The Special Effects of the Sky: Thunder and Lightning

It’s May in Kansas which means the special effects of the sky: thunder and lightning get a workout. Thunderstorms affect us in a powerful, emotional way. Our response to thunder and lightning shows up in everyday speech, in literature, and on the weather channel. Below is a collection of facts and fantasy all about thunder and lightning. “They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.”  ― Clint Eastwood Fact: Warm, humid, near-the-surface air rises and cools. Water vapor in the air condenses into a cloud and releases heat. Which makes the air around it warmer and it rises and cools and condenses. This process continues until a tall convective cloud is formed. This is the thunderstorm. The cloud can reach up to 12 miles high. What if NASA invented thunderstorms to cover up space battles? Fact: The sudden increase in pressure and temperature caused by lightning results in the sound we call Thunder. The sound is refracted through the lower layer of the atmosphere and reflected off the Earth’s surface. Temperature, air density, and the curvature and composition of the earth affect how the thunder sounds. “Lightning doesn’t strike twice, but you know, baby Nothing is […]

Listen & Learn: Podcasts

We’re all busy, right? We have lives, children (two-legged or/and four-legged), spouses, and chores to do. Some of us have more than one career we juggle, too. So how does one make time for everything? Listen & learn. NO TIME TO READ? In my busy lifestyle, I find it difficult to find time to read. But I have a lot of tasks that I do that keep my hands busy like dishes, yard work, and data collection. During those times I sometimes listen to audio books but more and more lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts. DISCOVER PODCASTS According to Wikipedia, “A podcast is an episodic series of audio files which a user can subscribe to so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s local computer, mobile application, or media player. The term podcast was invented by BBC  journalist Ben Hammersly in 2004. Podcasts are usually free of charge. Some charge a small fee, others use sponsors and ads, still others use Patron to cover the cost of production. The user can listen to current podcast episodes or archived ones. Podcasts are produced by a wide range of people from professionals working for well-known corporations […]

Does Summer Mean Sleep Deprivation?

It’s summertime in the U.S.A. and that means fun, right? There are all kinds of things to do: swimming, sunbathing, gardening, lawn care, picnics, vacations, games, sitting on the porch until the sun goes down, and more. Unfortunately, the usual list of things to do continues as well: housework, the wage-earning-job, errands, meals, and all manner of mundane daily duties. So how do we accomplish all of these things? Does summer mean sleep deprivation? For many people it does. It’s a cruel season that makes you get ready for bed while it’s light out. ~Bill Watterson We all know that sleep is important. There’s information all over the web, televisions, and magazines telling us that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to decreased alertness, memory loss, and numerous medical issues ranging from obesity to heart disease. (For more information go to WebMD.) So why do we do we shave off sleep time? Perhaps we believe in some of the common myths about sleep. If you lose two hours of sleep, you can impair your performance equal to a .05 blood-alcohol level. (from 10 facts about.com) Do you believe that missing just one hour of sleep won’t hurt? Or that your body […]