Lightning over Naples

...also during our holiday, we experienced quite a spectacular thunderstorm.  When the storm was in the distance (over Naples) we went onto the roof of our hotel and tried to take some photos.  The chances of clicking the shutter at *exactly* the right moment were remote.  But you don't know unless you try.  So I was delighted to get this shot:

Lightning over Naples

Wow, nice one!  I was really happy to have gotten that.  But we saw loads of similar strikes, at one point we saw two at the same time, one either side of Mount Vesuvius - impressive.

Fluent English

During our recent holiday in Sorrento, we took this photo:

photo: "fluent English spoken waiters"

...because it really made us smile.  But you could probably make it right with the addition of some punctuation I suppose.

Getting electricity from pocket change

When I was on holiday recently I read the book "Electrified Sheep" which amused me. But it mentioned the voltaic pile - an early kind of battery. So I decided that I should build one :-) I used some US coinage that was sitting in a drawer. I cleaned the coins by soaking them in coca-cola. Then dissolved some dishwasher salt in warm water to act as the electrolyte. I soaked small bits of kitchen towel in that solution and put them between the coins, like this:

voltaic pile 1

To my amusement, this was enough to light a suitable LED. This is what I got on the voltmeter:


...somewhere around 2 volts. I'm wondering what I could run off it, umm ... interesting.