Thursday, July 14

 

Wednesday, July 13

 

Tuesday, July 12

The Debunker: Did Thomas Edison Electrocute an Elephant to Discredit AC?

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: Did Thomas Edison Electrocute an Elephant to Discredit AC?

In the late 19th-century land rush to light America's cities with electricity, the two biggest players were Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. The Edison Electric Light Company was expanding its direct current (DC)-based system, but Westinghouse Electric Company had licensed inventor Nikola Tesla's patents for an alternating current (AC) grid. This was VHS vs. Betamax writ large, with the future of the 20th century at stake. The stakes were so high, in fact, that the competition quickly got ugly, with Edison's company colluding with "activists" to convince the public that AC was a public health hazard that would soon be electrocuting consumers left and right, and even manipulating the State of New York into executing criminals with Westinghouse AC generators in hopes of sullying the brand.

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Monday, July 11

Music Monday: House Music

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! House music is a sub-genre about dance. Music about houses, though, crosses every genre! We're gonna prove that today.

Crosby, Still and Nash - Our House

 

If there's a permutation of the letters C, S, N and Y, Crosby and Stills and Nash and Young have recorded as it. But this song was my first exposure to the band and those two cats in the yard always hold a special place in my heart.

Enter our house and find more music! Come on! DO IT!

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Saturday, July 09

 

Friday, July 08

 

Thursday, July 07

 

Wednesday, July 06

 

Tuesday, July 05

The Debunker: Are Power Lines Insulated?

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?

If you've ever watched birds sitting idly on power lines, footloose and electrocution-free, you might have inferred that the black coating on the outside of the wires is rubber or some other kind of insulating material. After all, as a nation, we wouldn't be stringing hundreds of thousands of miles of hot electric death across the landscape, would we? Surely we're better than that.

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Monday, July 04

Music Monday: Songs Of Freedom

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! And Happy 4th Of July! Today Scott's gathered some songs about what it means to be free. Join in, if you want. But don't feel forced to. It's all about FREEDOM.

Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come

 

Freedom is a weird thing. When you really have it, it's super easy to take for granted. But when you don't have it, or someone takes it, you instantly notice what you're missing. This Sam Cooke song is kind of all about that. It's a feeling that should resonate in every American heart.

More talk of freedom after the jump.

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