Currents
Offerings of Wise Men
Some topics we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

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    The Nativity figures featured in Comfort used to grace a Sears building in San Antonio.
    David Moore
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    Nikola Tesla spoke of a pocket-sized phone in 1926.
    David Moore
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    Electric eels can send out shocks, causing prey to twitch and reveal its location.
    Hedgehog vector | Shutterstock.com.

Comfort celebrates Christmas with restored life-sized Nativity statues, recreating a scene from the Bible. A wise man from a different era seemed to foretell of cellphones in 1926.

 

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Comfort is home to a set of life-sized Nativity figures that originally sat atop the Sears building in San Antonio beginning in 1969. When Sears no longer needed them, they found their way about an hour northwest to Comfort.

The ensuing years took a toll on the figures, and by 2015 they were in need of repair. Thanks to the oversight of David Guthrie, a member of Bandera Electric Cooperative, the talent of Boerne artist Jeannette MacDougall and the support of the Comfort Chamber of Commerce, the figures were restored.

They will help usher in the holiday season during the Christmas in Comfort event, November 26, 2016. The festival includes craft and food vendors, music, and activities for children.

 

Man of Vision

Nikola Tesla’s genius made much of our highly electrified world possible. He invented the first alternating current motor and developed AC generation and transmission technology.

Could it be he saw into the future?

Consider these comments by Tesla from an interview published in Colliers magazine January 30, 1926: “When wireless is perfectly applied, the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole.

We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face-to-face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.”

 

Daughters Make History

An organizational meeting 125 years ago—November 6, 1891—established the Daughters of Female Descendants of the Heroes of ’36, later renamed Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The group strives to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the people who achieved Texas independence.

 

Aikman Turns 50

For Cowboys fans, it probably doesn’t seem like more than 20 years have passed since Troy Aikman helped bring three Super Bowl trophies to Dallas, but it’s true. The Hall of Fame quarterback turns 50 on November 21.

November also marks the birthdays of these beloved Texans: Newsman Walter Cronkite would have turned 100 on November 4. Singer-songwriters Doug Sahm and Guy Clark would have turned 75 on their shared birthday, November 6.

 

Worth Repeating

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.” — Comedian George Carlin

 

Fully Charged Fish

Eels jolt their prey by sending more than 600 volts made by modified muscle cells through the water, reports Kenneth Catania, a scientist who specializes in Electrophorus electricus (electric eels, to you and me). That’s five times the electricity coming out of a typical home outlet.

They also can send quick pairs of shocks that cause their prey to twitch, allowing eels to locate it, immobilize it and swallow it whole.

Shockingly, they can also raise their bodies almost completely out of the water to zap an intruder, usually in self-defense. You might be stunned to know that they can’t bite or chew.

 

Did You Know?

Eels are native to northeastern portions of South America. Locals occasionally eat them, but eels are commonly avoided because they can deliver electrical shocks up to eight hours after death.