When it comes to certain things, their importance in our daily lives cannot be overstated. The Internet, sliced bread, bacon stuffed parantha (yes, it’s real and we should all be thankful). And tucked neatly among them is one Nikola Tesla. As so brilliantly put by The Oatmeal , Nikola Tesla was without doubt, the greatest geek of all time.
And so, in honour of this great man, we’ve put together a few reasons why we should all be thankful for him, interspersed with a few nuggets of information of this undisputed genius.
Alternating current, the X-ray, the radio, the remote control, the induction motor, the light bulb and the Tesla coil were all invented or perfected by him.
I could go on, and that’s just from the stuff we use on an everyday basis.
He even created an earthquake machine and was reportedly able to reproduce ball lightning.
Have you even seen a lightning ball? No it’s not this.
Unlike Einstein, this guy was smart even as kid. How smart? He could do integral calculus. In his head.
In fact, he was so good, his teachers obviously thought he was cheating. And as if that wasn’t enough, he completed a 4-year course in 3 freaking years.
But it wasn’t just that Tesla was gifted. He worked. Hard. From 3 AM to 11 PM. Everyday. That leaves about 4 hours for sleep.
I’m lucky if I manage to squeeze in 4 solid hours of work. Damn you YouTube!
But even Tesla wasn’t perfect. In his second year at Austrian Polytechnic, he developed a gambling addiction, losing his allowance and his tuition money.
But the guy was a genius. So he gambled it all back.
As brilliant as he was, Tesla eventually dropped out of school, because he wasn’t prepared enough for his final exams.
Guess they didn’t have a system of backlogs back then.
In 1884, Tesla was hired by Thomas Edison and was told that “there was $50,000 in it for him” if he could redesign Edison’s inefficient motor and generators. When Tesla did so, Edison laughed and said, “Tesla, you don’t understand our American sense of humour”.
Instead he offered Tesla a $10 per week raise. Naturally, Tesla quit and told him to shove it. Or at least, I’m pretty sure he said that. I would’ve.
In 1931, when Thomas Edison died, there was only one negative comment in the New York Times. It was Tesla’s.
Some would say he deserved it.
For a while Tesla worked as an electrical repair man and a ditch digger.
For as little as $2 a day.
Despite his numerous inventions and obtaining around 300 patents, Nikola Tesla never won the Nobel Prize.
I mean, what did he have to do to get some recognition?
Ironically enough though, Tesla was awarded the Edison Medal.
I can only imagine the pain.
Tesla also worked on Wireless Energy Transmission, which basically meant people could power their electrical appliances through the energy in the atmosphere.
That meant energy would be free. Needless to say, no one backed it.
Nikola Tesla also had an eidetic memory, which meant that he could recite whole books from memory.
Basically, he remembered everything. Everything.
In his middle age, Tesla became a close friend of Mark Twain. Tesla also invented a machine that shook the poop out of the author.
Tesla has been described as one of few the engineers (of the time) with an appreciation for philosophy, poetry, music and food. We’re guessing he also knew how full of shit (no pun intended) Mark Twain was.
The guy could also speak 8 languages. Fluently.
Tesla could speak Serbo-Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian and Latin. I believe I can just about speak 2, although most people can only understand one of them.
Tesla was 6′ 2″, handsome and extremely well groomed. And yet, he stayed celibate throughout his life.
He said relationships interfered with his work.
But that’s not to say he disregarded women totally. In fact, he believed that women would be the dominant sex in the future.
Feminist in the house!
But despite all the plaudits, the patents he sold and the inventions he created, Nikola Tesla died alone in a hotel room, penniless and in debt.
Which just proves that sometimes, there is no justice in the world.
The man basically revolutionized the way we live, in almost every way imaginable and that was the fate he was consigned to. So like I said, here’s to the greatest who ever lived.
Featured image: TechStory