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The Almighty Buck Science

The Oatmeal Begins a Fundraiser for a Nikola Tesla Museum 134

Posted by samzenpus
from the and-he-knew-that-he-would-never-invent-anything-worthy-of-a-pigeon dept.
Quince alPillan writes "The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman is once again collecting money for a good cause. This time, he's collecting money for the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe to purchase the original location of the Wardenclyffe Tower in Shoreham, New York so that it can be rebuilt into a Tesla Museum. The fundraiser, titled Let's Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum has already started."
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The Oatmeal Begins a Fundraiser for a Nikola Tesla Museum

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  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mitreya (579078) <(mitreya) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @07:52PM (#41003777)
    ... who's going to start a kickstarter project to build an Edison museum across from the Tesla one?
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @07:55PM (#41003801)

      Just wait a few years and slap Edison's name over top of Tesla's.

      • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

        by GammaKitsune (826576) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @07:57PM (#41003821)
        I wish there were some way to mod you "Funny, but Mostly Sad".
      • by Anonymous Coward

        George Westinghouse was the one who lied to Tesla to get him to fork over his share of the company for peanuts.

        I want the museam to be made to look like a middle finger with a plaque that says "Up Yours George!"

        • Re:Westinghouse (Score:5, Informative)

          by s.petry (762400) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @08:23PM (#41004047)

          Tesla was not only fucked by Westinghouse, but many others. The PR campaign by Edison is the worst, but JP Morgan pulling his project money since JP could not restrict access to make lots more money, and of course Westinghouse robbing him of personal wealth.

          Greed has screwed us all, and continues to do so today.

          • Re:Westinghouse (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @10:45PM (#41005485)

            Tesla was not only fucked by Westinghouse, but many others. The PR campaign by Edison is the worst, but JP Morgan pulling his project money since JP could not restrict access to make lots more money, and of course Westinghouse robbing him of personal wealth.

            Greed has screwed us all, and continues to do so today.

            Except greed is why Westinghouse, Edison and JP Morgan had any money to invest in Tesla to begin with.

            Without greed W, E and JP would have been subsistence farmers and Tesla would have been that crazy old man in the shack in the woods everyone stayed away from.

            • by CityZen (464761)

              Like everything, it's a matter of balance: greed vs. ethics.

              Problem is, one tends to dominate the other.

          • by l0ungeb0y (442022)

            Not Necessarily true -- Tesla knowingly and intentionally mislead JP Morgan as to his real intentions and knew that even if successful, Morgan would never realize an ROI. Frankly Tesla was a major dick for pulling that stunt and is lucky to only have suffered the revocation of his funding.

      • by MiniMike (234881)

        Shouldn't the Edison museum just take the money from the Tesla museum fundraiser?

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Only counts if you hire bully boys to kidnap dogs and cats, and electrocute them with AC current in front of Tesla's museum.

    • by Penurious Penguin (2687307) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @09:15PM (#41004607) Homepage Journal
      From what I've read, Tesla and ol' Sam were fair pals. I actually don't see how they couldn't have been. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Twain_in_Tesla's_Lab.jpg [wikipedia.org]
    • by rtb61 (674572)

      The Thomas Edison corporate douche exhibit were paying for other people's inventions means that you can publicly pretend to have invented them, woo hoo. That can add all the other great patent douche's that came there after to the exhibit, with Apple as the A number 1, patent douche of all time ;D. Seriously if you invented put your name on the patent app, if you didn't don't be a dick and put it there to feed your ego, it's really lame.

  • Totally in (Score:5, Funny)

    by medcalf (68293) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @08:07PM (#41003901) Homepage
    But they have to build his death ray
    • by pegasustonans (589396) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @08:12PM (#41003953)

      But they have to build his death ray

      I'd prefer cloning him, and then having the clone build it. As long as we're building a B-movie death ray, we might as well have a B-movie story to go along with it.

      After we're done with him, we can have the clone battle an Edison robot, and my life will be complete.

    • by t4ng* (1092951)

      I saw a conspiracy theory book that claimed he succeeded in building his death ray and that's what the Tunguska explosion [wikipedia.org] really was. It further claimed that Tesla had done it as a publicity gimmick intending to aim it at the North Pole and blow it up right before Admiral Peary could reach the North Pole, but his aim was off!!!

      It then went on to claim that Tesla did not die, but instead was living inside the "face pyramid" on Mars with Marconi!!!!

      Wow.

