Wednesday, 17 October 2012

$1.4 million Raised for Nikola Tesla Laboratory: Faith in Humanity Goes Up Ten Points

(Before you ask, I'm not keeping a tally but, if I was, Tim Minchin and his wonderful nerdy ilk would be responsible for most of them.)

Hardcore nerdism is apparently rife in Shoreham, New York, where the Tesla Science Centre at Wardenclyffe group has raised $1.4 million via online crowd funding to buy Nikola Tesla's laboratory in order to turn it into a museum. As a soon-to-be owner of a Nikola Tesla T-shirt, this excites me very much.

It being in America both disappoints and thrills me. I am disappointed because, unless by some miracle I suddenly get very rich, it is unlikely that I will be able to go. However, considering the sheer stupidity that has come out of America, I am overjoyed that this has happened at all. Reading about it only makes it seem so much better.

The point of the museum is that it is a place that is dedicated to science and education with Nikola Tesla - an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist and futurist whose work led to the way electricity is used today - at its foundation.

Tesla was born in Serbia in 1856 and emigrated to America in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison. He soon moved on to work for himself and conducted high-voltage, high-frequency experiments, which resulted in inventions that made him world famous. Essentially, he made explosions out of electricity for a living, which is pretty damn awesome as far as I am concerned, never mind everything else for which we have to thank him.

In typical mad-scientist fashion, he spent as much money as he made on more and more experiments and ended up dying penniless in January 1943. But still managed to keep his hair suspiciously neat, judging by the pictures of him.

In 1901, Tesla bought 200 acres on Long Island's north shore where he established what is now his only remaining laboratory. It was purchased with the intention of building a wireless transmission tower but was never fully operational. Wardenclyffe Tower - also known as Tesla Tower - remaining, even if in diminished form, as a tribute to his life and achievements is amazing. It seems only fitting that that the group also hope to have it provide space for companies to perform scientific research.

Aside from his brilliance as a scientist, Tesla was one damn incredible human. He lived his life by a strict routine, squishing his toes one hundred times per foot in the belief that it stimulated his brain. Judging by his work, he may well have been right. He worked from 9am to 6pm, at least, every day, often continuing until 3am once he had had his dinner. He walked 8 to 10 miles ever day to keep in shape; he was elegant, stylish and incredibly groomed (just look at his hair!). His gray-blue eyes, he claims, used to be darker until they lightened due to so much use of his brain.

Tesla never married, but even he admitted that it was a bit of a loss to the world that his genes were not preserved. Then again, he also said that being celibate allowed him a lot more time to devote to his work, which was most certainly a good thing. However, he was sociable, and everyone who knew him loved him. He was considered to be charming and lovely and poetic, and it is almost no surprise that so many women threw themselves at him.

After all, he made shit like this possible...

He was wonderful. If he were alive today, he still would be. It is a shame more men are not like him in this world. I am a little bit in love with him. And with good reason.

If I ever get the chance, I am going to that Tesla museum and I am going to behave like a stalkery little fangirl and I am going to love it.

Funds are still being raised on the Tesla Science Centre website to continue with the restoration of the laboratory and the creation of the museum.

It is going to be awesome!

1 comment:

  1. A patent registered by Nikola Tesla and recently discovered shows that the great engineer was long before the era in which he lived.