Happy Birthday, Benjamin Franklin!

What the – who’s that guy?  Is that Benjamin Franklin?  Hey, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Benjamin Franklin!

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Benny Franklin (January 17, 1706 to April 17, 1790) was technically born yesterday, but it was Sunday – so not as many people would have been able to say “WHASSUP BIRTHDAY BOY” had I posted this yesterday.

Good ol’ Benny Franklin is one of a solid handful of light and electricity contributors that were born in the month of January – so being as I share the birthday month with this monster of brainpower, it’s an honor to proclaim that, were you still alive Benny Boy, I’d surely buy you a Shiner Bock and talk of good times with you on your birthday!

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For those of you who don’t know who Benjamin Franklin was (?!), this dude made some really heavy contributions to light, electricity, and our society in general.  I get the feeling he’d be turning over in his grave like chicken-on-a-stick from the Texas State Fair if he saw what we’ve done to his glorious ideals of a country, but the man has lots to be proud of.  Benny Franklin can take credit for many things, including:

  • signing the Declaration of Independence, being a Founding Father of the US of A
  • creating Daylight Savings Time, giving us an extra hour of daylight when it’s in effect and saving money on candles
    (he actually theorized that if all of the late-night party animals in Paris would work during the day and sleep at night, they’d save 64 million pounds of candle wax)
  • messing around with optics and creating bifocal glasses.  It was said that he invented them so he “could watch the girls across the room while watching the one close to him.”  Benny, you dog!
  • creating a “lightning rod” that grounded lightning strikes and helped adult males not hide under their bed for fear of “Jobe’s Thunderbolts”
  • coining lots of electrical terms that still stick to the subject, like positive and negative, battery, conductor, and capacitor
  • creating a Fire Department
  • being an all-around flirty dude

Now of course this is not an all-inclusive list, but you get the picture.  Ben Franklin was one Renaissance Man of a guy.  Happy (belated Birthday, Benny Franklin!  Thanks for helping to create America, too!

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Thanks Franklin Resources, US History, Wikipedia, and HistoryNet!