mm500: Blast from the Past! No. 54 – Edison vs. Tesla

September 22, 2008
© Kandasamy M  | Dreamstime.com

© Kandasamy M | Dreamstime.com

First day back at work after a bereavement leave, and we’re still not ready for the world of blogging.

Nevertheless, we’re all about doing the right thing here at Left-Handed Complement, and in that spirit we’re recycling some of our favorite electrons. And with over 470 fresh daily posts in the past 16+ months, there’s lots to choose from.

I hereby stop apologizing for resuming our observance of the prime directive of blogging: Thou Shalt Blog Daily!

And I’m guessing that most of you weren’t here nine months ago. As one of my favorite paper publications used to say as they flogged unsold back issues: “If you haven’t read it yet, it’s new for you!”

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Blast from the Past!

A post we really, really loved to write, and read, and re-read…

Originally posted November 16, 2007, titled “mm195: Edison gets the glory — Tesla won the war.”

MUDGE’S Musings

Every schoolchild, at least of MUDGE‘s generation, knew the name of Thomas Edison, America’s genius inventor. Not nearly so well known today is the reputation of Nikola Tesla, whose alternating current technology offered stiff competition to Edison’s direct current at the time when the nascent electric utilities were battling for the privilege of revolutionizing civilization.

That first battle ground, New York City, finally just yesterday, November 14 2007, after 125 years of service, converted the last direct current electricity service to alternating current.

Can you imagine any industrial artifact built today still being around in the year 2132, 125 years from now? We just don’t think that way any more. Ask the survivors and grieving families of those lost when the I-35 bridge at Minneapolis collapsed this past summer, at the youthful age of 40.

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mm483: Blast from the Past! No. 45

August 29, 2008
© Kandasamy M  | Dreamstime.com

© Kandasamy M | Dreamstime.com

MUDGE’S Musings

Events, continue to conspire, sapping most of the vigor out of my keyboard, but hey, recycling is IN, right? We’re all about doing the right thing here at Left-Handed Complement, and in that spirit we’re recycling some of yr (justifiably) humble svt‘s favorite electrons.

I hereby stop apologizing for observing the prime directive of blogging: Thou Shalt Blog Daily!

And, I’m guessing that most of you weren’t here nine months ago. As one of my favorite paper publications used to say as they flogged unsold back issues: “If you haven’t read it yet, it’s new for you!”

lhc76019043_thumb24_thumb2_thumb2_th[3]

Blast from the Past!

A post we really, really loved to write, and read, and re-read…

From last fall, and always in season, especially since it’s back to school time for millions, originally posted November 1, 2007, and titled “mm182: It’s Chemistry, baby!”

MUDGE’S Musings

Newest member of the L-HC blogroll is The 12 Angry Men Blog, a very much more accomplished, established and widely read (no gimmicks — it’s on merit!) fellow WordPress resident. With their hoped for indulgence, I reference a recent article I found there.

The post in question was particularly timely, as literally just the other day I was thinking about chemistry sets as I perused a wonderful toy catalog seeking out gift ideas for the official grandchildren of MUDGE and his better 7/8. (More below about the catalog and site.)

I distinctly remember musing: a chemistry set — together with a slightly better than toy-like microscope, the source of countless hours of education and entertainment during my own childhood — is it too soon to think about it for my (totally objective evaluation here) genius seven year old grandson?

No chemistry set. In a catalog full of really interesting and educational toys and games.

Angry Political Optimist fit the pieces in place for me, and when I encountered the post today it was a true forehead-slapping moment. Of course (slap!).

What grabbed me originally was the reference to the buzzword of the month, Islamofascism, as noted in this space last week.

But it’s so logical.

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mm473: If only it were actually oil they spew in such quantities

August 19, 2008
© Eline Spek | Dreamstime.com

© Eline Spek | Dreamstime.com

MUDGE’s Musings

How can you tell a Rovian Republican is lying?

His lips are moving.

It’s less than three months to election day, and the Rovian machinery of mis- and disinformation has lurched into gear.

Jerome Corsi’s new No. 1 bestseller is beneath contempt; the Obama campaign seems to have learned from the stricken paralysis that was the Kerry campaign’s reaction to Corsi’s Swift Boat slander, and one can only hope that the Corsi’s latest spurious attacks will be swiftly deflected.

But there’s a lot more going on in the Fantasyland that is the Republican commentariat.

Take oil, for example.

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mm448: Global warming: real but not catastrophe

July 25, 2008

dreamstime_638321

© Markwr | Dreamstime.com

MUDGE’s Musings

Politicians disagree. That’s not news — that’s politics.

