Good electricity and bad electricity
|This article has been nominated for highlighting on the front page.|
You can look at, vote for and nominate favourite articles at the Department of Limelight. See this article's voting page.
Good Electricity and Bad Electricity are the two forms of electricity which exist. The terms 'good' and 'bad' have a conventional meaning to the physicist which is a source of some confusion to the layman; the noisy neighbour's strimmer might be powered by 'good' electricity whereas so-called 'bad' electricity helps to kill golfers and Wizards.
Bad electricity occurs in nature in the form of balloons, ebonite, nylon and sealing wax. The discovery of bad electricity in cats by Oliver Postgate led to a renaming of the terms, with good electricity being renamed 'bad' and vice-versa. The exact same discovery was made by Thomas Edison; this is now regarded as an example of Morphic Resonance and not considered to be evidence that Edison was a shiny-trousered plagiarist who never had an original idea in his entire life, had a stupid voice and was an anagram of L. Ron Hubbard.
In any event the second discovery led to the terms 'good' and 'bad' being renamed again, with the result that they are now back the way they were before. Edison always claimed that 'his' electricity was somehow 'better' and sought to demonstrate this by electrocuting a hippopotamus called Simon. Postgate pointed out that anyone could electrocute a hippopotamus by, for example, dropping a hair dryer into its mud hole. It was about this time that Edison stopped bathing.
In 1897, J. J. Thompson discovered good electricity in a currant bun in Cambridge and, by 1908, Ernest Rutherford had made a joke about it. The joke will not be repeated here as it is of a somewhat technical nature. By the end of his fourth book on the subject Rutherford's joke was wearing rather thin and after a fifth he was hanged.
As well as being different, the two forms of electricity are one and the same thing. A corollary of this is that each form has the properties of the other or, if you will, both; thus if you rub a balloon on your jumper it will stick to the ceiling to the amusement of all whereas if you rub a cat on your jumper it will savage your gut. Sealing wax is largely neutral in this respect.