I think there's something about 'genius' which inevitably turns the
person in question into something of an oddity. Just goes with the
territory - the same brain mecahanims that makke someone very clever
also make the a little strange.
There's no disputing that Tesla's undertanding and /intuition/ when it
came to physics in general and electricity in particular was unrivalled.
Don't necessarily agree with you here Grunff, so I'm off to water the
daffodils up the reindeers rectum... they came up early this year due to
high concentrations of global warming in my gespacho soup...
QUICK ! ! ! Before my tinfoil hat cooks me ed ;p
More seriously though, Tesla was indeed a genius.
A shame his knowledge of broadcast power wasn't put into practical consumer
use... a cordless drill running off 240v, no battery would suit me down to
the ground ;)
Some links for those that haven't heard of Tesla... amazing how much we owe
to a man many of us know so little about...
One reason geniuses are odd is that genius is the ability to form
different thoughts about the things that the rest of us just take for
granted. This ability to step outside of how most of us see things is
what enables new things to be seen. And gives them a differing
persective to the rest of the species.
There is no such technology. Tesla thought there was, but his radio
transmission of power is of very limited use, thats why it its rarely
used. It did not live up to his hopes for it.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the fact that Tesla spent his life in heavily
magnetised and/or EMF fields caused a deterioration of his body cells?
We do hear about people getting cancer if they live under a high
voltage line (though I'm not sure those claims have been
We shouldn't forget that when X-rays were first discovered they were
used on the stage as magicians-type tools. Until some bright spark
realised that X-rays were harmful to living organisms.
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When I was a kid, they had them in shoeshops - devices called
pedoscopes. You stood on this machine in the new shoes putting them
into a couple of holes at the back of the machine. The shop
assistant switched on the machine and you could see where your toes
were in the shoe on a green fluorescent screen in the top.
There was a timer to limit how long the tube was on, but apparently
the output was quite high.
However, it seems that the risk is not thought to be high unless you
were a shoe shop assistant or Emelda Marcos.
Most of the shoe shops had those systems for transporting money across
the store in little capsules on a wire, propelled by pulling a chain
rather similar to that of a high level toilet cistern.
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
They also had them in mens hat shops the power had to be regulated to
avoid damage to the brain.
One day a very shady looking guy walked into the shop and asked for a
cap to be fitted.
Being a little unsure about the customer the assistant decided to set
the power at very high level,the customer had no idea what was
happening as the hatometer didn't hurt.
The customer left wearing his brand new flat cap,but within five
minutes of leaving the shop the customer got lost he couldn't remember
where he came from what is name was.A policeman spotted the guy just
walking in circles with a vacant stare.
To cut this rather long tale a little shorter it ended up with the guy
being given a new identity and was from then on called:
" IMM the international man of mystery"
Thankyou for mentioning that it was polyphase AC, rather than just AC
(which he didn't invent).
Tesla didn't invent radio, didn't understand radio propagation, and
his own bizarre idea was an obvious dead end for any sort of distance.
Yet he pushed ahead with it it despite, leading to the financial
collapse of the company and the need to invent Usenet and the web,
merely as a means of cataloguing the multitude of Tesla-kook fansites.
I think Tesla _was_ a smart guy who invented lots of useful ideas
about wired power transmission. Then he got into the conflicts with
almost every other inventor or financial backer, and he went barking
Tesla's biggest mistake was in preserving a vaguely decent haircut.
One good photograph of him looking vaguely straggly and highly
charged, and he could have been the iconic Einstein model (for the
postcard and T-shirt market at least).
Do whales have krillfiles ?
His ideas about global communications systems were a bit off track, but
he did build the first radio transmitters with any real output, and he
did lay the foundations of tuned radio circuits, which were then built
upon by Marconi - no?
I'm not going to disagree there - there's certaily *a lot* of crap out
Totally agree as far as the theory goes - but applying it to build
My use of 'invented' was inaccurate, but my understanding is that Tesla
was the first to (through an understanding of tuned circuits) build
workable transmitters. This is based on my reading - I wasn't actually
Well Helmholtz might disagree there, and possibly Oliver Heaviside and
Charles Steinmetz,who pioneered the use of laplace transforms to solve
problems in AC circuits.. And transmitting it isn't anywhere near as
clever as receiving it again....For that Marconi and his use of the
Bramely coherer as a non-linear detector deserves the credit for that.
As for AC power systems - S.Z De Ferranti deserves an awful lot of
credit. One assumes he is spinning (synchronously) in his grave at the
destruction of his legacy by his grandsons.
What a complex thing history is !
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