Fan Photos and Fun

Time flies. Take a little science traveling trip and suddenly the month is three-quarters done. But not so done that you can’t participate in my new Fan Photos and Fun page!

Yes, a page focused on you! All of you have helped spread the word to more than 30,000 (and growing) new readers, so I owe all this success to everyone who has supported my efforts to bring science to the masses. Check out the new page – Fan Photos and Fun.

Dr. Pablo Vigliano, Universidad Nacional del Comahue-Bariloche

Dr. Pablo Vigliano, Universidad Nacional del Comahue-Bariloche

If you want to participate, feel free to send photos of you holding my book, or post it up on my Facebook author’s page. [Be sure to “Like” the page for updates and more fun stuff] If you send a photo I’ll put it up on the Fan Photos and Fun page. Let’s see how many different countries and US states we can represent.

Meanwhile, January so far has seen a visit to Miami Beach, as well as the Everglades, Key West, and the Dry Tortugas. I’ll have more on this science traveling shortly. If you missed it, also check out Tesla Takes Manhattan and a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tesla bust, New Yorker Hotel

Tesla bust, TSF photo

Not to be outdone, Hot White Snow saw essays on My Life as a Remote Control, My Greatest Difficulty on Being a Writer, and Reading is Fundamental.

The Dake Page took several looks at how 2014 became the hottest year ever recorded and how climate deniers desperately sought to deny that fact. Also examined was why 2015 is a critical year for man-made climate change action.

But this is just the beginning. On the day after I returned from my alligator hunting I received a nice little bit of news from my literary agent. I’m waiting on something official but it looks like I’ll be even busier than expected this year, and with something totally unexpected. Stay tuned for more soon!

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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Martin Luther King Day – From Selma to Nobel

Martin Luther KingOn this day we celebrate and honor the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. More importantly, we relive the struggle to break the institutionalized discrimination against a large percentage of our fellow Americans. As Lincoln once suggested in a different situation, it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Leading a non-violent revolution by example, King began a series of activities to engage the African-American minority population while also reaching out to key leaders of the white majority. As President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and laying the operational techniques of Ghandi over a Christian ideal, he led boycotts, protests, and marches. He was often beaten by mobs, jailed, and belittled, yet continued his campaign of non-violence and quiet, yet persistent, persuasion.

Eventually, some semblance of equality was gained with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In that same year, Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Unfortunately, the Civil Rights Act didn’t miraculously stop discrimination, and local authorities and white majority populations continued to use intimidation to block full rights of citizenship for the black minority, including the ability to register for the vote. In 1965, King led a march from Selma, Alabama to the capital, Montgomery. The march is the topic of a new movie called, appropriately enough, Selma. This led to President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. See the trailer for Selma below:

But bigots don’t give up easily, and King continued to receive threats on his life. On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. A few weeks later, Robert F. Kennedy, another advocate for civil rights, was assassinated.

We’ve come a long way in the 50 years since then. An African-American has now been elected – and reelected – to the Presidency of the United States. And yet we get daily reminders that bigotry and racism, while perhaps more subtle, even insidious, have not gone away.

For those in the Washington, DC area, take some time to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial near the tidal basin. Here is a previous post about it.

For more on President Barack Obama’s connections with Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln, check out the articles here (scroll down for more). Join him and others for a day of service to the community.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years, an avid science traveler, and is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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Tesla Takes Manhattan – 3rd Annual Tesla Memorial Conference

On January 10th, just days beyond the 72nd anniversary of his death, Nikola Tesla again returned to the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan for the 3rd Annual Tesla Memorial Conference. Sponsored by the Tesla Science Foundation, the conference this year focused on efforts to develop a curriculum so that students today can learn of this great inventor all to often left out of history books.

Kyle Driebeek

Kyle Driebeek holding up my book, photo courtesy of Betsy Driebeek

Due to a prior commitment I was unable to be present at this year’s event, but I’m happy to say that Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity made several appearances. Kyle and Julian Driebeek, the intrepid young men bringing Nikola Tesla to a new generation of fans, emphasized the importance of library donations. Both have donated copies of my book to school libraries, and encouraged others to do so as well. One of the most gratifying aspects of being an author is having your work endorsed by the addition of tens of thousands of new readers learning something new.

