TRTZ no 57 Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla 10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943

Inventor, Writer, Engineer and Futurist

Starting with Some News

1st May:  Paul Harborne of Sedgeley, West midlands spent over £50, 000 restoring a car.

The result?  A fully functioning Ectomobile, complete with scrolling LED display saying ‘Ghostbusters – we’re back’.  Harborne has put a great deal of effort into every detail, hooking up an iPod in order to play the sirens and hoping to include outfits for the experience so that fans can hire the car and go out for their own busting adventures.


The 1959 Cadillac was an abandoned wreck before Harborne got hold of it, ‘It’s extremely rare and very hard to restore… It’s certainly been a challenge – 50-year-old Cadillacs are hard work!’ he said.  He’s also hopeful that there will be a third film in which case his car might get its own part, however, given Bill Murray’s rumoured disinterest in any script ideas put forward by Dan Aykroyd, it’s a question of ‘if’ rather than ‘when’ on that one.


International News

30th April:  Theerasak Saksritawee was taking a careful snapshot of a jumping spider as it lounged on a leaf at the Baan Suan Rojana resort in the eastern district of Muak Lek, when the unsuspecting spider was photobombed by a praying Mantis.

He stated that “One moment it was all clear – then this thing appears in front of me.”


5th May:  ‘Dominic Deville’ of Lucerne, Switzerland, is providing an unusual service for birthday boys and girls, for a fee, he will don his best evil clown outfit and stalk your children until their big day when he will approach them upfront and throw a pie in their faces.  The service includes text messages, phone calls and letters warning the child of their impending pie-related doom.

Sound a little much?  Dominic ensures worriers that ‘It’s all in fun, and if at any point the kids get scared or their parents are concerned, we stop right there,’ plus most of the children he has stalked ‘absolutely love being scared senseless’ by his appearance.

Deville came up with the service after his favourite horror franchises inspired him and his clown mask could certainly be likened to Stephen King’s ‘It’.

Perhaps to mark 2012’s Star Wars Day, company ‘Wicked Lasers’ have released their ‘LaserSaber’, claiming to be the most realistic Lightsabre replica ever made and which you can purchase for $400.  It features the brightest laser that it’s possible to own (Legally!) though sadly this means that it’s technically ‘not a toy’ as a laser this intense must be handled with care as it is quite dangerous.  Try telling that to a true Star Wars fan.

Watch the video of the gorgeous bit of tech in action…


8th May:  Albuquerque, New Mexico is the proposed site for a ‘scientific ghost town’.  It will act as a sort of testing ground for a wide variety of automated technology, but will house no human residents.

It will be modeled after Rock Hill in South Carolina and will go as far as having functioning plumbing and household appliances, despite the fact nobody will be there to use them.

While the project may cost up to a billion pounds, it will also create 350 permanent jobs and 3,500 indirect jobs in the process of its design, development, construction and ongoing operation.  The project will mean that researches will be able to test new technology without disturbing everyday life, while ensuring a realistic setting.

10th May:  The Mayan Calendar has been ever in the public consciousness this year as some believe it predicts the end of the world, but archaeologists in Guatemala have just reported an amazing discovery that could change that theory.

The discovery consists of a small building adorned with surprisingly well preserved paintings, one of a Mayan king and others of Mayan Calendars which extend far beyond 2012.

The calendar in question precedes the oldest Mayan Calendar so far discovered – being the one in the Dresden Codex – by several hundred years.  It consists of a table filled with huge numbers which relate to how long it takes Mars and Venus to cross the sky and return again.  This calendar spans 7,000 years.  The building itself has been known of since 1915, but it has only now been excavated professionally.

Cimolais, Italy now has a reluctant Mayor.  Fabio Borsatti stood in at the last minute because he was concerned that his good friend Gino Bertolo would not get enough votes if he stood unopposed.  His entire family voted for Bertolo and he had not imagined that he might win, but he received 58% of the vote and states that “I find myself a mayor who didn’t want to be a mayor.”  His ‘rival’ was not remotely bitter about the surprise win, saying “I wasn’t upset… Something apparently unusual happened but it is nothing to joke about.”  Borsatti has no plans to resign despite his unwanted election and plans to focus on promoting tourism to the area.

