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Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2008, at 10:09 AM

"Broken Arrow" was a movie title that was defined within the movie, as well as being rather a well known term outside the military community. In the movie, a broken arrow was described as the loss of a nuclear weapon, and the person being told what a broken arrow was replied..."I don't know which is worse, losing nuclear weapons, or the fact that it happens so often there's a term for it".

We've got terms and definitions for just about everything. Here's an example...

Bioluminescence - the emission of light from living organisms, or the light emitted by same...

We've got an abundance of Fireflies at our place that turn the lawn into dazzling displays of twinkling lights on a nightly basis. I remember catching these little creatures when I was a kid growing up in Omaha, but I've not seen Lightning Bugs since we moved to Colorado when I was 15. I suppose the humidity and altitude isn't favorable for them there, but seeing them again in Nebraska is really a treat for me, especially since there are so many!

The reason for the light show is it's part of their mating ritual, and it appears there is a lot of lovin' going on with the display of thousands of lights blinking on and off. They kinda remind me of a darkened concert hall with people holding up butane lighters, though I have no idea how that idea ever got started.

Fireflies are not only entertaining to watch, they are incredibly efficient producing their light. Nearly 100% of a Fireflies light is given off as light compared to a standard electric light bulb that gives off only 10% light and 90% heat.

Chemoluminescence is what makes glow necklaces and glow sticks work, and is mans invention/imitation of bioluminescence. Personally, I think Fireflies got it right and mankind is still stumbling along in the dark pretty much.

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The City Slickers
Brian Hoag
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