Monday, January 19, 2015
1915: The Neon Tube sign is patented by Georges Claude, and later exploited by Las Vegas.
-So, you might already know that neon is one of the “noble” gases of the periodic table, which glows an orangey-red color when electrons run through it. But what about all the other colors on a typical “neon” sign? Well, sorry to say, those aren’t neon. To get shades of blue, typically argon is used with a dash of mercury. Helium can be used for a nice pink glow; xenon radiates a cool purple, while krypton yields- what? Green, you say? Nope, sorry Superman, it has more of an off-white tinge. From there, certain gases can mingle to produce colors like green and yellow, or sometimes the tubes are coated with fluorescent powders to tweak the shading. But neon typically doesn’t play nicely with others, so it’s only used to produce that one color.
(Check out Vegas Vic’s scarf. There’s your neon.)
There is another noble gas that wasn’t invited to the party: Radon. That stuff is radioactive, yo.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
1903: Topsy, an old circus elephant, is electrocuted by Thomas Edison in an effort to shed light on the “dangers” of AC current, during the much publicized War of Currents campaign. More proof that Thomas Edison had no soul. Just look at the guy…
Friday, December 12, 2014
1901: Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal in Newfoundland. The Message? “What kind of name is gooey elbow macaroni?”
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
1877: Thomas Edison announces his latest invention, the phonograph, the first instrument able to reproduce a recorded sound, and one of the few inventions Edison might actually deserve a little credit for.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
1911: Apocalyptic expectations went wild the last time we saw an 11/11/11, as The Great Blue Norther, a cold snap that produced record highs and lows on the same day, barreled through the central US, leaving much of the bewildered population with contrasting habiliments.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
1895: Wilhelm Röntgen discovers the X-Ray almost completely by accident. And that’s when the fun began!
Friday, October 10, 2014
1967: The Outer Space Treaty, signed by over sixty nations including the US, the UK and the Soviet Union, becomes official. It serves as a binding promise to keep space open for everyone to explore, and to not use it to store and/or fire weapons of mass destruction. Many feel the agreement only makes it easier for outside forces to take advantage of the opportunity.