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(转)8 Things You Didn’t Know About Nikola Tesla

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Futurist Nikola Tesla, seen here at age 34 in 1890, is the inventor of the Tesla coil and alternating current machinery. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

上图看到的是未来主义者 尼古拉 特斯拉,在1890年,34岁的时候,他是特斯拉线圈和交流电机械的发明人。图片来自于维基共享资源。

In honor of inventor Nikola Tesla‘s 157th birthday, we’ve turned to two Tesla experts and historians to help us compile a list of interesting facts you probably never knew about the guy. The information below comes from interviews with W. Bernard Carlson, author of “Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age,” and Marc Seifer, author of “Wizard: Life and Times of Nicola Tesla.”

为了向发明家 尼古拉 特斯拉的157周年诞辰表示敬意,我们求助于2位特斯拉专家和历史学家来帮助我们编撰一些你可能从未知道的关于这个人的有趣的事件清单。下面的信息来自于对 W. Bernard Carlson的采访,他是“Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age,”这本书的作者;以及对Marc Seifer的采访,他是“Wizard: Life and Times of Nicola Tesla.”这本书的作者。

1. HE WAS BORN DURING A LIGHTNING STORM

1、他是在电闪雷鸣中出生

Nikola Tesla was born around midnight, between July 9 and July 10, 1856 during a fierce lightning storm. According to family legend, midway through the birth, the midwife wrung her hands and declared the lightning a bad omen. This child will be a child of darkness, she said, to which his mother replied: “No. He will be a child of light.”

尼古拉 特斯拉是在1856年,7月9号到10号之间,在一个雷电交加的夜晚,大概午夜的时候出生的。根据家族传说,在出生的时候,接生婆扭着双手,说闪电不是个好兆头。这个孩子将会是黑暗之子,她说,而对于这,他的母亲回答说:“不。他将是光之子。”

 

2. HE WAS REALLY FUNNY

2、他真的很幽默

Most people don’t know that Tesla had a terrific sense of humor, Seifer said. For example, after dining with writer and poet Rudyard Kipling, he wrote this in a correspondence to a close friend:

大多数人不知道特斯拉具有很强的幽默感,Seifer说。比如说,在和作家兼诗人Rudyard Kipling用过晚餐后,他写了下面的信给他的一位密友:

April 1, 1901

My dear Mrs. Johnson,

What is the matter with inkspiller Kipling? He actually dared to invite me to dine in an obscure hotel where I would be sure to get hair and cockroaches in the soup.

Yours truly,

N. Tesla

4月1号,1901

我亲爱的Johnson女士,

Kipling这是怎么了?他竟然敢请我在这么昏暗的饭店吃饭,我确信在这里,汤里被弄上头发和蟑螂了。

 

3. HE AND EDISON WERE RIVALS, BUT NOT SWORN ENEMIES

3、他和爱迪生是对手,而不是宿敌

Many have characterized Tesla and inventor Thomas Edison as enemies (see this and this,) but Carlson says this relationship has been misrepresented. Early in his career, Tesla worked for Edison, designing direct current generators, but famously quit to pursue his own project: the alternating current induction motor. Sure, they were on different sides of the so-called “Current Wars,” with Edison pushing for direct current and Tesla for alternating current. But Carlson considers them the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of their time: one the brilliant marketer and businessman and the other a visionary and “tech guy.”

很多人描述说特斯拉和发明家托马斯 爱迪生是敌人(看这里这里),但是Carlson说这样的关系是被歪曲的。在他事业早期,特斯拉为爱迪生工作,设计直流发电机,但是众所周知的是,他退出去追求他自己的项目了:交流感应电机。当然,他们在所谓的“电流大战”中是不同的双方,爱迪生推动直流电,特斯拉推动交流电。但是Carlson认为他们是他们那个时代的史蒂夫 乔布斯和比尔 盖茨:一个是杰出的营销人员和商人,而另一个是有远见的并且是“技术男”。

On a rare occasion, Edison attended a conference where Tesla was speaking. Edison, hard of hearing and not wanting to be spotted, slipped into the back of the auditorium to listen to the lecture. But Tesla spotted Edison in the crowd, called attention to him and led the audience in giving him a standing ovation.

