Today, you are a member of… Your Fiery Weirdness

balllightningAs instances of unpredictable, spherical, luminescence, ball lightning is the physicist’s Elvis, sighted with a ubiquity undaunted by the disagreement over its scientific explanation. Could be microscopic black holes running amok through the earth’s atmosphere, could be vaporized silicon. Could just be plasma clouds that any experiment geek can recreate in a lab given a microwave and an old match (or, if you happen to be at the Max Planck Institute, salt water, a couple of electrodes and high voltage). Despite its debated status as existential fact, ball lighting lore enthusiasts aver its responsibility for a wide range of cultural phenomena. Included are: the courage of Tsar Nicolas the II, the destruction of a 17th century English church, the death of George Richman the 18th century electrical engineer, an array of miscellaneous fodder for Aleister Crowley’s occultism, the World War II origin of the term “Foo Fighters”. And of course, it’s the raison d’entre for The International Symposium on Unconventional Plasmas. Why, bets are, dear members, that you have some ball lightning happening right now, a bit of weirdness, as inexplicable as it is real. If it’s got you tweaked as a David Lynch cook book, best ponder what Jerry Lee Lewis has to say about the matter and step into the fray.

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