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Tesla Museum Gets Funded (indiegogo.com)
238 points by amirmansour on Aug 21, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 51 comments

No, the museum did not get funded. The campaign to raise funds to (hopefully?[1]) purchase the land for a museum got funded. There's a long ways to go before this is a reality.

[1]: There's another interested buyer. My read on it is that rallying the funds is only the first hurdle in getting the land to this organization. I'm sure there's lots of lawyering and bartering that is yet to be done.

Yes yes, but lets stay positive. There are still 39 more days to go.

"Staying positive" does not mean "ignoring reality".

I think in order to stay positive one must ignore reality.

Maybe one should view reality as a temporary, transient state, lasting only until one has achieved ones goals?

I'm starting to sound like one of those nauseating messianic californian tryhards. Must drink less coffee in the mornings...

Accept the bad things and be positive about the good things.

There is no need to ignore reality to be happy.

One man mines for gold and the other for earth.

Interesting to note that two people (companies) ponied up the max of $33,333.

> If you donate $33,333 I will write a blog post about you, your company, or your product on TheOatmeal.com. My site averages 7 million unique visitors and 30 million page views. In the three years TheOatmeal.com has been online it's been read by over 100 million people and received nearly one billion page views.

That's a $1.11 CPM ($4.76 per unique) for fairly decent coverage. TheOatmeal.com is actually closer to a celebrity endorsement. If being pro-Tesla fits into their marketing strategy, this is a steal of a deal.

I wonder if it is Tesla Motors.

Elon Musk said it wouldn't be a good use of Tesla Motors' money (but probably contributed personally): http://jalopnik.com/5935362/elon-musk-pledges-to-support-nik...

One of the donators was: Joseph Sikorski "FRAGMENTS FROM OLYMPUS-The Vision of Nikola Tesla" Joseph Sikorski: co-author/director

The other was anonymous, but I doubt it will stay that way considering they chose the write-up reward.

The OatMeal facebook page said that second $33,333 donation pushed it to the finish line.

Oftentimes donation in support of museums would be tax deductible since the recipient in a 501(c)3 non-profit. I don't believe this is the case here.

Regardless of status, since the 'donor' is getting something in return it's a moot issue.

Edit: Thanks jaredsohn. I wondered as I typed that. One of those words I say, but rarely write.

The money is goin gto a nonprofit.


Even though it is a non-profit, I _think_ the donation is not considered a tax write-off because the donor is receiving something in return: a photo, a sticker, a T-shirt, advertising (blog post).

The last time I checked, if you receive something for your donation, you have to subtract the value of whatever you received from your total donation amount. You can then claim that difference as a deduction on your taxes.

Example: Donate $100 to PBS and receive a $10 CD. Subtract the value of the CD from the donation: $90. You can claim a deduction of $90 on your taxes.

But in the case of a corporation, treating the whole thing as a marketing expense is probably easier and would yield the same result.

[I'm not a lawyer or tax accountant or any other kind of authority on taxes. Check with the IRS or competent council before filing your taxes!]

I'm also bad at spelling.

The companies should be able to deduct it fully.

The museum aspect, non profit status etc doesn't matter. It's a legitimate marketing expense - they're paying the money to get on the front page of The Oatmeal, the same as if it went straight in The Oatmeal's pockets.

Wouldn't it be like making a pledge to a local public broadcaster? You get gifts for those, but they are still tax deductible.

Like jamesmcn says, you have to deduct the fair value of the gifts from your donation. Usually the gift receipt says the amount.

it depends and the amount can vary. I buy season tickets for my colleges football team and the seats I request have a minimum donation value required with them. all goes to a 501 3c, but if I recall its deductible at 70% of donation value.

mute -> moot

The title is misleading. They've raised enough money that with NY's matching funds they could perhaps pay for the property and preserve it as a historic site, but it won't be a museum anymore than my bathroom is a YMCA. They need millions more.

This makes me wonder if we could crowdsource the Titan Mare mission which got passed over for another bot to Mars.

It "only" costs $425 million ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_Mare_Explorer )

It could definitely hit a huge sum of money, if people who weren't just Indigogo and Kickstarter lurkers got into a campaign for funding it. Celebrities, big names in all kinds of industries could come together for something that's so obviously compelling.

I mean, look at what Kony managed to get people to do, and that wasn't even a proper cause.

I honestly think the guy from Oatmeal carries so much weigh he could generate maybe several million dollars for a cause. If he did a couple of comics about the Mars bot who knows

Maybe there's a cheaper Mars project :)

Not Mars - Titan, moon of two planets out, Saturn.

The one with nitrogen atmosphere, methane lakes, rain and hurricanes.

