In this the age of the internet, Nikola Tesla has enjoyed a posthumous surge in popularity that makes Einstein look like an old French fry. It took an entire David Bowie to fill his shoes in the movie The Prestige. Our real life Iron Man makes electric cars with his name. You can even buy a Edison t-shirt for $25. The Renaissance is here. And it’s been along time coming. Today, we’re looking at things you didn’t know about Nikola Tesla.
But before we get started, at famous inventor or mad scientist you would like to hear about. Now we go to the past total about this futurist. There are statues of Tesla on both the American and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls. Spoiler alert,Canada’s is cooler. Upon witnessing the supremely frothy glory of the falls for the first time,which was on a postcard, Tesla remarked that he wanted to put a giant wheel under them and use it to power the world. Oh, and by the way,he was a child.
Nikola Tesla Facts That May Shock You
Years later, he would make that dream a reality with the help of fellow dream science wizard George Westinghouse. Today, the hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls generates over four million kilowatts of electricity for the US and Canada. Erecting a couple of statues was really the least we could do, especially considering the fact that big part of Tesla’s appeal to the nerds of the new millennium lies in the fact that in spite of his greatness, he got profoundly shafted by the man.
He shocked crowds of rich people by running current through his body to illuminate light bulbs in his bare hands not because he was a David Blaine and an attention junkie, but for world god damn peace. He invented with a view to making the world a better place and improving the quality of the average human life even at the expense of his own.
Thanks largely to the rise of the robber baron, these days we call them tech titans,this bright future never materialized. And Tesla died penniless. World peace, you might exclaim,what about that infamous death ray? And we’re glad youhypothetically asked. The Tesla death ray called the teleforce was actually intended to end war forever.
By the way, it’s 1934. And Germany has an excitable little man named Adolf Hitler. This particular Tesla brainchild was an oops baby. While experimenting with broadcast power, a method of transmitting limitless electrical energy,
Tesla evidently discovered that he’d accidentally invented an honest to God diabolical death beam capable of bringing down planes and flame broiling entire armies. Rather than calling world leaders to inform them of his demands,the benevolently mad scientist proposed the construction of wall of teleforce energy to make foreign invasions thing of the past. No one went for it.
But when he died,the US government employed some legal sorcery to seize his property. His being an American citizen did not stop them. And the beam is now highly classified. Tesla had an almost squirrel-like sense of excitement when it came to inventing. Critics of his career correctly harped on his divergent thinking’s one of the things that stood in the way of his greater success. Imagine if Jack Ellington was maniacally into every holiday. Jack’s Talk Likea Pirate Day song would definitely have to be Tesla’s earthquake machine or high frequency oscillator.
Like TL PD, we’re not altogether sure it really exists. And we’re even less certain why anyone would want it. Tesla claimed that he could uses system of pistons, springs, and a central rod to send vibrations through objects to shake them apart. Myth Busters tried to make one only to declare it infeasible. To that we’d say,y’all ain’t Tesla.
Tesla couldn’t have predicted his online cult following. But he might have predicted the devices which people gush, rant, and fight about. Speaking to business partner and literal criminal JP Morgan, Tesla described a new method of instant communication that could send information via encoded frequencies and then broadcast them to a receiver small enough to fit in your hand.
In one fell swoop,Tesla had conceived of Wi-Fi and smartphones,even if he would never put his idea into practice. He was never able to figure out quite how to do it. But as theorizing in this area also led him to conceive of things like radar, x-rays, and that death beam we talked about back there. He might even have engineered a utility device to keep us from dropping our receivers into the toilet.
Given how thingswent with Morgan, Tesla probably could have warned us about Zuckerberg too. Oh, well. Though he was said to be possessed of a photographic memory,the mental firepower Tesla was packing wasfittingly much sexier.
Deistic memory is the ability to see an image of an object in your head immediately after you look away from it. Don’t get excited yet. Everyone can do it. What sets Tesla another memory giants apart is that while the rest of us lose that image after a few seconds, they can summon that image whenever they want forever and ever.
Photographic memory lasts only a few months at most. Armed with his bad-ass skill, Tesla could not only recall entire books after reading them once, but conceived of hundreds of inventions entirely in his head. He kept stockpiles of these blueprints sitting in his brain until he could commit them to paper to be stolen later. This one may or mayn’t be apocryphal.
We won’t even go there. But it would be a crime not include it here. Remember the earthquake machine? Tesla was good buddies with Mark Twain. Because, of course, he was. When Twain had heard that his friend had figured out a way to make buildings jiggle, he had to come and check that out. He probably had a fresh zinger for the occasion too, maybe something about the world shaking enough on its own without men provoking it.
But if he ever got touche it we’ll never know. Because something singularly beautiful happened, a meme was born. Aware that Twain had recently been experiencing some fairly aggressive digestive distress, Tesla had him stand on a platform near the oscillator. When he turned it on, the unsuspecting gentleman allegedly filled his lily white suit with a hefty scoop of mama’s nature soil. The foundation for the cult of the brown note was set.
As befits a legendary mad scientist, Tesla came into this world in the middle of the night on the wings of violent lightning storm. Family lore tells us the Serbian midwife assisting the birth warned the family that the lightning was bad luck and meant dark tidings for a young Nikola. His mother, understandably,disagreed proclaiming no.
He will be a child of light. She had no idea how right she was. Tesla was born into lightning and then became its master like some meteorological Batman. Most geniuses had their quirks and eccentricities. And Nikola Tesla was certainly no exception. He had an intense explainable aversion to pearls to the point that he would refuse to speak to any woman who was wearing them.
On one occasion, one of his secretaries came in with anew set of pearls. And he made her go home. Before we judge,let’s consider this. In a way, pearls are to mollusks what does it zits are to teenagers. Our immune system secretes pus in response to the heinous shit we’ve got growing on our faces.
Likewise, when an oyster gets something nasty up its flaps, it secretes a compound that surrounds the irritant and eventually becomes a pearl. Kind of gross, right? It’s as if Tesla had an instinctive understanding of the world like a wild major a sorcerer– third edition rules.
With over patents to his name, Tesla had a very busy brain. When asked where his inspiration came from, his answer could reboiled down to mind shredding hallucinations. Fueled by deistic memory and often accompanied by bright lights and flashes, Tesla’s visions allowed him to see how inventions or anything he wanted worked in real time– literally, righting front of him.
If that’s not real magic,we don’t know what is. That the real life star man believed in aliens isn’t that surprising,even if such a belief was a little ahead of its time. By now, we figuredout that that’s kind of the story of his life.
No. The rub is that he alsobelieved that aliens were talking to him. While pioneeringinnovations in radio, Tesla said he receivedsignals that he could not trace to their source.
He wrote, “Thefeeling is constantly growing on me that I have beenthe first to hear the greeting of one planet to another.” Turns out thesignals were a result of normal cosmic activity. But that hasn’t stoppedthe History Channel from doing tired specialson Tesla’s ET pen pals. Tesla swore off intimacy andcommitted to a life of celibacy early on in his career. But he saved a place in hisheart for, of all things, pigeons.
He kept them at his hotel in New York. One of them, a white female,he claimed to straight up love. Tesla said that the birdcage through his window one night to tell him that she was dying and then shot beams flight from her eyes, which is generally not behavior you see in pigeons. Soon after, the pigeon died in his arms. And at that moment he said he knew his life’s work was complete. Yeah. We’d pack it in after getting spot lit by a pigeon too.
So do any of these facts about Tesla surprise you? Let us know in the comments below.