Above / In 1752 Ben Franklin demonstrated to the world that lightning is electricity. And more than a few times since the first official ring of the 72-bell carillon in 2000, lightning has appeared as though it strikes the iconic Moser Tower. (PN Photo)
Whenever January 17 rolls around, my thoughts flash way back to 1970. I recall the time I wanted to mark my calendar with the birthday of my then-boss, creative director Bob Giraldi. The calendar square for January 17 already noted something like, “Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706,” along with other brief biographical data. Ever since, I’ve remembered that Bob Giraldi, also with boundless innovative spirit, was born on January 17, 1939.
For a lot of reasons, lately I’ve been reminiscing about that first job right out of college when Bob was my always-encouraging boss in New York City, first at ad agency Young and Rubicam, then at Jerry Della Femina and Partners.
Bob Giraldi went on to lend his independence and talents to award-winning MTV videos, films, commercials and more than a few fine restaurants. In 1995, he was among four founders of StarChefs.
Today, January 17, 2024, I’m wishing Bob Giraldi a very electrifying 85th birthday!
And then on to remembering Ben Franklin.
Celebrate anniversary of Ben Franklin’s birth
Born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, Mass., Benjamin Franklin was the youngest son of 17 children. In 1730, he married Deborah Read and they had three children. By the end of his active life on April 17, 1790, Franklin had become one of the most famous of America’s founders and today his many practical inventions continue to be celebrated around the world.
Franklin’s wit, wisdom and sage advice are legendary. The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia remains one of the most educational and memorable places for our children to visit when they were young.
We surround ourselves with his quotes and similar journals in our workplace to remind us to compare and analyze modern methods with the basic advice and commonsense Franklin espoused in the 18th century. As we embrace our own curiosity in this fast-paced world, we often ask, “What would Ben do?”
What would Ben Franklin do?
“…My way is to divide half a sheet of paper by a line into two columns; writing over the one Pro and over the other Con. Then during three or four days’ consideration, I put down under the different heads short hints of the different motives, that at different times occur to me, for or against the measure.
“When I have thus got them altogether in one view, I endeavor to estimate their respective weights; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem equal, I strike them both out.
“If I judge some two reasons con equal to some three reasons pro, I strike out five; and thus proceeding, I find where the balance lies; and if after a day or two of further consideration, nothing new that is of importance occurs on either side, I come to a determination accordingly…” –Benjamin Franklin
Never ever a self-proclaimed perfectionist, Ben Franklin can be credited for his never-ending curiosity and communication skills while improving the world in countless practical ways via a city hospital, electricity, fire departments, higher education, postal service, public libraries, weather forecasts and vaccinations.
As a prolific inventor, Franklin never patented a single innovation. He considered his inventions (bifocal lenses, Franklin stove, lightning rod, to name three) as gifts to the public. You could say his aversion to patents embraced the concept of “open source.”
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” —Ben Franklin
“Well done is better than well said.” —Ben Franklin
Electronic technology connects communities and more
Mindful of the anniversary of Ben Franklin’s birthday as well as his many inventions, theories and discoveries, the electronic technology to archive local school board, Naperville City Council and park board meetings as well as PN’s posts has come a long way.
For instance, proclamations, public comments and new business during City Council meetings such as Jan. 16, 2024, especially, are ways to learn about good things happening in this community as well as concerns on the minds of local residents that oftentimes become news stories. Watch, learn and interpret presentations without editing, soundbites or hearsay.
And while on the subject of electronic technology, be mindful of progress to save lives via AEDs, automated external defibrillators, as presented during public comments at the Jan. 16, 2024, City Council meeting. An AED is an electronic device used to help individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Naperville is fortunate to have AEDs throughout the community at public buildings, schools, churches and many businesses. Mayor Scott Wehrli has named January and February 2024 in Naperville a “Cardiac Conscious Community,” as presented by City Councilman Patrick Kelly. The initiative aims to assist in the purchase of additional AEDs to be placed throughout the city.
Paying attention to all public meetings in a timely fashion is a good thing. Curiosity is the best! Thanks for reading.
“There have been as many great souls unknown to fame as any of the most famous.” —Ben Franklin
Updated, Jan. 19, 2024