Now Live! Lincoln and Tesla – Connected by Fate

What do our 16th President and a Serbian-born inventor have in common? It turns out, a lot. Abraham Lincoln lived from 1809 to 1865 and led the United States through its darkest years, saving the Union and ending slavery. Nikola Tesla lived from 1856 to 1943 and invented the alternating current induction motor that revolutionized electricity generation. And yet, there are many overlaps in their influences and friends.

Lincoln and Tesla Connected by Fate

Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate examines these overlaps. With Lincoln’s interest in science and technology it’s not surprising that the first area of overlap is in the sciences. But there are also connections in the arts, the environment, a World’s Fair or two, and even in the assassination of one of our greatest presidents.

With color photos to highlight the connections, you’ll see how Lincoln’s closest scientific adviser discovered the principles of induction that allowed Tesla to create his greatest invention. You’ll see how Tesla harnessed the power of Niagara Falls, and Lincoln calculated it. You’ll see how Lincoln and Tesla are connected through Mark Twain, and John Muir, and Robert Underwood Johnson. You’ll see how Lincoln’s son Robert was saved by a Booth but became somewhat of an assassination jinx in his own right. And you’ll see much more.

Download the book now on Amazon.

While you’re there check out my other e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

After you read the books please leave ratings and feedback on Goodreads and Amazon. Help spread the word!

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 (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in spring 2016.

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Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla – Connected by Fate [Now Available on Amazon]

Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla are somehow connected? Tell me more!

Yes, these two great men actually have many surprising connections. While they never met, their interests and circles of friends and colleagues greatly overlapped. So much so that I wrote an e-book about it. Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate

Given Lincoln’s interest in science and technology and Tesla’s life as an inventor, these incredible connections begin with science. But they don’t stop there. Connections between Lincoln and Tesla also exist in the arts, the environment, a great World’s Fair, and yes, even in the assassination of one of our greatest presidents.

Pre-order now and the e-book will be delivered to your Kindle on Monday when it is released to the general public. You can also download it to your Kindle-app on any other smart device (I read mine on my iPhone).

While you’re there check out my other e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

After you read the books please leave ratings and feedback on Goodreads and Amazon. Help spread the word!

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 (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in spring 2016.

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I Won a SETAC Award!

Recently I received a call from Greg Schiefer, Executive Director of SETAC-NA, also known as the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry-North America. SETAC is an international scientific organization comprising over 6000 members, of which over 3200 are in the North American region. Greg informed me that I had won the 2015 Outstanding Regional Chapter Member Award.

CPRC logoSETAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This award is very special to me. I’ve been a member of my regional chapter, the Chesapeake-Potomac Regional Chapter (CPRC), for nearly 25 years, and SETAC for even longer. During that time I’ve been President of CPRC on two separate occasions. At other times have been a Board member, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President, and Newsletter Editor/Publisher. It’s been a lot of work, all volunteer, but I’ve loved every minute of it.

The Outstanding Regional Chapter Member Award recognizes “the countless hours that its members contribute, often in the background, to the functioning of the Society’s Regional Chapters.” I am honored to receive it.

This award joins other recognition I’ve received during my years with SETAC, including a President’s Citation (2005) and an Executive Director’s Citation (1996). I was also privileged to receive the Distinguished Service Award from CPRC in 2002.

Being a member of CPRC and SETAC has been an amazing experience. Through these organizations I have made many friends, developed incredible professional contacts, and learned everything from keeping up with the science to how to negotiate a cavernous conference center filled with thousands of other lost colleagues desperately seeking the right meeting room for their next session.

I’m happy to say that I continue to be highly involved with both the parent and regional groups. I chair a committee for SETAC and attend annual meetings for SETAC and CPRC, and I regularly contribute presentations and newsletter articles. Science Traveler (aka, this website/my professional writing business) has been a proud sponsor of CPRC for the last three years.

To say I appreciate receiving this award would be a vast understatement. I’m looking forward to featuring it next to my writer’s desk…and continuing to be active with SETAC and CPRC. Thank you all.

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 (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in spring 2016.

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Two Must-See Abraham Lincoln Events

There are two upcoming “must-see” events sponsored by the Lincoln Group of DC. Sign up now to reserve space.

