Friday, March 11, 2011
Due to an ice storm last Sunday night, I spent four days without electricity. The trees become coated with ice, the branches break off, the electrical lines come down. The outage was widespread in southern NH and Vermont. We were some of the last to regain our power on Thursday afternoon.
You forget how many household tasks are completed using electrical current until you no longer have it. Because the water well pump is run by electricity, I had no water. The cooking stove and fridge were out and I threw away all my perishable food in the end.
Luckily I have a gas fired fireplace. Keeping it cranking day and night I was able to send heat down to the bathroom (furthest room from the fireplace) to keep the temperature at 48 degrees. Thus the pipes didn't freeze--one of my big worries.
I purchased gallons of water so I could flush the toilet (one gallon to flush, another half-gallon to refill the basin.) I slept in the den near the fire. Although in a practical sense I did well, in a psychological/emotional sense I was exhausted and overwhelmed. Not that life couldn't be worse of course.
Electricity is a phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of an electrical charge. Examples are lightning, static electricity and electrical current in an electrical wire.
The word comes from the New Latin word electricus meaning amber-like. This word was coined from the Greek electron meaning amber. Static electricity effects were produced by rubbing amber.
Nikola Tesla was a genius whose patents are the basis of modern AC electrical power systems. Briefly he worked for Thomas Edison, solving many of Edison's most difficult problems in working with electricity. However, he left his employment due to a conflict over payment for his work. He died penniless at 86 in New York City.
The dramatic thriller The Prestige, is about two rivaling magicians who develop tricks involving electrical current. They make a visit to Tesla's workshop in the southwest toward the end of the movie. An entertaining depiction of electrical powers.
I am so grateful for the ease of living that electricity brings. Thank you!!