Thanks Catherine…

And from Fee we have …

A Nebraska man has changed his name to Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold. Why? Because it’s ‘cooler’ than his birth name.
Tyler Gold, 23, of York, Neb., appeared in district court. In his filing, he wrote he wanted the name change because it’s ‘cooler’ and more appealing than his birth name, the York News-Times reported.
“Also, as an entrepreneur, name recognition is important and the new name is more recognizable,” Gold told the Times. Judge Alan Gless asked Gold if he was avoiding debt collectors or law enforcement, but he told the judge no and that his request was innocent, the Christian Science Monitor reported. His request was approved, and Gold is now legally Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold

10 weird and unusual phobias

A phobia is an intense and irrational fear of a specific situation, object, person or activity. While we are generally familiar with common phobias such as acrophobia (fear of heights) and claustrophobia (fear of small spaces), some phobias are less well known. Here are 10 of the most bizarre phobias.

Optophobia: Fear of opening one’s eyes

If ever an award was given for Most Inconvenient Phobia, it would have to go to optophobia – the fear of opening one’s eyes! Although the act of opening our eyes is something that few of us ever give thought to, for optophobics this simple, daily act can be a nightmare. Luckily, if you are reading this list, you most likely aren’t suffering from this condition!

Chorophobia: Fear of dancing

If nightclubs, weddings and small children in tutus fill you with an overwhelming sense of dread, you could be suffering from chorophobia – the fear of dancing. Regardless of dance ability and whether or not you are required to hit the dancefloor, any situation or event that relates to dancing can be a source of fear for chorophobics.

Geliophobia: Fear of laughter

Many studies suggest that laughter is great for our health; helping to build social bonds, improve mental health and look after the heart. However, for those suffering from geliophobia, the act of laughing, or being around those who laugh, can actually cause overwhelming fear and anxiety. Suggested reasons for geliophobia are anxiety about laughing in inappropriate situations or of being laughed at by others.

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth

It may not be a debilitating or life-altering condition, yet no list of weird phobias would be complete without the inclusion of arachibutyrephobia – the inexplicable fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. While peanut butter is clearly not obligatory for a healthy and satisfactory life, arachibutyrophobics could miss out on the speculated health benefits of peanut butter, including its abilities to lower cholesterol and help ward off heart disease.

Heliphobia: Fear of sunlight

A rare but unfortunate condition, heliphobia refers to the fear of sunlight. Not only does going out in the sun instigate severe feelings of anxiety and panic in sufferers, but heliophobics may also experience fear of bright lights. Most often the fear or condition is associated with an anxiety about the perceived dangers of the sun; however, unless you happen to be a vampire, avoiding the sun entirely is likely to be an impossible and unnecessary task. It can also be dangerous for your wellbeing, as sunlight is good for regulating the mood and protecting bone health.

Deipnophobia: Fear of dinner conversations

While many people suffer from a general form of social anxiety, deipnophobia takes a rather more specific twist and is restricted to a fear of carrying on a conversation while eating. Although this can cause discomfort and awkwardness for dinner party guests, it seems that deipnophics could be on to something, as remaining silent while eating can actually help benefit digestion.

Neophobia: Fear of new things

While many people are wary of change, neophobia is a phobia that refers to an intense and irrational fear of all new things and experiences. Neophobia can impact on happiness and wellbeing as sufferers miss out on many life-enhancing experiences. When applied to the diet it can also mean that sufferers miss out on various healthy foods and nutrients. Research has also shown that the stress of neophobia can shorten life expectancy.

Syngenesphobia: Fear of relatives

Many of us experience embarrassment or irritation with our families at times. However, those with syngenesphobia suffer from an excessive fear of their relatives. Unless there is a specific, explicable reason for these fears, it is worth seeking help to alleviate this phobia and help you bond with relatives as research shows that forming strong family ties can help to increase life span.

Ablutophobia: Fear of washing and bathing

Although many children are resistant to being washed, this condition is much less common in adults. However, for a rare few the thought of stepping under a shower is quite literally terrifying! The good news for ablutophobics is that skipping the occasional shower can help to preserve natural oils and good bacteria that protect your skin and help to prevent disease. However, making it a regular habit is unlikely to benefit either your health or social life.

