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Sheepdoll
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A little known problem with DC
Sheepdoll   7/25/2014 3:28:13 AM
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Edison's DC actually changed what women wore.  Corsets in the 1880s used steel "bones" to form the hourglass curve. (actually they are needed for proper support of the bosom.)

DC current causes steel or iron moving through it to become magnetically polarized.  Since most of his installations were in upper class houses, this had the effect of magnetizing the corsets. 

Pins and other objects would stick to these society ladies mid sections.  About this time rubberized elastic was being developed, which allowed us to no longer need steel, whalebone or reeds for support.

Women everywhere have much to thank Tesla.

 

 

 

SpeedEvil
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Re: A little known problem with DC
SpeedEvil   7/25/2014 6:30:17 AM
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This seems at best doubtful.

Yes, steel can be magnetised - but not very strongly.

The amount of current needed to magnetise, even when very close to a DC wire is really quite high.

Simply walking into a room lit by, or with a DC appliance will not do it.

 

Sheepdoll
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Re: A little known problem with DC
Sheepdoll   7/25/2014 12:53:20 PM
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SpeedEvil --The amount of current needed to magnetise, even when very close to a DC wire is really quite high.

The story actually came from a magazine for watch collectors.  I do not have a copy on hand so can not look up the actual reference.  Most of the article was on the effects the direct current had on watches, which are sensitive to small amounts of magnetism.  It could be that the pins were becoming magnetized.

Edison's system must have had high currents.  I think it ran about 80 or 90 volts.  There was a lot of line loss.  Reports also indicated that the ground returns in earth were actively charged. That walking over such could cause a tingling sensation. None of this was regulated, so practices in the 1880s may have been quite different than they are now.

Many of early electrical items were used for therapeutic purposes. See the film _Road to Wellville_ for examples.

My personal take on the corset story is that it is much like cellphone radiation exposure.  There was a propaganda war over which system was the least leathal.



David Ashton
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Re: A little known problem with DC
David Ashton   7/25/2014 6:32:13 AM
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@Sheepdoll...I never thought that I would be learning about the history of women's undergarments on EETimes!  But then I forgot, you're an "Active historical costumer" to quote your profile.  Thanks for the insights :-)

Susan Rambo
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Charming
Susan Rambo   7/25/2014 12:17:08 PM
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This is a charming, quick read about Tesla and Van Gogh; interesting premise. You could go back to school and use it for your thesis (if you are studying history). I didnt realize the mental health issues with Tesla. Has anyone read a good biography of Tesla they can recomment?

sranje
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Tesla suffered from OCD
sranje   7/25/2014 2:18:17 PM
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It is well documented that Nikola Tesla suffered from OCD (numbers, utensils when eating, etc.). OCD can be very easily controlled (ERP method) but -- left untreated it can mushroom completely out of control. An example is Howard Hughes whom reportedly personal physicians escallated into full insanity to grab his wealth. A blemish forever on Mormon church infrastructure which reportedly hugely benefited.

krisi
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Re: Tesla suffered from OCD
krisi   7/25/2014 2:30:38 PM
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happt to hear that Tesla had OCD, I have it too!..hopefully I will not follow Hughes's life ;-)

Susan Rambo
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Re: Tesla suffered from OCD
Susan Rambo   7/25/2014 3:40:50 PM
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Interesting. I'm guessing doctors probably did not have very good treatments for OCD back in Hughes' day and no treat in Tesla's. It's wierd how the mind "malfunctions" -- it's a wonder it works at all.

krisi
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Re: Tesla suffered from OCD
krisi   7/25/2014 4:09:46 PM
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I am not sure OCD requires treatment...according to some estimates 10-15% people have it...mild forms of OCD are not hurtful, quite teh opposite, my desk at home and at work is the most organized and cleanest, and I tend to be very efficient in what I do!

betajet
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Re: Tesla suffered from OCD
betajet   7/25/2014 4:35:38 PM
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Susan said: It's wierd how the mind "malfunctions" -- it's a wonder it works at all.

Well, for me OCD is a feature, not a bug.  I think it makes me a better engineer since I obsess about details and unlikely failure modes and "nice to have" options that marketing hasn't specified yet but may some day.

In fact, I'm tempted to get one of those T-shirts that reads: "I have CDO.  It's like OCD but the letters are in alphabetical order like they're supposed to be."

I have a cat who insists on parking herself on my chest and licking my beard.  We call it Obsessive Licking Disorder.  It get OLD after a while :-)

Susan Rambo
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Re: Tesla suffered from OCD
Susan Rambo   7/25/2014 5:11:31 PM
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Funny t-shirt, Betajet. That's a good way to think about it, Betajet and Krisi: milder OCD is a feature and not a bug.

Bert22306
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Re: Tesla suffered from OCD
Bert22306   7/27/2014 7:52:27 PM
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Wait. If I think that most people are careless slobs, does that mean I have OCD, or does that mean that most people are careless slobs?

Inquiring minds would love to know.

David Ashton
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Re: Tesla suffered from OCD
David Ashton   7/27/2014 9:20:47 PM
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@Bert....that's easy.  From your point of view, most people are careless slobs.  From THEIR point of view you have OCD.

As others have pointed out, mild OCD is a very desirable quality in an engineer.  So as long as you associate with like minded people, your OCD traits don't get you down, and you don't allow the slobbiness of others to get you down too much,  you're doing good.  And that's all that matters.

sranje
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Re: Tesla suffered from OCD
sranje   7/27/2014 10:32:14 PM
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Yes David - you are correct. The problem is when the affliction escalates out of control - for example Howard Hughes would repeatedly wash hands until they started to bleed.

Until recently there was very little understanding of OCD with a lot of quckery and nonsense "treatment".  A very simple and effective is the ERP methos (exposure - response prevention). For example, the sufferers have to three times check a lock to make sure that a car, house door is locked.  With great discipline and initial effort you check it only twice or only once -- and that particular obssessive "need" dissipates and goes away.

Left untreated it can completely escalate -- as in poor Tesla and Hughes....

Sometimes I myself wish I would have some of it. When we have been much smaller animals and sitting on a branch during the night I bet these with OCD had a much higher survival rate.... ;-))

 

David Ashton
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Re: Tesla suffered from OCD
David Ashton   7/27/2014 10:48:25 PM
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@sranje... "The problem is when the affliction escalates out of control"

True.  What I should have said is that good engineers are a bit obsessive-compulsive.   It's when it gets out of hand and becomes a disorder that you have a problem.......

antedeluvian
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Yellow house
antedeluvian   7/25/2014 4:10:34 PM
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Cabe

Van Gogh's Yellow House in Arles was also saved and restored as a museum for those inspired by the late artist to learn more about his tragic life.

I quote from Wikipedia "The building suffered various rebuilding, before it was severely damaged in a bombing raid by the Allies on June 25, 1944 and was later demolished."


I have coincidentally just returned from a vacation to Provence and so I recently became aware that the Yellow House is a reconstruction.

 

 



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