Thunder Megaphone – A Glacial Valley Can Focus and Amplify Thunder Into a Most Extraordinary Sound

We’ve all heard thunder, and we all know what causes it. Many of us have heard two distinct kinds of thunder, but perhaps we never really noticed or thought about it. Recently, I heard a third kind of thunder.

“Ordinary” thunder – a thoroughly extraordinary sound, but the kind of thunder we hear most often – happens when lightning occurs at some distance from the observer. The initial sound of the lightning bolt echoes off surrounding objects and air masses. Because it is echoed so many times, the thunder stretches out into many, many seconds, even though the initial sound might have lasted a second or two at most. Moreover, because the initial sound echoes off soft things with indistinct surfaces – clouds, thermoclines, and weather fronts – and because many echoes reach the ears of the observer at different times, the original sound is greatly distorted. Almost all high frequency components are filtered out, and the observer hears mostly a low-pitched rumble.

When lightning strikes very close to the observer, within a few hundred feet, the sound is entirely different. The observer might not hear echoes of the thunder at all, but only the pure initial sound. It is a single, sharp, intense “POW!” It may be followed by a much quieter, but still loud, whistling or hissing sound.

But what about that third kind of lightning?

I was camping alone in Crawford Notch State Park in northern New Hampshire, when thunderstorms began rolling into the valley just after dinner. I tidied up my campsite just before the rain started, then retreated to my tent. One thunderstorm passed without much incident.

Darkness had fallen by the time the second thunderstorm rolled up from the south. I occupied myself by counting the time interval between lightning and thunder to track the movements of the storms. Fifteen seconds before the thunder rolled up from somewhere west of Mount Bemis, and I knew the storm was just under three miles southwest of me. Seven seconds between the flash and the rumble beyond Frankenstein Cliff, and I knew the storm was passing nearly a mile and a half to my west.

And then it happened!

A flash. I counted eleven seconds. And I heard a sound unlike any thunder I had ever heard before.

The cacophony included at least half a dozen rapid repetitions of the “POW!” of a nearby lightning strike. But at the same time, there was the rumbling and roaring of “ordinary” thunder, but much, much louder than usual.

Before I could figure out what that sound was, there was another flash somewhere to the north. Again I counted eleven seconds, and again I heard that utterly incredible crackling and powing and rumbling and roaring.

This time, I figured it out.

It was a lightning strike right within the upper reaches of Crawford Notch just a couple of miles north of me. It was right within a gigantic stone megaphone formed by Webster Cliff on the east, Mount Field and Mount Willey on the west, and the old glacial cirque of Mount Willard for a backstop on the north.

And this 1,500 foot deep, three-mile-long granite megaphone was pointed right at Dry River Campground.

Yes, the beautiful U-shaped glacial valley of Crawford Notch is a nearly perfect megaphone, albeit open on top. The bare stone faces of Mount Willard and Webster Cliff echoed the initial “POW!” of the thunder almost undistorted. The western slope of the notch is a bit more heavily wooded, but there’s enough bare ledge and rockslide there to provide a pretty good echo. The open top of the notch was covered by the underbelly of the thunderstorm itself, which provided enough of a soft echoic surface to create the usual rumbling of thunder in addition to the clean “POW!” echoes off the rock faces.

But all of this sound was extraordinarily loud because of the megaphone that focused it all right on me and my campsite.

After I got this all figured out, there was a third lightning flash in the north. Yes, eleven second later, there was that glorious, unearthly sound again.

I wondered why I had never heard this kind of thunder before. I have probably experienced thunderstorms in Crawford Notch at least a dozen times over the years, but never heard the Thunder Megaphone.

My best guess is that I probably have heard it before, but never noticed it. Most of the times I’ve camped there, it was with a crowd of friends and family. Much goes on when a thunderstorm rolls in. Ponchos have to be broken out and put on, while at the same time, various disorderly what-nots need to get stashed into cars and tents before they get soaked. There is a bit of yelling and shouting to be done, and paradoxically among the mayhem, kids and dogs need to have their fears calmed. Meanwhile, tarps over the tents and picnic tables are flapping in the gales, making a poor imitation of thunder themselves.

In all my 25 years camping in Crawford Notch, this may have been the first time I experienced a thunderstorm while I was camping there alone. There was no tarp over the tent, and I had anticipated the thunderstorm well enough to get everything into the car long before the rain started.

So, when the lightning and thunder came, I had nothing to do but observe.

What a treat!

I half hope we get a thunderstorm the next time we go camping in the mouth of the Thunder Megaphone.

