Abraham Lincoln Now on Goodreads – Plus, Books in the Mail

Lincoln: The Man Who Saved AmericaMy Abraham Lincoln books are in the mail. And on Goodreads.

July has always been a good month. In July 2013, I received nine boxes of books containing my copies of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity. In July 2016, my second book, Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World was released. And now, on July 31, 2017, my third book for Fall River Press, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, is officially published. I’ve ordered personal copies from the publisher and should have them by the end of the month.

I have now listed the book on Goodreads, so please drop by, read the preview, and add it to your “to-read” list. I’ll be hosting Goodreads book giveaways shortly, so make sure to come back to Goodreads soon for a chance to win a free signed copy.

The book is also listed on the Barnes and Noble website. You can pre-order the Nook version of the book now, and you should be able to pre-order/order the hard copy very soon. You can also order a signed and inscribed personal copy from me through my website. [While you’re there, check out my Tesla and Edison books, plus my two e-books]

Writing a book is a long experience – researching and writing a book takes a while, but then you have to wait for months before it finally sees the light of day. It’s July. It’s time. It’s exciting.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release July 31, 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

5 More Things You Didn’t Know About Nikola Tesla

Happy Birthday, Nikola TeslaNikola Tesla was one of the most famous inventors of his age, and then he was mostly forgotten, dying in near poverty. In recent years Tesla has seen a resurgence in popularity as Tesla Motors has brought the Serbian-American inventor back into the limelight. [And perhaps my book, Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity, has played a small role in spreading the Tesla word to the masses.]

Previously I revealed 5 things you probably didn’t know about Nikola Tesla. In honor of his July 10th birthday, here are 5 more.

1) He was actually born on the cusp of July 9th and 10th. As I write in my book:

As though it had been ordered up by a filmmaker’s special effects department, the threatening storm arrived just as Djouka Tesla went into labor. As she prayed for an easy delivery of her fourth child, the roar of the thunder drowned out her stifled cries. Precisely at midnight the cries transferred from Djouka’s lips to those of the newly born Nikola. In an omen that could not have been scripted more prophetically, a lightning bolt crackled from the sky and lit up the small house just as Nikola entered this world.

Startled, the midwife turned to the young mother and said

“Your new son is a child of the storm.”

“No,” responded Djouka, “He is a child of the light.

And so it seems that, from the beginning, Nikola Tesla was destined to electrify the world.

2) He was fond of practical jokes. Though often reclusive and introverted, Tesla was in his element when it came to showing off his inventions. He would wave wireless light sabers in front of mystified scientists, regale party-goers with feats of memory, and if he could lure unsuspecting celebrities into his laboratory, play practical jokes on them. He once even got Mark Twain to nearly pee his pants [check out the full story here].

3) The sight of pearl earrings would make him nauseous. He admitted to several idiosyncrasies, once telling a friend:

I had a violent aversion against the earrings of women but other ornaments, as bracelets, pleased me more or less according to design. The sight of a pearl would almost give me a fit but I was fascinated with the glitter of crystals or objects with sharp edges and plane surfaces. I would not touch the hair of other people except, perhaps, at the point of a revolver. I would get a fever by looking at a peach and if a piece of camphor was anywhere in the house it caused me the keenest discomfort.

4) He invented robotics. Or at least, a wireless remote controlled boat. Setting up a tank in Madison Square Garden he slid a large odd-shaped boat into the water. Asking the gathered audience to tell the boat to turn this way and that way, Tesla secretly controlled its direction via radio waves. It was 1898 and the first time anyone had shown the ability to do such “magic.” [More on robot boats here.]

5) He was a science fiction star. Perhaps more accurately, he was the inspiration for science fiction stories. It all started when Tesla was experimenting with wireless radio signals in Colorado Springs. One night he recorded what he was convinced was directed messages from some far out source in space. He later was ridiculed for this, but a close friend and publisher Hugo Gernsback decided to take advantage of the idea and often used Tesla’s experiments as a basis for science fiction stories. It’s perhaps no surprise that in recent years Tesla has gained visibility as a popular science fiction figure in computer games, movies, and books.

