Thunder Megaphone – A Glacial Valley Can Focus and Amplify Thunder Into a Most Extraordinary Sound

We’ve all heard thunder, and we all know what causes it. Many of us have heard two distinct kinds of thunder, but perhaps we never really noticed or thought about it. Recently, I heard a third kind of thunder.

“Ordinary” thunder – a thoroughly extraordinary sound, but the kind of thunder we hear most often – happens when lightning occurs at some distance from the observer. The initial sound of the lightning bolt echoes off surrounding objects and air masses. Because it is echoed so many times, the thunder stretches out into many, many seconds, even though the initial sound might have lasted a second or two at most. Moreover, because the initial sound echoes off soft things with indistinct surfaces – clouds, thermoclines, and weather fronts – and because many echoes reach the ears of the observer at different times, the original sound is greatly distorted. Almost all high frequency components are filtered out, and the observer hears mostly a low-pitched rumble.

When lightning strikes very close to the observer, within a few hundred feet, the sound is entirely different. The observer might not hear echoes of the thunder at all, but only the pure initial sound. It is a single, sharp, intense “POW!” It may be followed by a much quieter, but still loud, whistling or hissing sound.

But what about that third kind of lightning?

I was camping alone in Crawford Notch State Park in northern New Hampshire, when thunderstorms began rolling into the valley just after dinner. I tidied up my campsite just before the rain started, then retreated to my tent. One thunderstorm passed without much incident.

Darkness had fallen by the time the second thunderstorm rolled up from the south. I occupied myself by counting the time interval between lightning and thunder to track the movements of the storms. Fifteen seconds before the thunder rolled up from somewhere west of Mount Bemis, and I knew the storm was just under three miles southwest of me. Seven seconds between the flash and the rumble beyond Frankenstein Cliff, and I knew the storm was passing nearly a mile and a half to my west.

And then it happened!

A flash. I counted eleven seconds. And I heard a sound unlike any thunder I had ever heard before.

The cacophony included at least half a dozen rapid repetitions of the “POW!” of a nearby lightning strike. But at the same time, there was the rumbling and roaring of “ordinary” thunder, but much, much louder than usual.

Before I could figure out what that sound was, there was another flash somewhere to the north. Again I counted eleven seconds, and again I heard that utterly incredible crackling and powing and rumbling and roaring.

This time, I figured it out.

It was a lightning strike right within the upper reaches of Crawford Notch just a couple of miles north of me. It was right within a gigantic stone megaphone formed by Webster Cliff on the east, Mount Field and Mount Willey on the west, and the old glacial cirque of Mount Willard for a backstop on the north.

And this 1,500 foot deep, three-mile-long granite megaphone was pointed right at Dry River Campground.

Yes, the beautiful U-shaped glacial valley of Crawford Notch is a nearly perfect megaphone, albeit open on top. The bare stone faces of Mount Willard and Webster Cliff echoed the initial “POW!” of the thunder almost undistorted. The western slope of the notch is a bit more heavily wooded, but there’s enough bare ledge and rockslide there to provide a pretty good echo. The open top of the notch was covered by the underbelly of the thunderstorm itself, which provided enough of a soft echoic surface to create the usual rumbling of thunder in addition to the clean “POW!” echoes off the rock faces.

But all of this sound was extraordinarily loud because of the megaphone that focused it all right on me and my campsite.

After I got this all figured out, there was a third lightning flash in the north. Yes, eleven second later, there was that glorious, unearthly sound again.

I wondered why I had never heard this kind of thunder before. I have probably experienced thunderstorms in Crawford Notch at least a dozen times over the years, but never heard the Thunder Megaphone.

My best guess is that I probably have heard it before, but never noticed it. Most of the times I’ve camped there, it was with a crowd of friends and family. Much goes on when a thunderstorm rolls in. Ponchos have to be broken out and put on, while at the same time, various disorderly what-nots need to get stashed into cars and tents before they get soaked. There is a bit of yelling and shouting to be done, and paradoxically among the mayhem, kids and dogs need to have their fears calmed. Meanwhile, tarps over the tents and picnic tables are flapping in the gales, making a poor imitation of thunder themselves.