      • I saw a conspiracy theory book that claimed he succeeded in building his death ray and that's what the Tunguska explosion [wikipedia.org] really was. It further claimed that Tesla had done it as a publicity gimmick intending to aim it at the North Pole and blow it up right before Admiral Peary could reach the North Pole, but his aim was off!!!

        It then went on to claim that Tesla did not die, but instead was living inside the "face pyramid" on Mars with Marconi!!!!

        Wow.

        conspiracy theories are pretty fun, aren't they?

  • Is it just me or is their about page infested with spam?
    • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @08:10PM (#41003939)
      2012, browsing the internet with out adblock ya I'm going to have to ask for your nerd license and decoder ring.
      • by jxander (2605655) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @08:12PM (#41003959)
        At this point, I was certain that most "nerd-centric" sites were of a similar mindset, and spammed up their pages to keep the Luddites out.
      • by D H NG (779318)
        Google cache is seeing the same thing I'm seeing here [googleusercontent.com].
    • by GuNgA-DiN (17556)

      They use Wordpress and got hacked with the Pharma Hack [sucuri.net]. I wrote to their webmaster and explained the problem and sent them some links. They have since upgraded their version of Wordpress and secured the site. But, they still have junk in their database that needs to be cleaned out. He told me that they are working to correct the problem.

  • by ryzvonusef (1151717) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @08:14PM (#41003973) Journal

    More Info here :p
    http://plus.google.com/blergasdf1234thimbleturdorgasm99meatpoopypoopxv9donkeypie [google.com]

    But seriously, in this era of re-discovering and correctly honouring scientists for their hard-work and genius (like Alan Turing is now rightly getting, for example) why is Tesla still languishing? I mean, either, way, it was god-damn American* guy who made the light bulb, who cares which one it was? I think the US govt should buck up and admit they dun goofed, just like the Uk govt did with Turing.

    *Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] says he was an american citizen

    • But seriously, in this era of re-discovering and correctly honouring scientists for their hard-work and genius (like Alan Turing is now rightly getting, for example) why is Tesla still languishing?

      At the risk of sounding somewhat sweeping in my exemplary generalization:

      Tesla is lauded in good measure wheresoever geeks may chance upon others of their kind.

      Is this not enough to warm the rotting cockles of Mr. T's decaying corporeal matter?

      • Is this not enough to warm the rotting cockles of Mr. T's decaying corporeal matter?

        For anyone else who was confused, BA Baracus/Clubber Lane/ Mr. "I pity the fool" T is still alive. [deadoraliveinfo.com] Pegasustonans was talking about Tesla here.

    • by crgrace (220738) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @08:45PM (#41004281)

      Langushing? Come on. He was played by David Bowie in a movie, and the coolest car company around is named Telsa.

      Tesla has a lot more name recognition in the general public (and certainly among technical people) than scientists such as Shannon, Nyquist, and von Neumann who arguably did at least as much to usher in the modern world than Tesla.

    • I think the US govt should buck up and admit they dun goofed, just like the Uk govt did with Turing.

      That will happen when it's politically advantageous. If you can get 1 million people voting in Ohio for the guy who favors Tesla, then you will have both candidates falling over themselves to say something nice about Tesla.

      (Then saying how evil the other party was for what happened, and that if there were more/less regulation it wouldn't have happened, and if there were more/less judicial oversight/activism it wouldn't have happened, and if only we'd taxed more/less it wouldn't have happened).

    • by adisakp (705706)

      But seriously, in this era of re-discovering and correctly honouring scientists for their hard-work and genius why is Tesla still languishing?

      Maybe this American home-school textbook can explain why Tesla isn't appreciated [snopes.com].

    • But seriously, in this era of re-discovering and correctly honouring scientists for their hard-work and genius (like Alan Turing is now rightly getting, for example) why is Tesla still languishing?

      No, Alan Turing has been overhyped for nearly thirty years, and the same goes for Tesla.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But, what the fuck is "the oatmeal"?

    • A terribly unfunny web comic.

      • by xSander (1227106)

        A terribly unfunny web comic.

        Really? You must not like cynicism. Either that or the topics he usually posts about.

        • I just don't think his stuff is funny. I don't mind cynicism, if it's funny. The Oatmeal seems to me like the latest in a series of unfunny webcomics that get popular simply because they make jokes about certain subjects (science, video games, etc) without actually being humorous. It's like the web equivalent of "The Big Bang Theory".

  • good marketing (Score:2, Informative)

    by crgrace (220738)

    This Oatmeal guy sure is milking his Tesla fetish and the Forbes "controversy" for all it's worth. Good for him.

