Thursday, July 28

 

Wednesday, July 27

 

Tuesday, July 26

The Debunker: Do Lightning Rods Attract Lightning?

by Ken Jennings

In July 1820, Danish scientist Hans Christian Oersted published a groundbreaking pamphlet on the relationship between electric current and magnetic fields, effectively kicking off our modern electric age. You may think about electromagnetism every July when you look at your power bill and see how it spikes when your air conditioner is on. In honor of everyone getting zapped by the electric company this month, we've asked Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings to set us straight on some high-voltage misconceptions about electricity, correcting all of our shocking ignorance. He knows "watts" up. He keeps current.

The Debunker: Are Power Lines Insulated?

Lightning kills as many as 24,000 people every year, and injures ten times as many. It's a real safety issue, not one of these overhyped 11-o'clock-news dangers, like shark attacks. When you've got bolts of electricity blazing out of the sky with a currents of 50,000 amps and temperatures up to 50,000 degrees, you don't want to fool around. Thank goodness Benjamin Franklin took the time in 1749 to dream up the lightning rod, a grounded metallic terminal that can be placed atop a lightning-vulnerable building. This way, lightning can be drawn to earth without causing too much damage on the way.

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Monday, July 25

Music Monday: RIP Recap

by Scott Lydon

Scott took a little break from RIP posts, but today they're back again. Since last we tributed, four quality musical talents have passed. Let's reference them here, shall we?

Alan Vega - American Dreamer

 

Alan Vega was the kind of artist who you either find or you don't. If you don't find him, you'll think someone else invented the things they took from him. If you do find him, you'll instantly understand why so many different musicians took the time to mourn him. This song from one of Vega's solo records (I think using equipment borrowed from The Cars) marks him as a sort of digital Lou Reed. Vega was also better known as half of Suicide. One of their songs will be ending this post.

We've got some other goodbyes first, though. Press on...

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Saturday, July 23

 

Friday, July 22

 

Thursday, July 21

 

Wednesday, July 20

 

Tuesday, July 19

The Debunker: Can Defibrillators "Restart" a Stopped Heart?

by Ken Jennings

In July 1820, Danish scientist Hans Christian Oersted published a groundbreaking pamphlet on the relationship between electric current and magnetic fields, effectively kicking off our modern electric age. You may think about electromagnetism every July when you look at your power bill and see how it spikes when your air conditioner is on. In honor of everyone getting zapped by the electric company this month, we've asked Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings to set us straight on some high-voltage misconceptions about electricity, correcting all of our shocking ignorance. He knows "watts" up. He keeps current.

The Debunker: Can Defibrillators "Restart" a Stopped Heart?

If TV medical dramas have taught me nothing else, it's this: you can magically turn a dead person into a not-dead person by rubbing two little paddle things together, yelling "Clear!" and jolting them in the chest. L.A. improv classes probably spend at least two or three sessions practicing the "defibrillator jerk" they'll need to master if they're ever going to play Heart Attack Patient #2 on Code Black.

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Monday, July 18

Music Monday: Scott Walker

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! There might be no artist with a more unusual career path than Scott Walker. Started as a youngster singing pop in America, moved to England with a bigger fan club than The Beatles, and now lives in quiet solitude creating incredibly weird music. Walk through his magic with our Scott, won't you? Let's try to take the name back from the Wisconsin governor and return it to music.

The Walker Brothers - The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More

 

Before the Ramones met in that elevator, three guys named Walker made this lovely smooth pop hit. Of course, in real life, none of them were actually named Walker. Scott Engel handled the vocals here, under his assumed name. Listening to this, who would have expected that this would be coming a few decades later?

It only gets weirder. More Scott Walker after the jump.

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