Scientists disagree. That sometimes does not make the news. The flaming rhetoric gets the attention; the calm, carefully reasoned rebuttal is buried on page A22.

Or buried in a special interest magazine.

Found another such publication: Skeptical Inquirer.

Al Gore wants this country to totally migrate power generation from coal, like that sooty specimen above, to renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, in 10 years. A very Kennedy-esque proposal. Actually, Kennedy’s inspiration (or, at least, his speechwriters’) might have been Chicago visionary, and leading proponent of the Columbian Exposition of 1892-93, Daniel Burnham, who most famously said: “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood…”

[Editor’s note: the paragraph immediately above is a prime example of this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere©‘s specialty: Sequitur Service©.]

Gore’s proposal of course is the follow-on to his environmental hobby-horse, sound-bit as global warming.

Not so fast, Al…

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mm432: Danger? You bet your asteroid there’s danger!

July 7, 2008

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© Andrea Danti | Dreamstime.com

MUDGE’s Musings

From the We Don’t Have Enough on our Plates Dept. (not me! I worry about the global economy, my home’s value, fuel prices, food shortages, and racist, redneck voters just to name five of the topmost), comes this calmly frightening tale of the cataclysmic dangers we potentially face from asteroids.

nytimes

Maybe Chicken Little Wasn’t Paranoid After All

Ideas & Trends | By ANDREW C. REVKIN | Published: July 6, 2008

THE Earth is pockmarked with the evidence of ancient collisions — huge craters blasted into its surface by asteroids or comets. One such object, striking 65 million years ago in the Yucatán in Mexico, is believed by some experts to be linked to the demise of the dinosaurs.

For a decade, NASA has been busy trying to identify what else is headed this way, particularly those potential “civilization killers” of 1 kilometer (.62 miles) or more in diameter that have orbits coming within 30 million miles of the Earth’s — too close for comfort by space standards.

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mm422: Blast from the Past! No. 31

June 27, 2008

Worked long, and late today; then spent some quality PVR playback time with Mrs. MUDGE. So, blogging took a very bedraggled third place on the priority list, darn it! So, once again, time to unwrap from the deepfreeze a past treasure.

There’s most read, and then there’s favorite. This is a post which yr (justifiably) humble svt is, regrettably, but not regretfully, not at all humble about.

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Blast from the Past!

A post we really, really loved to write, and read, and re-read…

From last summer, originally posted September 20, 2007, and originally titled “mm146: Left-handers on roll as numbers triple.”

MUDGE’S Musings

There is no more appropriate story for a blog very particularly titled Left-Handed Complement than this one from the Sunday Times of London:

timesoflondon

LEFT-HANDEDNESS has reached record levels, with a more than threefold rise over the past century in the proportion of those using their left hand to write.

A large-scale historical study of handwriting down the ages by academics at University College London (UCL) has found that the proportion of left-handers has gone up from 3% among those born more than 100 years ago to 11% today.

Chris McManus, professor of psychology at UCL, said the surge in left-handedness may be due to a reduction in attempts to coerce naturally left-handed children into using their right hands.

McManus’s team have reinforced the theory that left-handedness is growing by analysing film shot about 1900 which shows that only 16% of those living at the beginning of the 20th century used their left arms to wave, compared with about 24% of people today.

Your obedient servant happens to be lefty in more than politics, thank you very much.

Can it really be that there are more of us?

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mm419: At last! Jellyfish found to be useful

June 23, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

Global climate change. Is it reality? Is it soft-headed hype?

I’m thinking that reality is more and more likely. Believe that the residents of the flooded Midwestern U.S. might be more inclined to agree with that assessment today than they might have a few weeks ago. The residents of New Orleans and the nearby Gulf Coast, still hard at work rebuilding three years on, might have by this time become convinced in the reality of global warming.

We cover climate change occasionally in this space. Just the other day we blasted a story from last September, now unaccountably missing from the archives, but preserved here, noting melting of Arctic ice sufficient to open the until-then speculative Northwest Passage. Earlier, a dissenting view, in an analysis of whether the phenomenon of global warming truly exists.

In fact, so extensive is the scientific discussion around this issue, the estimable Arts & Letters Daily recently spun off a fascinating Climate Debate Daily that has joined its parent in our blogroll.

Never had much enthusiasm for jellyfish. Toured an aquarium a few years ago (Long Beach? Boston? New Orleans?) that had a specialization in same, although current on line evidence won’t verify that. I don’t swim in ocean beaches where jellyfish are a danger (although I did as a vacationing child in Miami Beach).

All in all, don’t think of them much. And I guess I don’t think much of them.

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