  • Cool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @09:13PM (#41004587)

    Just as long as the museum isn't filled with as many inaccuracies as the Oatmeal piece was. Otherwise we're going to have a museum filled with "facts" that paint Tesla as a god who would have given the world free power, ended all wars, solved world hunger, and developed the ultimate recipe for apple pie, and Edison as a drooling idiot who couldn't have tied his shoes, let alone improve on the lightbulb, aid in the development of a system to deliver electrical current across long distances, and severely advance the technology of the basis of our modern medical imaging technology. (cue the rants about Clarence Dally, who had been victimized by Edison, despite the fact that Dally was a willing participant and we simply didn't know how dangerous X-rays were at the time. Look into every advance the science of radioactive materials in the first half of the 20th century, and you will find at least one Dally in each of them).

    They both were geniuses. They both were flawed.
    Without both of their contributions to science, I wouldn't be typing this (electricity is efficiently delivered to my house in the form of alternating current. A nifty little device translates that alternating current into direct current, which is what runs my computer).

    • by glwtta (532858)
      The Tesla/Edison thing does tend to get overstated a bit, but your last example doesn't actually include any contributions from Edison.

      It's precisely the system that Westinghouse and Tesla were advocating, and the adoption of which Edison tried to stop because he was so invested in DC power distribution. It's not like he invented the concept of direct current itself.
    • They both were geniuses. They both were flawed.

      Well said. You don't have to turn it into hero-worship and hate the other guy like they were some 17th century mathematicians. You can actually like both of them.

      • Mod up X1000. The Oatmeal's response to Forbes was a pretty sad juvenile response. Tesla the man deserves better than to be deified. Science deserves better than to have Tesla deified.

  • Just a quick 90-100 minute jaunt in traffic from Manhattan into the heart of one of the least exciting places in all of New York. There is literally NOTHING out there unless you're on your way to the vineyards. I can't see this being a big tourist attraction which something like a Tesla museum deserves. Boo.
    • by GuNgA-DiN (17556)

      Maybe a world class scientific lab and museum is exactly what they need? When it gets built, I plan to visit.

  • .... what happens if they get the money, get the matching contribution from NY, and the other party simply raises their bid and gets the property? At that point the funds are committed and there's no way to get them back to the contributors who contributed via indiegogo.

    Too, indiegogo charges a fee, don't they? That further complicates it (and also means the 850k goal is not enough).

    • by GuNgA-DiN (17556)

      In other words: "I'm a cheap bastard and I don't want to contribute". You must be a load of fun at pizza parties. You're the type of guy who eats 10 slices and then complains that it was soggy and doesn't want to pay.

      • In other words: "I'm a cheap bastard and I don't want to contribute". You must be a load of fun at pizza parties. You're the type of guy who eats 10 slices and then complains that it was soggy and doesn't want to pay.

        Interesting that you know so much about me. From your post I can tell that at the same party, you would pay three times the price of the pizza and suggest to the deliveryman that he should remember to bring it to the party if he had the time.

        My assessment is roughly as accurate as yours, and based on as little information. Except I managed it in a way that made my point without being nearly so insulting to a random stranger on the Internet.

    • The actual current asking price is 1.6 million, so if they meet their goal with the matching funds from New York State, they would be clearly above this with 1.7 million dollars. (The Indiegogo fee is only 4% at that point.)

      It should be noted that they will need additional money to actually turn the building into a museum, so that where any money beyond the amount needed to buy the property will go.

      I would view it as unlikely the other developer will win by raising the bid because the company in question i

      • After re-reading I see that the money will be going to the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe regardless - which seems a worthy cause in any case. Worst case, they get extra funds. Best case, the property gets bought. Looks like I'm in after all.

  • It's about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GuNgA-DiN (17556) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @10:13PM (#41005177)

    A lot of people make fun of the Tesla vs. Edison thing but, think about it: this man invented the modern world and nobody knows (or cares). I went through elementary, middle, and high school in America. Then, I went to college. I never once learned about Nikola Tesla. I didn't find out who he was until I was in my mid twenties. I read a biography about him and was blown away. This guy helped to create everything that I used on a daily basis and I had no idea who he was. It was sad really.

    It's about time that the geeks and scientists of the world step up and pay this man some respect. He DESERVES a museum in his honor in the USA. He deserves a place in the science curriculum. Children of today deserve to learn the truth about Tesla and all the ideas that he gave us. I just chipped in and I'm going to help to spread the word. It's time to give Telsa the recognition he deserves.

