How Should I Prepare for Lightning Storms?

Lightning storms, severe storm systems that produce frequent cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, can cause serious damage to structures, trees, power lines and consumer electronics. They may trigger fires or damage tree limbs, which in turn can cause even more structural damage. When local weather stations warn of impending lightning storms, there are a number of actions a person should take in order to protect his or her life and property. People and animals should be moved inside, if possible, away from windows. Electronics should be unplugged so there is no chance of them being damaged by power surges.

person-on-bike-in-lightning-storm
People and pets should go inside homes and buildings during lightning storms to the avoid risk of getting struck.

 

One important step to take before lightning storms arrive is to move all living things indoors. Pets, livestock, and family members all need to be under enough shelter to remain dry, warm, and protected from the elements. Standing under the tallest object in an open area, such as a tree at a golf course, is never a good idea, however. Lightning tends to strike the highest point that will lead the electrical charge to the ground. A covered picnic pavilion or the inside of a car would be much safer during lightning storms than a tree or open field.

The same precautions a person should take for any severe weather event apply to lightning storms. A weather radio with a battery back-up should be turned on for regular updates on the storm’s location and intensity. Candles or battery-powered lamps should be readily available in case of a power failure. Family members should remain in lower levels of the home and stay away from windows. Strong lightning storms often put down significant numbers of lightning strikes and loud thunder, so younger children and pets may need extra attention until the storm subsides.

Many people who own consumer electronic devices such as home computers, stereo systems, DVD players and so on should already have those devices plugged into a power strip featuring surge protection, but there are those who don’t. During lightning storms, a direct lightning strike on a nearby power line can cause a temporary surge in electrical power entering the home’s outlets. A surge protector should automatically detect and filter this extra energy, but appliances plugged directly into unprotected sockets can suffer damage. Before a lightning storm arrives, a person should completely unplug all unnecessary electrical appliances and electronic equipment not protected by a surge protector.

It's best to stay away from standing water, such as an ocean or lake, during lightning storms.
It’s best to stay away from standing water, such as an ocean or lake, during lightning storms.

 

Some home owners invest in lightning grounding systems in order to protect their property during a lightning storm. If a lightning bolt does strike the house, a grounding wire will draw the electrical energy away and into a remote part of the property. The installation of a properly grounded lightning rod can also discourage lightning from striking the roof or a nearby tree.

Fortunately, most lightning storms leave distinctive images on modern weather radar systems, so meteorologists can generally warn viewers of a dangerous storm’s predicted path and intensity. Some radar systems can even detect individual lightning strikes within a storm systems and warn specific areas of the potential for danger. The time to take precautions is long before the actual arrival of the storm, however. Once lightning begins to hit an area, it may be too late to save electronic equipment from receiving damage.

If a driver cannot find suitable shelter or drive out of a dangerous storm system, remaining in the car would not be a bad idea. A car will act as a Faraday cage during a lightning strike, meaning the electrical energy would be directed around the car’s exterior, but occupants would remain safe and insulated. The main goal during a strong lightning storm is not to be the tallest target in the area and to stay away from natural conductors such as standing water or metal fences.

Hail can accompany lightning storms.
Hail can accompany lightning storms.
Faraday cage with bolt of electricity.
Faraday cage with bolt of electricity.
An especially heavy layer of cirrus can indicate an incoming storm system.
An especially heavy layer of cirrus can indicate an incoming storm system.
A lightning rod can help protect a building from lightning strikes.
A lightning rod can help protect a building from lightning strikes.

What Is an Electric Current?

Electric current is measured using an ammeter.
Electric current is measured using an ammeter.

Electric current is the name for the flow of electrons that makes up the movement of electric charge. Current flows when the voltage on one end of a conductor differs from the voltage on the other end of a conductor. A force that most people deal with nearly every day, flowing current includes lighting, electrical power cords, and the surprising shock that comes from shuffling shoes on carpet in dry weather. This force is measured in units called amperes, also called amps.

A ubiquitous presence in modern life, current can be found flowing through conductors. Conductors include metal like aluminum, copper, and steel, but water can also conduct current. Electric current has proved to be quite useful to people, but it can also pose a danger to life and property. As humans are made up largely of water, this means that they can conduct current as well, which puts them at risk for electric injury if they come into contact with a conductor with an electric charge. They can also be injured if they are in contact with a body of water when it has a charge, even if the water is in the form of a small stream or puddle.

When referring to electric current, it is proper to say that the current flows through a conducting object like a wire or appliance, not in it. Insulation like rubber or ceramic is commonly used to keep current from flowing into nearby conductors. While air acts as insulation for wires that do not have contact with conductors, open-air wires must often be insulated at connecting points like transformers or building entry and exit points.

residential-electric-meter

An ampere, or amp, is the standard unit used to measure electric current. On paper, amperes can be calculated from coulombs by dividing the coulombs by one second. Amperes in electric current are measured using a tool called an ammeter. In equations, electric current is often referred to as I, which is used to stand for the intensity of current before the term was shortened to electric current.

