Thunder, Lightning, and iPods

Some Canadian doctors sent a letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. They said, in part:

A 37-year-old man was brought to the emergency department at our hospital. He had been jogging in a thunderstorm, listening to his iPod, when an adjacent tree was struck by lightning. Witnesses reported that he was thrown approximately 8 ft (2.4 m) from the tree.

The patient had second-degree burns on his chest and left leg. In addition, two linear burns extended along his anterior chest and neck to the sides of his face, terminating in substantial burns in the external auditory meatus bilaterally, corresponding to the positions of his earphones at the time of the lightning strike.

Both of his tympanic membranes were ruptured, and he had a severe conductive hearing deficit. He also had a mandibular fracture. Computed tomography of the mandible and of the temporal bones showed bilateral dislocation of the incudomalleolar joints.

Jogging in a thunderstorm with an iPod is very dangerous. Therefore an iPod is very dangerous. The logic is obvious. Stop buying iPods. Buy a Zune. No one has been seriously injured while jogging in a thunderstorm and listening to a Zune.

Of course, I’ve never seen anyone with a Zune, but that really doesn’t matter. Zunes are taking over the market. You can read all about Zune’s market share here.

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