    • I wrote a paper on him for this gorgeous blonde who was struggling for one of her requisite classes for nursing. I got to help the world have another pretty, dumb blonde nurse, you are welcome world. I also got to read up on this guy, he's the superhero of science. The reason we don't know about him is because of the Cold War, you couldn't say nice things about people from that neighborhood. If you are my age or older and went through it, you will know wtf I am on about.

      Sadly we've never given credit where

  • I'm giving $10, not only because I believe in the validity of the project, but because off the goddamn name.
  • TheOatmeal is dead wrong...

    There is no Tesla Museum in the United States

    Really? Not even this one? [teslamuseum.us] Tesla moved to Colorado to continue his experiments and to stupid lightening. Maybe Matthew Inman should learn to use that Google thingie on the intertubes.

    • by will_die (586523)
      There use to be one in Colorado Springs but closed a few years ago due to lack of money.
    • That's not a museum. That's a new age hippie bullshit pyramid scheme claiming to be a museum. Their entire "about us" page is about how they are in no way related to the Tesla society down the street that "mysteriously" went bankrupt.

      We are the focal point of new and experimental scientific research in areas of electricity, free energy, magnetic resonance, and many other scientific endeavors. We prove this by the very nature of our shows and lectures.

      To see THE TESLA EXPERIENCE at The Tesla Museum or to buy tickets for THE GREATEST KNOW ON EARTH -ABOVE TOP SECRET show you must first—
      Call : 719-222-1911leave a brief message with your return Telephone Number. If the line is busy or your call is not promptly returned, try again. WE DO RETURN ALL CALLS !!!

      LECTURES ON OTHER TOPICS

      WEDNESDAY NIGHTS 7:00 pm. $5.00 per person (suggested donation)

      Sign Up In Advance

      1. HOW TO GO SOLAR WITHOUT GOING BROKE (based on my new book)

      The cheapest alternative to alternative energy

      2. THE ANSWER TO TOXIC FOOD AND THE IMPOSSIBLE DIET

      The non-medicated cheap way to disease-free health

      3. LIVE WELL ON MINIMUM WAGE (based on my new book)

      Yes you can really live well and happy on practically nothing

      4. THE TRUTH ABOUT UFO’S AND OTHER CONSPIRACIES

      Come to this one if you are not afraid of the truth!!!

      TESLA TECH CAN GIVE YOU THE KNOWLEDGE IN LESS THAN HALF THE TIME !
      WE CAN GIVE YOUR CHILDREN A COMPLETE ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION IN YOUR HOME !
      WE CAN ALSO SUPPLEMENT YOUR HOME- SCHOOL EDUCATION AT A VERY LOW COST !
      WE CAN GIVE ADULTS A
      CAREER !
      Yes you can graduate from TESLA TECH and get a job.
      We will show you how.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      can you find an actual address on that page and times it's open?
      no? I couldn't. it doesn't seem like they have an actual museum.

  • Tesla was possibly one of the most brightly shining anti-proprietary knights in history -- intrinsically opposed to patent-trollery and obsessed with the upliftment and betterment of society. Yes, he took patents, as Stallman might willingly defile himself on an internet running through proprietary cables in order to do his work. Even the Buddha made a compromise along the way. Survival is especially tempting when you have epic (to say the least ) ideas. But I can think of no greater example than Tesla when
  • So what's this then from over three years ago (also with a listed price of $1.6 million)?

    http://slashdot.org/story/09/05/05/2146246/teslas-new-york-laboratory-up-for-sale [slashdot.org]

    Anyone who knows more, please let me/us know.

    • The key difference is there is now a developer willing to pay the price and who wants to flatten the site and turn it into a retail space, so the foundation has basically been given 6 weeks to come up with the money or the site and building is going to get sold and leveled.

      The other huge difference is the State of New York has now pledged matching donations up to 850,000 dollars to buy the site and start work on the museum, which makes reaching the goal more viable.

  • by EdgePenguin (2646733) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @05:00AM (#41007865) Homepage
    What the hell? I've visited America, and I was not struck by any great shortage of a) land or b) retail outlets. Why do they have to try and build one on this historic site?
  • The people who actually own the land want to sell it to serious investors who would make a true museum in tribute to Tesla. They recently said in a Newsday story how they get a lot of crackpot types wanting to exploit the land and Tesla's name for their own purposes. The Tesla tower was sold for scrap long ago, and cement used to seal up the entrance leading to the underground lab area, though the original red brick lab building still remains onsite. Here's a link..., http://www.newsday.com/opinion/view [newsday.com]
  • Youtube has this program about the life of Nikola Tesla http://www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=eoY_7mbm5ng [youtube.com] PBS has this interactive page on the man... http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ [pbs.org]

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