Phobias and Freak-outs
I just had to add this one. It's enough to give you nightmares. Luckily he wasn't hurt. WARNING: He does say the "F" word right at the end of the clip. I don't blame him.

For Vox...

You guys are wicked, wicked, wicked! I had to watch these things more than once; I'm a sucker for being terrified. Thanks, palies!
When I was younger I never minded lightening, even after my friends car was struck while we were driving along.  I said, "Holy s**t, did you f'n see that?"  I thought it was a gas.  Not too bright, I guess.

But later in life I bought a house on the top of a very high hill in Maine and our house was struck continuously.  You could hear that lightening rod go snap, crackle pop as it worked overtime.  I didn't mind.  Not too bright, I guess.

One evening we were enjoying a nice relaxing T storm.  I was lounging in front of the TV which I had to turn up to be able to hear over the lightening rod and over my daughter's voice and she raised her voice attempting to be heard on the phone over the storm.  We got struck, but proper this time.  The TV exploded.  No great loss, I figure, I actually hate TV.

That's when I found out how lucky we had been.  You're not supposed to talk on the phone during a T storm.  News to me.  God protects fools and drunks.  After that I unplugged things and turned off things and sat tight until it was over.  I began to acquire a dislike for T storms.

At this time in life I had 5 Siamese cats, 4 brothers and a sister.  They hated the storms.  I don't know if all Siamese are like this, but my guys never hid under a bed in their lives.  When the lightening would strike, they'd run pell mell into a corner, all 5 huddled and shaking and growling.  They never fought each other, just huddled.  Then the next lightening would come, and they'd stampede to another corner.  Every lightening, they'd try a different corner.  I didn't like the T storms up there, but the cats gave me a good laugh.
I seriously hate to send the thread in this direction, but once, when my granddaughter was about 4 years ago, I had a freak-out that we still laugh about today.  She went in her room and came out wearing her Cinderella costume, which was cute with all kind of plastic jewels and tulle, and I was going to give her a hug when I saw clinging to the thing was a Big Hairy Spider.  My poor gd was holding her chubby arms out for a hug, and next thing she knows her grandmother was raking at the front of her dress and screaming.

Josephine is a resiliant little thing, tho, and she flopped on the sofa and watched her grandmother bounce around the room trying to kill this thing which was absolutely huge, screaming and cursing with all the energy of a possessed demoniac.  I mean, this thing was huge and fast.  She was semi-reclined on the sofa resting her little head on her hand and she observed rather calmly,

"Gee, Grandma--you really hate that spider don't you?"

I kept knocking over lamps and what not and finally managed to up-end a big cannister for Lincoln Logs over it.  I wrote a note to my husband, "Larry.  Kill this."  Then I scooped my poor little baby up and ran out the house.  She said, "Grandma, where are we going?"  I said, "OUT!"  And drove away.
Quote: "Gee, Grandma--you really hate that spider don't you?"

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I guess you seriously did!
You know, in the Chinese culture, being struck by lightning is seen as either a punishment for some bad deed, or a curse that someone inflicted on you ("I hope you get struck by lightning!").
I had to resurrect this thread after I read the following:

6 Die From Brain-Eating Amoeba in Lakes

Associated Press Writer

It sounds like science fiction but it's true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.

Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.

"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."

According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL'-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases - three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s.

In Arizona, David Evans said nobody knew his son, Aaron, was infected with the amoeba until after the 14-year-old died on Sept. 17. At first, the teen seemed to be suffering from nothing more than a headache.

"We didn't know," Evans said. "And here I am: I come home and I'm burying him."

After doing more tests, doctors said Aaron probably picked up the amoeba a week before while swimming in the balmy shallows of Lake Havasu, a popular man-made lake on the Colorado River between Arizona and California.

Though infections tend to be found in southern states, Naegleria lives almost everywhere in lakes, hot springs, even dirty swimming pools, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment.

Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose - say, by doing a somersault in chest-deep water - the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve.

The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up into the brain, where it continues the damage, "basically feeding on the brain cells," Beach said.

People who are infected tend to complain of a stiff neck, headaches and fevers. In the later stages, they'll show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes, he said.

Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Some drugs have stopped the amoeba in lab experiments, but people who have been attacked rarely survive, Beach said.

"Usually, from initial exposure it's fatal within two weeks," he said.

Researchers still have much to learn about Naegleria. They don't know why, for example, children are more likely to be infected, and boys are more often victims than girls.

"Boys tend to have more boisterous activities (in water), but we're not clear," Beach said.

In central Florida, authorities started an amoeba phone hot line advising people to avoid warm, standing water and areas with algae blooms. Texas health officials also have issued warnings.

People "seem to think that everything can be made safe, including any river, any creek, but that's just not the case," said Doug McBride, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Officials in the town of Lake Havasu City are discussing whether to take action. "Some folks think we should be putting up signs. Some people think we should close the lake," city spokesman Charlie Cassens said.

Beach cautioned that people shouldn't panic about the dangers of the brain-eating bug. Cases are still extremely rare considering the number of people swimming in lakes. The easiest way to prevent infection, Beach said, is to use nose clips when swimming or diving in fresh water.

"You'd have to have water going way up in your nose to begin with" to be infected, he said.

David Evans has tried to learn as much as possible about the amoeba over the past month. But it still doesn't make much sense to him. His family had gone to Lake Havasu countless times. Have people always been in danger? Did city officials know about the amoeba? Can they do anything to kill them off?

Evans lives within eyesight of the lake. Temperatures hover in the triple digits all summer, and like almost everyone else in this desert region, the Evanses look to the lake to cool off.

It was on David Evans' birthday Sept. 8 that he brought Aaron, his other two children, and his parents to Lake Havasu. They ate sandwiches and spent a few hours splashing around.

"For a week, everything was fine," Evans said.

Then Aaron got the headache that wouldn't go away. At the hospital, doctors first suspected meningitis. Aaron was rushed to another hospital in Las Vegas.

"He asked me at one time, 'Can I die from this?'" David Evans said. "We said, 'No, no.'"

On Sept. 17, Aaron stopped breathing as his father held him in his arms.

"He was brain dead," Evans said. Only later did doctors and the CDC determine that the boy had been infected with Naegleria.

"My kids won't ever swim on Lake Havasu again," he said.


On the Net:

More on the N. fowleri amoeba:

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One of those deaths occurred in a young boy after swimming in a very popular lake in my city.  A popular theory is that it had something to do with the unusual amount of rainfall we had this summer, which was constantly churning up sediment in the shallower areas of the lake.  The lake was completely closed to swimmers for most of the summer due to possible run-off and sewage contamination from late spring flooding.  The boy was infected shortly after the lake was reopened.

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