Interestingly, one of Tesla’s rivals in the AC/DC wars, Thomas Edison, was also into science fiction. He even started writing a science fiction novel (though he never finished it).

One final note – while Tesla and Edison were rivals in the “war of the currents,” they were generally friendly with each other and mostly veered into separate careers that rarely overlapped. Both Tesla and Edison made marks in the world, but both would agree that that they were very different men of invention. [More on that here]

But today is all about Tesla.

Happy Birthday, Nikola Tesla!

Meanwhile, check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release July 31, 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

Drum Tower of Beijing – Ancient Time Keeper

I recently visited the famous Drum Tower (鼓楼, Gulou) in Beijing, China. I was surprised to learn that it was also a clock, or at least a timekeeper. The tower, which faces its Bell Tower counterpart, was originally built when Kublai Khan was Emperor of China during the Yuan Dynasty (13th century). Originally used as a musical center, it later became a way for the reigning government to announce the time. The two towers maintained this official role up until 1924, when western style clockwork was adopted to keep time.

Beijing Drum Tower

Climbing the long, steep stairway to the top gets you into the main room, one side of which holds a line of humongous drums. The one remaining original drum (of 25) sits to one side, its calfskin head slashed during the Eight Power Allied Forces’ invasion in 1900. We’re here to see the demonstration of the drums. While we wait we take in the panoramic view of Beijing from the outside walkway high above the streets.

Beijing Drum Tower

We also check out the displays of ancient timekeeping equipment. With our modern astronomically-linked smart phones and digital watches, it is interesting to see that much of time was monitored through the burning of incense and candles. Others used water or metal balls.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In one timepiece called a Bronze Kelou, time is measured by the flow of water through four copper clepsydras. A mechanical device would trigger the attached God of Cymbals to strike his cymbals together eight times for each quarter hour. Another timepiece called a Beilou contained several metal balls that would roll along copper pipe in a 2 meter tall cabinet. A ball would clang a cymbal every 24 seconds, thus it would take 14.4 minutes (an ancient quarter) for 36 metal balls to complete a cycle. It would take 24 hours for 3,600 metal balls to complete rolling, which gave relatively accurate time measurement.

It’s time. Four drummers march in and line up in front of the huge drums. They pound with such brute force it’s hard to imagine the drum heads lasting for very long. After only a few minutes you start to realize the power and strength of the drummers. Check out the video below.

After the demonstration we slowly descend the stairs, which somehow seem steeper going down than going up. This won’t be the last stairs – the even taller Bell Tower is next!

Meanwhile, check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release in summer 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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.

If It’s Tuesday – Networking, Networking, Networking

Brussels, Belgium, TuesdayNetworking is your best friend!

In real estate they say “location, location, location.”

When moving to another country they say “network, network, network.”

In the continuing saga of my three-year long working life in Brussels (based on the movie, If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium), one of my first concerns was the fact that I would not know anyone. How would I find a place to live? How would I deal with the foreign language? Buying groceries? The foreboding bureaucracy?

Who could I call on to help? After much thought and a whole lot of asking around, this is what I came up with to give me a hand as I prepared my international adventure.

1) The company office in Brussels: The obvious first stop was the European office of the company I worked for at the time. After all, company business was the reason I was getting this opportunity. I had met a few of my soon-to-be office mates when I attended a conference the year before, so had high hopes that they would be dragging me along to pubs and parties. That didn’t quite work out the way I anticipated (most had families and the requisite attention to those families), but they became a great resource for me.

2) Ex-Pat connections: No, these are not people who are no longer Patriot fans, but expatriates, who are people who live outside their native countries. Because Brussels is the capital of the European Union, there are networks of Americans (and Canadians and Aussies and Brits, etc) living and working in the city. While in the end I spent less time with native-English speakers than with other expats, it was nice to be able to sit in an Irish pub occasionally and hear mostly English-ish. A useful website to help locate expats is expat.com. [More below the photo]

Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday

3) Friends who have friends: Because of the global nature of many businesses these days, I’ve had a chance to meet people who work for multinational companies, international government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. These groups were a great help in linking me with colleagues and friends in Brussels in particular or in Europe in general. Added to my own European friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, I started off this venture in pretty good shape. Or at least that’s what I thought.

