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How to keep pesky thunderbolts at bay

The '75-Mile Range Thunderstorm Detector'

Hammacher Schlemmer

Maybe we're missing something, but we can't quite figure out why gadget makers seem obsessed with lightning these days. In recent weeks, we've seen everything from a "Personal Lightning Detector" to a planned Nokia phone that warns of approaching electrical storms.

And now we have yet another lightning finder, the "75-Mile Range Thunderstorm Detector." How does it work? Here's just one excerpt from Hammacher Schlemmer's description: "Its built-in microprocessor and software analyzes the waveform and voltage the antenna detects to tell you how far away a lightning strike was, which indicates the presence of approaching storm cells and squall lines, and provides you with storm approach speed, estimated time of arrival, distance, and more." There'll be a pop quiz in the morning.

If all this sounds long-winded (unintentional bad pun), consider the price--$430. For that kind of money, you deserve as much meteorological jargon as they can dish out.