Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Miscellany

Readers Write . . . 

I have mentioned previously that reader Martin S keeps me honest by pointing out items which are incorrect or with which he does not agree. 

The item about the Winged Victory statue at Marrickville is a case in point. 

I mentioned that the original statue had a raised sword and that the replacement has the sword pointing to the ground, being more peaceful and also thereby ceasing it being a lightning rod for lightning strikes. 

The original Winged Victory.

The new Winged Victory.

Martin sent me an email disagreeing: 
The comment that the sword acted as a lightning conductor is not totally correct.  
The absolute height of the metal statue is more important. If there is nothing else around the statue, the sword in an upward on downwards position will have little effect.  
It reminds me of the case when Benjamin Franklin and William the Third argued over the design of a lightning conductor.  
I enclose an appropriate link. 

Over the years, design and standards on lightning conductors have changed somewhat, it appears that we still do not know the best way of protecting objects from lightning.  
Regards Martin 
Thanks Martin. 

The following are the opening paragraphs from the article for which Martin has provided the above link: 
Published: June 14, 1983

BEN FRANKLIN and King George III rarely saw eye to eye on anything, including lightning rods. Franklin believed lightning rods should have sharp tips, the sharper the better. George, who often felt like telling Ben to go fly a kite, disagreed and had his palace equipped with blunt rods. And so the Americans and British went their separate ways not only politically but on the relative merits of lightning rod configuration.

It thus comes as something of a bolt out of the blue to learn that American scientists are now conceding that Franklin, the authority on electricity and inventor of the lightning rod, was wrong while George, the monarch with an interest in technology but no particular expertise, was right. Experiments in recent years show that blunt tipped rods, suitably grounded, are more effective than the sharply pointed ones in routing lightning harmlessly to earth.

Dr. Charles B. Moore, a New Mexico physicist, reported in a recent issue of The Journal of the Franklin Institute that the electric fields above the blunter rods were as much as two times stronger over greater distances than those above the sharp rods. 

A street art item . . . 

Greece held the Petit Paris d’ Athènes (Little Paris of Athens) art festival from October 9 - 16, 2016. 

As part of that festival, street artist WD transformed the following intersection from this: 

to this: 

The work is called “Knowledge speaks – Wisdom listens” and, according to the artist: 
The owl as bird is famous for its exceptionally good far vision, particularly in low light. Nowadays Greece is experiencing a really dark phase and I think it’s time for us here and around the globe, to recall this creature’s wisdom.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.