4) Colleagues who have lived there: The firm I worked for had several partners who temporarily relocated from the Washington, DC to the Brussels office. Each of them in succession stayed only one year (I was there for three) and lived in a company-rented apartment (I needed to find and pay for my own apartment), but their experiences did give them wonderful insights, which they happily passed along to me.

5) Scientific organizations: I belong to, and have been active in, two major international scientific organizations. Both have European divisions, and the Executive Directors have helped introduce me to key folks in Europe. I had also been president of the regional chapters of both organizations, which helped my build a network of contacts, many of whom offered advice and strategies. [Others were simply envious of my opportunity and promptly invited themselves to stay with me at their earliest convenience.]

6) Social media: You guys! The assistance, support, and insights I received from online connections was invaluable. At the time I was active on a now-defunct posting and comment site called Gather, and the online friendships I had built all offered amazing support and suggestions. That site is gone but a large number of the people I formerly interacted with on Gather are now active connections on Facebook. I felt truly privileged to have “met” so many people who were willing to offer their experiences, travels, and passions to this project.

[Click and scroll for more in the If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium series. More coming soon.]

Meanwhile, check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release in summer 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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.

Creating an Abraham Lincoln Library

Lincoln: The Man Who Saved AmericaMy Abraham Lincoln library began with a few books years ago and grew slowly into several shelves, then leapfrogged into several bookcases, and in seemingly one big bang expanded exponentially into several rooms. This week I took steps to consolidate the space (somewhat) and provide adequate space for new arrivals (at least temporarily).

My basement library/office/reading room began with two glass-front barrister bookcases full of books about Abraham Lincoln. I added four short (2-shelf) bookcases, which formed a nice wall between my office area and the library/reading area. A few years ago I commandeered a room upstairs as a library annex, installing four tall bookcases of five and six shelves each. Those quickly filled up and three more tall bookcases squeezed themselves into the guest bedroom, though I admit two of them hold non-Lincoln books. And yet all this wasn’t enough; books stacked themselves onto my computer desk, my writing desk, my floors, and edges of couches. Stairways became queues of books in the process of being read. Something had to change.

Abraham Lincoln library shelves

Ikea to the rescue. The four short bookcases have been re-purposed upstairs and replaced with four 7-shelf bookcases along one side of the room. I definitely like the look of a library wall. Ah, but the shelves didn’t stay empty long. They quickly looked like this.

Abraham Lincoln library shelves

The short shelf books are in their new home along with background books on Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison (research for past book projects) and some random files, magazines, and books previously piled randomly throughout the room. The best part is that I now have room to display some of my artwork, including the Lincoln bust in the center. How long it will take to fill the remaining space is anyone’s guess, but probably less time than I think.

Now that I have some space to play around with, I am reconsidering my organizational system, which can best be described as “in the order the books arrived.” I have a spreadsheet in which the shelf location of each book is listed so I can easily locate a particular resource for research. That works well enough, but I’m thinking about categorizing books by subtopics such as “assassination,” “full biography,” “childhood,” etc. A lot of books don’t fit nicely into this type of classification scheme, but it might be useful if I’m looking for a reference on his legal career, for example, without having to run all over the house to grab related books.

These are exciting times in Lincoln library land. My own Lincoln book will be put on the shelf within a few weeks and I’m already working on the next Lincoln book. I do have one favor to ask. My Facebook author page is sitting at 999 Likes, so if anyone reading hasn’t already liked it, can you run over and push me over 1000? Thanks in advance!

Meanwhile, check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release in summer 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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.

[Daily Post]

Walking a Fine Line at the Korean DMZ

Korean DMZRecently, while North Korea was firing test missiles into the surrounding sea and China/South Korea tensions were heightened due to the THAAD controversy, I took a walk along the fine line that is the DMZ – the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

The area near the DMZ is anything but demilitarized, with armed guards stand at close firing distance from each other. Indeed, shortly after my visit South Korean soldiers fired upon what appeared to be North Korean drone flying over the border. Razor-wire fences line the road and river as you approach the DMZ, ostensibly to keep out invading forces, but in practice more to keep out spies and refugees floating down the river from the northern side of the border. The DMZ itself is a buffer zone, a strip of land extending 2 kilometers north and south of the border. Less than an hour from Seoul, we were able to get inside of the South Korean limits of the DMZ and go right up to the border itself.

