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Magic

By Paul Wesslund from February 2014 Issue

Magic

Paul Wesslund, Editor, Kentucky Living Magazine

Some things are too big to notice.

I write regularly in this column about the incredible complexities that bring electricity to our homes. For most of us, it can seem like magic how coal, natural gas, uranium, or even wind, water, and sun, get turned into something that makes popcorn in the microwave oven.

It's not magic, of course. Electricity comes from a huge network of materials, equipment, and expertise in science and engineering. It also takes knowledge of the law and government regulations. This electricity network is run by real people doing things like climbing power lines to keep your electricity flowing day and night, and in all kinds of weather.

The Internet and all our electronic devices can be just as hard to imagine. A creation that displays information from all over the world, instantly in the palm of our hand, boggles the mind.

The Future of Electricity column this month highlights this part of modern life. The Google and Facebook on our screens require cables connecting real buildings, with so much computer capacity inside them they've invented a new number to count it all: the zettabyte.

And none of that would be possible without electricity. It's a good idea every now and then to remind ourselves of the enormous power and convenience of electricity.

The power of learning
Kentucky Living this month is also the annual college issue, with several features thism month.

In addition to the comprehensive listing of all the schools of higher learning in our state, features include the latest trends at colleges and universities. One of those trends involves students going back to school, sometimes many years later, to get their "completer degrees" they weren't quite able to achieve before.

Those returning students recognize that the incredible power of education just might be a kind of magic.