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first practical method of generating electricity, the “voltaic pile”, which consisted
of alternating discs of zinc and copper interspersed with layers of
cardboard soaked in salt water. The fiery-red glow emitted by the copper in
Volta’s marvelous invention is now considered one of the earliest manifestations
of incandescent lighting. Shortly thereafter, building upon Volta’s
work, English inventor Humphrey Davy produced the world’s first “electric
arc lamp”, named for the bright arc of light the contraption emitted between
its two carbon rods. Another Brit, Warren De la Rue, managed in 1840 to
develop a light bulb using a coiled platinum filament, rather than copper,
but the high cost of platinum kept the bulb from achieving commercial success.
There were even a couple of Canucks who contributed to the development
of our beloved orbs of light—Canadian inventors Henry Woodward
and Matthew Evans developed, in 1874, an electric lamp with carbon rods
held between electrodes in a glass cylinder filled with nitrogen, a breakthrough
which earned them a shiny new patent. Their commercial hopes
were dashed, however, as they were unable to market the product. They
sold their patent to Edison in 1879.
An English High Court judge has ordered a Russian billionaire to pay his
estranged wife £453 million, in what is believed to be the largest divorce settlement
made by a U.K. court.
Though it is a rather fleeting source of light, lightning can be extremely hot:
a single flash can heat the air around it to temperatures over five times hotter
than the surface of the sun (27,700 degrees Celsius versus 5,505
Florida has light of all kinds. Apart from being nicknamed “the sunshine
state”, it attracts an inordinate amount of lightning. Florida’s Haynes Law
Firm is among those with a “Lightning Damage” practice area.
Joshua M. Bach was elected to the board of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce
for a two-year term commencing in May 2017.
Miranda Lam of McCarthy Tétrault was appointed vice chair of the Vancouver
Foundation board of directors for 2017–2018. The Vancouver Foundation
is the largest community foundation in Canada with more than $1.1
billion in assets and more than 1,700 funds under management.
The Guardian reported in 2002 that the Czech Republic was “the first country
in the world to pass a countrywide light pollution law”, apparently at
least in part encouraged by astronomers. Said The Guardian, “It is no acci-