Celebrating Nikola Tesla

Hosted byJimmy Church

Celebrating Nikola Tesla

About the show

July 10th, 2016 would have been Nikola Tesla's 160th birthday. Hour two guest and Tesla biogrpaher Marc Seifer joined Jimmy Church (email) to discuss the visionary inventor's legacy. In the 1990s, Seifer spoke at the UN in support of making Tesla’s birthday an international holiday. Although this was not to be, he is glad that Tesla has gained wider recognition with the automobile and energy company bearing his name. Seifer lamented the way that Tesla has been "written out of the history books." Tesla worked for mega-financier J.P. Morgan, who panicked when he realized that what Tesla was inventing could not be charged for or metered, and would eventually make fossil fuels obsolete. Seifer said that Tesla should be remembered for his two greatest inventions: The multiphase (or AC) electrical current system, and the development of continuous wave radio.

Hour three guest Tim Eaton is writing a screenplay about the life of Tesla along with Seifer. Entitled Tesla: The Lost Wizard, the movie will be a fictionalized account of his life and work. Eaton's story focuses on what he and his co-writer see as the three main conflicts in Tesla’s life: his struggles with Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, and J.P. Morgan, and how these men appropriated Tesla’s ideas (or had inferior inventions) and attempted to suppress his legacy. The screenplay takes elements of Tesla’s personal life and adapts them for dramatic effect. Tesla designed the first large-scale electric lighting for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and the story features a scene on a ferris wheel, which was also a complete novelty at the time. One caller asked about Tesla’s religious beliefs, to which Eaton replied that he was "probably a bleeding-edge Universalist" who lived by moral virtues, and not any literal interpretations of his childhood faith of Christianity.

In the first hour, Andrew D. Basiago discussed the history of Tesla technology that he says was developed after WWII in order to teleport people and objects. Basiago says that Tesla laid the groundwork and "designed the technical infrastructure of the 21st century." Confirming the rumors that Tesla’s effects were seized by the U.S. Government at his death in 1943, he claimed that the papers and notes of the great inventor that had any value to national security were spirited away to the National Archives. Basiago believes that these papers were given to Los Alamos National Laboratories, which led to the development of teleportation and eventually, time travel technology. Basiago says that he was part of testing of these devices when he was a child and his father worked at the lab.

During Open Lines, Jimmy encouraged all of the callers to say "happy birthday" to Tesla. Giovanni called in from Beverly Hills to mention his concern over the use of Ouija boards and channeling. He was also certain that ancient megalithic structures had been built with acoustic (sound) technology. Jim in Washington asked if Tesla had invented any medical devices. Jimmy thought that perhaps some of his inventions were direct descendants of imaging technology such as MRI machines. Linda gave a warning about Tesla's ideas and predicted that "we are going to pay a price for misusing these gifts to mankind."

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