Korean DMZ

Our first stop was at Imjingak Tourist Resort, which was a weird combination of remnants from the war (shot up rusty steam locomotive engine, Freedom Bridge, monuments, etc.) and carnival rides and miniature golf course. It was designed as a sort of consolation to those who couldn’t return to their hometowns, friends, and families because of the split between North and South Korea.

From there we went to the “3rd tunnel of aggression,” one of four tunnels the North Koreans had built as potential attack routes. To reach this point we needed to go through a South Korean military checkpoint where soldiers checked our passports individually before we ran a gauntlet of zigzagged barriers, spiked blockades, and even more razor wire. On the way back out of the DMZ more soldiers checked our passports again to make sure we hadn’t left anyone behind.

Korean DMZAfter seeing a video explaining the “3rd tunnel” and walking through a small museum, we donned hard hats for hike into the tunnel system. A long, steep access passage high enough to walk comfortably brought us steeply downward (358 meters long, 3 meters diameter, 11 degree angle) to a point where it intersected with the original tunnel of aggression. This “3rd tunnel” was very narrow (two people could barely squeeze sideways) with low ceilings (our hard hats dinged the ceiling routinely). Totaling 1,625 meters long, the 2 meter high and 2 meter wide tunnel sits 73 meters below the surface. About 1,200 meters of it is on the North Korean side of the demarcation (border) line, with 435 meters inside South Korea. We could walk hunched over about 265 meters, at which point a series of blockade walls keeps the two countries separated. Anthracite coal was painted on the walls and ceilings as a ruse; if discovered they could claim it was just a coal mine. Not a particularly credible feint given there is no coal in the region and the tunnel is cut through solid granite. While four tunnels have been discovered to date, it’s possible more exist. Photography was banned in the tunnels and everything but our clothes were required to be left in above ground lockers, so the photo above will have to suffice.

Korean DMZ

North (left) and South (right) Korean flags at DMZ

Our next stop was the Dora Observatory where we could see North Korea and its “propaganda village” and town and flag. Large binoculars give you a close up view. Both the North Koreans and South Koreans have placed their national flags on the tallest flag poles I’ve ever seen, dueling each other for psychological dominance while music plays over high-volume loudspeakers. The village looks like any other town from a distance, but the area just beyond the DMZ is flooded with thousands of artillery pieces. Experts believe about 60% of North Korea’s total artillery are positioned within a few kilometers of the DMZ. This is why it is so dangerous to American allies – any aggressive act by the US would within minutes result in thousands of shells raining down on Seoul, the capital and home to about half of South Korea’s 50 million citizens. In case you missed that, an attack on North Korea would immediately result in the deaths of up to 25 million South Koreans. Not a particularly strong bargaining position.

Korean DMZ

 

From there we went to the Dorasan Station, a Metro Subway Station that was built inside the DMZ just short of the North Korean border in the hopes that some day there would be a reuniting of the two countries (or at least a working relationship). Trains come this far only once a day. Here we put two inked stamps that look like passport visas onto the brochure for the DMZ (we were careful not to stamp our passports since 1) they aren’t official, and 2) we were headed to Beijing next. As it was, China only allowed me a one-entry, 30-day visa on this trip because we were going to South Korea first.

The DMZ offered a unique experience that gave me new insights into the conflict and the difficulties of resolving the issue even today. Critically, while an armistice was agreed to in 1953, no peace treaty was ever signed and the North and South are still technically at war. [Interestingly, after my return to the US I went to a lecture by Alan Alda, who played Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H, set in Korea during the Korean war]

One other shocking experience occurred on this trip: on the way back to Seoul we saw a huge full size cruise ship high on the hill overlooking the road. But that is a story for another day.

Meanwhile, check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release in summer 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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.

