“It was there we all huddled in the concrete-block laundromat while the storm passed overhead, with lightning so continuous, the ground was lit up like high noon. What we didn’t know then was that there was a tornado passing directly above us, one that had touched down just a few miles away, then lifted up for a few moments before dropping down again. We found out the danger we’d been in a couple minutes later…” Bruce Tognazzini


I’m a textual person, so I don’t watch much TV news. The video of the recent tornados in the American south looked like it could have been taken anyhere, and special effects storms are always more dramatically photographed than real ones. Tognazzini is a usabilty guru with whom I’ve exchanged a few e-mails, and who published a comment I sent him about his “Delivering Reports Without Getting Lynched” column. I’ve seen the interior of his motor home. His column jumped the shark when he stopped updating it monthly, and of course I don’t know him personally–but this eyewitness account seems so much more real than TV news footage introduced by a lantern-jawed mannequin and followed by an advertisement for life insurance.