back to article Bloke called Rod struck by lightning for second time

A man called Rod has an unfortunately apt name, having now been struck by lightning twice. Rod Wolfe, 58, lives in Chebanse, a small town outside of Chicago in the United States. Last Saturday, he was standing just outside his house when lightning hit a nearby tree and jumped to his body. He was treated for broken ribs and …

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He doesn't work on the railroad as a conductor does he?

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Currently not.

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In Lightning Rod sales, but didn't buy one himself?

(Other useful information: National Geographic warns that your surge protector will not stop 100 million volts.)

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Ohm y, that must hurt!

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Anonymous Coward

Ohm y, that must hurt!

Indeed, when faced with that much potential, the human body offers little resistance.

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Re volt ing, I amp shocked and appalled.

Joule be sorry, eh Watt?

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Re: Re volt ing, I amp shocked and appalled.

Nominal determinism is alive and well

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Could genetics be involved? Is he for instance of Polish origin?

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I hear he's a down-to-earth sort of bloke.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Joke

Re: Re volt ing, I amp shocked and appalled.

> Nominal determinism is alive and well

Nominative determinism ... strikes again

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Anonymous Coward

So he's been discharged from hospital then…

Has the experience left him with an electric personality?

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Thumb Up

Re: So he's been discharged from hospital then…

Intermittently, as he now has a touch of bipolar. Bit of a shock to those who'd known him for a while.

Giggles aside, glad he survived and with what sounds like relatively little ill effect.

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Re: So he's been discharged from hospital then…

> Has the experience left him with an electric personality?

If anything, the experience has left him more grounded than before.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Strike 3 and you're out

Huge *****r!

Has he thought of having his legs amputated to reduce the risk?

On second thoughts I do not mind standing near him in the bus queue when there's a thunderstorm. But not too near.

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Pint

Re: Strike 3 and you're out

Prosthetic legs (which will have metal components) or a wheelchair (which will have a metal frame) might just work against him there.

If I wanted to get legless, I'd sooner drink one of these. →→→

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I'll bet his insurance company is having second thoughts on the policy they sold him.

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Pirate

"Act of God" if ever there was one

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IT Angle

Flash Gordon's alive!

Did he go back to work with renewed energy?

What's the IT angle ... IBM's Blue Lightning CPU?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_386SLC

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Presumably the odds of being struck twice in a lifetime are 1 in 3000 squared, or 1 in 9 million. That would mean that it will probably happen to around 30 Americans.

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Go

But how many of them are called Rod? According to http://howmanyofme.com/search/, there are 20,841 people called Rod in the US...

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re how many are called Rod

That doesn't help much with the maths because maybe Rods are much more at risk being hit by lightning than other people. But it makes you wonder what roughly 41'000 Americans were thinking when naming their child.

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Re: re how many are called Rod

But it makes you wonder what roughly 41'000 Americans were thinking when naming their child.

Probably what a fine name Rodney or Roderick is, much better than those old-fashioned names like Frederick or Franklin, and so well suited to an exciting period of change like the late '50s. Fast forward 60 years and parents want their kids to have fresh and original names like Jackson or Noah. Fashion, huh?

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The '30 Americans' estimate would be correct if they all had an equal (1 in 3,000) chance. But the odds aren't equally distributed. Certainly in the UK, your annual chance of being struck by lightning must be a lot less than 1 in 700,000 - otherwise it would happen to nearly 100 people every year, whereas only 3 people annually are killed by lightning in the UK. I expect the disparity between states is equally great.

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Aren't Rods odds the same?

If the risk of being struck is x, then even if he's been struck once or twice or whatever, his risk of being struck again are still x unless being struck makes him do something to change the odds?

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Coat

Re: re how many are called Rod

Noah? Fresh and original??

That one came out of the ark....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: re how many are called Rod

Given it was electricity arcing from cloud to ground (via him) that got him in this situation, I'm sure he wants nothing to do with the Ark.

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Boffin

Re: re how many are called Rod

isn't the odds of being struck twice just the odd of being struck once times itself, i.e. 1 in 3000 x 1 in 3000 = 1 in 9billion?

