I asked a stupid question on Google+. I rather often do, so that is not unusual.
At about the same time of that post, I called mixing up the terms scientists, researchers and engineers like assigning grey colour to a blue sky, something more than simply not getting categorizations straight, on this very blog.
I think that is true, because there have been a lot of great minds which stabbed in the dark like a blind, yet brilliant swordsman – if such a thing is possible. They stab in every direction and hit once in a while, yet a lot of times what they hit is not of actual, real consequence.
Just take Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (yep, that is his full name). His inventive life is without equal in many ways, yet he ended up being most famous for the painting of a smiling woman. Now, granted, this may be a function of the time he lived in, where the painter could make an easier salary than the inventor of devious devices. And yet, when reading about his ideas, like for example his gigantic mechanical bat, I cannot help but think that something was missing for him to fulfil his potential. If you click on the link you are actually able to buy a model of the bat, which has to be hung from the ceiling.
Nikola Tesla now; that is a different story. Or is it really? Click here to check out the man’s life work in the always entertaining form of a list of patents. Having lived at a time only slightly after Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein, most people think of him as the quintessential sensitive-mad scientist working with electricity in his lab. Tesla was every bit the inventor that daVinci was, yet Tesla’s legacy is something different entirely. Tesla’s weirdest idea, the wireless transmission of energy from what he considered an infinite power source is about the only thing this great mind ever dreamt up that has not happened – yet at the scale he envisioned, as one is tempted to add.
I am not actually sure what all of this means, apart from this: Nikola Tesla could build his legacy on much more refined scientific theories.
Alexander is a physicist, teacher and science communicator who is currently working at the Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education at Andøya Space Center in Norway. Even though, in his case, work and play do overlap, the content on this webpage is entirely private. You can follow Alexander on Twitter, Facebook and Google +