Nikola Tesla was an inventor born at least two centuries ahead of his time. He was the embodiment of the artist and the technologist; a virtuoso on the same plain as DaVinci.
Now Tesla is receiving the attention he never got when he was alive, mainly because his technology is finally becoming reality, that was how ahead he was of his contemporaries. Even Edison.
Decades after he died penniless, Nikola Tesla is elbowing aside his old adversary Thomas Edison in the pantheon of geek gods.
When California engineers wanted to brand their new $100,000 electric sports car, one name stood out: Tesla. When circuit designers at microchip producer Nvidia Corp. in 2007 launched a new line of advanced processors, they called them Tesla. And when videogame writers at Capcom Entertainment in Silicon Valley needed a character who could understand alien spaceships for their new Dark Void saga, they found him in Nikola Tesla.
Tesla was a scientist and inventor who achieved fame and fortune in the 1880s for figuring out how to make alternating current work on a grand scale, electrifying the world. He created the first major hydroelectric dam, at Niagara Falls. He thrilled packed theaters with presentations in which he ran high voltage through his body to illuminate a fluorescent light in his hand. His inventions helped Guglielmo Marconi develop radio.
And his rivalry with Edison—called the Battle of the Currents because Edison had bet on direct current—was legendary. Tesla won the contest, when his AC equipment powered an unprecedented display of electric light at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
Fifty years later, the 86-year-old Serbian emigré died in obscurity at a New York hotel, unmarried, childless and bereft of friends. Meanwhile, Edison was lionized for generations as one of America’s greatest inventors.
But Tesla has been rediscovered by technophiles, including Google Inc. co-founder Larry Page, who frequently cites him as an early inspiration. And Teslamania is going increasingly mainstream.
An early hint was “Tesla Girls,” a 1984 single from the British technopop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Performance artist Laurie Anderson has said she was fascinated by Tesla. David Bowie played a fictionalized version of him in the 2006 film “The Prestige,” alongside Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. Director Terry Gilliam described Tesla in a recent documentary film as “more of an artist than a scientist in some strange way.”
Tesla, in short, is cool.
I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that one of the founders of Google is interested in Tesla. Larry Page is utilizing one of Tesla’s concepts of using the atmosphere to transmit information.
Wireless is the future you know.
Military veteran and UFO researcher Kevin Randle took a poll at his website recently concerning what “crashed” at Roswell over 60 years ago and the choices were; Alien Spacecraft, Mogul Balloon, Experimental Aircraft and White Sands Rocket.
He wasn’t surprised about the results of three of the choices and gives reasons why, but one result gives him pause, ‘Experimental Aircraft’:
What I don’t understand is why anyone would think that Roswell could be explained as an experimental aircraft. What could they possibly have been testing in 1947 that isn’t overwhelmed by our technology today? There is nothing that would have been classified and experimental in 1947 that isn’t superceded by the latest, 21st century, technologies. By 2010 standards, anything from 1947 would look primitive (unless, of course, it was extraterrestrial).
Yes and no. Yes, quite possibly any tech the Air Force could be testing at the time would be considered quite primitive by 21st century standards, but it would still be considered decades ahead of what we had in the 1940s, thus it was still super-secret.
In fact, much of Operation Paperclip is still considered top secret.
And rockets weren’t the only thing the Nazis were testing at Peenemunde the legend goes.
The only problem with this theory is that the timelines are suspect. VonBraun and the others didn’t get to White Sands until 1946 and the Roswell crash happened in 1947, only a year after the Paperclip scientists arrived in the States, hardly any time to influence any experimental projects the Air Force might have had.
What do you think?