March 1955 Popular Electronics
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This is really clever. Appearing in a 1955 edition of Popular
Electronics, "The Electronic Husband" is one wife's attempt
to quantify her husband's interest in all things electronic
by adapting forms of Ohm's Law to fit observed behavior. In
the process of writing the parody, Mrs. Jeanne DeGood demonstrates
a good basic knowledge of Mr. DeGood's second passion.
I think after all the articles that Melanie has proof read for
me that she probably knows a lot of these equations as well.
The Electronic Husband
By Jeanne DeGood
When a man becomes interested in electronics, he becomes
so tied down to his work that his wife can't pull him away from
his workbench. Such wives could use the lessons learned in electronics
to good advantage.
The simplest form of electric circuit is a man with work
to be done, and resistance connected to his terminals (see Fig.
This circuit is broken or opened when a connection is removed
at any point. The connection to be broken is usually at a point
between the husband and his workbench, and the wife who desires
her husband to work needs only to break this connection.
A switch is a device that may be used to break such a connection.
Its use is restricted largely to little boys, however, and it
is seldom advisable in the case of husbands. It is therefore
necessary to find a substitute for a switch, and in finding
this substitute, wives may use Ohm's Law to good advantage:
This can be stated as follows: The work that I (me) want
done is directly proportional to what E (he) wants to do, and
inversely proportional to his R (resistance) to the work.
At this point, it is necessary to find units of measurement.
1 = go to the grocery for me?
E = no!
R = ?
In order to find the value of the "no!" as it applies to
the resistance, the equation may be transposed:
E (no!) =1 (go?) R (resistance)
The simplest method of completing the equation at this point
would be to remove the R (resistance). This may be done easily
when the resistance happens to be a soldering gun, a tube tester,
or a voltmeter. However, since the resistance in this case happens
to be a workbench, removing the resistance might be a bit difficult
for a 110-pound housewife.
It is obvious, therefore, that power and energy are the needed
elements, and that another equation is now needed:
P = EI
This can be stated: P (power) - the rate of doing work -
is equal to E (amount of energy required for the job) multiplied
by I (the amount of interest in the job).
In this equation, power is measured in muscles, energy in
vitamins, and interest in facial expressions. And since facial
expressions indicate no interest in going to the grocery store,
the equation may now read:
P (power) = E (energy) I (interest)
= E (energy) x 0
It is now necessary to find the efficiency of the husband's
where: Eff. = amount of husband's useful energy
P0 = power outside
Pi = power inside
A quick glance shows us that P0 (power outside) may
also be measured in muscles. Pi (power inside) must
be measured in vitamins.
A quick glance shows that more Pi (power inside)
must be supplied, so it is advisable at this point to add a
piece of apple pie and a cup of coffee to the Pi.
We have now arrived at the final equation:
W (work - getting it done) = P(patience) x T (time), for
the husband has now finished the work he was doing and is now
ready to go to the grocery willingly.
Posted January 30, 2014