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Did You Know? December 2020

Why Christmas is Celebrated on December 25th and Battery Fun Facts

Did you know that not all Christians throughout the world celebrate Christmas on December 25th? 20 countries celebrate Christmas on January 7th and one on January 6th. How come? Well, evidently a guy named Julius Caesar hired some astronomers who weren’t quite up to scratch to lay out what was to become the Julian Calendar. They screwed up slightly in their calculation regarding the rotation of the earth around the sun. In other words, their timing was a bit off. So, in order to correct this miscalculation, in 1582, 90 years after Columbus sailed the seas of blue, along came Pope Gregory 13th, who obviously hired some better astronomers, and the calendar was tweaked slightly to the tune of some 13 days. So, suddenly, the tradition of celebrating Christmas day on January 7th was switched to December 25th. Still, most of the Orthodox Christian Church either continued to resist the change or thought maybe they could get two holidays of out this new arrangement and stayed with January 7th. On December 26th I am converting to the Orthodox Christian Church and will celebrate Christmas again on January 7th, which happens to be my daughter’s birthday. I bet she doesn’t know she was born on Christmas Day.

Did you know that the energy needed to make the average fully charged battery is about 50-times more than the battery can produce? This is according to www.historyofbatteries.com.

Don’t you get peeved when your cell phone battery dies after a few hours? Did you know that the first cell phone battery only lasted for about 20 minutes of talk time?

Talking about battery reserve time, did you know that there is a battery out there that is still providing power after 180 years, but nobody knows why it has lasted so long? According to the Smithsonian Magazine, in 1840, a physics professor at Oxford University in England acquired a battery manufactured by the Oxford Electric Bell Company that was made to move a metal ball back and forth between two bells. Evidently, after 180 years, the bell is still ringing after billions of ding-dongs. Certified by the Guinness (my favorite adult beverage) Book of World Records, as the world’s most durable battery, no one knows how it has lasted so long. The catch is that it cannot be dissected, as opening the device could potentially “ruin an experiment to see how long it would last.” Come up with the big bucks, Elon! I will be following up on this in the next EEPS newsletter.

Like me, have you ever wondered where the name “battery” came from? Remember a guy named Ben Franklin who was one of the founding fathers of the United States, who was credited (not true) with discovering electricity? Well, go fly another kite, Ben, but you can probably be credited with something more realistic. The term “battery” was credited to Ben to describe multiple Leyden Jars (an early form of a capacitor) connected together. He derived the term from the military term “battery” which was used to define a number of weapons working together. Google “battery” and you will see it pop up.

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