Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Electric!

Happy birthday, Nikola Tesla! You light up our lives with electricity--even if most of us think Thomas Edison was the big electric guy.

Check out this article to learn a little about the truth. Tesla definitely had the jump on electricity, but died in poverty because Edison had the better PR machine. That's a life-lesson for you.

"Yet it's thanks to Tesla, not Edison, that we have electricity coming out of plugs, and that we even have power stations able to generate serious amounts of energy. He won 'the war of the currents' with Edison, who was convinced that direct current (DC) - the sort that comes out of an ordinary battery - was the way forward for power generation and distribution. Tesla was able to show that alternating current (AC) - which swaps its polarity at a regular rate, 50 times a second in UK mains electricity - was far more efficient (you don't lose anything like as much energy in transmitting it over long distances)."

Plus, if you ever needed a reason to hate Edison, here's one: "...Edison took to electrocuting dogs in public displays to show just how dangerous AC was (no, really)."

Tesla for the win!