Happy Birthday, Nikola Tesla!
Today is Nikola Tesla's 158th birthday, and the day science geeks everywhere celebrate Tesla Day. Tesla was a pioneer in the early days of electricity. While Thomas Edison was advocating his direct current system (DC), which required a power plant ever couple of miles, Tesla was working with Westinghouse on alternating current (AC) electricity, a much more efficient system. Tesla also had ideas that would go on to inspire other scientists years later, including Guglielmo Marconi, who won a Nobel Prize for his work in the radio field. Many of Tesla's patents were used to create technology that we still use today.
Tesla was also the stereotypical mad scientist. He had an aversion to pearls, germs, and an obsession with the number three. He invented a death ray. Although he remained celibate all 86 years of his life, he fell in love with a pigeon who he believed he could communicate with, and who shot lasers out of her eyes right before she died.
To learn more about Tesla and his fascinating life, you can find check out materials from Milwaukee Public Library's collection, read articles online at Tesla Universe, or visit the official site of Tesla's former lab in Shoreham, New York (now a museum).