August 3, 2009

Ben Franklin

There were some crazy storms yesterday, complete with booming thunder, drenching downpours, and lots of lightning. I was thinking about lightning, which lead me to think about getting struck by lightning, which lead me further to Ben Franklin. I was picturing in my mind this guy (Ben) sitting in his study (smart guys have "studies") and when he hears a storm coming he grabs a kite, a roll of string, and a key and heads up to the roof or some open field. The wind is whipping around and he lets go of the kite, sending it off into the air. The skies are dark and the kite is pulling at his hand as he lets out more and more string. The clouds are getting thicker and the rain is pelting down on Ben in his little half pants and ruffled shirt. Ben's getting soaked. The rain is now torrential, Ben keeps wiping the rain away from his wire-rimmed glasses and what hair he has left is plastered to his head. Suddenly... there's a loud CRACK and the key is glowing.... Ben just discovered electricity. Or, that the clouds make electricity. Or, that had he grabbed the key he would have been knocked on his ass and cooked like a kabob. So I'm thinking, "What the hell was Ben thinking?" So I go to Google and punch in "Ben Franklin's key". A bunch of posts come up and I read a few different entries to explain to me this whole Ben/key/electricity deal. Basically, it didn't happen, he didn't do it. Nope, all bullshit. Or, if he did nobody saw him do it. He wrote about it in some papers but in a vague sort of way. It was basically a theory he wrote about. Just like the whole story of George Washington cutting down the cherry tree or throwing that dollar across the Potomac river. First off, there were no silver dollars minted during the time he would have thrown it, and second, the Potomac is about a mile across. More than likely (if at all), the real story was that it was a little flat piece of slate and he probably tossed it over the Rappahannock river near his boyhood home (a distance of about 250 feet). Why do humans have the need to constantly distort the truth? Don't get me started on the whole bible and all its little fabricated stories... Like the Earth is only 6,000 years old. Makes one question what is real and what never happened at all. Is most history all bullshit? I think so... Or, distorted greatly.

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