Monday, December 11, 2006


Dogs are superstitious. They can develop an irrational fear regarding something in their environment (people in uniform and lightning are two favorites). One wonders about the genesis of the fear. Possibly its their lack of rational mental process and the presence of a germ of truth? Lightning is to be avoided. The dog doesn't have the comfort of knowing that statistically, its unlikely that the bolt is going to zap them.
My dog is terrified of internal combustion devices with insufficient mufflers. That description covers a wide class of implements from lawn mowers to 18 wheelers.
The daily bike ride during which Sophie runs on a leash attached to me, the rider, is a challenge.
The goal is to get to the quiet place, the park, where vehicles are not allowed.
Statistically, irrational fears are ultimately rational.
The truck is in the park.
100-1000 million volts cut through you looking for an easier path to ground.

In the United States from 1980 through 1995, a total of 1318 deaths were attributed to lightning, (average: 82 deaths per year {range: 53-100 deaths}). Of the 1318 persons who died, 1125 (85%) were male, and 896 (68%) were aged 15-44 years. The annual death rate from lightning was highest among persons aged 15-19 years (6 deaths per 10,000,000 population; crude rate: 3 per 10,000,000). The greatest number of deaths attributable to lightning occurred in Florida and Texas (145 and 91, respectively), but New Mexico, Arizona, Arkansas, and Mississippi had the highest rates (10.0, 9.0, 9.0, and 9.0, respectively)-CDC



Blogger Tim McCormack said...

Ever notice how the freak accident death rate seems to be highest in the age bracket that thinks it is invincible? You make your own luck...

Well-written post.

Blogger Barrett said...

Intersting factoid, Tim. :-)

Bill: that truck (presumably on a bike path), looks positively surreal on that bit of asphalt.

- Barrett


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