Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lightning Effects on iPods and Notes on Speed Limits

Reading the Business section of the Courier-Journal page D3, there is an interesting AP article about how nearby lightning strikes can harm people wearing music players, cell phones, beeps, and computers while outside. The person they showed had burns on their ear, shoe and shirt from where the player made contact with their body. Another incident described in the article is of a jogger wearing an iPod and lightning struck a tree a couple feet away. The bolt jumped to his body and he suffered burns where the iPod was attached to him. His hearing was damaged where 50% was lost. Go to for more information about this phenomenon.

After looking around some more, Nokia has filed a patent application where they run software on the cell phone that uses FM or GSM to detect lightning in the area and alert the wearer of the phone. See this link for more info:,132220-pg,1/article.html

The speed limit in Kentucky went up to 70 mph yesterday on some roads and there is a Courier Journal article on pages A1 and A5 about it. What caught my attention was a graph showing fuel efficiency from the Department of Energy. It shows a summary of different vehicles and their gas mileage in relation to speed traveled. It shows that efficiency is best at speeds of 40-55 mph showing 30 mpg, at 60 mph it is 28 mpg, 65 it is 28 mpg, 70 it is 25 mpg and 75 it is 23 mpg. Another interesting note it costs almost $11,000 to change the signs to the new speed limit.

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