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Mr. Watson, Come Here, I–Zap! Ouch!

September 26, 2009, 11:37 am

Okay, so this didn’t happen when Alexander Graham Bell made his famous call, but imagine if it had:

In scientific circles where solar flares, magnetic storms and other unique solar events are discussed, the occurrences of September 1-2, 1859, are the star stuff of legend. Even 144 years ago, many of Earth’s inhabitants realized something momentous had just occurred. Within hours, telegraph wires in both the United States and Europe spontaneously shorted out, causing numerous fires, while the Northern Lights, solar-induced phenomena more closely associated with regions near Earth’s North Pole, were documented as far south as Rome, Havana and Hawaii, with similar effects at the South Pole.

And so my answer to Ari’s question: just because history is cooler than you can imagine, and even when you’re finished realizing that and stretching your imagination, history is still cooler.

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