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  #1  
Old 10 July 2007, 05:58 AM
Delia Darrow
 
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Icon05 Tornado, Volcano, or Fire?

I have this poster hanging in my living room, and in the couple of years I've had it, I've not been able to figure out what event, exactly, the photo included shows. You're clearly supposed to assume it's a thunderstorm, but I collect spectacular storm photos, and I've never seen this one. Is it a tornado in the distance? Is it instead a photo of a volcanic eruption? It could also be a fire, I suppose. I hear tell that enormous clouds of smoke can produce lightning. I know I can rely on you guys to track down the truth.

~Delia
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  #2  
Old 10 July 2007, 01:49 PM
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Hans Off Hans Off is offline
 
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Difficult to tell from the small image, but it looks like an eruption (Electrical activity is common in volcanic ash clouds)

It is more likley to be a montage of images and effects though.


Is there anywhere with a bigger version?
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  #3  
Old 10 July 2007, 02:09 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Glasses

Great Plains supercell tornado. Been near stuff like that on more than one occasion (I chased tornadoes, actually lightning, while in college). Lightning in the foreground is likely added to the shot (something doesn't look right about it, but the small size of the image could be the problem) to add the point of the poster.
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  #4  
Old 10 July 2007, 02:21 PM
Aud 1 Aud 1 is offline
 
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It's possible that the whole thing is a painting.
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  #5  
Old 10 July 2007, 04:01 PM
Delia Darrow
 
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Sorry, the only bigger copy of the photo I know about is hanging in my living room.

The reason I doubted the tornado is the abrupt color change between the wall cloud and the "funnel"; the rest of the cloud (including the obvious inflow path) looks correct. There does look to be a rain/hail shaft just to the right and behind the funnel. Looking at it now, it seems likely that the colors have been played with. I hadn't thought of the lightning actually being added.

There's a town in the foreground of the shot; methinks that if this shot is true as presented it would be quite a popular photo, yes?

OTOH, the volcano idea is plausible; I can see Mt. St. Helens from my kitchen window and it's presence isn't easily forgotten by those of us living here in the Eighties. I have several shots of the 1980 eruption that look similar to the photo in my poster, lightning included. The problem I see with the volcano aspect is that having looked (rather obsessively) at severe weather photos, I am seeing a wall cloud with structural indications of rotation.

IMHO it isn't a painting; it may be photoshopped tho. I'm gonna have to look way more closely at that lightning today.

Any other aspect I should scrutinize?

~Delia

ETA: Doug, about the chasing; yer nutz!!
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  #6  
Old 10 July 2007, 04:13 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Ponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delia Darrow View Post
Doug, about the chasing; yer nutz!!
Looking back on that time... I would agree. I remember standing in a field not 1/2 mile from a tornado like that. It was ripping up the fields and dropping wheat on us. I thought it was cool and continued to take pictures.

Now all the tornado needed to do was change direction slightly and it would have cut off our escape route.

Yes, it was interesting, but I'm glad it's over now.
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  #7  
Old 10 July 2007, 04:40 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

OT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delia Darrow View Post
I can see Mt. St. Helens from my kitchen window and it's presence isn't easily forgotten by those of us living here in the Eighties.
For those living farther away, may I remind you of the Volcano Cam?

Seaboe
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  #8  
Old 10 July 2007, 04:45 PM
Delia Darrow
 
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Fright

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug4.7 View Post
Looking back on that time... I would agree. I remember standing in a field not 1/2 mile from a tornado like that. It was ripping up the fields and dropping wheat on us. I thought it was cool and continued to take pictures.
You know, Doug, the thing that strikes me about this statement is that you were standing in a field taking pictures. Damn the tornado, what about the lightning? I see footage of storm chasers doing what you did; they seem to do it all the time- are you all immune to the cardiologically disrupting effects of major amounts of electricity? Safe from temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun?

I speak as a person who once experienced that power; I have an old fracture of the femur to prove it. Lightning bites.

I keep a fulgurite in my house as a sort of charm against lightning striking twice; I wish I could afford one of these. Yeah, I know it's superstition, but it fills it's purpose, it gives me some sense that I've done something about an act of nature that I can't really control.

