Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stuff you may not know...

Post 588 - Chief Executive magazine's CEO Confidence Index, the nation's leading monthly CEO Confidence Index, increased 14.7 points (14.4 percent), rising to 102.1 following the results of the November elections. All five components of the index showed double-digit gains in November.

Check my math - A clunker that travels 12,000 miles a year at 15 mpg uses 800 gallons of gas a year. A vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year at 25 mpg uses 480 gallons a year. So, the average Cash for Clunkers transaction will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year. The government claims 700,000 vehicles were taken off the road, so that's 224 million gallons saved per year. That equates to a bit over five million barrels of oil. Five million barrels is about five hours worth of US consumption. More importantly, five million barrels of oil at $70 per barrel costs about $350 million dollars. So, we paid $3 billion of our tax dollars to save $350 million. Bottom line, we spent $8.57 for every dollar we saved. I’m hoping the government will do a better job with our health care, though.

In 2007, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley tried to estimate just how much information had been produced in the previous year. Their answer was five exabytes, equivalent to almost 40 times the contents of the Library of Congress.

An associate and friend of Thomas Edison, Edward Johnson, is recognized as the first person to put electrified lights on a real Christmas tree. It happened in 1882, just three years after the incandescent light bulb was invented. Johnson was an executive of the Edison Illumination Company of New York City. Christmas trees before 1882 were displayed in homes with lighted candles - many tragic fires resulted from this custom. Edward Johnson hand-wired 80 red, white and blue hand-blown bulbs and strung them around a rotating evergreen tree. To quote Johnson from a letter sent to New York newspapers, "Electric trees will prove to be far less dangerous than the wax candle parlor trees." In fact, those first bulbs became very hot and were nearly as dangerous as the candles they were replacing. Still out of range for most American families to purchase, Edison's Christmas tree lights did not immediately catch on. It would take decades for affordable lighting to become available to most Americans.
In 1917, a 15-year-old boy named Albert Sadacca had a "light bulb" experience. Sadacca's family owned a novelty store selling electrified wicker bird cages with lighted imitation birds. Sadacca suggested to his parents that they begin making electric lights for Christmas trees. After a slow first year, the New York City novelty store grew into NOMA Electric Company and quickly became the largest Christmas lighting company in the world.
According to the National Electrical Contractors Association, the bladed wall plug that we use today was actually a development of a device that was originally used to facilitate the interconnection of strings of Christmas lights.

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