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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bright Idea


Woke up and looked out the window, excited to see snow, but equally excited to see that it was not sticking to the street.  After breakfast I catch the local news and see that the snow should be tapering off early today.  February, warm one day, and cold the next, leaves the ground too warm for the snow to accumulate.  Luckily very little snow this winter so far, and I am hoping to get my snow blower repaired Tuesday.

Soccer scrimmage cancelled, so I head to the basement to do a load of laundry (towels) and start the chore of cleaning up and sorting thru stuff so we can fit it all into the small room on the side.  I do towels since there is little chance I can mess that kind of laundry up.   Besides, it’s easy to fold too. 

Grab the mail this afternoon and think about my mailbox invention that is still yet to be prototyped, or even installed on my own mailbox post.  I think tomorrow is the day to go to Home Depot and see if I can get some parts, tools, ceiling tiles, and laminate flooring.  I have been reading and it suggests like real wood, letting the product sit in the room it is to be installed in so that it can acclimate.  With winter recess fast approaching, I want to be ready to put Kyle to work with me.

This day in history “American inventor who held a world record 1,093 patents (including those held jointly) and created the world's first industrial research laboratory. He showed an early curiosity for explanations of how everything worked and was especially interested in chemistry. He began selling newspapers on the railroad at age 12, and learned how to operate a telegraph. In 1868, his first invention was an electric vote-recording machine.

In 1869, he made improvements on the stock-ticker. In 1876 he moved his laboratory to Menlo Park, N.J., where he invented his phonograph (1877) and the first prototype of a commercially practical incandescent electric light bulb (1879). Other inventions included storage batteries, a dictaphone, and a mimeograph.
By the late 1880s he made motion pictures, and by 1912 was experimenting with talking pictures.  He developed electric power from central generating stations. He became known internationally as “the wizard of Menlo Park.” In 1962 his second laboratory and home in West Orange, New Jersey, was designated a U.S. National Historic Site.”

Over 1000 patents might make him the most prolific inventor of all time.  We all probably learned about Thomas Edison in school, and pretty soon his most famous invention, the incandescent light bulb may be just that, history.  With CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lighting), and LED (Light Emitting Diode) gaining popularity and energy savings, the lowly incandescent is nearing extinction.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, signed by President George Bush, banned importing or manufacturing the 100-watt incandescent bulb as of Jan. 1, and require that all light bulbs be 25 percent more efficient by 2014.  Although Congress is still haggling over enforcement details, 2012 will bring the end of production and sales of the 100-watt incandescent bulb.  Additional energy-efficiency standards are coming over the next few years as well. In 2013, the familiar 75-watt incandescent will be history. And in 2014, Americans will wave good-bye to their beloved - albeit energy-inefficient - 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs.

God bless America.  So, we will soon be forced to use CFL that have mercury in them, or the pricier LED bulbs.  How many people know or will dispose of them properly (right now you are supposed to place in a seal-able plastic bag).  Eventually, all those faulty or dead CFL’s will end up in a landfill or who knows where.  Did you know that almost all of these bulbs are made in China…

Actually, there are NO companies currently in AMERICA that 100% manufacture or produce CFL bulbs.  There is one that assembles them, and as close to made in America as it is going to get (a lot of the parts for their CFL are imported) unless someone gets the bright idea to manufacture and produce here.

If you can find me a compact fluorescent bulb that says “Made in America”, let me know.

Photo of the day “Bright Idea”


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