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Frank Gilmore

Articles by Frank Gilmore

Millions to Converge August 21 in Total Eclipse Zone

Jim Calpin will go to great lengths to be in the dark. He will drive from Chesterfield County to South Carolina with his wife and grandchildren to experience a total eclipse of the sun August 21.

This is no ordinary eclipse, if there is such a thing. It will be the first time in 99 years that a solar eclipse has stretched from coast to coast across the continental United States. The center of the sun's shadow cast by the moon will enter the U.S. in Oregon, race diagonally across 14 states and exit over the Atlantic Ocean at Charleston, S.C.

Baseball Physics Constant; Strategy Shifts Constantly

Baseball has seen many changes over its history. The rules are in a constant state of flux, as are team strategies. The ball itself is now covered with cowhide, not horsehide as in earlier times. Even the history of the game has changed. It is now generally agreed that Abner Doubleday, a Civil War general, didn't invent baseball, in spite of a legend to the contrary. This myth was started in an effort to prove that baseball originated in the United States.

TV Stations To Swap Channels But Viewers Won't Notice

Over the next few years, many television stations in the United States will make major technological changes that will be invisible to most people.

Those changes are necessary since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently held a voluntary auction to buy and resell the rights to part of the spectrum of frequencies now used by commercial and public television broadcasters.

Formed Underground or in a Lab: Diamonds Still Sparkle

Thinking about a diamond for your valentine? How about one made by scientists? 

General Electric announced in 1955 that its scientists had created a diamond. Although man-made, the synthetic diamond was pure carbon, just like a natural diamond. The company didn't enter the jewelry business but “used the stones to make tools for cutting and polishing metals, glass and even teeth,” according to GE Reports, a company newsletter.

Early Match Making Was A Dangerous Business

The match business was booming at the turn of the 20th century when a match factory opened in Chesterfield County. The American Match Manufacturing Company started its Coalboro plant in 1903 near what today is Pocahontas State Park, according to Ken Shiflett, whose hobby is researching Chesterfield County history. The plant, which operated for 7 years, made its own matchsticks from trees grown on the property and received raw materials and shipped matches using a rail spur next to the plant.

Pain Relief Fit For The Queen: Anesthesia Comes Of Age

Labor pain is a great equalizer. Queen Victoria suffered during childbirth, just like her subjects. Prince Albert had heard about chloroform easing the pain of childbirth and he asked about using it during the birth of their seventh child, Arthur, in 1850. The Queen’s three doctors advised against it, as did many doctors at that time. They considered using anesthetic during labor dangerous and an act against nature and God.

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