Wednesday, October 04, 2006

liquid fire

why go bald?
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo.
The concept behind neon signs was first conceived in 1675, when the French astronomer Jean Picard observed a faint glow in a mercury barometer tube. When the tube was shaken a glow called barometric light occurred, but the cause of the light (static electricity) was not then understood.

Jean Picard is better known as[1] the astronomer who first accurately measured the length of a degree of a meridian (longitude line) and from that computed the size of the Earth.

From -- where else? --

[1] When he wasn't manning the Starship Enterprise.

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