Blog Party #8 – Benjamin Franklin


This week was sick (Mom, that means good, not ill):

You may recall that a few weeks ago I posted a blog party that was almost exclusively dedicated to my favourite economist, Milton Friedman. The people that we respect – or, at least, the people whose ideas we hold in greatest esteem – have a major role in shaping our world. Today’s Blog Party is dedicated to a man who, in personal finance and general industriousness, is a true inspiration to me. To close-out my week of immodest quarter century celebrations, I think this self-indulgence is appropriate.

1. Benjamin Franklin on Frugality – Ben must have been the first author to formally identify the latte factor, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” Oddly, absent from the list is perhaps Ben’s most famous money quote “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

2. Benjamin Franklin’s Inventions – Ben didn’t just build important institutions like fire companies and the US Postal Service. He innovated stoves to create a much more efficient, safe home heating system. Ben also invented the lightening rod which has saved countless lives (mostly during the 1800s and early 1900s when most buildings were built with highly flammable woods).

While he made life a lot safer for others, he often put himself in harm’s way in the pursuit of knowledge and inventions. The article doesn’t mention this, but he severely shocked himself while using electricity to kill a turkey. In doing so, he created a method of slaughter that is still in use today and that results in significantly more savoury meat. As Ben noted at the time in his journal, “Birds killed in this manner eat uncommonly tender.” A true hero.

3. A Brief Biography of Ben Franklin – I highly encourage you to take ten minutes and read his biography. If you’re not inspired by this, then you make me sad.

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4 Comments… Share your views

  1. Congrats on an exciting week :)

    Eeek! (That’s my purse running and hiding from the Apple maniac. My purse is very greedy and doesn’t like when people take things from it.)

    • Thanks. Yeah, Apple hasn’t invented anything. They just steal inventions and make them hipper. I guarantee that I can get work done more effectively on my Bold 9900 than an iPhone. And I won’t look like a jobless hipster in the process.

  2. I saw that you were on 95.7, that is just straight up awesome!

    Happy belated birthday, by the way!

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