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Happy Birthday Philo T. Farnsworth

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Say what you want about the so-called "idiot box", but the advent of the television is one of the most powerful creations mankind has ever invented. Common, in everyday use, not just for entertainment but for news, weather, and education. Doctors and dentists use monitors for health care, police for surveillance, pilots for direction.

And live broadcast television has united society through such varied events as the moon landing, the Rodney King beating, Janet Jackson's Super Bowl nipple, and 9/11.

The man responsible for television was just 21 years old when he successfully sent video and audio through the air from one room of his lab to another, an idea that came to him when he was 14.

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Philo T. Farnsworth would have been 100 years old today. He led a fairly obscure life for a man whose invention pretty much fundamentally changed modern society (one that became addicted to his creation).