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Lightning captured at 7,207 images per second (thekidshouldseethis.com)
274 points by yk on July 19, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments

I was almost hit by lightning a few months ago.

My Dad and I were on a fly fishing trip with a guide in a long canoe-like boat on a river. When the storm came up behind us, we pulled to the side of the river and took cover under the branches of some small overhanging trees. I wasn't very concerned, as the storm wasn't all that big and I'd been in similar situations before.

When it started hailing, I became a bit more worried, but I was still reasonably relaxed. Then I saw an extremely bright flash, screamed, and ducked. My Dad and my guide never heard the scream because the thunder was instant. It took me a few seconds, but I turned around to see if they were ok. They were, and they asked me if I saw where it was. I said that I just knew that it was close. They told me that it was about 3 feet to my right, and it hit the water (my Dad said he saw a hole in the water).

I definitely felt something from it, but I can't really describe what it was. I'd pay a lot of money to be able to see a video like this of that strike.

I'm pretty lucky to be alive/not disabled for life. Don't let your misconceptions about lightning put you in a similar situation. Read NOAA's guide on lightning safety: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/

Holy bolts, that looks like the source of the lightning is doing a distributed spatial breadth search of the potential space looking for a connection for the main jolt (the action potential event).

Could this be what the brain is doing? A group of neurons get excited (some concept or thought), and a distributed spatial search happens electrically starting at the source of excitation (literally brainstorming), until it finds the best pathway to connect to "ground" (reasoning), at which point the pathways between "source" and "ground" stay continuously excited for a measurable period of time (the ephiphany moment, learning is happening via hebbian). "Ground" is whatever that causes the source energy to drain, such as the epiphany of a solution, which makes the solution appear obvious.

About tthe first paragraph, that's exactly what it is doing.

> These electrons are zigzagging through the air as they meet paths of easier passage through the air--paths with a lower dielectric strength. Each stroke of a lightning strike is usually about 50 m (150 ft) long and lasts about 1 to 2 microseconds with a pause of about 50 microseconds before resuming another stroke in a slightly or significantly different direction.


I like your theory. Now if only a neurologist could chime and and confirm!

If you have a bunch of neurons with different thresholds to trigger their action potentials, then you slowly raise the amount of activity sent to them equally, then the lowest one is going to trigger first. I guess you could call it a search.

More (awesome) videos can be found at the original Vimeo page:


(Why link to that blog? It offered nothing extra to the videos)

Or, if you want to go a level deeper, go to the video poster's own site: http://www.ztresearch.com/

A video that went viral 5 years ago pops up on HN three times in two days. What's up?

Something to do with the alignment of mars, the earth and the moon I think...

Could have something to do with the intensity of the storm we experienced here in NYC yesterday....


Every time I see that picture it makes me hate Instagram a little bit more.

Ya, is there a clean version of that picture somewhere?

Any reason in particular for that? Seems a bit harsh.

It removes all the fine features from the funnel, most of the color and contrast information, and shrinks the resolution. It made this photo worse in every way.

To be fair, that image wouldn't exist (nor would we be having this discussion) otherwise as it wouldn't have been published to Instagram. I can't comment in regards to the photographer's filter preference though...

Maybe the resolution would have been the same. But it's possible to upload a photo in Instagram without stopping to apply a filter, isn't it?

Nope, you can go sans filter. It's actually the first option - you have to scroll past it to get to the modifying filters. You can see it in step 2 here: http://help.instagram.com/customer/portal/articles/168150-ta...

This photo would have been incredible without the filters. Without Instagram, applying filters to every photo wouldn't be becoming the norm.

Does anyone know how close prosumer/off the shelf technology can get to reproducing this?

I've seen 1000fps on prosumer cameras, before, but are we close to 5,000 even on sub-$1000 cameras?

I bet you could do it with 5 1000fps cameras and some software trickery. The algorithm would likely be very similar to those used for superresolution merging of multiple photographs of the same scene.

I think you're probably right.

The biggest problem I see is storage if you hack something together. Not just raw storage, because that is an issue, but how fast you can clear the buffer and get the image to disk.

Nikola Tesla would have loved being alive with today's camera technology.

I get the impression he knew what was going on without the cameras.

I think that goes without saying, the point being that it's still amazing to see it with the high speed camera.

Former discussion (the links is now dead) from last week: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4247484

This says "Any use requires licensing via [...]", and yet the web page doesn't indicate that it obtained any such license.

So, is this illegally copied material on the top 1 spot of HN?

No replies, just downvotes on an honest question. Can somebody please answer and enlighten me? Thanks.

I love how once the circuit to ground is established it just pumps power through it until it is fully discharged.

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