Lightning is a form of electric current.
Lightning is a form of electric current.

Electric current can cause fire. When it comes in the form of lightning, this force can set fire to foliage and damage buildings. To prevent lightning damage to buildings in areas prone to lightning storms, building owners often install devices called lightning rods that attract the lightning charge to a high metal rod, which redirects and dispels the current underground. Desert electrical storms that produce lightning with no rain can set fire to dry brush that can grow to damage many homes and acres of land.

Voltage measures the energy that is carried by an electric charge. Voltage is measured in volts. The flow of electricity is often compared to the flow of water, and voltage is the electric equivalent of water pressure. The higher the voltage, the faster electrons will flow through the conductor.

Source / Courtesy : WiseGeek

Pageantry – Vocabwagon

Pageantry

 

The meaning of the word Pageantry is to show an excessive or elaborate display of anything in a ceremony.

The word Pageantry is a noun.

Examples:

1. The King’s pageantry at the parade made people question the credibility of their taxes being used wisely.

2. The pageantry of the nobles further infuriated the poor folk who often had a single set of clothing to ward off the bitter winter.

 

A cloud on the horizon – Idiom Thaatha

A cloud on the horizon

The meaning of the idiom a cloud on the horizon is to denote a threat or to indicate an impending trouble.

Examples:

1. No one’s life, however glorious it might be, would be without a cloud on the horizon.

2. The rider did not realize that the unusual noise from his vehicle was a cloud on the horizon.

 

What is Ohm’s Law?

German physicist Georg Ohm uncovered how a material's make up, length and thickness influences how much current will flow through it at a certain voltage.
German physicist Georg Ohm uncovered how a material’s make up, length and thickness influences how much current will flow through it at a certain voltage.

Ohm’s Law is a law used in physics that basically explains how electricity operates properly within a simple circuit. In order to explain the electrical process, the law shows how the three elements of electricity — ampere, resistance, and voltage — work together to create a functioning electrical circuit. The law states that the amount of electrical current, measured in amperes, traveling through a conductor is proportional or equal to the voltage, but is inversely proportional to the resistance in the conductor.

The proponent and the namesake of the law was George Simon Ohm, a renowned German physicist in the early 1800s. While working as a professor at the Jesuit Gymnasium of Cologne in Germany, he experimented with and observed the behavior of electricity in simple circuits with different wire lengths. He described and documented all the results in a book, “The Galvanic Circuit Investigated Mathematically,” which was initially rejected but later acknowledged, leading to the establishment of the Ohm’s Law.

Ohm’s Law can be written in a simple mathematical equation: I = V/R, where I is for the electrical current measured in amperes, V is for the voltage, and R is for the resistance. In this equation, the resistance is usually a constant variable, since its value is not dependent on the amount of electric current, but rather on the materials used to make the circuit, such as the metal wires and the resistor itself. The formula can be expressed in other inversed forms such as V = IR, or R = V/I. These inversed formulas can help find the value of one element if the values of the two other elements are already identified.

There are essentially three “truth” statements that one should remember regarding Ohm’s Law. The first statement is that the value of I will increase or decrease if the value of V increases or decreases, respectively. The second statement is that the value of I will decrease if the value of R increases and the value of V does not change. The third statement is that the value of I will increase if the value of R decreases and the value of V remains the same.

Ohm's Law can be used to find the electrical resistance applied to a circuit by resistors.
Ohm’s Law can be used to find the electrical resistance applied to a circuit by resistors.

 

The principle of Ohm’s Law can be practically applied in appliances and any equipment operated by electricity or a battery. For example, a simple light-emitting diode (LED) needs only 2 volts and .02 amperes to light up, but is connected to a 6-volt battery. This may cause the LED to short circuit, and a resistor is needed to reduce the current. Using the formula R = V/I, one can determine that a resistor containing 200 ohms is needed to control the current coming into the LED.

 

Source / Courtesy : WiseGeek

Humongous – Vocabwagon

Humongous

The meaning of the word Humongous is large, huge or enormous.

The word Humongous is an adjective.

