A blog about science and movies.
July 10, 1856 was the birthday of visionary inventor Nikola Tesla, a man who is best known for his work with electricity but whose radical ideas have etched their place in techno-lore. The shadow he cast was so great, it long survives today in popular culture and scientific discussion; his invention ideas are tested on Mythbusters and other programs, cars and rock bands share his name, he is the subject of scholarly papers and comic books, and he has inspired characters in tv shows and movies – like David Bowie’s portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s The Presitge.
His name conjures up visions of mad scientists and death rays. Tragically, he spent his final days as a near recluse, afraid of germs and tending to pigeons. Ironically, he detested war and sought to end the practice through his ideas. And despite his many patents and successes, he died penniless, still impeccably dressed, if outdated in style.
PBS has a great webpage that explores Tesla’s life. Check it out to find out more about the man whose birthday we celebrate today.