Lately, my son has been obsessed with superheroes. None specifically, but he's entranced by the idea of superpowers. We were looking at a magazine and he saw a picture of the old evangelist Dr. Irwin Moon doing his electric finger act from "The Wonders of Science," and he said, "That guy's a superhero, I want lightning fingers, too." and then he proceeded to zap me with his superhero lightning fingers.

I have a lot of ambivalence about Greenfield Village, Henry Ford's walled simulacrum of the world he destroyed. But I end up spending a lot of time there because my son loves it, and on those days that his sister has school but he doesn't we often head there. I'm not a huge fan of Thomas Edison, but I don't want my kid to grow up thinking some creationist nutter who knew how to play around with electricity is a superhero (and unfortunately Henry Ford wasn't BFFs with Nikola Tesla). So Thomas Edison would have to do as a substitute scientific superhero. In the early years of Greenfield Village, Ford moved Edison's entire R&D complex from Menlo Park, New Jersey to Detroit and recreated the interiors immaculately. I took the boy there figuring you're never too young to learn about science, especially when the science is old-timey and involves lots of cool gadgets, machines, and hundreds of bottles full of all kinds of interesting things.

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