Hey, you're the lightning expert; all else being equal, would lightning be more likely to strike a person who is smoking than a person who isn't? (I'm thinking about charged particulates in the air)

~Delia
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  #9  
Old 10 July 2007, 05:38 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Teacher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delia Darrow View Post
You know, Doug, the thing that strikes me about this statement is that you were standing in a field taking pictures. Damn the tornado, what about the lightning? I see footage of storm chasers doing what you did; they seem to do it all the time- are you all immune to the cardiologically disrupting effects of major amounts of electricity? Safe from temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun?
I was going to mention that bit of stupidity, but I didn't. You are right, there were more than one way for me to get killed.

Of course, #1 was from an accident as we sped along back roads that were often wet from rain while in the rain and wind, speeding to get into the "right" position to take our data.

Again, I am glad those days are over.

Quote:
I speak as a person who once experienced that power; I have an old fracture of the femur to prove it. Lightning bites.
I've been real close (close enough that the lightning strike blew out all the fuses in our chase van. We were upset that we had to replace them all, NOT that we were that close to getting killed.

When you are collecting data, you often forget about the danger you are in (then later, when it does hit you....). I have video of a guy (not me, but it could have been) chasing on foot after a tornado because he didn't get his instrument placed correctly. Yes, he quickly realized what he was doing and ran back to the chase van.

Quote:
Hey, you're the lightning expert; all else being equal, would lightning be more likely to strike a person who is smoking than a person who isn't? (I'm thinking about charged particulates in the air)
No, at that level, it really is the luck of the draw. Smoking would have no effect on your "strikeability", unless your "smoke stack" was 50 ft or taller.
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  #10  
Old 10 July 2007, 08:57 PM
TuFurg TuFurg is offline
 
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I own quite a few Despair products and I've never seen them use paintings. Usually cool stuff they have, 'Shopped or not.
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  #11  
Old 10 July 2007, 09:23 PM
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Ali Infree Ali Infree is offline
 
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Frying Pan

I think it is likely that the image has been photoshopped. I have a Despair calendar with images that I chose for each month. July is Leaders: Leaders are like eagles. We don't have them around here either. With, of course, a soaring eagle against a snowy white mountain peak.
Now that you mention it, the eagle and the peak are in pretty sharp focus.
HMMMM

Ali "you can fool all of the people..." Infree
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  #12  
Old 10 July 2007, 09:45 PM
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Tootsie Plunkette Tootsie Plunkette is online now
 
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I believe that volcanic eruptions, while not entirely unknown, are uncommon in flatlands.
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  #13  
Old 10 July 2007, 10:20 PM
moonfall moonfall is offline
 
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The topic title reminds me of a joke! (sorry, couldn't resist.)

Three men were captured by a band of terrorists. As they were about to shoot the first man, he yelled "Tornado!" The terrorists looked behind them, giving the man the chance to escape. When they tried to shoot the second man, he yelled "Volcanic eruption!" The terrorists (obviously not very smart terrorists) again looked in the direction he was pointing, and he also escaped. As they took aim at the third man (who was the dumb one), he yelled "FIRE!"

I think when I first heard this joke, the dumb guy was described as a "dumb Polack" or something equally offensive.
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  #14  
Old 10 July 2007, 11:05 PM
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Hans Off Hans Off is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tootsie Plunkette View Post
I believe that volcanic eruptions, while not entirely unknown, are uncommon in flatlands.
Depends on your techtonic locality...I think you might be biased as you are under the shadow of some of the most spectacular volcanoes in the world!

Fissure eruptions can be found in lots of places (i.e. Iceland etc)

Besides, volcanoes start of as "flat land" if you think about it!
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  #15  
Old 19 July 2007, 11:42 AM
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Floater Floater is offline
 
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I can't say anything about your picture but I did read yesterday in connection with a number of recent tornadoes here in Sweden that they are very often connected to heavy thunderstorms.
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  #16  
Old 22 July 2007, 08:44 PM
We'veBeenHad
 
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Not to go OT, but Delia, I have "motivators" hung all over the office where I work, and I would dearly love to replace all of them with demotivators from despair.inc if there were a way to do it. It would be a helluva lot more fun. (And IMO the motivators are depressing anyway. I'd rather laugh.)
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  #17  
Old 22 July 2007, 08:50 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Glasses

I just put a couple of these* in my office and it is a tornado/lightning combo. I think I've actually seen the tornado in question (a picture of it, not live).

It is a tornado with lightning in the foreground.

*I have the "silver lining" and the "power corrupts/rocks" posters.
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