Also, (shameless plug alert), I'm currently working on a TV show based on Tesla (http://theteslaarchive.com), so if you're into Tesla, it might be worth looking into chipping in a few bucks to that project too.
All the funds raised from this campaign are going directly to a non-profit group. Details about the non-profit behind this project can be found on their website: Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe
He's not building a new museum; he's raising funds so the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe can buy Tesla's final laboratory and turn it into a museum.
Tesla must be the most sung unsung hero in history. I hear more about him than Edison nowadays, by quite a bit.
He deserves museums, but not hero worhsip.
I'm not sure who "deserves" hero worship but if anyone did, Tesla does.
Twenty years ago it was all about Edison in science textbooks and in popular science. Tesla was a footnote.
I mean, I've hardly heard anything about Martin Luther King Jr. in the last year, but I've probably seen something on Tesla (The Oppressed Forgotten Genius) every week.
I guess good can come of anything though.
edit: Having read more closely, the IndieGoGo project is to raise funds directly for an existing organisation, which is a great use of media profile. I think I'm all out of reservations on this.
e: I just read more closely - The Oatmeal is apparently raising funds for an existing organisation, and the IndieGoGo funds go directly to them. In this case I fold, this is definitely a good use of his fame.
This idea is half-baked at best, and I'm a bit astounded $380k has already been put up for it.
>Even if we raise the full amount and end up with $1.7 million, this isn't enough to build an actual museum / science center. But it will effectively put the property into the right hands so it can eventually be renovated into something fitting for one of the greatest inventors of our time.
It's not exactly comforting to know that my donation is to some hackneyed attempt at "keeping the building in the right hands". What about maintenance? Taxes? Revitalization? Who's going to run this effort? Who's going to reach out for donations of materials and resources? Run fundraisers? Curate exhibits?
Trust me, I love Tesla, and would certainly like to see a museum dedicated to his genius and achievements, but this seems like a waste of money, thrown on whoever the fuck happens to currently hold the deed to that piece of land.
Why not build it wherever, where $1.7M might actually... well, finance a museum, and not just dirt?
Somehow, I can't drop the feeling that this whole thing is somehow started by the current landowner, but I know I sound like a tinfoil hat saying that.
The wikipedia article on Wardenclyffe has some info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardenclyffe_Tower
Edit. Found a link to a report of the current state of the site: http://www.teslasciencecenter.org/2011/05/visit-to-wardencly...
Does anyone know if this means our donations are tax deductible?
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As much as Edison seems to be vilified by The Oatmeal, I can't help but think that many of the things Edison did were in the context of the times pretty commonplace. That said, Tesla really is an unsung genius.
Telsa: Hey guys all this stuff I've been talking about, I figured out a way to get it all for free! Guys?... Hellooooo? Son of a...
"Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla" was a fascinating read.
If I remember correctly, those behind the museum had to work quite hard to get some of Tesla's paperwork back from the U.S. government after Tesla passed away. I have the feeling it was stuff that would have never seen the light of day again if it wasn't for their efforts.
Entrance is around 2.5EUR equivalent to $3.
Also there's a Tesla museum in Serbia. But I like the idea of turning his NY lab into a museum.
Edit: Just saw The Oatmeal's response. Good for him, but I doubt many of the people that read the Forbes article are also going to read the rebuttal.
Personally, I think the oatmeal is a bully, and find him to be too arrogant. I will admit some of his comics are good though.
You, sir, have blown my mind.
- The biggest animal for which Edison organized electrocution was an elephant(!):
- Edison paid for the development of the electric chair (for death penalty) -- his propaganda against alternative currents:
I live about 200km from Tesla's birthplace, I went to two schools bearing his name, and about a block from my place is a technical museum which carries a regular daily show of his experiments in practice.
And I especially like the irony that about 20km from where I live there is this being built: http://www.rimac-automobili.com/ (tl;dr: Tesla Roadster eats dust). ;-)
PS: Long Island is the most populated island in the US, it has 7.6 million inhabitants. Also, Brookhaven is in the middle of the island (close to Fire Island), not the far end. The Hamptons are way farther out, and yet plenty of people manage to find their way there.
The site significance is cool, no doubt, but I question how many people will ever trek out to visit this.
A good science/history museum there would still be in range of the informed tourist (ie, those likely to spend a day at a Tesla museum) and more importantly of elementary school field trips. Personally I would pair it with the Teddy Roosevelt museum on Long Island and do a Turn-of-the-Century Internet Celebrity Day Trip.
Long island is part of the largest metropolitan region on earth. You don't need to worry about "how many people will ever trek out to visit this".
In any case, Dia: Beacon is one of the most famous galleries in the world, and it's 90 miles away from New York City. Lots of people commute from the city in the summer to check it out.
There's also a memorial center in Smiljan, Croatia, the village he was born in: http://www.mcnikolatesla.hr/english.html