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Archive for October, 2008

03 October
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The Origins of Traffic Lights

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Next time you are sitting at a traffic light you will know much more about them.  Read the whole article at mental_floss.

Long before the invention of the internal combustion engine, horses and people were already having so much trouble yielding to each other at intersections that, in 1868, a British railroad engineer designed the first traffic signal to help them out. Oddly, the contraption only featured two settings: “stop” and “caution,” indicated by a bar held horizontally or lowered to a 45-degree angle. At night, red and green lights were used to make the bar visible, meaning that, in this case, “green” meant “slow down.” A proclamation issued by London’s police commissioner in 1868 explained the system as well as the then-novel concept of pedestrian right-of-way, and for the first time, cities had a way to keep people from constantly running into each other.

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02 October
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Who was Uncle Sam?

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From History News Network (HNN)…

Sitting in his Manhattan studio on a summer day in 1916, James Montgomery Flagg took off his glasses, looked in the mirror, and saw there the image of America itself. One of the nation’s most successful illustrators, the thirty-nine year-old Flagg was working on a cover drawing for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper. In the upcoming issue of the magazine, editors planned to urge Americans to expand the country’s military force, in case world events dragged them into the ongoing tragedy that Americans at that point still referred to as the European War.

Flagg was under a tight deadline and short on ideas; he didn’t even have a model in his studio to work with. He had his own reflection–tall and lanky, with piercing blue eyes and wavy hair. In all likelihood, he also had a British military recruiting poster designed by Alfred Leete in 1914.

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01 October
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Orange County Podcasters Meetup

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Mark your calendars!

In one week the Orange County Podcasters will be meeting.  For more information please check out the meetup.com page or OC Podcasters.com.  I will not be able to make this one since Samantha has just arrived, but maybe next month if it is okay with Samantha.

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