At the end of the nineteenth century, electricity was starting to have a profound effect on the world. As dramatized in the excellent novel The Last Days of Night, Thomas Edison battled with George Westinghouse (the latter aided by Croatian genius/madman Nikola Tesla) for control over the burgeoning market for electricity generation and supply. The popular symbol of the electrical revolution is of course Edison’s famous light bulb, but almost more important was the humble electric motor.
Every September in France, summer-weary parents pack their children off to school for la rentrée (‘the return’) and return to work after the idleness of August. The break from the métro, boulot, dodo routine of daily life enables both students and their parents to throw themselves back into their work and studies with renewed vigor. … Read more