The Mary Sue


This Final Fantasy Character is The New Face of Louis Vuitton

Lightning, a character from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series, who was originally created to feature as a strong female protagonist in the game, is now the new face of Louis Vuitton.

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Maybe Lasers Could Be Used to Deflect Lightning From Buildings

If that doesn't work, perhaps some ill-tempered mutated sea bass.

Buildings getting struck by lightning accounts for more than $1 billion worth of damage in the U.S. every year. While there are ways to mitigate the amount of damage caused by directing the lightning away and into the ground, all those methods are just so... boring. You know what aren't boring? High intensity lasers. Heeeeell yeah!

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Ball Lightning Observed In Nature For The First Time, There’s Even Fuzzy Video Evidence

Even though the headline has the words "fuzzy" and "ball" in it, it's still science.

Stories of mysterious lightning balls appearing during storms go back hundreds of years. Mostly people just chalked this up to "yeah, and I've seen a UFO too, bro"; but now, for the first time ever, Chinese scientists have actually observed ball lightning in the wild.

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Lightning Looks Awesome in Slow Motion Thanks to a Super High Speed Camera [Video]

This, Marty McFly. This is a gigawatt.

How fast is a camera that records video at 10,000 frames per second? It's about 333 times as fast as a regular video camera, which is apparently fast enough to record the path of a bolt of lightning as it strikes. What does it look like? Kind of like a tree growing upside down out of the sky. 1.21 gigawatts of electric tree.

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Poorly Understood “Dark Lightning” May Often Precede Lightning Strikes

Though it sounds like a necromancer spell in some B-grade RPG, dark lightning is actually a strange, ill-understood weather phenomenon that takes place deep within storm clouds.  While it's invisible to the naked eye, a group of researchers using some fortuitous satellite data may have discovered that lightning and dark lightning are more closely linked than once suspected.

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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Trailer Hits the Interwebs, Cryptic and Flashy Per the Norm

What Square Enix thinks you need more of in your life -- regardless of the fact that we've made it evidently clear otherwise -- is more Final Fantasy XIII. The trailer for the franchise within a franchise's latest installment, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, was initially posted on GameTrailers this morning before quickly being pulled. Since then, the video has been uploaded on YouTube in spades.

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It Sounds Like There’s a New Version of the iPad on the Way

When it comes to Apple, there's always some new device on the horizon for the internet to talk about. That's how they maintain their futuristic, right? Well, with the iPhone 5 in stores and the iPad mini potentially on the verge of seeing the light of day, I think it's fair to say that it's time move on to the generation of mysterious new toys potentially in development, don't you? According to MacRumors, Apple may already be working with developers on apps for a next-generation iPad. (Cue shocked face.)

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You Could Help Build a Pair of 10-Story Tall Tesla Coils

Here's the best use of $348,000 you'll hear today: Using it to construct a pair of 10-story tall Tesla Coils, the largest in the world, and use them to simulate the effects of lightning in a controlled environment. That's the plan of Greg Leyh and the project he calls The Lightning Foundry which is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter. But in addition to the complete badassitude of the project, Leyh has science on the mind as well.

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Comet Captured Between Fireworks and Lightning

Taken by Perth photographer Antti Kemppainen during Australia Day in 2007, the above picture shows a visually interesting juxtaposition of exploding fireworks sharing a sky with with crackling lightning from a thunderstorm. However, captured between the two light displays is something more interesting than the disparate-in-color sky: A comet, specifically Comet McNaught, appearing as a small streak of light in the middle of the picture, closer to the fireworks, conveniently in a patch of clear sky. The image is actually a three-photograph panorama that is digitally processed to reduce the redness in the fireworks' reflections. Head on past the jump to see a larger version of the image.

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Man Struck By Lightning Stands Up, Dusts Off, Walks On [Video]

While crossing a road, one very lucky (or very unlucky) gentleman is suddenly struck by a bolt of lightning. Seconds later, he stands up and seems completely unphased by his experience. He likely came out better than the fellow in another lightning strike video making the rounds these days, who appears to be struck twice within seconds. Considering a human population in excess of six billion, an average of 100 lightning strikes per second world wide, and the ubiquity of digital recording devices, these videos could very well be legitimate. But as with most things dredged out of the bowels of the Internet, we can't positively verify their authenticity. Let us know your thoughts, and in the meantime I'll be standing outside with a metal pole trying to recreate these farfetched scenarios, in the name of journalism. (via Daily Picks and Flicks)

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The First-Ever X-Ray Images of a Lightning Strike

No, that's not one of the ships from Independence Day vaporizing Kiersten Warren, it's actually one of the first-ever x-ray images of a lightning strike. Joseph Dwyer, a lightning researcher at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, used a custom 1,500 pound camera, created by grad student Meagan Schaal, to capture the image of the strike.

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Watch Lightning Form and Strike in Ultra-Slow Motion

Lightning researcher Tom A. Warner takes very high FPS videos of lightning as it's forming, to better document "lightning's beauty, power, and fierocity using an array of optical and electromagnetic sensors in hopes of better understanding its behavior."

In the 9000 frame per second video below, two seconds of real time from a recent lightning strike are stretched out to a minute-and-a-half, to hypnotic effect.

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Geekolinks: 7/2

“Touchdown Jesus” Statue Destroyed by Lightning: Before and After Pics; Video


Touchdown Jesus, more properly known as King of Kings, was one of southwest Ohio's best known -- and biggest -- landmarks: A fixture at the Solid Rock Church by Monroe, Ohio since it was completed in 2004, it had a 42-foot span between its arms and a 40-foot cross at its base. But Touchdown Jesus is no more: Last night, the statue was struck by lightning, leaving only a grim-looking metal skeleton behind.

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Volcanoes Produce Lightning

Flickr user skarpi has a series of photographs documenting the phenomenon of volcano triggered lightning at the site of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. From Wikipedia:
When the higher levels of the atmosphere are cooler, and the surface is warmed to extreme temperatures due to a wildfire, volcano, etc, convection will occur, and the convection produces lightning... There are three types of volcanic lightning:
  • Extremely large volcanic eruptions, which eject gases and material high into the atmosphere, can trigger lightning. This phenomenon was documented by Pliny The Elder during the AD79 eruption of Vesuvius, in which he perished.
  • An intermediate type which comes from a volcano's vents, sometimes 1.8 mi-
Oh, there's only so long we can keep the scientific veneer. Check out these pictures, they are amazing!

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