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No. 124: Jul-Aug 1999

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Fall Of Hot Globules

January 6, 1909. Santa Cruz, California.

"It rained hot bird shot at Santa Cruz today for nearly an hour, according to Mrs. W.H. Burns and her neighbors. Some of the shot has been preserved.
"Mrs. Burns's curiosity was aroused yesterday by the peculiar antics of a number of barefooted children who were playing in front of her house. When she asked them what was the matter they told her that the air was full of electricity and that hot shot was falling from the clouds.
"Then she heard a clatter on the housetop like hail and saw little white threads of steam rising from neighboring roofs. The steam was found to be the result of the dropping of little hot globules on the damp shingles.
"This peculiar rain continued from about 3 to 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and varied in intensity. At one time the children, who were bareheaded and unshod, were compelled to take cover."

(Anonymous; "Hot Shot from the Sky," New York Times, January 7, 1909. Cr. M. Piechota.)

From Science Frontiers #124, JUL-AUG 1999. � 1999-2000 William R. Corliss