在一个罕见的场合,爱迪生出席了一个特斯拉在演讲的会议。爱迪生,听不到,又不想被发现,悄悄跑到礼堂后面去听讲座。但是特斯拉在人群中注意到了爱迪生,让大家注意他并且让观众起立来给爱迪生鼓掌。

Seifer qualifies it more, saying the two had a love/hate relationship. At first Edison dismissed Tesla, but came to eventually respect him, he said.

Seifer更有发言权,他说,这两人有个爱/恨的关系。他说,一开始爱迪生解雇了特斯拉,但是后来变得很尊敬他。

“When there were fires at Tesla’s laboratory, Edison provided him a lab, so clearly there was some mutual respect,” Seifer said

“当特斯拉的实验室着火后,爱迪生给他提供了一间实验室,很显然,他们是互相尊重的。”,Seifer说。

4. HE DEVELOPED THE IDEA FOR SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGY IN 1901

4、他在1901年就有了智能手机的想法

Tesla may have had a brilliant mind, but he was not as good at reducing his ideas to practice, Carlson said. In the race to develop transatlantic radio, Tesla described to his funder and business partner, J.P. Morgan, a new means of instant communication that involved gathering stock quotes and telegram messages, funneling them to his laboratory, where he would encode them and assign them each a new frequency. That frequency would be broadcast to a device that would fit in your hand, he explained. In other words, Tesla had envisioned the smart phone and wireless internet, Carlson said, adding that of all of his ideas, that was the one that stopped him in his tracks.

特斯拉也许拥有了才华横溢的智慧,但是他不太善于将想法变为现实,Carlson说。在开发大西洋无线电的竞赛中,特斯拉向他的投资者及商业伙伴 J.P.Morgan 描述:一种新的既能收集股票行情,又能收集到电报信息的方法,把他们领到他的实验室,他将给他们编码,并给他们每个人都分配一个新的频率(注:这种方式就是基于标量波的共振方式通信)。频率将会广播到与你们手中相匹配的设备,他解释说。换句话说,特斯拉已经设想了智能手机和无线网,Carlson说。加上他所有的主意,那是其中一个停止了他前进的脚步。


This tesla coil snuffed out the power in Colorado Springs when this photo was taken. Photo by Dickenson V. Alley, photographer at the Century Magazines via Wikimedia Commons.

“He was the first to be thinking about the information revolution in the sense of delivering information for each individual user,” Carlson said.

Carlson说:“从为每个用户提供信息这个意义上来说,他是第一个考虑信息革命的。”

He also conceived of, but never developed technology for radar, X-rays, a particle beam “death ray” and radio astronomy.

他还有考虑过但是没完成的技术有:雷达,X射线,粒子束死亡射线和射电天文学。

 

5. ‘HE SHOOK THE POOP OUT OF MARK TWAIN’

5.“他摇晃出了马克吐温的大便”。。。

One famous legend surrounding the eccentric Tesla was that he had an earthquake machine in his Manhattan laboratory that shook his building and nearly brought down the neighborhood during experiments.

有个著名的发生在电气学家特斯拉身边的传说就是,他在Manhattan 实验室有个地震机器,摇晃了他的建筑,在试验的时候差点摧毁了邻居的建筑。

Tesla’s device wasn’t actually an earthquake machine, Carlson said, but a high frequency oscillator. A piston set underneath a platform in the laboratory shook violently as it moved, another experiment in more efficient electricity.