Examples:

1. The crowd was stunned by the humongous truck that careened off the corner, making people run for safety.

2. The humongous air craft carrier was the center of attraction, drawing people by its sheer size.

The Inevitable – literary review

Literary Review of The Inevitable

Regulars at eateries and restaurants would savor each dish kept in front of them and never rush into gulping down any delicacy, for the usual visitors are lovers of food habitually attracted to a café by the aroma or the mouth watering taste of the delicious food prepared. Many a quality restaurant serve starters that ignite hunger in a staid stomach, whereas there are some starters that take hunger away from your growling tummy, tossing aside in the process, the desire to dine in a café ever again. The Inevitable is a collection of exotic delicacies spread before on a big table. There are starters, the main menu, side dishes and desserts. The Inevitable café differs from all other such establishments around the world in one way. Your stomach is satisfied with the well thought-out, spontaneous preparation of the starter before each main menu. Your mouth craves for the taste to linger in its mouth and your stomach hastily opens its entrails longing for the tasty morsels to come gushing in. The beauty of the poems acting as starters takes your breath away. You never want to move on, afraid that, the main menu, the side dishes and the tantalizing desserts with the ‘take me now’ look might not perhaps live up to the tasty reputation of the starter coursing down your throat now. Oh boy! Can you be more at fault than this?

That the poetic starters were penned down by Ashay Abbhi in moments of extreme pain is evident by the emotions seeping in between the lines. The aura of death encompassing the poems reminds you of Emily Dickinson’s works. Something there is in Ashay that endears him to death and its characteristics. May be, though you cannot be sure, it is the inevitability of death that propels Ashay to dwell so much on a topic everyone fears, and none dares to venture carefree. The finality of human life is painted in each of the poems either candidly or subtly. Is Ashay Abbhi then, a poet who has lost positive outlook towards life? Is he a pessimistic poet filled with hate, darkness and bile? Definitely not… For under the dark sky through the dark atmosphere surrounding his poems comes forth a piercing light brightening the sullen atmosphere – the main dishes that carry rays of hope for the lost mankind, his stories.

The stories of Ashay Abbhi expose you to the various places that the author has travelled. One can find the entire India ensconced within all his stories. He takes you to all the corners of the country and in fact, you get a chance to visit Africa too. The language of the author deserves a special mention. He mingles and connects with the reader in an effortless manner. When writing with words unheard of and unused usually seems to the order of the day for many budding writers, Ashay has travelled with the experience of a veteran, bringing to the reader the ideas of a modern young man. That is a feat to be applauded! The emotions are strong, with some hitting you right in the face with their brutal frankness. You long for the protagonists, willing yourself to stop yourself from silently mouthing words of comfort to them. Such is the power of the man’s writing.

Imagine

I have taken the liberty of using Imagine as the title for the introductory poem for which I beg the forgiveness of Ashay Abbhi. Imagination is a gift that sustains human beings. Each imagines things in a different way in his/her own capacity. Who has not imagined? As mentioned earlier, the starter gets you imagining. For imagine you must death, to live until gives wings to your imagination making you soar into the sky.

The 9th Cross

This poem depicts the confusion a just – created spectre has as it travels in search of belonging to someplace, someone… to be comfortable and be loved. The poet has left clues hanging in the poem to guide the reader into the maze of the spectre. A brilliant insight indeed!

The Yellow Wall

You are treated to a serene surrounding as you start this story. The magnificence of Himalayas humbles you as your train goes chugging along windy tracks. As you get down, a sense of curiosity comes out that deepens into a feeling of certainty and horror. The tonga-wallah cannot be forgotten easily. Who is he in reality? It is for you to interpret.

The search for love

The meaning of the poem is clearly but cleverly written to make the readers understand the inner meaning of love. Religion has been used to infuse the meaning lucidly. The language content has been considerably raised in this poem to lend quality to the poem.

Love for Tea

Ashay Abbhi brings out the power of love through this story. The end leaves you in tears. The sacrifice made by the couple through the years, each for the other, is heart-breaking and tear-producing. You can smell the tea leaves from far away.

Five cups of Tea

This poem reminds one of the different stages in a person’s life depicted by William Shakespeare. The five cups of tea tells us the stark realities of life. This poem is a collection of simple words woven eloquently to tell the philosophy of life.

Coffee at Midnight

Chennai comes alive at midnight as the protagonist of the story thirsts for a cup of coffee. The policemen and the coffee-wallah are engrained in your minds. The violence is sudden and short-lived, but necessary for the story to have its effect on the readers.

I’ll take you Away

The poem drifts in like a waft of fresh air, giving hope to the suffering. The poem can be interpreted into any way the reader wants. The one giving hope and taking you away from tribulations could be anyone… even death.

The night it rained

The poverty of India is highlighted in this story. The story is concise and structured in a way to evoke sympathy from the readers. The helpless situation of the poor of the country is pitiable.

A Day

A typical day in the life of a person who has lost his/her desire to live and is depressed, is portrayed powerfully in this poem, especially so in the last two lines that read ‘little of life is left to live, little is there to die with me’.

