Grounded by the bare copper cross (Lent)

Candle and copper cross

I have a vivid memory of being shocked when I was 11 or 12 years old. We’d just shampooed the livingroom carpet, and it was evening. In my bare feet, in the dark, I shuffled across the wet carpet to a lamp. I fumbled with the switch, but the light didn’t come on. Maybe there wasn’t a bulb in the socket? I felt around under the lampshade to check, and when my finger went into that empty light socket—wow. In recent years my husband Gene has done a lot of electrical work on our house, and he’s told me about the role of ground wires. Copper conducts electricity beautifully, so it’s often used for all the wiring in a house, including the ground wires. Let’s say a live wire comes loose in a lamp and the wire is touching the metal of the light socket. And now let’s say someone sticks […]

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