Dr. Ljubo Vujovic

Dr. Ljubo Vujovic, photo courtesy of Betsy Driebeek

Thanks to Nikola Lonchar and the Tesla Science Foundation, hard copies of my book were given as gifts to some of the presenters and to educators making the effort to bring Tesla into the classroom. Betsy Driebeek, Julian and Kyle’s mother, was nice enough to donate an extra copy of the book to none other than Dr. Ljubo Vujovic, President of the Tesla Memorial Society in New York.

Mano Divina

Mano Divina (and Sam Mason), photo from TSF

Tesla Awards were also given out at the conference. Among the recipients was Mano Divina, whose adept playing of the theremin, a Tesla-inspired electronic musical instrument, and group, the Divine Hand Ensemble, have entertained Tesla conferences and others for many years. Ashley Redfearn also received a well-deserved award for her tireless Tesla curriculum efforts. The top Tesla Spirit Award went to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, who recently pledged at least $1 million towards the rebuilding of Tesla’s Wardenclyffe laboratory on Long Island.

Those who missed the conference are in luck – the Tesla Science Foundation has been posting photos on their Facebook page and you can view all of the videos by Kevin Wood on his RememberTesla.com website.

Tesla bust, New Yorker Hotel

Tesla bust, TSF photo

Not to be forgotten is the Tesla bust dedication. Thanks to the Tesla Science Foundation, a bust of Nikola Tesla was permanently installed in the lobby of the New Yorker Hotel.

So 72 years after he lived his final days in the hotel, Nikola Tesla once again takes Manhattan.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years and is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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A little bit of Miami Beach

A quick few scenes from Miami Beach while I’m on the road. On South Beach there were plenty of bodies in the surf (more on those later), plus this classic car.

Some Art Deco buildings…

A powerful Holocaust Memorial (more on this later too)…

And a Freedom Tower.

More after I can get to a computer.

Of Alligators, Hemingway, and Lincoln Assassins

As noted in my 2015 preview post, it’s time for some science traveling. First stop is up to my knees in alligators, some communing with the ghost (and drink) of Ernest Hemingway, and a visit to the home of four Lincoln assassination conspirators.

Yup, Florida.

Florida Keys

While I once gave a keynote lecture in Fort Lauderdale, I’ve somehow never made it into Miami. This trip will start with one afternoon and night in South Beach and Little Havana before heading out to Everglades National Park. The next two days will include some hiking, birding, touring, and other adventures in Shark Valley, the drive to Flamingo, and perhaps a slough or two. I’m sure there will be alligators, but I’m also hoping for a glimpse of the endangered Florida panther.

crocodile

The next two days will include treks out to Biscayne National Park and Key Largo, the latter of which always reminds me of the classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is definitely on the list of activities, along with more birding and snorkeling.

And then on to Hemingway, which means Key West, of course. There will be plenty of stops on the smaller keys (and Big Pine Key), before reaching the end of the islands. Key West should give plenty of opportunity for viewing nature, not to mention viewing the nightlife along Duval Street.

Dry Tortugas

Ah, but this isn’t actually the end of the islands, is it? We’ll be boarding a float plane for the 70 mile flight over reefs, wrecks, and right whales to reach the Dry Tortugas National Park. Fort Jefferson, the park’s major feature, once held the four men convicted of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (the four that were not hung, obviously). I’ve even been assigned a project – take photos of the site from the air and land for the Lincoln Archives Digital Project.

I’ll likely take a lot of photos during this trip and will update from the road if possible. Look for a fuller story and photos (and videos) when I return.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years, an avid science traveler, and is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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Science Traveling – 2015 in Preview

Expect to see a few changes on Science Traveler in 2015. I’m looking at a new landing page, new focus on current and upcoming books, and a greater emphasis on science traveling itself.

cropped-Picture-317.jpg

This past year had some great traveling – Argentinian glaciers, Giant Sequoias, and quaint villages. There was also my annual science conference (Vancouver) and my first of what will be annual Lincoln conferences (Gettysburg). The year 2015 will see me in at least three new countries…and a rock in the middle of nowhere.

