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Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada- the Gambling Capital of US and the City that never sleeps! So, what has this city have to do with this site. The answer is none. I just love the photo, I took during our vacation to this city a couple of years ago. In this site, you will find articles from my autobiography, global warming, senior citizens issues, tourism, politics in PI, music appreciation and articles about our current experiences as retirees enjoying the "snow bird" lifestyle between US and the Philippines. Your comments will be highly appreciated. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!

Friday, October 30, 2009

St Elmo's Fire- Fire from Hell or Weather Phenomenon


In a couple of days, the Philippines will be celebrating All Souls Day. This is the time when I remember St Elmo's fire in Philippine folklore and superstition.

When I was growing up in the Philippines, I believe that the St Elmo fire phenomena is witchcraft or ghost or fire from Hell. My parents used to scare us kids during the Feast of All Souls Day, that St Elmo's fire is Fire from Hell. Now,I know that there is a scientific explanation of this phenomena as follows:

St. Elmo's Fire is a weather phenomenon involving a gap in electrical charge. It's like lightning, but not quite. And while it has been mistaken for ball lightning, it's not that, either -- and it's definitely not fire.
Early observers of the phenomenon, mostly sailors on high seas during thunderstorms, seem to have understood they weren't looking at actual fire, because instead of abandoning ship, they took comfort in the sudden glow atop the masts. Such famous figures as Magellan, Caesar and Columbus experienced St. Elmo's Fire on their journeys. And Pliny the Elder, who seems to have documented absolutely every natural phenomenon back in the 1st century A.D., beat everyone else to the punch when he described blue flames appearing out of nowhere during thunderstorms.
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Sailors tended to attribute the glow to "St. Elmo," a mispronunciation of St. Ermo or St. Erasmus, the patron saint of Mediterranean sailors. They believed the fire was a sign of salvation from the saint, since the phenomenon occurs most often toward the end of a storm. Benjamin Franklin and Charles Darwin viewed the weather event through a decidedly more scientific perspective. But regardless of interpretation, it's clear they were all observing the same phenomenon. And contrary to popular belief, St. Elmo's Fire doesn't only occur at sea. It also occurs on the air near nose of airplanes.

The following video is St Elmo's fire as observed from the nose of an airplane.

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