electricity stories

 
Now that the election is blissfully behind us, maybe it's safe to make grand political pronouncements without seeming to be partisan, such as: We Americans used to build big. From the Erie Canal to the transcontinental railroad, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Hoover Dam, from the interstate highway system to putting a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth, we love to build big things. But what have we done on this monumental scale lately? Many point with pride to our public project penury as saving future generations a hefty bill. But it seems we also are robbing the future of not only monuments to our collective derring-do, but of necessary infrastructure advancements so the world we leave behind doesn't one day simply crumble from our niggling neglect. In this spirit, I have a suggestion for a grand public project — not a visible monument to our achievements, but an invisible one. A grand project that would make us all safer and secure, and rid our landscape of possibly the ugliest intrusion on our scenery: Cables.
 
It took us humans a long, long time to figure out that electricity is good for blogging, but other living things have been taking advantage of it for ages to do other, more important things like lighting up Christmas trees. Scientists in Denmark have discovered a new sort of bacteria that also use electricity, making a living by acting as microscopic extension cords.
 
You know why we don't have battery-powered trains? It's because having battery-powered trains would be a silly idea. When you have something that just goes from point A to point B over and over, it makes more sense to make electricity available over the entire stretch, and Siemens is going to try that idea out with trucks on highways.

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