Geniophobia: Fear of chins

Geniophobia is an overwhelming fear of chins. Yes, that innocuous body part attached to the lower part of your face! Further phobias of seemingly innocent body parts include genuphobia (fear of knees), chirophobia (fear of hands) and ishicascadiggaphobia (fear of elbows). As these phobias can make normal social interaction extremely difficult, treatment through therapy is highly recommended.

The camera just can’t be trusted…

The image above is not real. It’s a computer generated digital sculpture of Korean Actress Song Hye Kyo.

The piece was created by CG artist Max Edwin Wahyudi using Pixelogic Zbrush and Autodesk 3DS Max for animation modeling.

It’s a pretty remarkable piece and extremely life like when compared with other digital photographs of live people.



A man in Hampshire has painted a picture of a Ferrari 250 GTO on the garage door of his home to fool passers-by he owns the classic car.

Chris Smart spent about two weeks transforming his garage in Bishopstoke by painting the cult, red sports car.

Mr Smart, 32, said: “We’ve had a few kids stop and stare as they walk past. Originally one of my neighbours wasn’t too keen, but now she loves it.”

A real version of the car sold for about £20m ($31m) in February.

 Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was perhaps one of the greatest inventors in history, largely overlooked and regularly stolen from, namely by Thomas Edison.

He was born on July 10th 1856 and died on January 7th 1943.

He was a genius, capable of speaking eight languages, possessing an eidetic memory and capable of picturing and designing complex devices without ever sketching a blueprint or taking a note.  He was also supposedly inspired to study electricity after he received an electric shock from his cat.

He was also notoriously eccentric and plagued by many neuroses, including an intense fear of dirt and germs, any round objects (He was specifically disgusted by pearl earrings) and he later developed an obsession with the number three.

Unfortunately, Obsessive-compulsive disorder was widely misunderstood at the time and he never received any nature of treatment.

He also often suffered from vivid hallucinations and struggled to differentiate between reality and these overwhelming ‘recurrent visual sensations, bright and geometric, which occasionally overwhelmed his sight, actually blotting out scenes in front of him.’

Additionally, towards the end of his life he grow very fond of the pigeons of Manhattan, taking care of sick and injured birds in his hotel room, including a bird he described as pure white with grey tipped wings that he claimed to ‘love as a man loves a woman, and she loved me’.

Well ahead of his time, he is directly responsible for:

  • First hydroelectric plant
  • The discovery of the resonant frequency of the earth.
  • The remote control
  • Neon Lighting
  • The electric motor.
  • Alternating current.
  • The Tesla Coil.
  • (Not the invention of, but certainly the research leading up to) X-Rays, he became aware of the damage done by them that was later identified by Rontgen.
  • The first radio transmitter.
  • Wardenclyffe Tower or the Tesla Tower, an early wireless telecommunications tower intended for commercial trans-Atlantic wireless telephony, broadcasting, and the demonstration of the transmission of power without interconnecting wires.  It was apparently not financially viable however, and later in 1917 it was destroyed by the US government for fear of it being hijacked for use by the Germans.
  • Wireless energy transfer and the Tesla effect.
  • Radar.
  • Bladeless turbines.

Amongst many other significant discoveries.  He is best known for Alternating Current, a discovery that was fraught with heated resistance from Thomas Edison who went as far as to steal pet dogs and electrocute them to death to prove AC was unsafe to power cities; despite is obvious advantages over Edison’s favoured Direct Current.  He also killed a horse using the same method.

‘Topsy’ a rebellious circus elephant was also electrocuted to death to prove AC was unsafe and filmed using Edison’s motion capture camera.

The video of the act is available to see under the name ‘Edison electrocutes elephant’.  It was deemed too cruel to hang her instead.

Subsequently, Edison is responsible for the switch from hanging to electrocution in prisons.

Edison allegedly also prevented the use of radar in the First World War after Tesla pitched the idea to the Navy and Edison said it had ‘no practical application’.  Tesla came up with the idea in 1917, long before Robert Watson-Watt.

Marconi was credited with the invention of radio, but Tesla won the legal battle and Marconi’s patents were overturned, unfortunately posthumously for Tesla.

Tesla also allegedly came up with many theoretical inventions that are still debated about to this day, including a type of particle gun that he claimed would be able to shoot planes from the sky which he called a death ray (Although it was initially called a ‘peace ray’ instead), a steam powered, conveniently portable earthquake machine, a force field, a saucer or cigar shaped craft powered run electro mechanically, and many a theory relating to ball lightning.

