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Feel The Power At Your Finger Tips

Happy HumpDay!

Happy HumpDay! Do you love learning something new each week? Maybe your friends and family would like to learn some cool stuff too?! If you know someone who has a thirst for useless but entertaining knowledge, feel free to forward this email to them and have them subscribe!!!! As always, check out the HumpDay website at HumpDayNewsletter.com and follow the official HumpDay Instagram!

Technology

Most of our loyal readers are currently reading this week’s newsletter on their smart phones, scrolling past the generic introduction paragraph with the tip of their thumb to get to the good part. But as you scroll through this week’s newsletter, take a second to think, how does rubbing my thumb on this piece of glass make it move? Touchscreens are an incredible piece of technology.

There are actually two types of touchscreens. The first is called a “resistive” touchscreen which requires the user to press fairly hard on the screen for the computer to respond. The computer recognizes the touch when the force of a person’s finger cause two layers of metal within the touch screen to connect, activating an electrical signal that triggers a response from the computer. The computer knows where the touch is on the screen and which action is associated with that area of the screen and processes the action. These types of touchscreens are extremely common in grocery stores, ATMs, and airplane seatback TVs.

The second form of touchscreen is called a “Capacitive” touchscreen. These touchscreens, found in smartphones and tablets, use an electrical field in a grid formation across the screen to sense when something that conducts electricity, like a thumb or finger, touches the screen. Touching the finger with your thumb changes the electrical field on the screen in the location that you touched it, telling the computer where your finger is and allowing it to process to appropriate action. Processors in the device can also track the movement of your finger on the screen by following the change in the electric field over a short period of time. This technology is how smartphones are able to identify when you swipe something on the screen, zoom with two fingers, or scroll up and down.

Capacitive touchscreens require a conductor of electricity to work. Every time we play with our phones, our fingers are conducting electricity to manipulate the phones electrical field. Talk about power at your fingertips! On the other hand, try using your phone with gloves on and see how powerless you feel then.

History of Smartphones Broken Voting Machine Touchscreen

Entertainment

“MOVE! THAT! BUS!” is the catch phrase for one of the most popular home improvement shows in TV history, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Each week, a family in need would be visited by Ty Pennington, the show’s host, and a crew of workers that would tear down and rebuild the families home. After construction had finished, the family would be introduced to their new home, a newly renovated space that met all the family’s needs and provided them with a happy place to live in.

But what happens next? Ty Pennington rings your doorbell and gives you a new house and there’s no catch? Don’t those poor families need to pay taxes on the free house that they just earned? Actually, no! According the Internal Revenue Service, home improvements made by a renter are not considered taxable income for the landlord. That way, landlords don’t need to pay taxes every time a tenant decides to repaint a room or fix holes in the drywall.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition exploited this tax loophole by “renting” the family’s home for the week of construction. While they were technically tenants, all improvements that the show made to the home were tax-free for the lucky family. At the end of construction, the show’s lease ended and the family got to move in to their beautiful new home without having to pay an enormous tax bill.

That being said… the increased value of the home caused by the improvements did cause some families to have to pay much higher property taxes and some families even needed to sell their home because they could afford the added tax.

For those preparing to do their taxes, the idea of a television show that rips the government off for hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes is even more appealing than a show that helps families in need. Luckily, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is the best of both worlds.

The Untold Truth of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Move That Bus!

History

In 1972, President Richard Milhouse Nixon instructed his staffers to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office complex in order to plant bugs and steal documents to use against his political opponents. When the burglars were caught and arrested, President Nixon began a cover up campaign that took years to unravel.

When pressed by the FBI to cooperate with investigations into his role in the break in, President Nixon refused to turn over any documents or evidence used against him. The key piece of evidence that investigators were looking for was a series of tape recordings that Nixon made inside of the Oval Office. For years, President Nixon had recorded his conversations with guests and staffers inside of the oval office and the FBI believe that there would be discussions about the Watergate scandal somewhere on those tapes. Pressure to turn over the tapes mounted as the investigation went on and Nixon finally agreed to hand the tapes over to congress but, under one specific condition.

Nixon agreed to give the tapes over to the U.S. Senate if one senator, John Stennis from Mississippi, was the only person allowed to listen to them. The then 70-year-old senator Stennis was notoriously hard of hearing and was heavily medicated after being shot earlier in the year. The “Stennis Compromise” proposed by President Nixon would require the hours and hours of tapes to be reviewed by only an aged, deaf, and delirious member of congress. Even worse, the senator would have to transcribe the important information word for word and present it to the rest of the senate.

Although a funny idea and an interesting tactic for avoiding justice, investigators didn’t go for Nixon’s proposed compromise and eventually the courts ordered that the tapes be turned over to the Senate for review. Once the tapes were released, Nixon knew that he would soon be impeached and likely removed from office so he resigned in disgrace on August 9th, 1974.

This Week in History

On this week in 1974, Patty Hearst, granddaughter of newspaper mogul William Henry Hearst, was kidnapped by a domestic terrorist group called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). The SLA held her for ransom and demanded that her ultra-wealthy family give every hungry person in San Francisco $70 worth of food to eat. Soon after being kidnapped, Patty Hearst developed Stockholm syndrome (sympathizing with your captors) and joined the SLA under a new name, Tanya. She participated in a bank robbery with the terrorist group and went on TV demanding that her family support the poor. She was eventually found, sent to jail, then released and went on to live a fairly normal life.


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