November 24: I'm Thankful For . . .
I'm thinking about those against-the-odds, goggle-wearing, risk-taking inventors who persevered in spite of the fact that everyone else in the world thought they were nuts. Without massive research dollars to buoy their interest, they had to rely on stubbornness, obsession, and the inextinquishable flame of certitude that they were right. There would be radio. Airplanes. The ghost phone. Okay, we'll give the Wizard of Menlo Park a pass on that last one because he was right about a few of his other hunches (Thomas Alva Edison held 1,093 patents).
I am so thankful for inventors because so many of them made incredible personal sacrifices to make life better for every else, and I do mean incredible.
- Marie Curie, who is the only person to receive Nobel prizes in two different fields of science ~ chemistry and physics ~ died of leukemia she contracted from her constant exposure to radiation.
- Robert Bunson ~ of Bunson burner fame ~ was blinded in one eye by a chemical explosion.
- Galileo ended up causing permanent damage to his retinas by staring at the sun ~ part of his research into the telescope.
Scarily, amazingly enough, I could go on and on and on. Scientists who helped produce cures for yellow fever, syphilis, and malaria by infecting themselves. Who tied pieces of food ~ and other items ~ to strings, swallowed them, and pulled them back up to study digestion. Who flew rudimentary aircraft, and crashed. Who poisoned themselves with chemicals and radiation and X-rays to the effect that we now have stuff like anesthesia, radiological medicine, and therapeutic drugs.
I'm grateful for the courage of people who are genius and intrepid!
What are you thankful for today?