The rock is where I start. Next week I’ll fly to Miami, then drive out to the Everglades, snorkel in Biscayne Bay, drive all the way to Key West, and board a float plane to get to the rock – Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. Not only is the reef beautiful, but the place is where the four convicted conspirators from Abraham Lincoln’s assassination were imprisoned (the ones that weren’t hung). So the trip is both science and Lincoln, always a great combination.

DSC01357

The following week will find me in New York City doing some research for the next book. I may be back in The City in April for a writing conference.

Early June (or perhaps late August) should see me in Scandinavia. When I was living in Brussels I saw a lot of Europe, including Finland, but I never made it to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. This year I’m making it. Details are still being worked out and should include Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo, as well as a train/boat/bus/train adventure through the mountains and fjords on the way to Bergen.

Cancun sunrise

After my annual trip to New England to visit parents and old high school friends in July, October should see us in China (and some other country yet to be determined). November could be Salt Lake City and environs for a combined SETAC and science traveling jaunt, plus back to Gettysburg for the Lincoln Forum. [Update: Within the last few minutes the possibility arose of going to Montreal during my New England trip, with a stop at Tesla’s birthday event on Long Island on the way back.]

Somewhere in the year I need to squeeze in a research trip to Chicago/Springfield (Illinois), some other off-the-beaten-path trip (Mt. Rushmore?), and, hopefully, a few more science traveling adventures. Check back for more details, as well as photos and stories from the road.

2015 will also see me preparing more travel articles for publication, beginning with the great experiences emanating from Argentina. Look for more science traveling articles in magazines.

Finally, if you missed them, the latest articles in Hot White Snow, The Dake Page, and here on Science Traveler cover Reading is Fundamental, Welcome to a Critical Year in Climate, and Abraham Lincoln Book Acquisitions.

See you again shortly.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years, an avid science traveler, and is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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Abraham Lincoln Book Acquisitions for 2014

Lincoln book towerI’m lucky to have a growing collection of books about Abraham Lincoln. Nowhere near the 15,000 books reportedly written about our 16th President, but my sagging bookshelves now hold over 900 titles. The number of actual books is well over 1000 when one figures that some “titles” are 3 or 6 or 10-book sets.

This year I obtained just over 60 new titles, far short of what I obtained in 2013. While I haven’t done a comparison, I may have obtained more books this year directly from the authors, along with their signatures and inscriptions. Forty-three of the newly obtained books are first editions, 14 are signed, 11 are inscribed, and seven are signed and inscribed to me personally. One book, in fact, was signed and inscribed to me by all three of its authors at the recent Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg, where I had the privilege of meeting Tom Horrocks, Harold Holzer, and Frank Williams.

I took on the role of VP of Outreach and Education for the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia in 2014, and LGDC has presented many opportunities to meet outstanding Lincoln scholars and authors. John Barr, Jonathan W. White, James Conroy and Tom Horrocks all gave presentations this year. Joseph Fornieri, whom I met at the Forum in Gettysburg, will be our Lincoln’s birthday speaker in February 2015.

The oldest book on the 2014 list of acquisitions is a 1909 “centennial” edition of Lincoln’s first and second inaugural speeches. The newest book is Harold Holzer’s Lincoln and the Power of the Press, published this fall and signed to me by Harold at the Lincoln Forum in November. I’m currently reading it so stay tuned for a book review when I’m finished.

Other special books this year include a book about Mentor Graham, who was mentor in both name and function during Lincoln’s early manhood in New Salem, Illinois. I also obtained a copy of Kirkham’s Grammar, the textbook Lincoln used to learn basic writing skills. Another favorite is Jonathan W. White’s new book Emancipation, The Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln. I’m looking forward to trekking down to Newport News, where Jonathan has volunteered to show me around the USS Monitor exhibit the Mariner’s Museum.

While writing this I realized I actually have obtained many more books than are currently listed. As I continue the research for my forthcoming book I’ve been downloading PDF files of several books that helped shape Lincoln’s education over his lifetime. I’ll have to catalog them and do a separate post in the future.

