story #47

So disillusioning! Nikola Tesla was always depicted as a high-level genius who could design complex gear mechanisms in his mind the way the rest of us calculate the tip at a restaurant. Yet here he is promising that relativity is no better than alchemy and that he’s going to invent a force-field projector. It’s like learning that Isaac Newton was a numerologist and an alchemist and like when Arthur C. Clark, near the end of his life, talked about the plant life on Mars. Maybe Elon Musk is headed in the same directions.

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story #46

In 1943, Whites were terrified of so-called Eleanor Clubs, named after the First Lady. The secret clubs were purportedly organized Blacks who wanted better pay and a modicum of respect. Such clubs never existed. White paranoia did.

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story #45

In 1943, a sociologist (Howard Odum) sent canvassers out to states in the Deep South to collect rumors being spread by Whites regarding their fears about Negroes. The 125 page report makes for horrific reading — and sheds light on enduring strains of racism that continue to plague the U.S. This was not that long ago.

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story # 44

During the height of the cold war when Americans were terrified of nuclear bombs, the government wanted to allay those fears by inviting housewives to don helmets and witness an above ground explosion only 2 miles from the detnoation. The merry housewives described in this story couldn’t have been happier. Follow up pieces indicate they loved the experience, though the dawn Nevada desert temperatures were not comfy.

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story #39

This short clip from 1929 is boggling. For decades the brain was a black box, impossible to see inside. Then along came X-rays which of course pass through the skull, unless. Unless you drill a hole in the brain and inject a gas that stops X-rays from passing through. Voila, a view of brain’s interior. It was said to be an improvement of injecting air into the ventricles to see what they could see. We have come a long way.

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