That said I haven't done probability maths in years and can't be arsed to google it (it's saturday after all)

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"a lot less than 1 in 700,000 - otherwise it would happen to nearly 100 people every year, whereas only 3 people annually are killed by lightning in the UK"

According to the article only 10% of lightening strike victims die, so means there's probably 30 per year i the UK. But that doesn't change the point of your comment by much in that most people live in cities and large towns so a less likely to be hit. I'd expect people lining and working in rural areas have the highest chances of being struck.

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Happy

Re: Aren't Rods odds the same?

The odds I expect are a million to one

And as we know from the late Pterry's works, the odds of a million to one shot coming up are about 9 times out of 10

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RE: odds

You forgot to account for the first strike killing them.

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deserves a limerick

An unlucky fellow named Rod

thought he'd been punished by God

struck by lightning twice

is not really nice

but at least he's a cheerful sod

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Happy

What I want to know is...

what lottery numbers will he be playing this week? I'd buy a ticket!

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Re: What I want to know is...

With luck like his, he'd probably win and then get knocked down by a bus on the way to collect his winnings,

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Unhappy

Re: What I want to know is...

Knocked down by a bus? The chance to get a fatal road accident on the way to buy a lottery ticket can be 16 times higher than the chance to win the jackpot.

This case was described in Scientific American. People from New York had to buy the lottery tickets in New Jersey.

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He's entering the 100 metre Olympic sprint: He runs like greased lightening.

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One more strike and he gets superpowers.

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Anonymous Coward

He needs to be bitten by a cobra at the same time.

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Not so odd?

Working outside near trees will increase the odds.

Apologies for being sensible, I will return to normal soon.

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Those numbers are pretty suspect, they imply people live an average 233 years. And I don't believe the 1 in 700,000 a year in the first place.

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Stats

So- if a person has a 1-in-3000 chance of being struck by lightening in their lifetime- their chance of being struck twice is 1-in-9 million- which to me sounds plausible.

As to a random chance of getting hit by lightening of 1-in-700,000 in any given year- if anything it seems pretty high to me.

As for who is maintaining statistics on lightening prone humans- I don't know....... My two younger sisters have been A&E doctors in their time (they both did the GP conversion course as the hours were too nutty in A&E). They both say they don't list Lightening strikes among their injury sources in their report software. So- its entirely possible there may be large cohorts of strikees out there- who have never had their unfortunate affinity for lightening recorded in official channels.

Unless- of course someone somewhere has worked out how to ascribe injuries to lightening- I guess the typical injuries would be a giveaway.

For bonus points- if there is a 10% chance of a lightening strike killing any given person- but a lightening strike messes up your heart and your electrical stimuli to the heart such that a second strike has a 95% chance of killing you- how likely would Rod be to survive the second lightening strike- if he was hit while playing golf with an AED within 4 minutes of his strike position- but his golfing partner not having the number of the clubhouse on speed dial on his phone...........

Sunday mornings need decent crosswords. I haven't bought the papers yet.

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Re: Stats

I don't think the chance of being struck twice is the same as the square of the chance of being struck once. If it was the chance of being struck and surviving, then your maths would be right.

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"Has he thought about changing his name?"

To Roy, maybe?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Sullivan

Maybe not....

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Anonymous Coward

And he wonders why...

...the wife won't walk hand in hand with him anymore...

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Are you supposed to report being hit?

I got hit coming out of a cave once (caves emit streams of negative ions). It hit the aluminium ladder clipped to my belt and ran down the wetsuit seam and over the rubber boot to ground. It was hammering with rain and the route it took would have been very wet. However, it burn through the seam and into my leg a little and I was deaf in the ear on that side for a few months.

Less than a year later I was unplugging my parents TV aerial when it was hit, so it was only an indirect hit on me this time. I was crouched down at the time and suffered torn leg muscles as they all spasmed at the same time.

I never reported it to the authorities - I didn't know that I should - should I ?

Between the first and second times I was studying electronics and I was particularly efficient at letting the smoke out of CMOS logic chips :-(

BTW I've also broken at least one of most types of bones in the body, including my neck twice. My wife does call me "Disaster Area" for some reason!

Anonymous because I don't want the insurance to find out how lucky I am!

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Facepalm

Re: Are you supposed to report being hit?

Anonymous because I don't want the insurance to find out how lucky I am!

But not anonymous enough to prevent everyone named David H to get their insurance premiums incremented just to be on the safe side.

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