Just another Day

This story of Ashay deals with two things predominantly – mob psychology that can wreak havoc and superstitions of villagers in India. Though comical initially, the story has an upheaval that is disturbingly true of any mob activity anywhere in the world.

The Moonlit Shore

This poem also deals with death and the aftermath. People close in life remain so in death too, lying next to each other, with the moonlight shining on the bodies.

Living to Die

The atmosphere is eerie. It sure does give creeps to the reader. Why does the woman follow the funeral procession? Why does the man not resist the urge to follow the woman? Read on to find more…

Departed from life

A soul narrates the life led by its body before and after the separation of body and soul. The grim silence and the different perceptions from which objects are viewed by the soul make this poem an interesting read.

Kalimpong

Gorkhas and their deeds of bravery are shot at us in the mountains of Kalimpong. The atrocities of the military, the natural response of the Gorkhas to fight nail and teeth for their homeland and the dignity of woman are emotionally written. Above all, the utter calm with which Gorkhas face inevitable death is saddening and awe-inspiring. This story deserves a re-read.

A sight travels

The imminence of death is brought out in this poem by a sight that travels over the horizon, into dreams and the world beyond.

Darkness

The reader cannot but feel sorry for the protagonist languishing in the darkness. The car hit not only the protagonist but also the pride of the character, plunging into darkness his entire life. Evokes pity.

Endless wait…

This poem talks about the endless waiting sessions that everyone has in various points of life. This is almost like the poem in which Wordsworth asks, “What is this life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare?”. Powerful ideas contained in a single poem.

The New Year’s Eve

This is yet another story that makes the reader pity the lead character and is filled with irony. The reader can also relate to the character’s musings. A little oversight in proof reading gives a momentary confusion which can be overcome easily.

Living Dead

This poem is proof of the exemplary writing skills and spontaneity of the poet. The emotions jostle for space among the minds of the reader, vying for space.

Bashir Bhai Ghadi Dega Kya?

A hilarious story that has been coated with a terror brush, this is one story to enjoy and let your guard down. The story also tends to make one think that this could have happened or could happen to anyone.

Sometimes…

A poem penned for the peace of the world, the writing is filled with deep philosophical insight that could be used as the Bible for today’s terror-stricken world and society.

The Escape

A trip to Africa amidst gun toting mercenaries leaves you speechless and frightened. The entire scenario is action packed and to a certain extent possible in the world currently. The story is good, but definitely not the best of the lot.

Part of the Game…

A delightful and poignant way of the way of life, this poem is light – hearted and true. The Almighty’s supervision of everything that happens in this life is beautifully written.

 

Ashes of Bad Writers

This story needs an ‘A’ certification for the gore and violence it depicts. A superb plot, written in a way that shakes and makes you read your work countless number of times, fearing the worst is worthy of the writer. That poetic justice is served makes the story credible.

Peace

War torn countries and the plight of countless number of stranded and homeless children probably influenced Ashay to pen this powerful poem. This poem deserves a place with the literary greats of the bygone era.

Ashay Abbhi has come out with a book that has all the necessary ingredients to make that both a starter and main dish, satisfying the body and soul completely. The greatness of the author is revealed in his works, be it the swishing poems or the racy stories. It is of course to be expected that when such talent is there in a person, it is inevitable that The Inevitable must be released. The book is certainly the result of a herculean effort, taking into consideration the quality brought forth and the young age of the author. Nowhere does the author slip, except for a slight editing mistake. The Inevitable will certainly make heads to turn, attracting popularity to the author and changing the world for good, towards peace.

Rating: 4/5

 

Innocuous – Vocabwagon

Innocuous

 

The meaning of the word Innocuous is to be harmless or innocent.

The word Innocuous is an adjective.

Examples:

  1. Children’s innocuous questions often startle elders and instill wisdom in the minds of the old.
  2. The innocuous writer never imagined the rift her story would create.

No half measures – Idiom Thaatha

No half measures

The meaning of the idiom No half measures is to have no compromise in any situation and to show no behaviour or performance that is not the best.

Examples:

  1. If we are to go into business this time, there are to be no half measures. We go in with all our resources.
  2. You’d better watch out if you have any disagreement with our boss. No half measures from her.

Insinuation – Vocabwagon

Insinuation

The meaning of the word Insinuation is to suggest or to hint something bad about someone or something in an indirect or unpleasant way.

The word Insinuation is a noun. Insinuation also takes the form of an adjective and an adverb.

Noun – Insinuation

Example:

  1. The emperor was blind to the insinuations created by his Finance Minister.

Verb – Insinuate

Example:

  1. He insinuated that most people in this industry were immoral.

Adjective – Insinuating

  1. His uncouth, insinuating laughter makes me irate.