Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

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The odds of being hit by lightning each year are only about 1 in 750, 000 in the U.S. And yet this rare phenomenon has inspired both fear and fascination for thousands of years. In this groundbreaking, brilliantly researched book, journalist John S. Friedman probes lightninga€™s scientific, spiritual, and cultural roots. Blending vibrant history with riveting first-hand accounts of those who have clashed with lightning and lived to tell about it, Out of the Blue charts an extraordinary journey across the ages that explores our awe and dread in the face of one of naturea€™s most fearsome spectacles. Herman Melville called it a€œGoda€™s burning finger.a€ The ancient Romans feared it as the wrath of God. Today we have a more scientific understanding, so why our eternal fascination with lightning? Out of the Blue attempts to understand this towering force of nature, exploring the changing perceptions of lightning from the earliest civilizations through Ben Franklina€™s revolutionary experiments to the hair-raising adventures of storm chasers like David Hoadley, whoa€™s been chronicling extreme weather for half a century. And Friedman describes one of the most treacherous rescues ever attempted in American mountain climbing. Friedman profiles a Virginia ranger who was struck by lightning seven timesa€”and dubbed the human lightning roda€”along with scores of others who tell astonishing tales of rescue and survival. And he charts lightninga€™s profound, life-altering effects on the emotional and spiritual lives of its victims. Combining captivating fact with thrilling personal stories, Out of the Blue tells a remarkable true tale of fate and coincidence, discovery and divine retribution, science and superstition. As entertaining as it is informative, it is a book for outdoor adventurers, sports enthusiasts, science and weather buffs, nature lovers, and anyone who has ever been awed or frightened by the sight of lightning. From the Hardcover edition.In 1969, he wrote the first technical book on lightning, simply entitled Lightning, which tried a€œto put it all together. ... Lightning Location and Protection, that manufactured lightning-detection equipment, a€œto make our fortune, a€ he says wryly .

Title:Out of the Blue
Author:John Friedman
Publisher:Delacorte Press - 2008-05-20


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