Friday, July 10, 2015

Happy Birthday to Tesla

Albert Einstein was once asked how it felt to be the smartest man alive.
His reply was: "I don't know, you'll have to ask Nikola Tesla."

Nikola Tesla was born this day in 1856. 
The internet will tell you that "Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system." but, truth be told, I think he is better known for being one of the greatest mad scientist archetypes in history!
 His work was often overshadowed, stolen, and repurposed by others, but his eccentricities live on as the stuff of legends. His patents made him enough money that he was able to experiment on making whatever strange devices suited his fancy including radio controlled vehicles, xrays, inventing the hydro electric dam, Lightning Generators, VTOL aircraft, machines to listen for signals that he believed originated from other planets(!), and a PARTICLE BEAM DEATH RAY!!!!!!!!
When I was in Highschool, I had to do a series of aptitude tests to help me decide what I might want to pursue in terms of education and work post secondary. My tests were wildly inconclusive and gave no clear direction for me, so I was called in to have a conference and see what they could help me figure out in terms of courses/pathways/goals. When asked what I wanted to be I answered without hesitation "My Dream is to be A Mad Scientist!" - I explained that I knew that this wasn't a real job title or anything, but that I just wanted to experiment, work in a lab of some sort, discover how things work and to invent...."
Instead of pointing me towards chemical engineering or some such, the guidance councilor looked at me incredulously and said that I couldn't do that. Seriously - she flat out told me it wasn't an option. So I said "Fine. Then I will be a comic book artist." and walked out. That's how I really ended up with Art as a central tenant of my life (I am a Highschool art teacher by profession). While I am thoroughly pleased with the direction of my life and the choices that brought me here, if I had known about Tesla back then, I think things may have gone very differently. 
Perhaps there is still time for inventing a death ray in my future, but for now I will be satisfied putting on my paint covered lab coat, gathering a bunch of devices, random parts, solvents, adhesives and epoxy compounds and cackling madly as I build a cool looking model of one....... You see dreams do come true - just not always in the expected way.
Until next time, Ill just be living the dream ;)


Zab said...

Dude, what the hell is with guidance councilors? I breezed in filled out the bubbles in a pattern and declared "I'll be whatever I want - F this". When she called me back in the with results she said in a supremely condescending voice "Do you even care?" and I crossed my fingers and said in my most sardonic tone "Please say high school guidance councilor, Please say high school guidance councilor..."

I work in TV where my creativity shines. Also, bless you for your profession. 5 years of art classes in high school were great and helped broaden my creative tastes and keep me interested in minis when most of my friends were dropping them only to pick them back up later when they missed the creative outlet.

TKKultist said...

awesome Zab :)