Neon Signs - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Our series on neon continues today with a doozy - a neon sign advertising neon signs.  How cool is that?  Okay, you may not want to answer that question.  We think it's cool, anyway.  The first neon signs ever seen in the United States were in Los Angeles and - maybe this is not such a huge surprise - at car dealerships.  The year was 1923, and they advertised Packard automobiles.  

By the 1950s, the country was in some strange sort of competition, as businesses strove to have the brightest, most eye-catching neon signs along the road.  One might say the levels of tastefulness were pushed beyond endurance and, by the '60s, there was a backlash to neon. regulations were implemented that controlled their brightness, and people used more muted methods to advertise.  So, as you drive along a road some night, noticing how easy it is to read everything as you go past it, just remember:  it used to be easier....
QUESTION:  The element Neon was discovered by two scientists:  Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers.  What other element did they also discover?
A)  Oxygen
B)  Einsteinium
C)  Krypton
D)  Argon
ANSWER BELOW

VIDEO GAME WIZARD.  It was on this day in 1986 that everything changed.  Okay, maybe not everything, but certainly the way video games were played.  Dragon Quest, produced in Japan and introduced to the United States through Nintendo, is regarded as the first major role-playing games introduced in the world of video games.  Nowadays, Dragon Quest would seem basic, to put it nicely.  But it revolutionized gaming and brought us to where we are today.  Some consider that a blessing, some see it as a curse.  

HAPPY EARTH DAY, RACHEL!  If you've never heard of Rachel Carson (who was born on this day in 1907), that may mean you don't know much about the history of the American environmental movement.  Her book, Silent Spring, published in 1962, is arguably one of the most influential books of the twentieth century, and almost singlehandedly triggered modern efforts to change how businesses interact with nature.  Chemical companies condemned the book, claiming that the information in it grossly exaggerated the impact of pesticides on animals and the land.  Yes, Ms. Carson can be accredited with inspiring the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  And you thought one person couldn't make a difference.  Rachel died in 1964 due to complications from breast cancer.

QUOTE:  The more clearly we can focus our attentions on the wonders and realities of the universe around us, the less taste we will have for destruction.  - Rachel Carson

ANSWER:  C)  Krypton.

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