Good morning. Today is Friday, the 14th day of August. It's the 227th day of the year. This is a leap year, so there are 138 days remaining in 2020. On the Jewish calendar, today is the 24th day of Av in the year 5780.
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Today in History: Calculating the Current Consumed
It was on this day in 1888 that Oliver B. Shallenberger of Rochester, Pennsylvania was issued US Patent No. 388,004 for the first practical electric meter.
As soon as electricity was recognized as a useful resource, the early pioneers were quick to develop a means of measuring its use. The earliest applications were in commercial settings where electricity suppliers could personally monitor the working of the meters, but residential use soon followed, so a precise, standardized method was needed. Hence, the Shallenberger meter was a significant breakthrough in the electrifying of the world.
After telegraphy, the earliest use of electricity for power was to operate strings of arc lamps connected in series. Since the current was constant and the voltage required for each lamp was known, and all of the lamps were controlled by one switch, it was adequate to measure only the time current flowed in the circuit (lamp-hours). The earliest patent for a meter did just that. In 1872, Samuel Gardiner patented an electric meter that was a DC lamp-hour meter that used a clock with an electromagnet that started and stopped the mechanism when the current flowed and stopped. By multiplying the current by the time, a fee could be easily calculated. However, electrical applications grew at a tremendous rate, so it was necessary to record usage, whether constant or fluctuating. Prior to the Shallenberger meter, several others had developed meters to measure actual current usage, but none of the techniques proved accurate enough to be practical. Much like previous designers, Shallenberger employed a revolving disk which turned at a rate directly proportional to the current being consumed. His patent sets the fundamental principals, but includes the specifics for the arrangement of the coiling to drive the disk, and even provides for seven specific modifications to cover various uses.
The vast majority of meters in use today draw from the principals developed in the 1888 patent. And for whatever it's worth, in the diagram from the original patent document, you'll see paddles extending from the shaft of the driving mechanism of the counting wheels. The paddles provide air resistance as a stabilizing force to give the meter a governing capacity. In plain English, the paddles keep the mechanism from spinning out of control.
Hmmm... Could it be that the man in the Oval Office could benefit from a set of paddles?
Today's Birthday Boys and Girls
Today is the birthday of H.C. Ørsted (1777), Doc Holliday (1851), Russell Baker (1925), Lynne Cheney (1941), David Crosby (1941), Steve Martin (1945), Susan Saint James (1946), Danielle Steel (1947), Gary Larson (1950), Earvin "Magic" Johnson (1959), Sarah Brightman (1960), Susan Olsen (1961), Halle Berry (1966), Kevin Cadogan (1970), and Nick Grimshaw (1984).
On Wall Street
About the stock numbers: There's no current stock market reporting at the moment because of a snag in the link that retrieves the data and gets it to the screen. The stock market stuff is on the work bench until it's working again.
The New York Stock Exchange is currently closed. At closing Thursday, the NASDAQ was up by to . The S&P500 index closed at , up by .
Note: During trading hours all data is in real time. The data is preserved at the end of the trading day. It remains until the next opening bell. The process of retrieving stock info involves many links between the sources and what you're reading on the screen. At the moment, there's a technical issue up the line with the DJ average. Occasionally, the data appears as random characters. If there's numerical data on the screen, it's accurate. The other indicies are working and accurate.
Earth and All Spheres
The current weather conditions and forecast usually appear in this section. However, there have been technical issues the last few days with the NOAA system, so the data is not always available. Reloading the page will sometimes bring up the info.
We are under a waning crescent moon. At the time you accessed this page, its exact age was 25 days, 6 hours, and 7 minutes. We will be under a new moon again on Tuesday, August 18th at 2:52 PM CDT. The moon will reach full luminescence on Wednesday, September 2nd at 9:14 AM. For now, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter are visible in the night sky. Mars, seen in the southern sky, is clearly visible and its red glow clearly identifies it. It can be seen beginning at nightfall; it moves slowly in a westerly fashion before disappearing. Mercury can be seen in the eastern sky just before dawn.
We are under the constellation of Leo in the 146th day of spring which arrived on Friday, March 20th at 5:28 AM CDT with the occurrence of the Spring Equinox. On the day of the Equinox, the sun rose at 7:23 AM CDT and set at 7:31 PM CDT. For today, our sunrise and sunset times (at -96.852/32.847) are 6:44 AM and 8:01 PM, giving us 13 hours and 17 minutes of daylight. For now, we're on Daylight Saving Time. We will switch to Standard Time on Sunday, November 1st at 2:00 AM, following the NIST standard.
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Today's vocabulary word is hypocrisy.
Well, Aimee Semple McPherson has written a book. And were you to call it a little peach, you would not be so much as scratching its surface. It is the story of her life, and it is called In the Service of the King, which title is perhaps a bit dangerously suggestive of a romantic novel. It may be that this autobiography is set down in sincerity, frankness and simple effort. It may be, too, that the Statue of Liberty is situated in Lake Ontario.
"Our Lady of the Loudspeaker"
The New Yorker, February 25, 1928
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