Guinnessy writes "Benjamin Franklin was born on 17 January 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. Franklin was a man of diverse talents: publisher, inventor, ambassador, politician, wit with some human frailities says NPR. In Physics Today, Philip Krider presents Franklin's work on electricity and the development of the lightning rod, work whose fame helped Franklin obtain aid from the French against the British. In the same magazine, Joost Mertens considers Franklin's explorations of the calming effects of oil on water. Those investigations, it turns out, had a less than calming effect on Dutch scholars. Philadelphia is planning a series of events celebratng Franklin's life throughtout the year."