Nikola Tesla Day – July 10
I can’t recall coming across this particular memorial before, and when I looked at the related information sites for Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943), while they mentioned the efforts made to create this day, and they showed various letters and representation dating back to 2002 (where I looked), none of them appeared to show any document that confirmed which year July 10 was officially confirmed as being Nikola Tesla Day.
(Having done some more reading, after writing the above, I think that 2014 might have been the inaugural year of the day).
I had intended to pick some interesting links and articles to share with those who are still unaware of just who Nikola Tesla was, and why he is so important to those of us involved in any sort of electrical and/or electronic engineering, but to be brutally honest, most of the web sites are simply just an embarrassment to his memory.
I don’t normally suggest referring to Wikipedia for information, not because there is anything wrong with it, and I am an advocate of the creation, but I usually consider sending anyone to a source they could obviously look at for themselves to be lazy. It is a reference, not a source of original information (which many people seem unable or unwilling to understand), and links should normally be given to sources, not references, if for no other reason than they can change over time, while original sources should not.
But in this case, I will point those unfamiliar with Tesla to the Wikipedia article: Nikola Tesla
And I do so because it does not dwell on the fringe lunacy which unfortunately pervades any specialist/fan sites claiming to honour the man, but which do the opposite.
I also have to include: Tesla Memorial Society of New York
Unfortunately, not allowed to be embedded in WordPress, the film given in the link below dates from 1980 and I believe gives a good account of Tesla’s life and work:
This serious article from The Smithsonian also caught my eye recently, not least because it concludes with the sad decline of Tesla and his mind towards the end of his life.
It mentions the Wardenclffe Tower, Tesla’s downfall project which many of the loonies and ‘free-energy conspiracists’ cling to so desperately today, quoting and referring to it as if it was some sort of suppressed technology, rather than a fundamental mistake. The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics effectively demonstrate the errors of the concept, and quosh any thought that power could be distributed around the World by such a tower – but facts have no place with such advocates, who think power can be magicked out of thin air.
I’m not going to name any other sites, merely refer to the general disrespect many sites which claim to be dedicated to Tesla actually display, as they concentrate not on his career, work, developments, patent, and the many problems those brought, but on the last few years of his life, where I believe it is clear that all those problems and disappointments affected his mind, and when he was no longer working productively. Then, he turned to more fanciful and imaginative thoughts, ideas, and projects, such as death rays and wireless transmission of electrical energy.
Sadly, it is often for these last items that his name is used, and conspiracy theorists speak of his work being stolen and suppressed, and his research destroyed.
Funny how it’s all the controversial stuff that not only disappeared, but cannot be reproduced or repeated even today, yet all his earlier work can, as is all the development that followed it.
Sadly, I can’t make the loonies that have hijacked Tesla, his work, and his memory for their own selfish purposes and agenda, and use his name to give their failed theories and ideas some sort of credibility by association. Significantly, when pressed for evidence, their response is usually something mumbled along the lines of it having been stolen (by the government or some secret agency acting on its behalf or instructions). Assume for a moment we join their flight from reality – If all these wonderful inventions were indeed stolen (as they put it) by government, or other, agencies – they have they never used or developed them? If the resulting devices they supposedly produce were in existence, then whoever had them would hold considerable power, yet no-one appears to be in such a position, or even be threatening to deploy any of the stolen technology.
Why not? Could it be that it exists nowhere other than inside the heads of these people? And that they are little more than con-artists, getting funds on promises, or selling their useless device to the gullible? Their devices never seem to work, and they tend not to hand them over to real laboratories for independent testing. So, I know what I think of them.
But if I can do nothing else, I can ask that when you read items about UFOs, various forms of ‘Infinite energy devices’, Free energy devices’, non-existent death rays and the like, and when the authors use Tesla’s name as some sort of justification for their silliness, ignore them, and treat them with the contempt they deserve for stealing someone’s good name and reputation for their own disreputable purposes.
Read more on Tesla and current events
There’s not much point in me doing yet another summary of some of Tesla’s achievements, or even recounting the problems that came between Tesla and Edison.
On the latter point, I tend to agree with the suggestion the we need BOTH Teslas and Edisons. Both are needed in order to innovate and move things forward. That they might disagree and end up head to head – that’s just the way life happens.
The Tesla Museum is set to become a reality, and this is no small part to recent appeals, and Elon Musk, who named his company’s electric car after Tesla:
Notably, he assisted with the original campaign to save the original museum at Wardenclyffe. Now there will be a NEW museum on the site.
A little too far for me to have a look at, but just got word of:
Described as four days to “Celebrate the Visions, Inventions and Life of Nikola Tesla”, this takes place from July 10 to July 13, 2014.
I have to say I don’t have any first hand experience of this event, but the agenda suggests it revolves around the more serious aspects of Teslas’s work.