After Hours

Jogging while wearing an iPod can be an electrifying experience


Jogging, lighting, and iPods don't mixI'm not a jogger, but even if I was, I wouldn't jog in a thunderstorm. I don't have an iPod, but even if I did, I wouldn't listen to it while jogging in the middle of a thunderstorm. Unfortunately for one fellow, he did just that, and the consequences were severe. Check out the story from News.com: "Burned jogger shows lightning, headphones don't mix."

Here are some of the details:

Doctors at Vancouver General Hospital in Canada said a 37-year-old jogger wearing an iPod was burned on his chest, neck, and face after the man and a nearby tree were struck by lightning in 2005. The burns traced the path of the earphones, they said.

The patient's eardrums were ruptured and the tiny bones in his middle ears were dislocated.... The man's jawbone broke in four places and both jaw joints were dislocated, probably because the electric current made his jaw muscles contract violently.... The metal in the earphones helped channel the current and cause the injuries.... Two years later, more than half the patient's hearing is gone and he cannot hear high frequency sounds, even with hearing aids.

Of course, this wasn't the fault of the iPod, because any headset could have channeled the current. According to the Canadian doctors, "The combination of sweat and metal earphones directed the current to, and through, the patient's head."

Is it the fault of the lightning? According to the National Weather Service, "A person's odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 5,000. About 10 percent of those who are struck die."

Personally, I think it's the exercise part of the equation that will kill 'ya. I'll stick to my poptarts and leave jogging in a thunderstorm while wearing an iPod to the real risk takers.

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

26 comments
mhbowman
mhbowman

Apple will no longer be manufacturing colored iPods. They will be rendered obsolete by the warning lables created to warn consumers against the dangers of listening to your iPod: at high volume, while driving, running or walking near traffic, during electrical storms, and "any situation where the earpieces could get entangled resulting in strangulation".

nentech
nentech

You all forgot one What if he was out jogging in the thunderstorm and got hit by a meteor The evil iPod must have used some unknown force to draw it to him Just shows you can't trust even nano sized things or fruity companies (Ok stop laughing) At least he is still alive so maybe he should send apple a thankyou It was lucky the iPod stopped his brain from being fried The electric shock may even start his brains common sense centre working

tundraroamer
tundraroamer

"I am not a jogger, but even if I was, I wouldn't jog in a thunderstorm. I don't have an iPod, but even if I did, I wouldn't listen to it while jogging in the middle of a thunderstorm" WOW! Don't Jog, no iPod? Hurray! A real women has appeared among us and not one that just follows trends. And is smart enough to know when to come out of the rain too! Interesting she makes her living writing about some of those trends.

boothby
boothby

Are we allowed yet, as a society, to say that any moron who jogs in a thunderstorm pretty much deserves what he gets? Or are we still, somehow, supposed to feel sorry for this guy?

Van Helsing
Van Helsing

imagine your wife jogging with an iPod and see you at the park kissing your former girlfriend... well, the very first thing that qualifies for a "cannonball" may be that innocent-looking iPod... Ouch! This is what your brain gets when you watch too many damn love stories!!!

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

Listening to 'Riders On The Storm' by The Doors.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

occurs in florida, can travel 9 miles or so. And because he was not using the newest running shoes, the iRan which he can place when he gets home, on his iRack, along with 22,000 other things

Scoid
Scoid

I know someone who knows the victim. He's a medical doctor!

Don Ticulate
Don Ticulate

has was jogging back when the thunderstorm started. I myself have been on the golf course when a thunderstorm has hit. Scary time it was as well!

DadsPad
DadsPad

emergency is not very smart (where is Maxwell's you are an idiot) Chances are that if he was near the tree, even without the Ipod, he would have been injured. While I am sorry he is injured, I wonder if he has learned a lesson, and not just blaming a headset device. :(

nentech
nentech

Please don't stake me I am not a blood sucker

Don Ticulate
Don Ticulate

I know someone who knows you. He's a medical doctor of some kind! :-)

Kurse
Kurse

Doctor or not, he is still a moron. Even more so IMO, as he definitely should be smart enough to know better.

JCitizen
JCitizen

when I was out running to keep in shape for the service. At that time I lived in the midwest and storms can come out of no where in ten minutes, forcast or no forcast. It was a two mile course and half way through, here comes one out of no where! I knew I was going to get hit if I didn't find shelter but I had to keep running if I was going to find it in time. There was an ensilage pit close on the old route so I "hotfooted" across the highway to find there was a tractor parked there! Saints be praised! As soon as I got in the tractor I saw lightning hitting highpoints from the west; it almost seemed to "walk" toward my direction; and it hit right on the tractor cab! Of course there is never usually any damage in these kinds of strikes because of the "Faraday Cage Effect"; and it is the best way to save yourself out in the open. What made matters worse was the fact that I was carrying an assault rifle which made me an even better target. So much for military training! From then on I would check the latest LOCAL weather reports online before going running each time! Not that it will always work in the midwest! P.S. Don't stand near any open doorways during these storms because that will get you killed too! And don't judge all runners as silly because in some climates you can get caught unaware out in a storm very quickly

boothby
boothby

Maybe he got caught by surprise and was hiding under the tree for protection. I still say that jogging is hazardous to your health!

highlander718
highlander718

OK, just to mention that I do not see him complanining about the iPod, it's just a report of the accident in the article, not a bit of his own opinion.

Don Ticulate
Don Ticulate

by the whole episode. OK I will leave now....

Scoid
Scoid

In all seriousness, he goes to the same church as one of my in-laws. I'm guessing he has trouble hearing the music these days.

TG2
TG2

Hiding under a tree does not make him any smarter ipod or not, during a thunderstorm... as tree's are more common strike points. So you're not making the guy any smarter by saying maybe he was hiding under one.. :)

Scoid
Scoid

Jogging in a thunderstorm wearing any type of MP3 player; or Texting while driving? I'm forming a hypothesis that all personal electronic devices will eventually get you killed instantaneously, not slowly through brain cancer or similar illnesses! :)

Don Ticulate
Don Ticulate

But there was this one guy who was setting up a patio heater in a thunderstorm while smoking a cigarette, balancing on one leg,drinking a bud and listening to his iPod. He set himself on fire, got electrocuted and blamed it all on the iPod.

Hacksaw
Hacksaw

the computer in a car is attracted to the iPod, and you are more likely to get hit? Maybe people shouldn't wear an iPod on the subway cause it may de-rail. I read a similar story about a man in Colorado who was MOWING HIS LAWN in a thunderstorm while wearing his iPod and lost his hearing for several days. he blamed it on his iPod. Well at least for now people have stopped blaming unfortunate events on video games (well, until Halo 3 comes out at least)

Don Ticulate
Don Ticulate

puts you in more danger than this I would hazard a guess at!

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