Happy Birthday, Nikola Tesla!

Nikola Tesla

I’m a mad scientist, and I want to be your president*

You ever heard of a guy named Nikola Tesla? Most people haven’t, unless you’ve played an RPG or read a steampunk book in the past decade. So let me ask you this: Have you ever plugged an appliance into the wall? Have you ever communicated with a wireless device? Do you enjoy having electricity delivered to your home via wires instead of having to keep a noisy, smelly generator coughing up greenhouse gasses in your garage?

If you answered yes to any of the last three questions, then you have Nikola Tesla to thank. He invented AC current, which is what runs the world. Oh, and he also pioneered radio, robotics, x-rays, and more. Without him, the 20th century would have looked a lot like the 19th, and our century might have been equally boring.

Want to know more?

I recommend reading Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla by Marc Seifer or Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney. Or you could read The Oatmeal’s short version of his amazing biography.

It’s frustrating that Nikola Tesla’s inventions are at the heart of almost every piece of technology we know and enjoy today, and yet history seems to have forgotten him. Next to him, Edison kind of comes off looking like a money-grubbing hack who electrocuted animals to promote his own patents. (It’s true about the animals—read the Oatmeal’s bio of Tesla to find out why.)

If elected president

I vow to urge school textbook makers to include proper recognition of this eccentric genius. I’d also really like to clone Tesla and make him my vice president, but that’s sort of a “legacy” move, so I’ll leave that to my second term.


*I’m not really a scientist or a politician. This is a work of social satire. Don’t actually vote for me: if I really wanted your vote, I’d just use my mind-control ray.

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About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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