Tesla’s electro-mechanical oscillator or earthquake machine was invented in 1898 and it was surprisingly small, weighing a couple of pounds and only seven inches in length.

At this time, Tesla’s lab was in Houston Street, New York and the story goes that his device shook the building violently, resulting in the arrival of the police and Tesla resorting to destroying it with a hammer.

It worked by applying five pounds of air pressure against a pneumatic piston of some nature using steam.  This would result in very high temperatures and enormous generated pressure.

The reason this story is regarded as something of a myth is that attempts to replicate the ‘earthquake’ have been unsuccessful, vibrations being generated that were felt from a great distance but certainly not an earthquake.

Tesla reputedly creative ‘electric fireballs’ in a laboratory setting, writing of his findings in the 1904 journal Electrical World and Engineer as follows: “I have succeeded in determining the mode of their formation and producing them artificially…

It became apparent that the fireballs resulted from the interaction of two frequencies…. This condition acts as a trigger which may cause the total energy of the powerful longer wave to be discharged in a infinitesimally small interval of time… and is released into surrounding space with inconceivable violence. It is but a step, from the learning how a high frequency current can explosively discharge a lower frequency current, to using the principle to design a system in which these explosions can be produced by intent.”

The fireballs became more commonly known as the ball lightning phenomena, despite the differences between his described creation and the experiences of eyewitnesses to ball lightning.

Evidence of Tesla’s fireballs has never come about either, and attempts to emulate ball lightning have proved unsuccessful as well.

Most experiments succeed only in creating brief ‘fireballs’ inconsistent with the ones Tesla described.

As for ball lightning, it’s still a regularly reported though perhaps not fully understood phenomena.

Wardenclyffe Tower is sometimes quoted as being reputedly responsible for the rather odd Tunguska Event.

The Tunguska event (Or blast or explosion) was a massive explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River (Now Krasnoyarsk Krai) Russia, at 7:15am on June 30th in 1908.

The blast was believed to be 1000 times more powerful than that of the Hiroshima atomic bomb and it knocked over around 80 million trees covering 2150 square km.

The shock wave from the blast is estimated to have measured at least 5.0 on the Richter scale.

However, the notion of Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower having anything to do with the Tunguska Event is widely disregarded as there is very little evidence to support any such activity, plus the Tower was either totally or partially inoperable at the time the blast was said to have taken place.

Furthermore in relation to Tesla’s Death/Peace ray, it is pointed out by Brian Dunning that has little to do with Scalar Field Theory, though it is often quoted as differently.

‘Tesla did also claim to have completed a partial unified field theory that unified gravity with electromagnetism, which is something that scalar field theory also claims. Because of these similarities, Tesla’s name is often wrongly associated with scalar weapons and scalar field theory.’

The ray was also called Teleforce, and consisted of a uniquely designed large Van de Graaff generator another unique type of open-ended vacuum tube.  It would accelerate tungsten or mercury particles to about 48 times the speed of sound from the tube by electrostatic repulsion.

Tesla used the term ‘peace ray’ instead of the media proposed ‘death ray’ as he intended it to be used for defense purposes.

The method for producing great electrical force in the range of 60,000,000 volts (To propel the particles) could have been achieved by ‘Wardenclyffe type apparatus’.

After Tesla died, alone and in poverty, his papers were seized by the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover declaring the case ‘Top Secret’ because of ‘the nature of Tesla’s inventions and patents’.

Tesla’s family and the Yugoslav embassy fought with the American authorities to regain the items seized after his death because of the potential significance of some of his research to US defense.

Sava Kosanović (Tesla’s nephew) won possession of the materials and they can now be viewed at the Nikola Tesla Museum.

The morning after Teslas’ death, Kosanovic´ states that he by the time he arrived, Tesla’s body had already been removed, and that he suspected somebody had already gone through his uncle’s possessions.

Papers were allegedly missing, including a black notebook Kosanovic was certain Tesla kept.  He says that some of the pages of this notebook had been marked ‘Government.’

Despite Kosanovic winning the materials back again, there are still missing papers.  Whether or not these have anything to do with the FBI of course remains to be seen.

The following Tesla Videos may be of interest:-


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