How inventors get ideas — and why that’s just the beginning
If you’re in search of a holiday gift for your favorite energy buff, consider the new novel by award-winning screenwriter Graham Moore.
Moore tells the story of the legal, technical and public relations battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse in the late 1800s that gave us the electric system we use today.
“The Last Days of Night,” fiction based on fact, gives an entertaining look at the fight between Westinghouse’s system of alternating current (AC) and Edison’s plan to use direct current (DC) to power America.
But the book is also about the process of invention and how ideas become reality. Each chapter starts with a quotation from a noted inventor. As we prepare for a new year with new possibilities, let’s take a look at some of the creative quotes shared in “The Last Days of Night:”
• “I have not failed. I’ve just found ten thousand ways that don’t work.” — Thomas Edison
• “… half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.” — Steve Jobs
• “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” — Charles F. Kettering, inventor of the electrical starter
• “Headlines, in a way, are what mislead you, because bad news is a headline and gradual improvement is not.” — Bill Gates
• “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” — Albert Einstein
• “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas Edison
• “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” — Steve Jobs
I hope these quotes inspire you as they did me. Moore’s “The Last Days of Night” is available for purchase through most major book retailers. It’s a great gift idea for any energy buff — or any creative genius, for that matter.
Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month
Electric bills increase during the winter for a variety of reasons: holiday gatherings, houseguests and shorter days and longer nights. Small measures like turning down your thermostat, replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs and washing clothes in cold water can help control energy costs.
Paul Wesslund writes on cooperative issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.