September 15th: Dinner + Lecture featuring Michael A. Ross, University of Maryland

Michael RossOur monthly dinner and lecture meetings return on Sept. 15th with Michael Ross, who will speak about “Lincoln and Johnson: The Struggle to Re-unite a Nation.”

Location: Alfio’s Trattoria, 4515 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase, MD

Time: Dinner – 6:00 pm, Program – 7:00 pm

 

Professor Ross is the author of two award-winning books, Justice of Shattered Dreams: Samuel Freeman Miller and the Supreme Court During the Civil War Era (LSU, 2003), and The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era (Oxford UP, 2014).

Sign up on the Lincoln Group website

October 3rd: Annual Picnic and Bus Tour

Lincoln's Last StepsJoin us on a tour of “Lincoln’s Final Footsteps” as he visits General Grant at City Point and Petersburg. Among the stops are Grant’s headquarters, Appomattox Manor, Fort Wadsworth, and the Wallace House and Centre Hill Mansion in Petersburg. Tour led by registered master tour guide Craig Howell.

Location: Meet at King Street Metro Station in Alexandria, VA

Time: 8:30 am to 7:30 pm

More details and sign up on the Lincoln Group website

I will be attending both of these events and look forward to seeing both new and old faces. Check out the Lincoln Group of DC website for more details and other events.

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. He is currently writing a book on Thomas Edison.

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Slogging Through the Smog in Beijing

It’s no secret that Beijing has an air pollution problem. The city’s PM2.5 (a measure of particulates in the air) routinely exceed unsafe levels; and I don’t mean exceed by just a tad, exceed by 800% or more. About 4000 people per day die in China from air pollution. I saw – literally – this pollution on my most recent visit to Beijing.

The view from the apartment where I was staying, in the southern part of the city far from the touristy areas, gave me a good indication of what I was to experience.

Beijing smog

That isn’t fog; it’s smog, which smog permeated the air no matter where I went. Mid-afternoon on a “sunny” day, the huge portrait of Mao Zedong on the front wall of the Forbidden City was barely visible from Tian’anmen Square.

Beijing smog

I didn’t just happen to pick a bad day; this is routine. So routine that the government installed huge television screens, ostensibly as tourist marketing advertisements, but often filled with beautiful vistas of Chinese landscapes. They even show photos of the Forbidden City on those days where the entire facade is hidden.

Beijing smog

As I write this Beijing is preparing for its September 3rd remembrance of the end of World War II for China 70 years before. As with many big international events held in Beijing, including the 2008 Olympics and the 2014 APEC Summit, the Chinese government has ordered stopgap measures to make Beijing more palatable to foreign dignitaries. This means closing down much of the capital, shutting down factories, and banning odd/even tagged cars on alternate days. These result in temporary cleansing of the air – just long enough for the foreign press to get nice pictures. Once the grand show is over, the air clogs up again and residents don their dust masks in a feeble attempt at normalcy.

Science Traveler will cover more of the science of China in future posts. One area of interest is the impact of a growing middle class, and the consumption that goes with it, on energy demand. China has a coal and oil problem even worse than the United States, but it also has been building solar and wind capacity. Clearly they have to do something, not just for climate change considerations, but for the health of their own citizens.

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. He is currently writing a book on Thomas Edison.

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An Editorial Calendar for Writers (On Writing)

Hemingway TypewriterTo be a writer you have to write…a lot. Much of your writing won’t see the light of day, but it’s critical to keep writing daily. That said, making time to write isn’t always easy. Sometimes your computer systems decide to make life difficult; other times “life” keeps you busy enough; and still other times you need to take a break from work and stimulate some Vitamin D production on the nearest tropical beach with an umbrella-based beverage.

But I digress. This post is about creating an editorial calendar. If you’re like me you have a million WIPs (works-in-progress) all running at once, so it’s critical to keep them moving and meet any requisite deadlines. My current projects, for example, include the manuscript for a book on Thomas Edison (submitted last week to the publisher), an e-book on connections between Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla (to be out on Amazon next week), a long article for the Lincolnian (an Abraham Lincoln newsletter), and my usual suite of blogs. Add to these at least two book proposals and tons of research time for future projects. Juggling so many balls in the air can be tiring.

