‘Tis the stormy season here in the upper midwest. There will be thunder and lightning!
That’s OK! I enjoy a rattling good storm if:
1) I don’t have to go out in it, and
2) It doesn’t include a tornado.
Lightning is particularly fun to watch if you’re not on a sailboat, in the pool, or out on the golf course holding a five iron over your head. The jagged, unpredictable bolts make for a great show, especially if the action is at a distance. A lot of the drama is in the setting – we’re down here on the ground and all this unruly commotion is happening over our heads. We’re weak and helpless.
I’ve sometimes wondered if lightning is as impressive when observed from above. Well, just yesterday NASA distributed this photo taken three months ago from the International Space Station by Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency.
It shows a storm in progress over Brazil.
I confess I would feel smug looking down on a thunderstorm from space. Finally – nothing to fear! Up above, I have the strategic advantage. Yes, I’ve got nothing but a metal bulkhead and some insulation to protect me from lethal cosmic rays and the frozen airless vacuum of space would make my blood boil if I were suddenly thrown into it and OK, perhaps the Klingons or the Borg are really out here, and what if our on-board computer stages a mutiny? But at least I don’t have to think about being hit by lightning!
Unless it looked more like this:
This can’t be good.
I suspect once humans get comfortable in outer space, the scariest stuff in the universe will still be those crazy things that might come after us from planets.
When has a change in perspective made all the difference?