TBT: Say . . . You Wanna Revolution?

Today was the day Benedict Arnold was passed up for a promotion.

That went well.

Not too many years later, it's also the day that Aaron Burr was arrested for treason. Shoot Alexander Hamilton . . . fine, but try to lead an army of Mexicans and start your own country . . . well . . . we're gonna have to call your bluff.

How come history gets so much more awesome as you get older?

This is also the day that Copernicus was born. I know you know the name and you're probably remembering something about him and astronomy and you'd be totally right.

Here's how it all worked out:

65,000 years ago, we all just assumed that the earth was the center of the universe. Not a bad assumption considering there was no cable TV. But then after looking up at the sky for a while, some indigenous peoples noticed that there were a few stars up there that didn't behave like they were supposed to. They didn't make a neat pass around the sky like everyone else.

Then Ptolemy does a bit of math and decided that those rebellious little stars, which we now call planets, had their own little spinning system, like little children who know they should be brushing their teeth but are instead running up and down the hallway making cartoon noises.

We all found this to be a perfectly acceptable explanation for another thousand years.

Then Copernicus comes along, and thinks to himself, gee, Ptolemy was a smart dude, but his math was like totally wrong. In fact, none of this makes sense unless you consider a whole new galaxy model, with the sun as the center.

His math was published just before he died.

Procrastination isn't modern.

However, from him and his heliocentric concepts, the flood gates are now open and the world is just waiting for it to rain.

Galileo gets a hold of it, and with his handy-dandy telescope, fixes the math. (Apparently Copernicus was a huge fan of neat little circles, which don't work either, and someone should remind Megan Trainor that it's actually "All About That Ellipse")

So Galileo gives us the solar system, but that, like Benedict Arnold's failure to climb the corporate ladder, did not go so well either.

Eventually though, Isaac Newton comes along, and in the twilight after a full day of trying to turn his pee into gold, we get a gravitational influenced cosmology.

Newton was a life long Alchemist, which must have been very frustrating. So no transubstantiation, but . . . you know . . . calculus.

Also frustrating.

But for vastly different reasons.

Okay, so we've got two revolutionaries revolting after the Revolution and an Earth spinning around the sun . . . but wait . . . there's more!

Guess what Thomas Alva Edison patented on this day?


The Phonograph.

It . . . like Copernicus' neat little circles wasn't perfect. It was actually Alexander Graham Bell that cut the first record. (Alex was to Thomas what Japan is to Detroit).

But the record industry is born.

Which is kinda weird, cause we still call it the Record Industry, but it hasn't made records in a long time.

Yes, I know vinyl is like the coolest thing ever, but I'm actually waiting for the day when a blu-tooth cochlear implant can read the synaptic firings in my frontal lobe and decide which song will produce the most positive emotional effect.

Like . . . if I'm bored, I might get a podcast of This American Life, and if I'm sad, I might get Toni Basil singing "Mickey"

Or . . . you know . . . next year when I'm writing about revolutions I might get a little Dead or Alive . . .

"You spin me right round, baby right round . . . ."

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