An editorial calendar is what it sounds like – a calendar on which you schedule your writing commitments. You can combine it with your “to-do” and “event” calendars if you wish, but it’s important to keep track of everything you need to write and when it is due.

In addition to the ongoing book projects, I provide content for several blogs. My main author site has a blog called Science Traveler. This post is on my creative writing and memoir site Hot White Snow. I also contribute to The Dake Page (science communication), the Lincoln Group of DC Facebook pageand blog, and will shortly start my own Lincoln blog as part of my outreach for the new Lincoln book. I have to write for each of these. You may also have articles for magazines, editing sessions, and a variety of other writing assignments.

An editorial calendar can be as simple or complicated as you need it to be, though I suggest starting simple and expanding only when it’s obvious you have to….

[Read the rest on Hot White Snow]

The above is a partial of a full article on Hot White Snow, my creative writing blog. Please click on the link above to read further. Thanks.

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. He is currently writing a book on Thomas Edison.

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

Appreciating Ed Bearss – Civil War Historian

Ed Bearss has been on this Earth for over 92 years, and last week was my first time ever seeing him. I know, I’m not proud of that fact. My only excuse is that my interests are focused on Abraham Lincoln and Ed focuses on the broader Civil War. But this past week I realized what I had been missing.

Ed was the featured speaker at the Bull Run Civil War Round Table (BRCWRT), a group that has been around since 1991 and based in the vicinity of the first major battle of the Civil War. I joined the meeting in part for the chance to hear Ed speak, and in part as a representative of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia (LGDC), of which I am Vice President for Outreach and Education.

Ed Bearss

Upon arrival I introduced myself to BRCWRT President Mark Trbovich and was able to chat with several other members, including official “Ace Photographer” Janet Greentree. The turnout was impressive, overflowing the Centerville Library meeting room. Mark told me that they routinely get 80-100 people at these monthly lectures, but with Ed Bearss speaking the room was clearly over its 122-seat capacity.

It was easy to see why. After all these years of leading Civil War tours around our nation’s capital, Ed can still belt out a lively, animated, and entertaining talk. His knowledge of the Civil War and its battles is unmatched, and he rattled off dates, Generals, Colonels, Divisions, Regiments, and locations like he was reading from a script – except he did his entire 1-hour talk with no notes, no PowerPoints. The sole prompt on the screen was a map of the region and he walked us around it one by one, following each skirmish, each General – North and South – through the last days of Robert E. Lee’s retreat from Petersburg and ultimate surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.

Ed Bearss and Gerry Connolly

Ed was impressive, and I’m so glad to finally have this chance to see him in person. It turns out it was a good night all around. Just prior to beginning his talk, Ed received a certificate from Congressman Gerry Connolly noting that he had entered a resolution to give Ed the Congressional Gold Medal, which is awarded to persons “who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.”

Ed certainly deserves it. So far the bill has 107 co-sponsors and thousands of write-in supporters, including Ken Burns, whom Ed worked with in the production of Burns’s epic mini-series, The Civil War. I was proud to add my name to the list of supporters.

I’m looking forward to the next BRCWRT. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Group of DC is also gearing up for its monthly dinner meetings. On September 15th, Michael A. Ross will talk about “Lincoln and Johnson: The Struggle to Reunite the Nation.” On October 3rd we have our annual picnic and bus tour; this year we follow “Lincoln’s Final Footsteps” at City Point and Petersburg.” More information on both can be found on the Lincoln Group of DC website and Facebook page.

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. He is currently writing a book on Thomas Edison.

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

Science Traveling Lisbon’s Oceanarium

If you’re an aquarium nut like me, one of the places on your “must-see” list is the Oceanarium in Lisbon, Portugal. Officially the Oceanário de Lisboa, it ranks as the largest indoor aquarium in Europe.

Lisbon Oceanarium

Like most big aquariums it has a huge central tank of roughly 1.3 million gallons filled with the usual blend of marine fish, sharks, and rays. It is also one of the few aquariums that includes an ocean sunfish (Mola mola), a notoriously difficult species to maintain out of its natural oceanic habitat.

