Right after we’re done being all patriotic and whatnot about our American heritage, we might find ourselves needing another holiday to taper us off into the rather droning days of Summer. Summer is my favorite season, by the way, so I mean no disrespect but perhaps this holiday is well-played because it honors one of my very favorite historical personages, Nikola Tesla. I need not sing his praises here; for one thing, I don’t have the time right now because I have to get ready for work and for another thing, I happen to know – KNOW – that some others have already laid some high-quality groundwork for me. And by high-quality I am referring to the work of the comic blogger Matt Inman, also known as “The Oatmeal”.
I first found out about Tesla after reading his biography about fifteen years (ish?) ago. The book was called simply Tesla, and I can’t for the life of me remember who wrote it. I lived a nomadic life for so long, I’m certain that book was lost to the ravages of time, but if I had it today it would be on my bookshelf alongside Einstein’s Ideas and Opinions and Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. It told in very readable prose the life story of this guy who basically had so many great ideas that he never had time to get most of them down on paper, let alone patented; his ideas lit up the world and inspired millions. He was cheated for them, many of them were credited to other scientists, and his best projects were taken by the U.S. government immediately after his death. Now, I won’t say they did this because he was a Serbian immigrant who in the rush of his rapid-fire inventing failed to protect all of his work like other scientists of the day did.
Tesla is a man who deserves to be remembered, and today I will remember him. I hope all of you will too, and have a look-see at the following links. I’ll warn you that the Oatmeal’s comic is not kid-friendly, but it’s otherwise enjoyable.