Much more to come…2015 looks to be an exciting year. See the list of books below.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over 30 years, is a lifelong Lincolnophile, and is currently working on a book about Abraham Lincoln’s interest in science and technology. He is also the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and an ebook Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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Here’s the 2014 list:

Abraham Lincoln: First and Second Inaugural Addresses (and other speeches) 1909
Lincoln’s Last Speech in Springfield in the Campaign of 1858 1925
Ambrose, Stephen E. Nothing Like It In The World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869 2000
Angle, Paul M. A Shelf of Lincoln Books: A Critical Bibliography of Lincolniana 1946
Bacon, Benjamin W. Sinews of War: How Technology, Industry, and Transportation Won the Civil War 1997
Baringer, William E. Lincoln Day by Day: A Chronology 1809-1865, Volume I: 1809-1848; Volume II: 1849-1860; Volume II: 1861-1865 1960
Barr, John McKee Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition From the Civil War to the Present 2014
Barton, William E. Abraham Lincoln And His Books 1920
Bauer, Charles J. The Odd Couple Who Hanged Mary Surratt! (Preston King and Jim Lane) 1980
Bishop, Jim The Day Lincoln Was Shot 1955
Borritt, Gabor (ed) The Gettysburg Nobody Knows 1999
Boritt, Gabor S. (ed) Lincoln The War President 1992
Bray, Robert Reading with Lincoln 2010
Brown University Books at Brown 1960
Bruce, Robert V. The Launching of Modern American Science 1987
Burkhimer, Michael 100 Essential Lincoln Books 2003
Burlingame, Michael Honest Abe, Dishonest Mary 1994
Conroy, James B. Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865 2014
Corry, John A. Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Him President 2003
Denenberg, Barry Lincoln Shot: A President’s Life Remembered 2008
Dennett, Tyler (Ed) Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letters of John Hay 1988
Duncan, Kunigunde and D.F. Nickols Mentor Graham: The Man Who Taught Lincoln 1944
Fairfax County Civil War Centennial Commission Fairfax County and the War Between the States 1987
Fletcher, George P. Our Secret Constitution: How Lincoln Redefined American Democracy 2001
Fornieri, Joseph R. Abraham Lincoln: Philosopher Statesman 2014
Gary, Ralph Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: A Complete Annotated Reference to Hundreds of Historical Sites Visited by Abraham Lincoln 2001
Goodheart, Adam 1861: The Civil War Awakening 2011
Grant, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs 1999
Haydon, F. Stansbury Military Ballooning during the Early Civil War 2000
Herdon, William H. and Weik, Jesse William Herndon’s Life of Lincoln 1942
Holzer, Harold Lincoln and the Power of the Press 2014
Holzer, Harold Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America 2012
Horrocks, Thomas A. Lincoln’s Campaign Biographies 2014
Horrocks, Thomas A., Holzer, Harold, and Williams, Frank J. (Editors) The Living Lincoln 2011
Humes, James C. The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln: A Treasury of Quotations, Anecdotes, and Observations 1999
Jorgenson, Tim Mrs. Keckly Sends Her Regards 2007
Katcher, Philip The Civil War Day By Day 201
Kirkham, Samuel Kirkham’s Grammar: The Book That Shaped Lincoln’s Prose 1999
Martin, Iain C. Worthy of Their Esteem: The Timeless Words and Sage Advice of Abraham Lincoln, America’s Greatest President 2009
Mead, Franklin B. Heroic Statues in Bronze of Abraham Lincoln 1932
Miller, Richard Lawrence Lincoln and his World: Prairie Politician 1834-1842 2008
Mills, Eric Chesapeake Bay in the Civil War 1996
O’Reilly, Bill and Zimmerman, Dwight Jon Lincoln’s Last Days: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever 2012
Percoco, James A. Summers with Lincoln: Looking For The Man in the Monuments 2008
Poleskie, Stephen The Balloonist: The Story of T.S.C. Lowe – Inventor, Scientist, Magician, and Father of the U.S. Air Force 2007
Randall, J.G. Mr. Lincoln 1957
Rice, Wallace The Lincoln Year Book ?
Riddle, Donald W. Lincoln Runs for Congress 1948
Ross, Charles Trial by Fire: Science, Technology and the Civil War 2000
Sandburg, Carl Abe Lincoln Grows Up 1956
Stashower, Daniel The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War 2013
Steiner, Mark E. An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln 2006
Stoddard, William O. Inside the White House in War Times: Memoirs and Reports of Lincoln’s Secretary 2000
Thomas, Benjamin P. Lincoln’s New Salem 1987
Thompson, Frank Abraham Lincoln: Twentieth Century Portrayals 1999
Tyrner-Tyrnauer, A.R. Lincoln and the Emperors 1962
Waugh, John C. One Man Great Enough: Abraham Lincoln’s Road to the Civil War 2007
Waugh, John C. One Man Great Enough: Abraham Lincoln’s Road to the Civil War 2007
White, Jonathan W. Emancipation, The Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln 2014
Widmer, Ted (Ed) The New York Times Disunion 2013
Wilson, Douglas L. Lincoln before Washington: New Perspectives on the Illinois Years 1997
Wilson, Douglas L. Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words 2006
Zeitz, Joshua Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image 2014
Lincoln Takes Norfolk 1983
Lincoln Herald Fall 1966 1966