Way, way more interesting than Mars in some ways.

And speaking of those methane lakes, the lander was designed as a boat that would float around in one of them. To me that seems pretty interesting from an engineering point of view, not to mention Titan being a pretty cool place from a scientific perspective.

Maybe I'm a skeptic, but I don't think people are going to keep funneling money because of who he is. His fanbase can only allocate so much or deal with so many outreaches and I would wager they only did this one because it was hot off the heels of a very successful campaign. When you know the project is going to succeed because of auto-generated hype and press, it's a lot easier to press submit.

Something space-related, while Curiosity is still fresh in people's minds, might work, but I don't think he can keep getting these numbers regularly. I'd like to be wrong, though.

Not to be a spoil sport, but it's rather easy to raise money and buy land; it's much more difficult to get a probe built and onto the surface of another world.

Plus, does that estimate include support satellites (it apparently doesn't include the costs of getting the probe there)?

So many Tesla books out there. If I had to pick one to read, which would you recommend?

I highly recommend Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius. http://www.amazon.com/Wizard-Nikola-Biography-Genius-Citadel...

A fantastic read. Don't miss the audiobook if you're into audiobooks (great for long commutes and if you're not English and want to improve it)[1].

It's read by Simon Prebble[2]. I absolutely love his voice. His 1984[3] is probably my favorite audiobook (I listen to audiobooks a lot).

He is great. From Wikipedia:

In the U.S., he also began narrating audio books,and to date (2012) has recorded well over 450 titles. As one of AudioFile Magazine's 'Golden Voices' and 'Best Voices of the Century', his work has gained him five 'Listen Up' awards, thirty 'Earphone' awards, and in 2005, he was named 'Narrator of theYear' by Publishers Weekly. Nominated fifteen times for the 'Audies' (the audiobook 'Oscars'), he was finally awarded a coveted 'Audie' in 2010, the year he was also named Booklist's 'Voice of Choice'.

[1]: http://www.amazon.com/Wizard-Times-Nikola-Biography-Genius/d...

[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Prebble

[3]: http://www.amazon.com/1984-New-Classic-Edition/dp/B000Q6ZLOI

Simon Prebble's narration of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle is fantastic.

Really? That's fantastic. I have that audiobook and intended to listen to it in the coming weeks. But somehow I'd missed the narrator's name!

Thanks a lot. Now I can hardly wait for the book :)

It's a good book, but I am not sure if it's the book to read if you want to know even a little bit of the technical marvels he came up with. I found the book to be good enough to know the names of Tesla's inventions and who he was day-to-day, but not much more. Obviously if that's the main interest, this is a fine book.

On the other hand, if the idea is to learn more about his inventions, I'd recommend reading some of his own writing, e.g. Selected Tesla Writings: http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/contents.htm Lots of really amazing articles there. Check out this one, http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1900-06-00.htm , it's one of my favourites.

I've heard good things about Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World. It is on my "to read" list.


this one is good because, unlike the oatmeal, it is a down-to-earth telling of the story of electricity, and is not obsessed with trying to establish people as heroes or villains.

Too often we I think we become obsessed with trying to establish credit for a particular idea or accomplishment when the truth, especially when it comes to technical innovation, is usually far more complicated. I was going to say that the best we can do is to try and identify inflection points, but really, the best we can do is recognize that nearly everyone stands on the shoulders of giants.

Back to the book recommendations, I've read 3 of Jonnes' books and they're all pretty good, though the best was "Conquering Gotham" about Penn station and its tunnels.

Would anyone recommend his "My Inventions" autobiography?

I don't know how long it took to get this far but right now it is 31K over goal... and it has 39 more days to go. I would not be surprised if it passed the $1M mark before it is over.

It took 5 days to get this far (if I recall correctly).

It was posted a week ago actually, but the point still stands.

I seem to remember what appeared to be a relatively independent academic debunking a great deal of the pro Tesla/anti Edison Oatmeal discussion which resulted in a very animated rebuttal. I wonder if this is just an extension of that challenge in some ways.

Yes, but if they raised only $750,000 how much of that would have been left? Since the things being offered as part of pledges isn't free?

Well, since the pledges are being paid directly to the not-for-profit organization, I actually think TheOatmeal is paying for the rewards out of pocket (hence all the limits).

this has so much potential to create awe and wonder for all it's visitors -- I really hope it's done well.

There goes my 50$, hope to see this through :-)

How the hell do we give our t-shirt size?

you don't its just large now, people payed a lot - t-shirts are sold out.

I grew up a stone's throw away from Tesla's lab. (It's right on Tesla Street if I recall.)

I will definitely be making a donation.

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