Carlson说,特斯拉的设备实际上不是个地震机器,而是高频振荡器。在实验室的一个平台下面安着一个活塞,当活塞动的时候,就会产生猛烈的摇晃,另一个实验中,用了更加高效的电力。

It didn’t bring the block to ruins, Carlson said, but it did “shake the poop out of Mark Twain.” Twain was known for having digestive problems, so Tesla, who knew Twain through their gentlemen’s club, invited him over. He instructed Twain to stand on the platform while he flipped on the oscillator. After about 90 seconds, Twain jumped off the platform and ran for the facilities.

没有把建筑变成废墟,Carlson说,但是它确实“把马克 吐温的大便摇晃出来了”。。。众所周知,吐温有消化问题,所以特斯拉通过他们的绅士俱乐部认识了吐温,所以邀请他过来。当他快速翻转振荡器的时候,他让吐温站在平台上面。大概90秒以后,吐温就跳下平台,跑去厕所了。。。

6. HE HAD FAMOUS FRIENDS

6、他有著名的朋友

People aren’t aware that he was close friends with conservationist John Muir, Seifer said. Muir, one of the founders of the Sierra Club, loved that Tesla’s hydroelectric power system was a clean energy system. It runs on waterfalls, which Tesla referred to as “running on the wheelwork of nature.” Also among his friends: financiers Henry Clay Frick and Thomas Fortune Ryan. “He lived in the Waldorf Astoria, at the height of the gilded age,” Seifer said, adding that his fame later in life lessened.

人们没有意识到,他和自然资源保护者 John Muir 是密友,Seifer说。Muir,是Sierra俱乐部的创始人之一,深爱着特斯拉的水电能源系统,那是一种清洁能源系统。它在瀑布上运行,特斯拉称其为“运行在大自然的转轮上”。还有在他的朋友中:金融家 Henry Clay Frick和 Thomas Fortune Ryan。“在黄金年龄段,他住在Waldorf Astoria。”Seifer说,后来他的名声逐渐没落了。

7. PEARLS DROVE HIM CRAZY

7、珍珠把他逼疯了

Tesla could not stand the sight of pearls, to the extent that he refused to speak to women wearing them. When his secretary wore pearl jewelry, he sent her home for the day. No one knows why he had such an aversion, but Tesla had a very particular sense of style and aesthetics, Carlson said, and believed that in order to be successful, one needed to look successful. He wore white gloves to dinner every night and prided himself on being a “dapper dresser.”

特斯拉不能看到珍珠,在一定程度上,他不会和戴着珍珠的女人说话的。当他的秘书戴着珍珠首饰时,他当天就把他的秘书送回了家。没人知道他为什么如此厌恶珍珠,但是特斯拉具有非常独特的风格和美学,Carlson说,并且相信为了成功,一定要看起来就是成功人士。他每天晚餐的时候都戴着白手套,并且为自己的小“梳妆台”感到自豪。

Every photograph of Tesla, he said, is very carefully constructed to captuzije his “good side.”

他说,特斯拉的每张照片,一定会精心构造出自己最好的一面。

8. HE HAD A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY AND A FEAR OF GERMS

8、他有照相记忆并且对病菌有一种恐惧

Tesla had what’s known as a photographic memory. He was known to memorize books and images and stockpile visions for inventions in his head. He also had a powerful imagination and the ability to visualize in three dimensions, which he used to control the terrifying vivid nightmares he suffered from as a child. It’s in part what makes him such a mystical and eccentric character in popular culture, Carlson said. He was also known for having excessive hygiene habits, born out of a near-fatal bout of cholera as a teenager.

特斯拉是具有照相记忆的。众所周知,他在他的头中,记忆书记,图像,并储备发明的景象。他还具有强大的想象力和三维形象化能力,这能力用来控制他作为孩子时所遭受的可怕的噩梦。这部分地导致他在主流文化中,使其具有神秘并古怪的特征,Carlson说。他由于在青年时期爆发的霍乱,而近乎让他致命,所以他也一直有过多的卫生习惯。

Jenny Marder contributed to this report.

Jenny Marder写的这篇报告。

转自:http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-nikola-tesla/

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