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Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023
Good morning to you!

One of the simple frustrations most all of us go through on a daily basis is having to stop for a traffic light when we are in a hurry to get somewhere. Of course, those of you who are never in a hurry, or don’t have a traffic light in your town, are our envy. But you are the minority. The rest of us brake hard, use a cuss word or two, and make the mental coin flip on whether we can beat the yellow light or not.

Because of this, I have learned to truly appreciate the round-about, as it keeps traffic flowing and accidents to a minimum. Yes, they can be confusing at first, but these circular roadways prove to be time-savers for those who travel often on roads with them.

Meanwhile, about these traffic lights. Do you ever wonder who invented them, and why? Well, there is no easy answer. Believe it or not, traffic jams were a problem before the automobile was invented. Yes, horse-drawn carriages were clogging the streets of London in the 1860s, according to Live Science. This encouraged a British railway manager, John Peake Knight, to suggest a method similar to what was used for the railroads on the streets. Knight recommended a gas lamp system what would signal “stop” or “go” in daylight hours with red and green lights at night. Automation was far from what it is today, though, as a police officer was assigned to be next to the signals to operate them.

According to the BBC, the world's first traffic signal was installed on Dec. 9, 1868, at the intersection of Bridge Street and Great George Street in the London borough of Westminster, near the Houses of Parliament and the Westminster Bridge. It was a success, and Knight predicted many more would be installed soon. But…

Just one month later, a gas main leaked and caused one of the lights to explode in the face of the police officer on site. As a result, traffic signals were declared a public health hazard and banned.

About four decades went by before these lights were given another shot, and Americans were leading the charge. By the 1900s, multiple patents for traffic signals were filed with credits through the years going to Ernest Sirrine, Lester Farnsworth Wire, James Hoge, William Ghiglieri, William Potts and Garrett Morgan.

So, the next time you are stuck at a traffic light, don’t blame the slow-moving cars in front of you or take the Lord’s name in vain. Just yell out, “Farnsworth!” or “Ghiglieri!” or “Potts!”

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines® readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best local annual event

1. Iowa State Fair

2. Des Moines Arts Festival

3. World Food & Music Festival


Read More

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

One more day of heat is ahead before rain chances kick in this evening into early Wednesday morning. Cooler air follows into Saturday.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Carrie at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
18025 Townsend Drive
Clive, IA 50325
Another beautiful ranch built by DB Homes. This stunning house is located in Shadow Creek plat 8 with everything that a family needs. Each space is built with the best quality and details in mind, with upgraded wood features. It includes 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, finished basement with wet bar and fireplace.
See More Homes For Sale

TNWD reports that Mississippi River water levels are currently so low that barges are only able to load 90% or less of capacity. That is messing with Iowa soy bean prices at the worst time. Late September is when Brazil, the U.S.' main competitor in the market, runs out of soy beans. October-December is when U.S. soy farmers make their nut, and now the profit is discounted because of increased shipping costs.

Iowans ironically consume relatively little soy compared to Asians and to states with larger Asian populations. But we are learning. Miso is a popular soup and coffee substitute now and some restaurants served soy dishes that go far beyond miso and soy sauce. Miyabi 9 (512 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines) has soy based hiyayakko, agedashi, inari, edamames, and sometimes tofu skins.

MinGaLaBar (8134 Douglas Ave., Urbandale) serves their tofu jaw with tamarind sauce, a sweet alternative to the soy sauces usually offered with it.

It's all-night happy hour at Django (1420 Locust St., Des Moines) today. That restaurant will host a single barrel whiskey event Friday the 13th of October. Such things are usually marvelous at Django.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Report: NASCAR Cup Series race coming to Iowa Speedway in 2024

NEWTON, Iowa — The Iowa Speedway is going to host a NASCAR Cup Series race in 2024, according to a report by The Athletic. ... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: 1 person killed after golf cart hits motorcycle on Iowa highway

HAMPTON, IOWA — A Hampton man was killed on Saturday after he struck a motorcyclist while trying to cross a highway. It happened at the intersection of Highway 65 and 170th Street, north of the town of Hampton. According to an Iowa State Patrol crash report, 84-year-old Robert Irwin was trying to cross Highway 65 in his golf cart around 3:20 pm when it collided with an oncoming motorcycle driven by Core Spear of Hampton. ... READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Cell phones across America will get an alert Wednesday. Here's why.

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) test will sound on radios and TVs, while Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will be sent to cell phones across America. ... ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Birthdays and notables!

Happy Birthday Jake Lewton!

These celebrities were born on this date: Gwen Stefani, Neve Campbell, Ashlee Simpson, Chubby Checker, Lena Headey, Tommy Lee, Seann William Scott, Tessa Thompson, Al Sharpton, Clive Owen, A$AP Rocky, Dave Winfield, Dennis Eckersley

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What do vegans and vampires have in common? THEY BOTH AVOID STEAK (STAKE) HOUSES! - William Snyder, Gail Tomlinsons. Or, They both prefer blood oranges! - S. Hill Watkins. Or, Neither one can get blood out of turnip! - Deb Taylor

Today's riddle

What can you do if you have trouble finding a singing partner?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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