In all my 25 years camping in Crawford Notch, this may have been the first time I experienced a thunderstorm while I was camping there alone. There was no tarp over the tent, and I had anticipated the thunderstorm well enough to get everything into the car long before the rain started.

So, when the lightning and thunder came, I had nothing to do but observe.

What a treat!

I half hope we get a thunderstorm the next time we go camping in the mouth of the Thunder Megaphone.

Nokia E65 – A Stylish Way To Work

Nokia's E series mobile phones have always been dubbed as enterprise solutions aimed at business users and professionals. Therefore, more than its designing aspects or its positioning, the company has embarked on the handset's functionality. As report has it, Microsoft Office documents editing software kit embedded in Eseries features notably better than Microsoft's very own applications for Windows Mobile. The Nokia E65 – a member of this family of business phone brings in the much needed style quotient to the other serious looking E series mobile phones.

The Nokia E65 is a slider that belongs to the 'slim is in' category, being one of Nokia's smallest sliders. This S60 platform based, Symbian OS v9.1 operated smartphone is available in flsy red and a more sober mocca solution. A large, TFT based QVGA display dominate the front fascia of this slider. The screen is capable of producing an astounding 16 million different hues across 240×320 pixels. Silver shaded keypads enhances the appeal further. A set of spaced out numeric keys and a 5D navigational button makes it very easy to use the Nokia E65 .

The handset's face lift has no way affected the level of functionality that an E series mobile phone is expected to exhibit. The Nokia E65 is loaded with all possible tools and technologies to aid businessmen and professionals, optimize their capabilities. From the most 'basic' feature like integrated hands free to high end connectivity options like WiFi and VoIP over WLAN find their place in the feature list. The Nokia E65 boasts of a full fledged Office Application and an already enhanced PIM that includes calender, to do list and printing. Its Push to Talk feature allows its user to use the mobile phone just like a walkie talkie over a cellular network.

The handset's almost unending feature list includes 3G, GPRS, EDGE, Bluetooth, Infrared, USB, a 2.0 megapixel camera and a Symbian media player.

How to Value a Domain Name OR How to Appraise a Domain Name

The worth, price or value of a domain name can scope anywhere from couple of dollars to millions of dollars. The real challenge is how to evaluate the actual price of a specific domain name or how to calculate the website worth. There are unexpected and sudden news all the time about some companies are paying thousands of dollars for a domain name which is highly relevant to their business and company name. The considerable deficiency on the argument of people that don’t think that domains play an important role on the success of websites lies on the supposition that web surfers will bookmark or subscribe to a given website right after visiting it.

There are couple of important things and true techniques for appraising a domain name, you should look at when trying to evaluate and it include:

  1. The length of the domain, the shorter the domain is, the more it will cost. Because when domain name is short, it is easy to spell, remember and descriptive or brand able. Your domain should not contain hyphens and numbers and for me it should be with.com extension.
  2. One, two or three word domain names are much valuable than the others (Now a days, it is impossible to find a three word domain name with.com or.net extension). So, domains with very few words value the most.
  3. Websites that have been around for a long time in the search engines rank better, and so this increases their value. However, most sites that have been around for a long time aren’t for sale, so convincing the owner might take even more money.
  4. If we collect information from the start (August 6, 1991, first website went online) then most commonly, oldest and popular domain name had 7 or 8 characters and 2 words. Now, approx. 85% domain names having.com extension. Remain percentage having .net, .org, .biz and specific extension related to country names. Three to seven percent contains number or dash with their domain names. So, for me.com extension worth more than others.
  5. If the domains names that are difficult to spell, have non-alphabetic characters, are extremely long, or difficult to type in are not going to be worth more as compared easy to spell and easy to type domain names. Moreover, if you have already purchased a domain name with the extension or top-level domain (TLD) like.com, .net, .org, etc. can’t be changed once you own the domain.

What we can do to improve domain’s value?

Domain names were discover to make it easier for people to access websites, so it’s important that your domain is easily understandable.

  1. Does the domain sound good?
  2. Will people know how to spell it after hearing it?
  3. Is it easy to remember?

Any confusion that your domain causes will negatively impact how much others are willing to shell out.

