Saturday, 5 January 2013

A Shocking State Of Affairs!

I'm sitting up in bed writing this on the IBM thinkpad. I do not have the faintest notion of what I will be writing about tonight, so let us see what transpires. Transpires? Excuse me while I go and look that word up.

It is OK. It means what I thought it meant. I don't know where I get these words from? Sometimes I think I must have got an education when I wasn't looking.

I am quite missing not being able to put photos on here. I know it is possible because computer minded people have told me, but I have tried and can't make it happen. Never mind. In fact I still think it miraculous that I should be able to communicate with the world in this way at all, let alone sitting in bed. Is it all done by wireless signals? Beats me.

I remember the 'wireless', which is what it was called before it became known as the 'radio'.

"Please Miss, can we listen to the wireless? Oh please Miss can we? Please."

Why it was called the wireless I do not know. It had wires everywhere. Well it had two wires that were obvious. One where the electric went in and the other was the aerial. However if you ever took the back off the wireless you would find lots of wires. I was quite relieved when it started being called the radio. It was one less thing to worry about.

I just had a thought, what happens to electricity when it goes into a piece of electrical equipment? It must get used up somehow, but where does it go when it's finished? It must have to go somewhere. If it stayed inside the equipment we would only ever need to switch something on once and it would run forever. I suppose what I'm saying is: Why does electricity run out? Where does it go? When you switch a light off, does the electricity hang about on the inside of the switch? Why doesn't it explode through?

How on earth did anyone ever think of inventing electricity? I mean crikey it is a hell of a leap from a gas light to an electric light. Did someone one day say to himself, "I'm fed up striking matches to light this gas lamp, I think I shall invent a gasless lamp. Hmmm, where to start?"

Of course he would have to think how to make it work without gas. But electricity? Who would think of inventing that? I just cannot get my head around it at all.

"Hallo mate, what you up to today?"

"Oh I thought I'd try and make a light that doesn't use gas."

"Have you thought about an oil lamp at all?"

"No of course not. That would be a backward step. Anyway I want to invent something that doesn't need a match to light it."

"You are bloody mental mate! Have you given any consideration at all to the little match girls? How are they going to earn any money if no one needs matches? Before you know it there will be little match girls dying of cold and hunger in the streets! Anyway it can't be done, a light that doesn't use oil or gas. I never heard the like!"

I think at this stage most people would give up and start thinking about inventing something else. But not our bloke. He is determined. Surprisingly he succeeds too. All he had to do was invent copper wire and magnets and make the two things move really fast in a circular motion and there it was, electricity. Dead easy! I'm surprised nobody thought of it before! Of course he didn't call it electricity at first, he just called it 'stuff'. It was only when people realised that it could give you a bit of a jolt if you touched the bare wires, that it got to be called electricity. Probably named after the Greek god of lightning whose name was Electra. Actually I might have just made that up. They might have even thought about naming it after the Greek god of shocking things, whose name was Jolt. They probably decided against that though because Joltricity doesn't have the right ring to it?

I wonder what the first person to die from an electric shock thought when he found he couldn't let go of the wires? We will never know the answer to that sadly. I expect his last words contained an expletive though. Or maybe half an expletive. He probably said something like, "Ooooh fuuu..."

Why don't all electricians wear rubber boots at all times? If I was an electrician I most definitely would!

By the way, if you are ever trying to mend something electrical and someone tells you that they have definitely, positively turned the electric off at the mains, do not under any circumstances believe them!

And that my dear readers is what has transpired due to me not knowing what to write about.


  1. Sometimes I think the electricity is running around loose inside your head. Maybe that's were all the spare juice goes.

  2. Even when you don't know what to write about, I still always enjoy your writings. At least you are still able to get online and write a few posts with your Thinkpad. As we say here, "when you don't have horse, ride cow."
    Night night John.

  3. Jolt! Hah, I know it's impossible to be named after a Greek god that didn't exist even more than the rest of them didn't but I believe I'd have got more respect as a child named Jolt. I like "Geo(rge)" ok, but it's an old-man name and I've only recently grown into it. Yes, if I had it to do over, I'd be Jolt!

  4. I hope you realize I'm going to be up all night now wondering about what happens to the electricity when you turn things off :)

  5. Your tale of electricity reminds me of a time many years ago. I was sitting on the couch and directly across from me, facing the wall was my 2-year-old son. He would reach out toward the wall then shake vigorously. Then he would do it again. Being the wonderful mother I am, it took about 4 times of him reaching and shaking before I got up to see what he was doing. He had stuck a nail into the electrical outlet and was trying to pull it out! Each time he would get a shock and then shake. Luckily I still have him and he just celebrated his 44th birthday..

  6. Hey Emma, cheap thrills for a young whipper snapper. You sound like the kind of mother I was. (smiles)

    1. Believe it or not, he is normal too. Sometimes I think it is amazing that children live long enough to become adults.

  7. The name Wireless was a good description of the old battery operated sets which followed crystal radios. No electricity needed, hence no wires. If you find out how to upload photographs from your thinkpad, do let me know.

  8. I love, love, love your rambles, please don't stop...

  9. Would your bed actually be in an insane asylum ward, and were they hooking you to a bunch of wires for your evening electro-shock treatment at the time you were starting to write something?

  10. I have always wondered where electricity went when it was finished. You do go on!