Tag Archives: Science

Balance the Humours

13 Jan

There is a spate of “Tourettes-like” symptoms – tics and involuntary movements – among a particular group of girls in the LeRoy school district. Convinced that these girls aren’t faking it (I have no idea how), public health officials have reached a logical conclusion for what’s behind this:

…but at least one local expert in the field of movement disorders stated Thursday that what most of these girls experienced is likely the result of mass hysteria.

It’s describing a mass psychogenic (psychosomatic) group of symptoms shared among a large population, but doesn’t it sound medieval? Doesn’t that sound like the treatment would involve leeches or a stoning or visiting a shrine. In other words, it sounds like a junk, throwaway diagnosis that loosely translates into “we don’t know what the hell is going on” and has the added bonus of being backhandedly sexist.

Happy Birthday To Nikola Tesla

10 Jul

Don’t know who Nikola Tesla is? Well, someone slept through history class. Or, you were told that Thomas Edison was the greatest scientist and inventor in American history. In fact, Edison was simply the better businessman, Tesla was a true genius for whom business was a tedious distraction from science. Today, July 10th, would have been his 155th birthday.

Nikola Tesla was one of Western New York’s most prominent and important residents. In the race to electrify the world and to create modern industry, Tesla was at the forefront. The Father of Alternating Current was the first to harness the power of Niagara Falls. He and George Westinghouse built the first hydro-electric power plant in Niagara Falls and started the electrification of the world with their three-phase AC system which made long distance transfer of power possible. He also held over 700 patents on other technologies including induction motors, radio waves, and lighting systems.

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Tesla’s last remaining power generation facility was recently highlighted on The Travel Channel’s “Off Limits” and is currently being used to store some guy’s boat.

A sad end to the life of a great man. Perhaps we might convert the facility from storage unit to museum at some point to honor one of the greatest engineers in the history of mankind.