1. Tesla was a prolific inventor and patent holder. One of his primary contributions was AC (alternating current)—a development that—dare I say—powers the world we live in today. Critical for lighting. Critical for facebooking. Indispensable for all things (alternating current, not Facebook).
2. Tesla was bffs with Mark Twain—who, in this photo, rivaled his mustached game while demonstrating the human body as a conductor of electricity.
3. Thomas Edison offered Tesla a fortune ($50,000) to improve his existing system of generating electricity. When Tesla succeeded, Edison said, “Haha, just kidding.” True story.
4. Tesla had OCD. His social life may have suffered, but his science was off the hook.
5. Tesla never married. According to Wikipedia, “He once said in earlier years that he felt he could never be worthy enough for a woman, considering women superior in every way.” More time for science.
6.Tesla spoke eight languages and had an eidetic memory.
7. Tesla’s AC (alternating current) violently conflicted with Edison’s DC (direct current). Direct current required power plants every square mile, making it wildly inefficient compared to AC.
8. Edison held public electrocutions of cats and dogs (and other animals) to “prove” that AC was too dangerous to use (this fact is technically about Edison, but it’s just too insane not to include).
9. Tesla was 6 feet 2 inches tall.
10. Tesla fell in love with a special white pigeon towards the end of his life. He adored that pigeon: “I loved that pigeon as a man loves a woman, and she loved me.”
Writing about lighting was not the plan—but sometimes the best things in life arise from indiscriminately applying to jobs on Craigslist. Maylin lives in Los Angeles. She prefers parentheticals, precision, paperbacks and popping tags. She does not prefer parallel parking, pens with no caps, punctuation with no conceivable purpose, and don't even get her started on Title 24. Questions? Complaints? Insider tips about the whereabouts of Clive Owen? You can reach her at [email protected]
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