Here are a couple of instances of plasma focusing, coiling, pinching and jetting from the world around us, in my opinion. The first is from a video about the black hole at the center of the galaxy, giving what they believe is evidence for it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCADH3x56eE.
The part that was especially interesting starts at 16:54 and goes to 18:06. It would seem that scientists have inadvertently modeled the formation of galactic plasmoids and jets.
Then, a little closer to home, we have videos of blue jets, red sprites, halos, etc.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xVThAFfP0E&feature=related.
It seems to me that when a particularly powerful lightning bolt generates the volts and amps necessary to cause a pinch and large plasmoid, depending on the direction of the current (cloud-to-ground or ground-to-cloud), it would send either a shower of electrons or ions skyward. Electrons would light up the atmosphere like an electron gun (red sprites) whereas ions would produce blue jets that spray vs. flash, and both might produce a circular electric current in the upper atmosphere that would begin to glow (halos). Of course, this is just a rough-cut correlation at this point, but the dynamics are all there for people who are smarter than me to study and work out. The point is, the forces and behavior of the plasma in the DPF are displayed in the world and universe around us, so scientists should start looking at plasma pinches and plasmoids for explanations.
great stuff, Aaron–plasmoids at a human time scale! I would guess these plasmoids are about 100 meters across but will try to check with observations when I get time. We need to get some video clips of solar flares, too–time scale of minutes.