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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Edison’

Winner: Snowy, followed by Rosebud, Eric, and the Driver.

It’s always fun when a first timer like Snowy joins us and shows us she’s got game. Now let’s see if she can do it again.

A nice turnout for the game tonight included an old timer, Tulio visiting from Florida. He used to play with us way back, maybe 15 years ago, and was always a contender.

Good Question!: Who is credited with suggesting the word “hello” be used when answering the telephone?

Choices: a.Alexander Graham Bell  b.Mabel Hubbard Bell  c.Ben Franklin  d.Thomas Edison

mm

Answer: Thomas Edison (although that’s Alex Bell in the photo)

Ahoy there. This guy Edison had his hands in everything, it seems.

“What do you say when you pick up the phone?
You say “hello,” of course.

What do you say when someone introduces a friend, a relative, anybody at all? You say “hello.”

Hello has to have been the standard English language greeting since English people began greeting, no?

Well, here’s a surprise from Ammon Shea, author of The First Telephone Book: Hello is a new word.

The Oxford English Dictionary says the first published use of “hello” goes back only to 1827. And it wasn’t mainly a greeting back then. Ammon says people in the 1830’s said hello to attract attention (“Hello, what do you think you’re doing?”), or to express surprise (“Hello, what have we here?”). Hello didn’t become “hi” until the telephone arrived.

The dictionary says it was Thomas Edison who put hello into common usage. He urged the people who used his phone to say “hello” when answering. His rival, Alexander Graham Bell, thought the better word was “ahoy.”

Ahoy?

“Ahoy,” it turns out, had been around longer — at least 100 years longer — than hello. It too was a greeting, albeit a nautical one, derived from the Dutch “hoi,” meaning “hello.” Bell felt so strongly about “ahoy” he used it for the rest of his life.

Why did hello succeed? Aamon points to the telephone book. The first phone books included authoritative How To sections on their first pages and “hello” was frequently the officially sanctioned greeting.” (NPR – Robert Krulwich on Science)

Of course, the first intelligible words spoken over the telephone were: “Mr. Watson — Come here — I want to see you.”

Model of Telephone Invented by Alexander Graham Bell

This photograph shows a model of the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell. The telephone revolutionized long-distance communication by allowing two people to speak directly to each other using their own voices instead of through code as with a telegraph.

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Winner: TomO

A couple of fresh faces on the winner’s podium this evening. Newbie Alex tied for the lead in regulation, but lost the play off and TomO became a first time winner. Good job. Now let’s see if you can come back and do it again.

With Mistress Daphne away exploring the Arctic, Mike, the mild moderator, handled things and the game proceeded at a fast clip. He fooled everyone when he asked why it is illegal to sell an ET doll in France? Turns out the French require that dolls must have human faces only. Who knew.

Good question!: What was the first sport to be filmed?

Choices: a. tennis   b. baseball   c. boxing   d. horse racing

Answer: boxing (well, sort of)

This is one strange tale.

THOMAS EDISON FILMED STRIPPERS, DRUG DENS, ANIMAL MURDERS, AND THE VERY FIRST CAT VIDEO

“Edison’s early experiments in film were often pretty scandalous even by today’s standards. There was the time he recorded his favorite body-building stripper, rather gracelessly disrobing upon the trapeze, right down to her massive Victorian underwear. There was also Chinese Opium Den, from which only one frame survives, but you can guess the content. There’s even the time he filmed himself electrocuting Topsy the elephant. So you have sex, drugs and violence, all right there at the beginning of cinema.

Edison really knew what the public wanted, so obviously he made a cat video!

In 1894 Edison filmed “Boxing Cats” at his Black Maria Studio, the charming results of which you see here. Why boxing cats? The Library of Congress explains that this was a relatively popular form of live entertainment for the time:

“The performance was part of Professor Henry Welton’s ‘cat circus,’ which toured the United States both before and after appearing in Edison’s film. Performances included cats riding small bicycles and doing somersaults, with the boxing match being the highlight of the show.”

The Library of Congress’s summary of the film is just “A very interesting and amusing subject.” Can’t argue with that!” (dangerousminds.net)

Turns out upon further research there was a real boxing match filmed by the Edison studios in 1894, but I don’t think we can forgive him for starting the cat video craze:

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Now if we’re going to be watching boxing videos you know it has to be “Rocky” and if you haven’t seen this recently it’s really worth a look:

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