Rounding Up the Week in Science, Sushi, and Season

The annual holiday season brings many recurring events – reflections on the year gone by, get-togethers with family and friends, and the inevitable gaining of a few extra pounds. It’s a busy time of year, but science and sushi continues unabated. In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap:

Dreaming of SushiHot White Snow featured two articles. Dreaming of Sushi reflects on a documentary about Jiro Ono, an octogenarian sushi master, whose exclusive restaurant in the Ginza is tops on my list next time I’m in Tokyo. That We Here Highly Resolve, inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s famous words in the Gettysburg Address, takes a look back at New Year’s resolutions…and a look forward to future plans.

Thomas Nast 1863 ChristmasLincoln’s Christmas gift – and the role of Santa Claus in Civil War propaganda – get some attention on the Smithsonian Civil War Studies online newsletter and here in Science Traveler. The gift – a coastal city in the South. The propaganda – Thomas Nast introduces the version of the jolly old elf that we’ve come to know so well today.

Half Dome from Glacier Point

Abraham Lincoln also played an important role in another icon of American history – the establishment of Yosemite National Park. Set aside by Lincoln in 1864, the Yosemite Grant provided federal protection for Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove. Initially run by the new state of California, Yosemite later became a National Park through the efforts of John Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson.

You might recognize that last name. This is the same Robert Underwood Johnson who, as editor of Century Magazine, published the first serialization of Lincoln’s life by John Nicolay and John Hay. Johnson would also become close friends with a certain Nikola Tesla (as would Muir).

Wardencliffe Brick CertificateWhich gets us to Tesla in 2014 and Beyond. Nikola Tesla had a great year, including major progress on the rejuvenation of Wardenclyffe into a science center and museum. Science Traveler will be right there under your feet as you stroll the grounds after renovations are completed. Yes, I bought a brick for Nik. And you can too. You can also join Tesla fans and researchers at the 3rd Annual Tesla Memorial Conference coming up on January 11th in the New Yorker Hotel.

bluemarble12Climate Change got its own 2014 Year in Review on The Dake Page. It was a busy year indeed for the climate, with several major reports updated, some tentative but forward-looking gains made, and a historic agreement between China and the U.S., the two biggest carbon emitters across the globe. Ah, but major roadblocks still exist, not the least of which is how the media actually helps keep climate denial alive.

Finally, in a bit of sad news, I found out last night that one of my science teachers from high school passed away on Christmas day. Only last year did I reconnect with Rick Rafuse after many decades (along with other high school friends). His sudden passing is a shock. My condolences to his family and friends.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years and is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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A Civil War Christmas

The American Civil War was a time of great strife in the nation. Over 620,000 men died on both sides of the conflict. In keeping with the somber spirit of the times, President Abraham Lincoln sent no Christmas cards and set up no Christmas tree. Of course, Christmas itself didn’t become a national holiday until President Ulysses S. Grant signed a congressional bill into law in 1870.

That’s not to say that Christmas wasn’t important. In fact, Christmas was getting a lot of press in the 1850s and 60s, which is one of the reasons why Grant did what he did. The brutality of the Civil War also played a role in the resurgence of Christmas in American life. Ironically, it was the non-religious aspects of Christmas that saw the biggest growth during this period. Not the least of which was the popularization of Santa Claus.