Lisbon Oceanarium

What I liked about the main tank – and I’ve seen dozens of them – is that as you walk around the perimeter you have many large floor to ceiling windows to gaze through.

Lisbon Oceanarium

There are large areas where you can often see divers feeding the fish and maintaining the tank.

Lisbon Oceanarium

But also many alcoves where a diverse community of fish, anemones, and corals can get some “privacy,” i.e., some sense of normality in a life literally in a very large fish bowl.

Lisbon Oceanarium

Of course, there are many smaller tanks and exhibits for up-close-and-personal views of worldwide marine flora and fauna. As always I was drawn to the tropical frog exhibit.

Lisbon Oceanarium

With only a month to go before finishing my three-year sojourn in Brussels, I had made a special trip to Lisbon specifically to see this world-famous aquarium. I was not disappointed.

See more about my aquarium visits on the aquarium page.

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. He is currently writing a book on Thomas Edison.

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What President Obama’s Clean Power Act Does for Climate Change – It May Surprise You (from The Dake Page)

On Monday, August 3, 2015, President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency released final rules designed to curtail coal-based power plant emissions. Called the Clean Power Plan, the goal is to reduced carbon emissions contributing to man-made climate change. The impact of this plan will surprise a lot of Americans.

The following video is only a little over 2 minutes and worth watching:

Reaction has been about what you might expect. The Republican candidates for president and their Republican colleagues in the House and Senate have falsely attacked the plan for the usual false reasons. The Democratic candidates and in Congress largely agree that the steps proposed are necessary to deal with the unequivocal science demonstrating humans are warming the climate system.

Media reporting of the Clean Power Act shows its critical importance. Time magazine says that the President is taking the lead on this “superwicked problem.”  CNN says the President “unveils major climate change proposal.” To the New York Times this is a “crucial step on climate change.” Other media outlets also note the unprecedented action by the White House and EPA.

Of course, there are also the denial lobbyists saturating the blogosphere with anti-Clean Power Act rhetoric. All provide opinions based on a single negative “report” produced by, you guessed it, one of the denial lobbyist organizations in their network. That’s a common tactic of lobbyists – create a biased report and then get all your friends to cite your biased report as “unbiased.”

Meanwhile, the response from the scientific community has generally been positive, as might be expected given that nearly every climate scientist agrees that 100+ years of published science unequivocally demonstrates a need to address man’s contribution to climate change. There are some, like outspoken climate scientist James Hansen, who feel the Plan is merely a drop in the bucket and won’t in itself create significant progress in dealing with our changing climate.

Hansen is probably right.

So let’s assume that the Clean Power Plan is insufficient to deal with climate change….

[Read the rest on The Dake Page]

The above is a partial cross-post of a full article on The Dake Page. Please click on the link above to read further. Thanks.

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. He is currently writing a book on Thomas Edison.

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.

First Tesla…Now Edison is In!

Tesla vs Edison cartoon First there was Nikola Tesla, and now there is Thomas Edison. Those who follow this page know that my book Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity was released by Fall River Press/Sterling Publishing in 2013. The book has been so successful (Thank you!) that Fall River Press asked me to write a similar book on Thomas Edison.

Today the manuscript for Edison! was officially submitted to my editor. Assuming he likes it, Edison! will be in Barnes and Noble stores sometime in the spring of 2016. With the Tesla book going into its 5th printing in October, you should be able to find them side-by-side in the not-too-distant future. [If the editor doesn’t like it, well, never mind.]

Want a preview of Edison!Here is the chapter outline.

But wait, there’s more.

I’ve also have an e-book being published on Amazon in the next few weeks. Lincoln and Tesla – Connected by Fate delves into the incredible connections between these two great men. Lincoln and Tesla connected? Yes, in far more ways than you could ever have imagined. Check out the background at the link above and watch this space for the big launch coming shortly.

In the meantime, if you read Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity or my previous e-book, Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time, please take a moment to give it a rating and/or short review on Goodreads, BN.com, and Amazon. Providing ratings (and feedback if you have the time) helps spread the word to other Tesla fans around the world.

Here are the links:

Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity: Goodreads     BN.com     Amazon

Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time  Goodreads     Amazon

Thank you all for your support. I’ll post updates on Edison! and Tesla as they happen.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. 

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