Coming Soon! Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America

Lincoln: The Man Who Saved AmericaComing Soon! My newest book, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, is scheduled for release by Fall River Press on July 31, 2017. You’ll be able to pre-order it soon on the Barnes and Noble website and buy it in Barnes and Noble stores nationwide. As noted in the prologue:

Lincoln delivered his inaugural address, then was given the presidential oath of office by Chief Justice Roger Taney, whose Dred Scott decision a few years earlier had further divided the nation and enlarged the growing rift between free states and slave states. Lincoln pondered whether he would be able to keep the Union together.

We must not be enemies. We must be friends.

Lincoln tried to reassure the South:

The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict, without yourself being the aggressors.

He pleaded with them not to destroy the vision of the Founders, who established the Constitution “to form a more perfect union.” But he was also firm:

You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ it.

After being sworn into office, Lincoln traveled alone by carriage up muddy Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Just over a month later, the Confederate army fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, beginning the Civil War. The conflict that followed over the next four years would be the bloodiest and most divisive struggle ever faced by America. The responsibility for saving the nation fell squarely on Lincoln.

Here is the Table of Contents to give you an indication of what is covered in the book; essentially, cradle to grave and more.

Prologue

Chapter 1: Kentucky Born, Indiana Raised

Chapter 2: Coming of Age in Illinois

Chapter 3: Beginning a Life in Politics

Chapter 4: Lincoln’s Loves and Family

Chapter 5: Life as a Lawyer

Chapter 6: A House Divided—Slavery on the Rise

Chapter 7: Running for President

Chapter 8: President—The Union Must be Preserved

Chapter 9: From Gettysburg to Reelection

Chapter 10: Of Martyrdom and Legacy

Appendix 1:  Timeline

Appendix 2:  Selected Resources and Further Reading

Like my Tesla and Edison books, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America is chock full of period photos, drawings, and other highlights that make the book visually appealing. Reviewers of my previous books have described them as “beautifully illustrated” with “clear, accessible writing.” They have been called “quick to read” and “a fun book” that “appeals to general readers with a wide range of interests” and makes “a perfect gift.” The presentation is designed to make the story of Lincoln come alive for all ages.

Here is a preview.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Look for the book in stores later in the summer! Meanwhile, check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release in summer 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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.

Nikola Tesla and Science Fiction

Nikola Tesla once suggested that “the possibility of beckoning Martians was the extreme application of [my] principle of propagation of electric waves.” While dropping the “talking with planets” idea once he returned to New York from Colorado Springs, he did maintain a belief that “there would be no insurmountable obstacle in constructing a machine capable of conveying a message to Mars, nor would there be any great difficulty in recording signals transmitted to us by the inhabitants of that planet.” Assuming, Tesla noted, that “they be skilled electricians.”

Interest in the theory was heightened by a Margaret Storm book called Return of the Dove. Later, another book by Arthur Matthews (Wall of Light: Nikola Tesla and the Venusian Spaceship) suggested that Tesla not only talked with extraterrestrials—he was one! Science and science fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback often used his friend Tesla’s ideas as seeds for science fiction stories, thus forever linking Tesla’s name with science fiction.

Which gets me to two new science fiction books wherein Nikola Tesla battles extraterrestrials invading the Earth. Author L. Woodswalker has taken many aspects of Tesla’s real life and woven them into two thrilling science fiction books that I highly recommend. Click on the book titles to get to the Amazon pages. Here are my reviews on Goodreads:

Tesla's Signal

 

 

Tesla’s Signal

Marvelous science fiction. L. Woodswalker authors a cleverly written exploration of alien invasion that masterly weaves real history with fantasy and surreality in a series of intricately woven story lines. Those who are familiar with Nikola Tesla will recognize the deft intertwining of Tesla’s real inventions, quirks, and personality traits with extrapolations to what they have become in the minds of many a Tesla aficionado. Those unfamiliar with Tesla will still find themselves rabidly engaged in the requisite alien races, the fight between good and evil, and some surprising romantic tension spliced into exciting action. All together here are the makings of a great SF novel. Well done!