While Santa may have had some origins in St. Nicholas and other regional folklore, he evolved into the jolly old elf we know today thanks in large part to Thomas Nast, a prolific illustrator and cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly magazine. It was Nast who first introduced Santa Claus (aka, Father Christmas) – as a recruiting tool for the Union army! One iconic image from the January 3, 1863 issue of Harper’s, has Santa “on a sleigh handing out packages to Union soldiers in Civil War camp.”

Thomas Nast 1863 Christmas

Another showed a Union soldier home on furlough for the holidays (Santa lurks in the left hand panel).

Thomas Nast Christmas 1863

So Santa became propaganda, rallying behind the Union war effort. The South used this to their advantage as well, telling children that those evil Yankees might block Santa’s route from the North Pole down to Confederate territory. This, of course, was long before Coca-Cola turned Santa into a soft drink marketing campaign and Hallmark made a fortune selling Christmas cards.

There was one rather important Christmas celebration for Abraham Lincoln. General William Tecumseh Sherman, who had been decimating a path toward the sea throughout the fall of 1864, wired Lincoln in the White House on December 22nd. The wire said:

“I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah.”

He also had captured “150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition,” along with “about 25,000 bales of cotton.” An ecstatic Lincoln replied with “many, many, thanks for your Christmas gift.” As devastating was Sherman’s destruction during his march, it helped bring the war to an end a few months later.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from me and Science Traveler. Watch for much, much more in the new year.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years and is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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[Note: This is a slightly modified version of an article first posted in 2013]

Tesla in 2014 and Beyond

Nikola Tesla had another big year in 2014, and 2015 looks to continue that trend. To begin with, I bought a brick. Not just any brick, a Brick for Nik.

Brick for Nick Tesla

As part of its amazing rise from the ashes, Tesla’s Wardenclyffe laboratory has been busy raising funds to renovate the facility into a world-class science center and museum. Even Tesla Motors’ indefatigable CEO, Elon Musk, has committed at least $1 million to the effort. I can’t offer that much, but I have contributed a modest amount to the project, including my very own brick on the property.

Wardencliffe Brick Certificate

But 2014 was a big year for another reason – the second printing of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity hit Barnes and Noble stores in late July and sales were even better than last year. So good, in fact, that the publisher has a third printing scheduled for February 2015, bringing the total in print to over 50,000 (with hopefully more to come). Even more exciting is that the book has a chance to become an integral part of the proposed Tesla curriculum in schools. Many fans have bought extra copies of the book so they can have their book and eat donate it to libraries and schools too. Just last week I sent two dozen copies to the Tesla Science Foundation to be given out to teachers.

Tesla: The Wizard of ElectricityTesla Renewable Energy book cover 2b

July 2014 also saw the release of my new e-book on Amazon. Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time takes a closer look at Tesla’s support for “harnessing the power of nature” – wind, solar, hydroelectric, tides, thermoelectric, etc. – long before our present fascination. I also had a second article published in Tesla Magazine, this one based on the Renewable Energy book.

Signing books 1-11-14

Signing books at the Tesla Memorial Conference

Of course, 2014 started out with the big Tesla Memorial Conference at the New Yorker Hotel in NYC on January 11th. Not only did I meet up with all the great people bringing knowledge of Tesla to the world, but I also met Bono. Well, maybe. Either way it was a great event. Check out the 2015 conference coming in just a few weeks. Among other presentations I gave in 2014 was one close to my heart – and home. In July I gave my very first presentation in front of my parents, and did so at the famous Ipswich Museum in my hometown.

I also just missed making the cut for an on-air appearance for a TV series on the History Channel called “10 Things You Don’t Know About,” hosted by Henry Rollins. A producer for the show had called me and we discussed various story ideas. In the end I wasn’t one of the people selected for a five-minute segment, so my television/Hollywood career will have to wait until 2015. Maybe a Tesla screenplay?

And 2015 is already looking like another busy year in Science Traveling land. I’ll have more on 2015 plans in future posts. For now, Nikola Tesla and I wish everyone a very Tesla Christmas and an electrifying new year.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years and is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page.  And feel free to “Like” my Facebook author’s page and connect on LinkedIn.  Share with your friends using the buttons below.