Wikipedia says a lightning bolt releases “an average of between 200 megajoules and 7 gigajoules of energy, depending on the type” source

That’s enough energy to sustain 1.21 GW for between 0.164 seconds and 5.785 seconds (assuming you have a suitable capacitor).

0.164 seconds @ 88.8mph = 21.36 feet.

5.785 seconds @ 88.8mph = 753.4 feet.

I have no idea what to do with this information.

A four(!) part essay on John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness. Lots I could say, but I’ll just pull out one bit from near the end.

There is a question at the centre of In The Mouth of Madness which the film implicitly asks, answers explicitly – or at least has one of its characters answer explicitly – but which it also leaves open.  The question is this: are Sutter Cane’s ‘Old Gods’ actual pre-existing and underlying entities which he contacts via his fiction and then brings into the ‘real world’, or are they his own creations which then become real?  As I say, Cane himself has a very definite opinion on this.  He says that the One Ones pre-existed him and that they found him via the rupture in reality created by the mass belief of the public in his fictional world.  However, there is a trap door in Cane’s logic that he does not seem to have noticed.  If his fiction is instantiated via the belief of his readers, and his fiction concerns the Old Ones, how can we know that the Old Ones themselves are not just as much his creations as Hobb’s End?  After all, the film follows just such a fictional entity ‘become real’: John Trent!

The point here is not that we can puzzle this out, that we can eventually arrive at a ‘first cause’, an explanation, a rational determination.  No, the point is that this is an infinite regress.  There is a möbius loop here, a paradox, which – Catch-22-like – keeps on spiralling deeper and deeper down into its own endless inwardly revolving circles of narrative logic.  In this film, a fiction, we watch fiction – fiction about fiction becoming real – become real.  The narrative we see is both interior and exterior to the fictive fictional narrative (i.e. the unreal novel in the story).  Trent is both outside and inside the book.  He is a ‘real’ person who discovers he is a fictional character in a book and he is a character in a book who believes he is real precisely because he encounters the narrative in which he is a character, as fiction.

I don’t think this reductionist approach teaches you anything. Better to treat the idea like a koan. There is no first cause. There is also no no first cause. Duality is an illusion.

The koan here is a lazy placeholder for some ideas from Western esotericism that I need to flesh out. But interestingly, they’re implicit in this quote that’s used in part 3:

“Then the essence of sin really is—-”

“In the taking of heaven by storm, it seems to me,” said Ambrose. “It appears to me that it is simply an attempt to penetrate into another and higher sphere in a forbidden manner. You can understand why it is so rare. There are few, indeed, who wish to penetrate into other spheres, higher or lower, in ways allowed or forbidden. Men, in the mass, are amply content with life as they find it.”

– Arthur Machen, The White People