 

 

Tesla’s Frequency

I loved this book even more than the first one (Tesla’s Signal). A must-read for anyone interested in Tesla and/or historical science fiction. L. Woodswalker once again constructs a marvelous story line, deep and interesting characters, and beautifully written dialogue. Woodswalker deftly weaves reality (Tesla’s actual inventions, Hitler’s actual plans) with fantasy (rumors of Tesla inventions that never came to fruition, fictional characters) and science fiction (space aliens). The resulting fast-paced, exciting ride pitting good versus evil keeps the pages turning as the famous inventor, his white pigeon side-kick, and an intriguing young girl battle the bad guys to save the world from both Hitler and aliens.

Great writing, great story, and Nikola Tesla. What more could you ask for? I highly recommend both this book and Woodswalker’s earlier Tesla thriller, Tesla’s Signal.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release in summer 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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.

From these honored dead – Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday set aside to remember the people who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Whereas Armed Forces Day pays tribute to those currently in service and Veterans Day celebrates those who have served in the past, Memorial Day honors those who died in military service.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery, across the bridge from the Lincoln Memorial, was established late in the Civil War on land that had previously belonged to Robert E. Lee. It is the most famous and largest national cemetery, but it is only one of 147 official national cemeteries designated to hold the remains of our nation’s military departed. Another in the national capital region is the Annapolis National Cemetery. Illinois hosts the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.

I recently visited the Arlington National Cemetery where I met up with an old friend of sorts. Abraham Lincoln’s eldest son Robert Todd Lincoln is buried in a large above ground tomb. He is the only one of the Lincoln family not buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. Robert had served as a Captain under General Ulysses Grant’s command at the end of the Civil War and was present at Appomattox and met General Robert E. Lee during the surrender. Robert would later serve as Secretary of War under President James Garfield (continuing under President Chester A. Arthur after Garfield’s assassination).

In these current troubling times, it is critical that we use this Memorial Day to honor “those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.” Furthermore, as Lincoln noted in his dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg:

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release in summer 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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.

[Daily Post]

A Little Bit of Jagalchi Fish Market, Busan, South Korea

Like fish? You better if you travel to Busan, South Korea. And the place to be is the Jagalchi Fish Market, the biggest fish market in all of Korea. When I say big, I mean huge. Do not miss it.

Busan (as it has been named officially since 2000 to avoid the unpleasant sound of its original name, Pusan) is South Korea’s second biggest city, weighing in at about 3.6 million people. Sitting on the southeast coastline, Busan is know for its grand beaches, mountainous parks, ancient temples, and, of course, an aquarium.

One of Busan’s biggest attractions is the fish market. Located in the Nampo-dong neighborhood along the waterfront, the rather surprising main building takes up several floors behind a wall of glass. The first floor is lined with row after row of fresh seafood, much of it still alive and waiting to be chosen for tonight’s dinner. The second floor has a restaurant and a dried fish market. Upper floors hold an exhibition room, another restaurant and seafood buffets, and oddly enough, a guesthouse and sky park.

Jagalchi Fish Market, Busan, South Korea

But to me the much more interesting part of the fish market is the one outdoors. Stretching down a narrow lane from the front doors of the building are hundreds of small vendors selling every kind of seafood you can imagine. Some of it is mobile like this octopus (above) that almost made a getaway before being snagged up by the vendor and returned to his not-so-private temporary swimming pool.

Not to be outdone, each vendor tries to lure you into their stand by hyping their specialties – live hagfish, clams, sea cucumbers, whelk, mackerel, pompano, belt fish, skate, lobster, several species of crabs, and some things that I still can’t identify despite my old marine biology training.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you don’t want live fish, or those freshly departed, you can find every variety of dried fish and squid to gnaw on. A few stalls sell precooked fish as well. Hungry now? Many of the outdoor stalls have mini-restaurants tucked in behind their display tables where they will be happy to whip up a freshly cooked (and killed) morsel of your choice on the ubiquitous compressed coal open stoves. Don’t know what to order? Choose the pre-made variety dishes for a delicious hot pot. Don’t forget the vegetables (you can buy those here too).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can get to Jagalchi by taking Line 1 of the Busan subway system to Jagalchi station. Take Exit 10 and head for the waterfront.

There is so much more to see in the Busan. Stay tuned.

David J. Kent is an avid science traveler and the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, is scheduled for release in summer 2017.

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.