How Long Until We Hear Reports That Lightning Is Attracted To iPods Too?

from the coming-soon... dept

We've seen a series of questionable stories lately claiming that lightning is attracted to mobile phones, when those who know anything about the topic say it's basically impossible. Well, it's probably only a matter of time until we hear similar stories about iPods. Nick Burns writes in to let us know about a story in the Denver Post about a kid struck by lightning while listening to his iPod. It seems pretty clear that the lightning ran through the iPod (the wounds follow the line where his headphones were down to where he had the iPod on his hip, the headphones were destroyed and the iPod has a hole). However, the Denver Post article at least quotes an expert noting that there's no way the iPod did anything to attract the lightning. It just allowed the current to travel through the wires. Still, we're willing to bet that there will be "iPods attract lightning" stories making the rounds before too long.
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  • identicon
    Light me up Baby!, 6 Jul 2006 @ 4:49pm

    WooHoo

    Lightning, what makes the IPOD an Invigorating Experience!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BlackCow, 6 Jul 2006 @ 4:53pm

    BS

    Thats BS. If he dident have the iPod he still would have been struck by lighting. Once the lighting struck him the iPod just happend to be more convienent to go through then his entrie body.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Just Me, 6 Jul 2006 @ 4:57pm

    Why not?

    I am not an expert on lightning, but I have heard many people saying that trees attract lightning.

    The point I am trying to make here is, if trees attract lightining, then surely a device powered by electricity would be more attractive to lightning?

    Yes, an Ipod is not as big as a tree...but why should consumers take chances.

    Perhaps the best thing to do is to take an Ipod to car testing center (seen one on TV a while ago, where cars are tested again lightning) and scientifically examin the validy of this claim (Whether Ipods attract lightning or not).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      greg., 6 Jul 2006 @ 5:16pm

      Re: Why not?

      Don't you guys read the articles before posting your comments...?
      The point was clearly made that the iPod did nothing to attract the lightning, and in fact an expert in the article states the very same thing.
      Maybe TechDirt on tape would be a better option for you guys.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      joe, 6 Jul 2006 @ 5:21pm

      Re: Why not?

      Tree's are struck by lightning so often only because they are tall. lightning only because they are tall, so the lightning reaches them first...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SubZero, 6 Jul 2006 @ 5:27pm

    I have a better question, does anyone actually read their posts, before they post them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan, 6 Jul 2006 @ 5:35pm

    Lucky?

    I'm no expert but I would say that boy is lucky to have had an Ipod as some part if not all of the energy travelled trough the wires and bypassed his hearth as it is well know fact that those secondary lighting strikes will kill by disrupting ones hart beat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 6 Jul 2006 @ 5:36pm

    lightning is close, but the next non sequitur scare headline is:

    Parents beware! Pedophile uses iPod to get sex from underaged teens! News at 11!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gryphon (profile), 6 Jul 2006 @ 5:55pm

    Doh!

    The building where I work was hit by lightning this week. Trashed the phone system and computer network to the point of "it's all dead."

    One of the techs has an iPod. It's all so obvious now, it was the iPod that attracted the lightning to the building!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jens, 6 Jul 2006 @ 6:07pm

    please read up on some basic science before postin

    seriously guys.. some basic knowledge of electricity is warranted prior to posting (high school physics levels - nothing too difficult) howstuffworks.com

    The reason why trees improve your chance of getting struck by lightning is because they provide a "better" path to ground (earth). This is simply because the tree is has high water content and is firmly attached to the ground.

    The issue with cellphones, ipods, or any other electronic device is that they are usually metallic and provide an easier "path" for the lightening into the body.

    Now this part im not 100 percent sure, but I believe normally, when folks are struck by lightening the charge usually flows on the outside (surface) of the body to ground.. when this occurs, the damage to the body is usually minimal.. however if there are metallic devices nearby or touching the surface (cellphones?) this could increase the likelyhood of current flowing in/out of the body at that point.. the current flowing inside/across/through the vital organs (especially the heart muscle) is what can cause the real damage....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mr Shag, 7 Jul 2006 @ 6:30am

      Re: please read up on some basic science before po

      HEAR HEAR!

      I can't believe how Techdirt is the first one to claim that the 'other people' use fear--mongering headlines. To minimalists this, is stupid. I don't understand how people just don't read on.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2006 @ 6:36pm

    iPod iPod iPod

    It's not IPOD or IPod or I-Pod

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Corey, 6 Jul 2006 @ 6:44pm

    Re: please read up on some basic science before "p

    Lightning strikes the object that sends skyward the highest stream of negative electrons. The clouds on the surface closest to the ground are positively charged. The mass of clouds are discharged when a connection is made --- several objects can send up these streams of negative electrons at any one given time it is not necessarily the tallest object that will be discharged upon, although it usually is. The best policy is during a thunderstorm, don't be out side.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Frink, 6 Jul 2006 @ 8:25pm

    I think the kid just overcharged his iPod and that caused a ground to cloud discharge. That fits in with my theory about the iPod and global warming, but that's a story for another day. It's something I've been working with Al Gore on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sue Apple, 6 Jul 2006 @ 8:27pm

    So.... the point of this article is to let us know that it's okay to sue Apple for making iPod users more likely to die. ;)

    SUE SUE SUE!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Clair Ching, 6 Jul 2006 @ 8:46pm

    The thing with myths is that we tend to believe them because so and so and such and such put together makes sense. Somewhat. But we all need to learn to verify facts before jumping to conclusions. There have been a lot of mobile phone related myths before and hopefully, there won't be much iPod myths. Then again, you never know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2006 @ 9:25pm

    >I have a better question, does anyone actually read their posts, before they post them?
    QFT

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    a, 6 Jul 2006 @ 9:39pm

    booga booga booga

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2006 @ 9:41pm

    Bottom line, lighting always takes the path of least reasistance from the point of origin to the ground. That's what makes it jagged.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Raymo, 6 Jul 2006 @ 9:57pm

    here is a question for anyone to answer.... why is a kid outside if there is lightning flashing about anyway?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, 7 Jul 2006 @ 6:05am

    People are stupid

    Just like the golfer out in the rain and thunder.

    The lightning is more likely to hit you than your iPod (Hay I spelled it right) since you’re mostly water and salt, and that is a excellent conductor of electricity. Plus you’re one really big wire and all the electricity will be able to run threw you much easier than the little tiny wires on the iPod.

    Watch Mythbusters some day. They proved this on two separate myths

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      C. Cornell Joyner, 11 Jul 2006 @ 8:33pm

      Re: People are stupid

      Actually (pure) water does not conduct electricity. In fact water is an electrical insulator. It is what is in the water that conducts electricity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TheMoose22, 7 Jul 2006 @ 8:44am

    ITHAPPEND TODAY

    Wow you guys are good, you predicted this story only a day or so before it printed....

    http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/07/ipod-equipped-teen-struck-by-lightning/

    enjoy the bs

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Carl Spackler, 7 Jul 2006 @ 10:14am

    RE: Lightning

    I don't think the heavy stuff is coming down for awhile yet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lettuce, 17 Jul 2006 @ 3:21pm

    Am I the only one wondering...

    ..if he was listening to "Ride the Lightning"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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