1. Nikola Tesla was an inventor, discoverer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, theoretical and experimental physicist, mathematician, futurist and humanitarian. He was a hyper-polyglot who could speak eight languages including: Serbo-Croatian, English, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Latin. He was known to have one of the most remarkable memories, being able to recite full books, poetry and mathematical formulas by heart. He claimed to have had a three-dimensional memory and thought process that tormented him in his youth, but later aided him with building his inventions in his own mind without wasting any physical energy. Tesla was a man who was far ahead of his time, and even our time today. He was the first to discover the rotating magnetic field, and invent and patent a commutatorless alternating current induction motor based off this discovery. All electrical machinery using or generating alternating current is due to Tesla, without which all our electrified power lines, long distance trolley cars, electric vehicles, and our subways would be far less advanced. He is the true father of radio, sending the first radio signals up to 30 miles in distance in experiments at his Houston Street laboratory before its destruction by fire in 1895. He was the first to demonstrate wireless energy/power by lighting his phosphorescent light bulbs wirelessly in a demonstration given before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, 1893, and later lit lamps wirelessly at a distance of 25 miles away from his transmitter. In his labs he conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, electrical therapy, and some of the first X-ray imaging. Tesla was also the first to demonstrate remote control, building a wireless controlled boat first exhibited in 1898. At Colorado Springs in 1899, he created artificial lightning bolts 100 feet long, and sent currents around the Earth with a mean velocity of 292,815 miles per second with his transmitter patented in 1900. Some of his greatest experiments and demonstrations have yet to be reproduced by even our greatest scientists today. Although not recognized for, he was the first to discover the electron, radioactivity, terrestrial resonance, stationary waves (standing waves), and cosmic rays, which he also recorded traveling many times faster than light. His life long work was a dynamic theory of gravity that explained the causes of gravitation and the motions of heavenly bodies, which he claimed had been worked out in all details and he hoped to give it to the world. He was so satisfied with his theory that he believed it would put an end to the “idle speculations and false conceptions” rooted from Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. All his ideas and discoveries were logical inferences based off knowledge from his many years of investigations, experiments and developments in science and radio technology. Tesla predicted television, the internet, smart phones, weather control, interplanetary communication, an idea to produce an artificial Aurora Borealis to light the night skies, a particle beam to be used for defense in war, and the transmission of wireless power to any point on the globe. He intended to unify all these innovations into one big machine known as his Magnifying Transmitter, or his World System, but lacked the investments and funds to finish and prove his work on a large scale. Tesla would eventually die penniless and alone in his New York apartment, but like all the greats listed above, he lives on through all his inventions and contributions to this world.

“Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.”

–Nikola Tesla

How do you know you exist?

But, really. How do you know you’re real?

In his ‘Meditations on First Philosophy’, René Descartes tried to answer that very question, demolishing all of his preconceived notions and opinions to begin again from the foundations.

Sure, you have your senses. But your senses often deceive you. Maybe the body you perceive yourself to have isn’t really there. Maybe all of reality, even its abstract concepts like time, shape, color, and numbers are false.

And, who’s to say you’re not dreaming? When you’re awake, you know you’re awake. But, when you’re not, do you know you’re not? How do we know that this right here is not a dream? What if you’ve been tricked into believing that reality is real? The world, your perceptions of it, your very body - you can’t disprove that they’re all just made up. And how could you exist without them? You couldn’t, so - you don’t.

Life is but a dream, and I bet you aren’t row-row-rowing the boat merrily at all. You’re rowing it wearily. Like the duped, non-existent doof you are/aren’t. 

Don’t buy it? Good. Have you been persuaded? Even better. Because by being persuaded, you would prove that you are a persuaded being. You can’t be nothing if you think you’re something, even if that something…is nothing. Because no matter what you think, you’re a thinking thing.

Or, as Descartes put it, “I think, therefore I am.”

And so are you. Really.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How do you know you exist? - James Zucker

Animation by Stretch Films, Inc.