Nikola Tesla's 'World System.'

The ‘World-System’ is based on the application of the following important inventions and discoveries:

1. The ‘Tesla Transformer.’ This apparatus is in the production of electrical vibrations as revolutionary as gunpowder was in warfare. Currents many times stronger than any ever generated in the usual ways, and sparks over one hundred feet long, have been produced by the inventor with an instrument of this kind.

2. The ‘Magnifying Transmitter.’ This is Tesla’s best invention — a peculiar transformer specially adapted to excite the Earth, which is in the transmission of electrical energy what the telescope is in astronomical observation. By the use of this marvelous device he has already set up electrical movements of greater intensity than those of lightning and passed a current, sufficient to light more than two hundred incandescent lamps, around the Globe.

3. The ‘Tesla Wireless System.’ This system comprises a number of improvements and is the only means known for transmitting economically electrical energy to a distance without wires. Careful tests and measurements in connection with an experimental station of great activity, erected by the inventor in Colorado, have demonstrated that power in any desired amount can be conveyed, clear across the Globe if necessary, with a loss not exceeding a few per cent.

4. The ‘Art of Individualization.’ This invention of Tesla is to primitive ‘tuning’ what refined language is to unarticulated expression. It makes possible the transmission of signals or messages absolutely secret and exclusive both in the active and passive aspect, that is, non-interfering as well as non-interferable. Each signal is like an individual of unmistakable identity and there is virtually no limit to the number of stations or instruments which can be simultaneously operated without the slightest mutual disturbance.

5. ‘The terrestrial Stationary Waves.’ This wonderful discovery, popularly explained, means that the Earth is responsive to electrical vibrations of definite pitch just as a tuning fork to certain waves of sound. These particular electrical vibrations, capable of powerfully exciting the Globe, lend themselves to innumerable uses of great importance commercially and in many other respects.

The first ‘World-System’ power plant can be put in operation in nine months. With this power plant it will be practicable to attain electrical activities up to ten million horsepower and it is designed to serve for as many technical achievements as are possible without due expense. Among these the following may be mentioned:

(1) The inter-connection of the existing telegraph exchanges or offices all over the world;

(2) The establishment of a secret and non-interferable government telegraph service;

(3) The inter-connection of all the present telephone exchanges or offices on the Globe;

(4) The universal distribution of general news, by telegraph or telephone, in connection with the Press;

(5) The establishment of such a ‘World-System’ of intelligence transmission for exclusive private use;

(6) The inter-connection and operation of all stock tickers of the world;

(7) The establishment of a ‘World-System’ of musical distribution, etc.;

(8) The universal registration of time by cheap clocks indicating the hour with astronomical precision and requiring no attention whatever;

(9) The world transmission of typed or handwritten characters, letters, checks, etc.;

(10) The establishment of a universal marine service enabling the navigators of all ships to steer perfectly without compass, to determine the exact location, hour and speed, to prevent collisions and disasters, etc.;

(11) The inauguration of a system of world-printing on land and sea;

(12) The world reproduction of photographic pictures and all kinds of drawings or records.

"My Inventions V – The Magnifying Transmitter." Electrical Experimenter. June, 1919.


Mostly Mute Monday: Volcanic Lightning

“During thunderstorms, approximately ten Coulombs of charge — some 10^20 electrons — are exchanged with every bolt, representing the release of an incredible build-up of energy.

During a volcanic eruption, however, the incredible heats cause neutral atoms to become ions, either positively or negatively charged, which then separate due to differences in masses, temperatures and physical cross-sections. The aerodynamics separates the particles even farther, and when the threshold of breakdown voltage is crossed, a lightning strike occurs.”

When it comes to lightning, you inevitably think of thunderstorms, rain, and the exchange of huge amounts of charge between the clouds above and the Earth. But there’s another sight that’s perhaps even more spectacular: volcanic lightning!

The conflict in Syria is entering its fifth year, and two new reports suggest it just keeps getting worse for civilians there.

One United Nations agency says life expectancy has plummeted by 20 years in the once-developed nation, while another new study based on nighttime satellite imagery finds that, in the past four years, 83 percent of the country’s lights have gone off.

And that’s just the average, says Michael Klosson, vice president for policy at aid group Save the Children. In areas like Aleppo, where much of the populace has fled and infrastructure has been pulverized, researchers found that light has been reduced as much as 97 percent.

Drawn-Out Syrian Civil War Spawns A Literal Dark Age

Image credit: #withSyria

Caption: The satellite images provided by #withSyria shows the dramatic drop in lights at night in Syria between 2011 (left) and 2015 (right) with annotations by NPR.

Saturday, March 28th kicks off another Earth Hour when people around the world turn off their lights between 8:30 and 9:30pm, local time. Earth Hour has changed a lot since its 2007 origins in Sydney, Australia, transforming into a global event. Involving over 160 countries, the “lights-out” now symbolizes a much larger movement. Earth Hour inspires a world-wide platform which unites people through supporting environmental initiatives. The grassroots nature of each celebration empowers communities and ignites change through both crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding.

Crowd-sourcing asks the community to brainstorm solutions to troubling environmental issues, such as China’s Blue Sky campaign against air pollution. Crowd-sourcing also allows the public to revive important environmental initiatives and reach out to a broader audience for support. In 2013, through Earth Hour awareness efforts, Argentina succeeded in establishing a 3.4 million hectare marine reserve, called Banco Namuncurá. Last year, Kazakhstan pledged to plant 17 million trees.

Crowd-funding relies on public fundraisers to invest in a larger community cause. For example, both Nepal and Madagascar used funds from their Earth Hour awareness campaign to buy environmentally-friendly stoves. This effort reduced their levels of deforestation and lessened their carbon-footprint. Additionally, it lowered the number of people at risk from the side-effects of smoke released by burning wood in poorly-ventilated huts. Other countries, like Russia donated their crowd-funds to conservation programs for endangered animals.

Earth Hour relies on the can-do attitude of, “I will if you will.” It allows people to visualize change and inspire action to work together to protect our planet. The simple act of turning your lights off for one hour, one evening of the year, blossoms into a global mission when 7 billion people act together.


Learn more at

Image credit: ESA/NASA

Costa Rica Proves You Can Run a Country on Green Electricity

Costa Rica reached a major milestone in renewable energy: 75 straight days of electricity produced without fossil fuels. The country’s power supply has been running without the burning of harmful fossil fuels, according to a March 16 release from the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). Thanks to heavy rainfall, the country has been able to rely on its four hydroelectric plants for nearly all of its electricity — with an added boost from geothermal, biomass, solar and wind power.

Maasvlakte by Bart van Damme on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Maasvlakte, Rotterdam industrial area, the Netherlands.

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© 2014 Bart van Damme

Visiting EMO, one of the largest transhipment terminals for coal and iron ore in the world.