One of the great things about the 'Net is the opportunity it provides for subcultures to flourish. Case in point: flashaholics, folks who go gaga about ultra-high-tech photonic hardware. I stumbled into a coven of fireflies [1] last winter when I started shopping for gear to help me on evening trail runs. Bulb buffs burn bright! They groove on custom-modified souped-up LED torches the way kids a generation ago loved to fine-tune their hot rod engines.

But along with an incandescent techno-obsession, the flashmen I found truly shone when giving advice to dim newbies like me. What kind of lantern to buy? Much depends, of course, on complex interconnected criteria: weight, battery life, toughness, beam width, water resistance, etc., etc. I needed something reliable to carry during nighttime cold-weather jogging expeditions. The flashlight fanatic forum led me to a cost-effective, rugged, non-bounce, triple-LED headlamp—already a lifesaver on dozens of murky journeys through the woods. The same strap-on serves me as a handy after-hours reading aid and a late-night security blanket as I tiptoe around the house, post-toe-tendon-reattachment surgery. And I dig the cyclops look.

Maybe there's a dark side to the community of those who live to light the night—but if so I have yet to spy it ...

(cf. FlashlightMusic (2000-05-07), CoolColorRightOnRain (2004-12-02), ...)

TopicScience - TopicHumor - TopicRunning - TopicRecreation - 2005-06-01

(correlates: CloserToFine, Comments on BitsOfConsciousness, GrayGreenGap, ...)