Image by DWilliam from Pixabay

Of all the many devices we have found to distract ourselves during the epidemic, radio is surely one of the most accessible, flexible and reliable. It is everywhere, and it is absolutely virus-free. No mask or distancing is required to listen to Morning Edition, and you don’t even have to wash your hands afterwards. You don’t even have to look at your radio while you listen to it. In the old days, before television came into our lives, my parents did watch the radio because it was a handsome and expensive piece of furniture, and I think they felt it was only polite to face towards it when somebody was speaking. But really, it’s not necessary. It’s true that everyone on the radio is exceptionally good looking, but we are invisible, so you can’t be distracted by our beauty. As we have all discovered with Zoom and Skype, visibility is not always an asset.

Wikipedia Images

In this article I’ll look at two things that, unless you are a serious ham operator or an absolute radio geek, you probably are unfamiliar with.

First, we will take a look at a very rare phenomenon first noted by radio listeners back in 1933. It generated several theories, but the correct one was only verified experimentally in recent times.

Second, we will look at a government-funded project that, while built for other purposes, was used to confirm the phenomenon 75 years later. 

Thomas Ferrigno / AP

Spotify, the popular yet unprofitable music streaming service, is planning a very unconventional IPO. IPO is short for “initial public offering,” a way for companies to raise a bunch of money by selling shares that can then be traded on a stock exchange.                                                                             

Photographer Unknown / WLW tour brochure

Powel Crosley Jr. was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 18, 1886. He would go on to become a leading industrialist and lead a colorful life with many achievements, including starting his own car company, Crosley Automobiles, and owning the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. Even though this is a column about radio, I can’t help but mention at least some of his many accomplishments.