Nikola Tesla "The Forgotten Genius"

chrispenycate

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Not as forgotten as all that; inventor of AC power and suchlike. The trouble is, commercially he was hopeless, and at that time everyone worshipped financial success.

So Edison got all the attention.

But everyone who learns physics knows his name, and some of his deeds.

But he was evidently crazy enough to fit in here, with large numbers of eccentricities.

He liked pigeons.
 

chrispenycate

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Indeed. For an inaccurate, fictionalised (but very amusing) version of what they don't tell you in physics classes read Spider Robinson's "Lady slings the booze". That was what lead me to investigate his non-professional foibles a bit more…
 

J Riff

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He ended up living in an apt. in the city that he invented the power grid for, and he stayed up all night and walked the streets alone. He lived off the money he got for selling AC power to the Edison people, that's the story I heard.
 

digs

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The only thing I know about Tesla is that he inspired Dan Simmons' tesla trees in Hyperion, which are the basis for an incredibly shocking (<- wordplay!) scene. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Did he have anything to do with those balls that you put your hands on and electricity hits them? Those are cool too!
 

ScrambleEggHead

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The item you are thinking of is called a "Plasma Globe", and it was indeed invented by Tesla:

~Plasma globe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia~
(I'm not allowed to post links yet.)

“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”

- Nikola Tesla
 

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