Science writer David Bodanis made his debut on the show, sharing stories about the development of electricity and the virtuoso scientists who plumbed its secrets. In the early 1800s, he said, Michael Faraday figured out how to harness electricity that could eventually power motors and generators. Later an American inventor named Joseph Henry developed a telegraph system that was then stolen by Samuel Morse, he detailed.
Thomas Edison, who grew up fairly deaf from childhood, was hired by corporations in his early career, to copy or devise alternate patents created by other inventors, said Bodanis. At the time someone said of Edison, "that young man has a vacuum where his conscience should be." He also revealed that Alexander Graham Bell was inspired to create the telephone as a way to win over the family of a girl he was trying to court.
The final frontier for electricity, speculated Bodanis, will be for it to move into applications inside the human body.He also shared tidbits from the life of Einstein, whom he said had a goofy sense of humor, and came up with his most creative ideas during his early years.
First hour guest, Bigfoot tracker Tom Biscardi of the Great American Bigfoot Research Organization discussed a sighting his group had earlier this month in Northern California. He said they found pristine tracks on a snow-covered mountaintop location and then saw a creature about 130 yards away. He has made available some photos taken by their group in the 1980's. Click here to view.
Bumper music from Wednesday April 20, 2005