Escapist Podcast - Science and Tech: 025: Is Tesla Overrated? Is Ebola?

025: Is Tesla Overrated? Is Ebola?

In this episode of The Escapist's Science and Tech podcast, host CJ Miozzi and Escapist writers debate whether Nikola Tesla is overrated, and discuss recent headlines in the world of science & technology: unstoppable Ebola, Lockheed's fusion reactor, a breakthrough in battery technology, and more.

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STOP BREATHING INTO YOUR MIC, MARLA!!! You are suppose to be sooooo smart and all I hear is you creepo breathing like you're stalking someone!

I didn't know a lot of those things about Edison, but it does make you think about the other "heroes" of history that were in reality deeply flawed people, and we were just unaware because of the lack of information. It makes me wonder if we'll ever have another figure with this kind aura of "greatness" in whatever form that comes in.

But Ebola did just make landfall in New York, I don't really worry about it but it's really hard not to get rattled by all the news.

Also on a side note, the person who posted above me about Marla and the mic, I didn't notice this at all. The audio was completely fine for me. Still my favorite podcast on the escapist.

Kameburger:
I didn't know a lot of those things about Edison, but it does make you think about the other "heroes" of history that were in reality deeply flawed people, and we were just unaware because of the lack of information. It makes me wonder if we'll ever have another figure with this kind aura of "greatness" in whatever form that comes in.

But Ebola did just make landfall in New York, I don't really worry about it but it's really hard not to get rattled by all the news.

Also on a side note, the person who posted above me about Marla and the mic, I didn't notice this at all. The audio was completely fine for me. Still my favorite podcast on the escapist.

Thanks man!

And yeah, when you realize that the history books are not always unbiased, or are written to portray things in a way that may not be the entire truth, it really makes you start to wonder...

Rhykker:
And yeah, when you realize that the history books are not always unbiased, or are written to portray things in a way that may not be the entire truth, it really makes you start to wonder...

This would come across as slightly more sincere if you took a more informed approach to your discussion. You suggested that what Edison did with killing animals was simply intended to be an attack on Tesla for personal reasons, saying that both AC and DC were able to kill animals and that the demonstration was pointless.

Sure, both AC and DC can kill, but (and this is where your credentials as being science-educated seem pretty weak) there is an enormous practical difference between the effects of AC and DC on the body and this on human safety. One can read http://www.brighthubengineering.com/power-plants/89792-ac-and-dc-shock-comparison/ to get the "This took 3 seconds to find" summary. A key point within it is:

Though both AC and DC currents and shock are lethal, more DC current is required to have the same effect as AC current. For example, if you are being electrocuted or shocked 0.5 to 1.5 milliamps of AC 60 Hz current is required and up to 4 mA of DC current is required. For the let-go threshold in AC a current of 3 to 22 mA is required against 15 to 88 of DC current.

The up-shot of that is that AC kills you with less power and it's harder to get your hand to let-go of the wires so as to stop being electrocuted. Factors like this are why most electric fencing use DC current.

Edison lived in a different time. If you want to find someone to blame for his animal electrocuting, blame the people who watched. Blame the people who gathered around to be entertained by watching an animal be killed. Edison was trying to get people to understand that AC current was significantly more dangerous than DC because it is. And if he killed animals to make that point, he was trying to save human lives.

400-500 people die from accidental electrocution annually in the US. Obviously the details are important, but I was unable to find a breakdown nicely listing AC vs DC as the source of that electricity, but given the near-universal use of AC, it seems pretty obvious.

I am not saying Tesla was evil. I am not saying we should all use DC. I am saying that Edison could not see the future, and at the time he was killing animals he was doing his best to make people aware of a danger that we all now live with -- and some people die from.

Finally, yes, of course Marla is breathing into her mic. That's why the camera switches to her in the middle of other people talking and stays on her while CJ is talking. I am not sure that featuring the "heavy-breathing woman" isn't intentional fan-service, given that you could avoid it in a number of ways.

I think the idea isn't to say that Tesla was a bad guy or Edison was a good guy, but rather that people tend to see people in extremes rather than as people with strengths and flaws. So it's wrong to say Tesla never did anything wrong or Edison never did anything right.

Compassion?? You must be new to the internet.

Also ask why worry about, and then claim people not worry make everything about them. How about what you gonna DO about it? Sitting there "worrying" about it because your sympathy is really gonna help. Saying your "worried" about something and not actually DO something about it is making everything about you.

That line of thinking reminds me of a news story several years back how some community garden plot was scheduled to be demolished and the local residents were trying to save it by having a drive to get enough money. Well some celebrity came in to help support their effort and even stayed there for a few days. Well ultimately they failed to get enough money and then when the news guy said how much they needed I couldn't help but think, that's less than my car cost and it's not that good of a car. And if that celebrity really did care they could of easily fronted that money cause it was some well know star.

Actions speak louder than words, and put your money where your mouth is. That's what I say when people tell me to "worry" about something. If your not going to contribute to helping solve the problem then worrying is pointless other than to selfishly make yourself feel better because you "care".

 

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