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh I love that video of the lightning. One of my favorite things is the heat storm of a summer night.

Glad you refrained from college girl's life for the moment--a huge gift to her. Deal with the appliance, catch a lightning bug and eat a little chocolate:)

Gina2424 said...

I've had a little coup de foudre myself. On a totally unrelated note, or maybe you blogged about it before I "knew" you, but I am guessing you've read The Secret Life of Bees? I am a latecomer. Did you love it?

Liz said...

Lightening struck our house when I was little, sparks flew out of the wood stove. Scared me so bad!

Susan said...

Ohh, years and years ago,lightening came in through my screen door and struck an open umbrella that was drying on the floor. Hubby had just helped a friend to her car in the rain. Freaky.

Kathryn said...

That commercial is hilarious!
I love lightening. :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hey guys!
Gina, yes, I LOVE The Secret Life of Bees. It's one of my favorite books! Love, love, love it!

Liz and Susan, scary lightning stories! Once when Ben and Sarah were little, we were eating dinner at our kitchen table when lightning struck a huge tree about 10 yards from our window. It zapped the bark right off the tree and cracked it open in a big slit all the way up the trunk...and I fell out of my chair. Very frightening. And awesome!
Luckily the tree lived.

Debbie Egizio said...

That lightning video is sooooo amazing. What a fun post! I just love to watch lightening......safely of course!!

Alex said...

Lightening...hmmm..not a fan anymore...at least not since a month ago when it struck our house and blew out all kinds of things!

:( BUT, I DO love the lightening bug! ;)

LW said...

Oh that first college break down…ouch!!!!
I think it is harder on the mom sometimes….
The protective momma bear comes out and we
want to run and save our cub..

Great post but I do hate lighting… I grew up in the highest point of our town and the storms were awful..
My poor grandmother would get out her rosary and pray that the barns would not be hit by lighting.
A few years after her death a barn did get hit and burnt down to the ground …

Louise

Susan Sandmore said...

Now you've got me watching all these lightning videos on YouTube . . .

Randy and Linda said...

Hi Becky,
You you know I'm a brainstormer even without trying, it's just there always with me. I think I became this way after taking a year of Physics for Engineers at NC State. Anyway, I glance at the first lightning photo, watch the video, and WOW it hit me! Becky - a tremendous source of energy for humans to capture. We are all hearing about free sources of energy - Wind, Solar, Tidal, Thermal, etc. - LIGHTNING !!! I forsee using a humongous capacitor, which is like a high-speed high-input and output battery. They're in old TV's and radio's and they store a lot of electrical energy (voltage x amperage = watts). So I envision huge capacitors or batteries (soon to be designed I hope), which are very large with tall towers with lightning rods to attract the lightning. Then bingo, everytime they strike on of those, your town has electricity for a week !!! You sure know how to trigger my brainstorming to kick in. Thanks Becky. If you spread the word about this, put my name in there. Or you can burst my bubble and tell me that there are already a number of urgent studies going on about how to capture lighting and store the energy from it.
Randy

Silicon Valley Diva said...

Stunning picture of the Effiel. Boy, you truly captured the magical quality of lightening. We don't get that too often where we live, but it always shakes me. Going forward, I plan to view lightening in an entirely new *light* :-)

YUMMY eclairs. I just can't find anything near as good as the ones I tasted in France.

Barb said...

Hi Becky,

I have missed starting my day reading your posts. Girl- you are just too funny. When is another book on the way?

Thank you for making me smile and laugh daily.

hugs,
Barb

Alex said...

Hi Rebecca. Hope you're having a good weekend. :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Sorry to awaken all these scary lightning memories people! I'd hate to think my blog had given you nightmares!

Randy, wow...your brain is on fire! (Maybe it's the lightning!) Sounds interesting. And I have no idea about any lightning energy storage studies. You ought to investigate that!

Sherry Martschink said...

Great - as always!!!

CC said...

I didn't know that about "eclair". And now I totally want some chocolate. Thanks a lot!