Now, the most important thing is, what we can do to improve the domain value is the same as what you do to improve your website’s value right now before you sell the domain. It is compulsory, get more customers visiting your website. The more popular your site is, the more valuable the domain will become.

Definitely, if users or customers are eligible to find the website in search (Google, Bing, and Yahoo) there will be more visitors so, improve website’s SEO. For search engine optimization (SEO) you can find different solution like, on page and off page SEO. Increase the content as well, the more content you have on your website the more pages there are for people to visit. Now a days, social media is one of the powerful source to get more traffic on your website. Write more and more blog or article, for this purpose find the guest blogging websites and spread your thoughts or products around the world but one thing you should keep in mind, it’s important that your words are easily understandable.

If you are looking for a fixed formula to calculate exactly what your domain is worth then, unfortunately, you are out of luck. Appraisal services can agitate out a number based on a complex set of criteria, but there is much more to domain names than algorithms and search rankings. A domain exists in the wider context of the online and offline worlds and all of their complexities and refinement will play a part in how much interest there will be in your domain.

Wondering how to value domain names?

There are couple of rules about what makes a domain more valuable. Most people who are looking to buy a domain want to buy one that is already successful and most people on the web define success on page views and customers.

To calculate your domain’s value, you eventually need to understand who your prospective customer are;

  1. From which industry they are belonging?
  2. Is website important for their business?
  3. How applicable is your domain?

A domain is only as valuable as someone is willing to pay for it, so knowing what related domains are priced at, how sought after your domain is, and how much too reasonably expect a buyer to pay will help you arrive at the right number.

Image Optimization for SEO – Best Practices

Quality content is the key to SEO success. Content doesn’t just mean your text contents. Images must be an integral part of your content strategy. At times, single images can be far more effective than your 1000 word blog post. It also helps you improve blog post quality and performance.

Images, Infographics, Videos and all other multimedia contents on your web page will help you in increasing the user engagement on your site and makes the visitors stay on your site for longer duration which helps in reducing the bounce rate.

Not just adding images to your contents, you should also optimize those images for better SEO performance. Optimization of images must be the one important aspect of your on-page SEO process.

If you are using images in your content, there are many aspects to be considered related to SEO.

Relevancy

Using images doesn’t mean that you should fill up your content with loads of pictures. You should use it only when it is required and also you should use images that are more relevant to your content.

Placement of your images is an another important aspect. It should be placed at a relevant location in your content according to your text content.

Use original images

Originality always helps in improving your user experience and your authority. Usage of original images will be helpful in improving your SEO performance. You can create original images with a graphic designer or you can take your own photographs with a quality camera. It is the reason top White hat SEO companies employ talented graphic designers for creating quality images.

If you are not able to employ an in-house graphic designer or if you are running out of time, you can always use high quality images from the web. But the important factor to be considered is it should be copyright free.

There are many tools available for getting copyright free images without any cost. The most popular ones are Unsplash, Flicker, Freeimages.

Image Size

Images are the main source for damping your site’s speed. And site speed is a crucial factor in your SEO performance. So, you should be extra cautious in using images without compromising your page speed.

It should not also affect your image quality, you should have a correct balance between. You can achieve this by reducing the file size by compression. You can use tools like Photoshop for compression.

File name

Search engine crawlers are visually impaired, it can even interrupt a 5000 word text content, but it cannot interrupt a single image and what the image is about. It is the reason using a keyword rich file names for your images is an important aspect in image optimization.

Google bots and other search engine crawlers can read your image’s file name and if it is named with your target keyword, it gives a signal to search engines about the image topic and thus helps your SEO performance.

For example, if your image is related to selling sports shoes, rather than using the file name as “IMG_89868″ you can use it as “Black_Tennis_Shoes”.

Alt text

Similar to the file name, search engines can read Alt text of the images. Alt text is known as “Aleternative Text”, is an HTML attribute used to describe the content of images.

You should use Alt text which is relevant to your images and it should be clear and descriptive. You can use your target keywords in the Alt text but be cautious about Keyword stuffing.

If you are not focusing on Image optimization, you are missing a huge opportunity in improving your SEO performance. You can use above mentioned best practices in your on-page optimization process.