Have you ever noticed that when you look online for a TV, they are usually displaying a nature scene, but when you look at TV’s in the print ads, they usually show a scene from a movie or TV show?

Oh god....I’m becoming Andy Rooney. Someone shoot me now before I notice that potato chip bags get larger while the amount of chips inside the bags decreases. All this and more on 60 Minutes!

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Yeah. I didn’t think that was funny either. But it’s hard to be funny when you’re dealing with standardized testing. I had to move computer carts around and get 2 labs ready for testing. No big deal, only took a half hour. But, when it came time to start testing, one of the proctors was missing. For some reason, that became IT’s problem. So I had to hunt them down. There went another 20 minutes. And then, one of the labs, about 2/3 of the units decided they didn’t want to be used for testing so they started tossing out the beach ball of doom. That was another 1/2 hour.

All the students think I’m the lucky one because I don’t have to take the test....

Raise your hand if you’ve been to Vegas. Ok, now put your hands down! I’m shocked and amazed that anyone would admit to going to Vegas. I mean, really! What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay there. So the fact that you went should have only been acknowledged if you are currently in Vegas! Pedantic details people, it’s all about the pedantic details! (I better not see any ‘shallow and pedantic’ gifs in the replies...)

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If you ask people to name 5 things about Vegas, chances are gambling, hookers and food will be three of them. Of the other two? Probably hotels/resorts and the strip. Which is too bad. Because I don’t want to talk about any of those today. Well.....maybe a little about the strip. But only because of the lights. And what kind of lights do people associate with the Vegas strip? Why, neon of course.

And therein lies our subject. Kind of.

You guys know what neon is, right? It’s a crappy car made by Dodge. Or is it Plymouth? Maybe it’s Chrysler? Whatever, don’t drive one.

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But the neon I’m talking about is the noble gas. What is a noble gas? Well, it’s an element that has a full set of electrons in it’s outermost shell. So, 2, 8, 8, 8, 8, etc... C’mon, this is like, 8th grade science! Anyway, when confined in a concentration, the noble gasses will fluoresce when subjected to high voltage. In fact, not only will the noble gasses do that, other ones will as well. And the color of the light given off depends on the gas being electrified. Neon gives off an orange color, carbon dioxide gives off white, etc.

Neon lights as we all know and love have been around since 1910, or so. At least, 1910 is when Georges Claude introduced neon lights at the Paris Auto Show. He never really told anyone how long he had been working on the project, nor when he made his first successful light. So, 1910 is the year that gets the credit.

But who care about neon lights anyway, right? When talking about neon lights, people conjure up an image of long tubes bent into some shape or word. And neon tube lighting is the most common form now. but in 1917, someone invented something called the neon glow lamp. These were basically the same as a neon tube, except much smaller. Usually less than 1 cm. These little neon lights were commonly used as indicator lights.

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And they were used up until the 1970’s when LED technology finally advanced enough to replace them. The types of indicators these neon lamps were used for included things like number displays on electronic devices. Or the little glowing light to indicate power. In other words, they were used just like current LED’s are.

But, alas, LED’s have replaced the little neon lamps. For now. I suspect hipsters will begin replacing LED’s in all their XBoxes with little neon lamps because, it’s ironic to use antique technology in modern electronics. Or something. Stoopid hipsters.....they need to shave. Their neck beards were never cool.

Today we don’t see many neon lamps. That’s because, unlike your great, great, great, grand memaws rocker, electronics don’t usually last that long without needing a part replaced. But despair not! Because there are actually modern examples of the neon lamp technology out there. (and you thought that picture of the TV was just for looks....)

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The same technology behind the tiny neon glow lamps is also how they get plasma TV’s to work. They electrify tiny pockets of gas to produce the various colors needed to produce a picture. If you gathered up a lot of neon lamps, you could do the same thing. Granted, the resolution would be terrible, but it would work. (the further back you stood, the clearer the details)

And that is about as odd as I can get today. I’ll be back even odder tomorrow with a theory to totally trip your Thursday. Or something.