Learn All About Italian Cooking In Italy

Do you wish to visit Italy? Do you live near or in Italy as a permanent resident? Are you a resident of place near to Italy? Do you dream of enhancing your cooking skills or learn how to cook?

Have you ever heard of Italian cooking classes? These Italian cooking classes would help you cook delicious and world famous Italian recipes with ease. If you are a tourist and is planning a trip to Italy then you should consider including Italian cooking classes in your trip. This would not only be an enhancing activity that is wonderful but would be beneficial for you all your life. What could be better than learning Italian cooking classes in Italy. There are people in Italy who are proficient in prepairing Italian food and can hence provide you with greatest techniques and tips.

If you live in or near Italy then you should not miss this wonderful opportunity. This could be your new hobby or interest that would benefit you all your life. If you dreamed to become gourmet Italian chef in any phase of your life then Italian cooking classes are the best solution for all your needs and requirements. You would get what you are searching for in Italian cooking classes!

If you are searching for information on Italian cooking classes then you can use internet for the same. Various websites or blogs are there on the internet to assist you in this task. You get various types of information that includes list reviews, student satisfaction and cost comparisons. Some also undertakes the responsibility to inform you of class curriculums. You can also view the information about the professors and their accomplishments or experience. In any of the case, you would be endeavored with informative activities or about the open house learning.

It is worth exploring your desires, interests and dreams. You cannot ascertain the benefits of attending Italian cooking classes in Italy. Some join these cooking classes to impress their friends or family by their extraordinary dishes while others take it as a passion of their life. There are people who just want to join a new activity to spend some time with their loved one or a friend and some take is seriously as their career. Whatever are your needs or requirements from Italian cooking classes you would definitely be able to accomplish that.

There are people who do not believe in online classes and wish to attend a class physically. For such people it would be an opportunity to meet wonderful people who also share the common interest for Italian cooking. This could be one of the best way to make friends of common interest. You can share your experiences and learn a lot from your colleagues or friends. If you are a novice just like them then you can easily struggle with recipes and adjust to the environment easily.

Great Weight Loss Solution – Lap Band Surgery

We face lots of problem in our life but overall life is beautiful. The way of living and food what we eat directly affects our body. Unhealthy eating and irregular life engender a new problem regarding health. Obesity is one of the common health problems. Obesity is really a great problem in itself and also welcomes other health problems like heart attack, diabetes, hypertension, cerebrovascular accident, myocardial etc and some time death. To live life happily we should first try to get rid of this disease-obesity. This is not the new problem. It is very old one. There are many solutions for obesity and tried by many obese people but ultimate result is only few of them get the real advantages from those solutions. In addition solutions are also not suitable for everyone and demand your full effort. Over all, there is one best weight loss solution which has ultimate good result in a little pain, efforts and for long term.

Lap band surgery is that ultimate solution which provides great relief from obesity in little pain. In this lap band surgery a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (Lap band), an inflatable ring type device is implanted via surgery by surgeon to tie the stomach and to divide it in to two parts. Uppermost part is tie to form a small pouch. Theory behind dividing the stomach is, by doing so surgeon try to limit or control your food intake in order to decrease your obesity. Lap band device limits the ingestion of food in to stomach and also control the ejection of food in to small intestine. It reduces the stomach functionality. That’s why you prolong the period of fullness. You feel full in small amount of food for a long time and thus you can reduce your morbid obesity. Lap band device is made up of silicone elastomer to make it biocompatible.

In this surgery there is no need of cut and staple. Only small incisions are made on your abdomen to insert lap band. You feel no pain. The whole lap band surgery procedure takes less then 1 hour. It is done on an outpatient basis under a general anesthetic. Mortality rate of this surgery is less than 1%. Generally patient spends about 24 hours in hospital. You may require some week in recovery. After 1 or 2 weeks you can perform your all general activities including going to work and after 6 week you can do exercise.

Before having a Gastric lap band surgery, meet with the surgeon to know whether you are an eligible candidate or not. Once surgeon suggests you for this surgery then you can proceed with pre-operative test. After surgery you have to follow some post-operative diet plan given by surgeon. Strictly you have to follow that diet plan otherwise you couldn’t attend or achieve the goal to reduce obesity. If you really want a good result from this surgery then you have to make your mind to follow all these. In 18 months (approx) you can lose approx 50 to 60% of your weight. You can adjust your lap band anytime in future. Surgery has some side-effects also like slippage of band, lap band erosion, vomiting, nausea, Band leakage, Reflux, Difficulty swallowing, Enlargement of stomach pouch or band slippage, Dehydration, No weight loss, Blockage of stomach outlet, Gas bloat, Nausea, Constipation, Ulceration, Weight regain, Gastritis, In extremely rare cases death. But you can control these side-effects by taking proper care. Take full advice from your surgeon and then go for it.

