Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tesla Girls

Friday was the birthday of Nikola Tesla, the Serbian scientist. Tesla invented radio and alternating current, two things that transformed the world. Sadly, he never received as much credit for these as he should have done, with many still thinking of Marconi as the father of radio. Without alternating current (AC), electricity would be next to useless as direct current (DC) loses too much energy as it travels through wires*. Maybe the big problem with Tesla was that he was not up to much as a businessman, and he also spent much of his later life promising various outlandish inventions (death rays, free energy, that kind of thing) but never delivering on any of them. Anyway, the Guardian have an interesting article about him here: Happy birthday, Nikola Tesla: thanks for the electricity

Today, meanwhile, is the twentieth anniversary of the Detroit Disco Riots, when an anti-disco mob smashed up the White Sox stadium after a local anti-disco DJ Steve Dahl blew up thousands of disco records during a break in a baseball game. White racist homophobes across the USA still like to affirm that "disco sucks", with the terrible events of that day meaning that the later emergence of house music in Chicago would always be far more appreciated in Europe than in the country of its origin. See more on the BBC: Earth, Wind and Pyre

*I do not understand why this is the case - can any of my scientist readers explain this?

1 comment:

Andrew Sherman said...

This seems like a good summary.