How the Internet Affects Traditional Media

Traditional Publishing, REST IN PEACE

This is the headline that greets you when you land on a web page erected as a memorial to commemorate the decline of Traditional Media. A photograph of a man who seems to be in distress and who’s possibly just lost his job accompanies this headline. If this does not paint a bleak picture, go on to read the 548 headlines that all sing to the same tune as the following:

  • Bad Times: NYT Says Revenue Fell 13.9% Last Month

    – Forbes.com

  • Men’s monthly magazine Arena to cease printing after 22 years

    – Guardian.co.uk

  • Cosmopolitan UK publisher to cut 100 jobs

    – Guardian.co.uk

There’s even a website entitled Newspaper Death Watch that chronicles all the publishing and newspaper houses that close down. All rather morbid wouldn’t you say?

The Deadly Spell

Let’s take a quick look at Traditional Media and how the Internet cast it’s deadly spell.

Back in the old days, we’re talking 500 years ago; Gutenberg revolutionized the printing industry by inventing the printing press. This meant bibles could be produced at a fraction the time it used to. This also meant more copies in a shorter time and the Word of God got further reach in a shorter time. Newspaper houses and Magazine publishers still use a printing press today (well thank you captain obvious).

Much later, shortly after the advent of electricity, the world was blessed with another few media breakthroughs, namely radio then a few years later, television. Marketers and Advertising agencies had it all figured out as they devised Integrated Marketing Campaigns with astronomical budgets. Ah, the good old days. Well, much to the dismay of many of these agencies, this media landscape started to change.

Behold! Enter The WWW

At first a website was seen as a cute way to put your company brochure online and on top of that the disastrous dot bomb era created skepticism that labeled the Internet as a bad media and business channel.

Fortunately, since then the Internet has matured. Now, in countries where broadband has achieved high levels of household penetration, the web has become the consumer medium of choice.

Why? Because people can do research, shop online, watch videos and connect with friends all in the comfort of their own homes. People can choose what media they want to consume, where and when they choose too, especially with mobile connectivity. Marketers can no longer dictate what advertising messages people get subjected too.

Social Media, The New Black

Then there is the phenomenon of Social Media. It changed the media landscape forever. Social Media websites have allowed consumers to connect with friends, family, colleagues and peers in ways that were never imaginable a few decades ago.

Technology has empowered the consumer to become the Prosumer. Prosumers are consumers who produce content such as videos, photos and blogs that can be instantly distributed and shared amongst millions of people via social media platforms. This is also known as user-generated content or UCG.

Here is an interesting bit of trivia about the reach of Traditional Media vs. the Internet and Social Media.

Years it took to reach a market audience of 50 Million:

  • Radio – 38 Years
  • TV – 13 Years
  • The Internet – 4 Years
  • The iPod – 3 Years
  • Facebook – 2 Years

So How Does The Internet Affect Traditional Media?

The Internet has decreased the need for Traditional Media because it enabled consumers to join social societies within their neighborhoods, across their countries and internationally. It has empowered them to converse at their leisure, 24/7, with friends.

Considering all that’s been said, the demise of Traditional Media can largely be attributed to the following factors:

  1. Decline in readership: The distribution of free news and information on the web has led to the decline in readership for traditional publications.
  2. Decline in revenues: The decline in readership means advertisers will spend their money elsewhere and this leads to a decline in ad revenue.
  3. Real-time updates: Traditional Media can’t compete with instantly updated user-generated content that’s immediately available for the world to see.
  4. The rise of UGC websites: People have the freedom of unlimited real time commentary on content while Traditional Media is static and is a one-way communication tool.
  5. Online Audio/Video channels: People can choose what they want to watch and listen, when they want to and where without any advertising interrupting their experience.

Simply put. The Internet has revolutionized the way things get done today. It has revolutionized the way we do business, the way we communicate and has broken down the walls of Traditional Media.

A recent example is the decision by Unilever UK to fire Lowe, their Ad agency of 15 years, in favor of crowdsourcing – which means it has thrown the brand creative pitch open to agencies and basically any person who can think of an idea, worldwide. This is done on the Internet of course.

Traditional Media will still be around for a while, but the Internet is getting more and more integrated into our daily lives.

Think about this. You could do without the Mail & Guardian or the MensHealth Mag for quite some time, perhaps live quite happily without it? But you just dare cut that ADSL connection…