Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Nikola Tesla

 

                Nikola Tesla is probably the most underrated inventor of all time. He patented a lot of useful inventions, mostly in the field of electricity and yet, most people still don’t know who he is or his biggest contributions to Science.

And since he just turned 158 this July,  here are some things you probably didn’t know about the great Nikola Tesla:

Tesla and the Invention of the Smartphone and the Internet

                As shocking as that may sound, the original concept of smartphones and Siri weren’t cooked up by Steve Jobs. The idea for that modern technology came from Tesla. His idea was to make a handheld device that could receive stock quotes and telegram messages wirelessly via broadcasted frequencies. Tesla reportedly once said, “The household’s daily newspaper will be printed ‘wirelessly’ in the home during the night”. In other words, he was the first to envision smartphones and wireless internet. If only he was supported enough to push through with that project, the internet would’ve been invented decades ago.

No Sleep For Great Minds

                Like all the other great inventors, Nikola Tesla rarely slept. He would work in his lab for hours and in one instance, he stayed up working for 84 hours straight. He never slept for more than two hours and after he’s done working at 3 am, he’ll be at it again in just a few hours. Although he admits that he occasionally dozes off to ‘charge his batteries’.

The Man From the Future

                Tesla’s mind is so advanced that people often speak of him as if he came from another time and it is evident in his inventions. Some people even thought he was from Venus and was preparing the earth for the coming of Venusians. That’s utterly ridiculous but who can blame them? Tesla is incredibly brilliant and he held around 700 patents in 26 countries. These includes the Tesla Coil, Alternating currents, Robots, Spark Plugs, Bladeless Turbine, Devices for X-rays and many more. He also once planned on making an actual death ray.  He was also the first to harness the power of the Niagra Falls into a hydro-electronic power plant. His main goal? Free electricity for everyone.

Tesla vs. Edison

                Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla weren’t actually arch enemies. However, they were rivals. Tesla once worked for Edison in his lab and while they were both brilliant, Tesla knew that he can do so much more on his own. Soon enough, he became Edison’s rival and the only reason why Edison is much more popular and richer than Tesla is because he was a businessman. A little unknown fact: Thomas Edison was not the one behind the idea of light bulbs . It was actually Tesla, however, Edison knew how to sell it so he got the credit. Despite that, the two remained decent to each other and even admired each other’s work. Kind of like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs relationship.

Eccentric-like that’s a surprise

                Most geniuses are eccentric types. Tesla however is a little bit more special. He had OCD and cannot bear the sight of pearls and later, human hair. He needed to touch things constantly and everything must be divisible by three. He also had a strange fascination with pigeons. It was rumored that he was even ‘in love’ with one because of what he wrote about it. Also, he never had a love interest or a girlfriend, nothing. He was entirely married to his work.

Tesla’s Death

                Here’s the sad part: Tesla died alone and penniless in a hotel in New York City. He died January 7th, 1943 from Coronary Thrombosis with the maid discovering his body two days later. Even though he had sold his AC patents, he still died a very poor man because he self-funded most of his projects that never even seen the light of day.

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Criticisms: Constructive vs. Destructive

Criticisms: Constructive vs. Destructive

 

                Everyone’s a critic, right? Criticism is the act of passing severe judgment as to the merits of anything. It is something we all do sometimes even if we don’t notice it. Criticizing something or someone is fairly easy; however, it’s a different story from the perspective of the one being criticized.  There are two types of criticism, one is constructive and the other is destructive. Whether you’re the critic or the one on the receiving end, it’s important to know the difference between the two so you will know how to handle it well.

Constructive Criticism

                Constructive criticism points out faults and includes practical advice on how they can be corrected. The person receiving the criticism is not attacked directly, and has the opportunity to improve. Usually said with a lot of euphemisms, constructive criticism’s aim is to help the person do better next time by telling them what to work on in a nice way and without sounding controlling.

Here is an example of constructive criticisms:

“Your painting looks nice but it will look even nicer if you used brighter colors.”

“Your grades in Mathematics will improve if you consider getting a tutor.”

“Practice keeping your back straight so you wouldn’t look slouchy all the time.”

Criticisms: Constructive vs. Destructive

                The key to giving a constructive criticism is to not patronize the person you’re talking to. Instead, tell them the harsh truth in a way that they wouldn’t take offense. If you tried your best to make it sound less offensive but they still took it badly, it’s not your problem anymore. However, always be careful with how you say it rather than focusing too much on what to say.

                If you received that kind of criticism, always take it positively and use it to improve yourself. Besides, people who use constructive criticism on you are mostly those who care about you the most so you can be sure it’s done with good intentions. Never take it as an attack but rather as a proof of love instead.

 

Destructive Criticism

                This is the kind we all hate to hear. This just points out faults and directly attacks their owner. It aims to show that the person or object has no worth or validity. No practical advice or consideration is given. This is usually given by those who do not regard the other person’s feelings or just simply insecure about their own thing that bringing down others boosts their egos.

Examples of destructive criticism are:

“You’re wrong.”

“You don’t look good in that dress.”

“You’re so annoying sometimes.”

“You don’t dance well unlike the others.”

 Criticisms: Constructive vs. Destructive

                If you ever find yourself giving this kind of criticism, you might want to ask yourself why you’re doing it or if you say what’s on your mind, will it help your friend or will you just bring them down? Sometimes, our lips move faster than our brains that we forget how offensive we can be. It’s important to tell the criticism to yourself first and see how you’d take it before you say it. Like they say, keep your words sweet just in case you have to eat them.

                Now, if you’re the one receiving this kind of criticism, do not let it get to you. Instead, go out there and prove them wrong. That’s the best revenge for all the destructive critics out there!

                It’s in our nature to make mistakes.  As we go through life we have plenty of opportunity to learn and improve ourselves. Therefore, no matter what kind of criticism is aimed at you, analyze it to find something you can learn from it. And whenever you’re criticizing someone, make sure you’re doing it to help them and not demean them.

Criticisms: Constructive vs. Destructive

 

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Rizal

Jose Rizal is 153 years old today and to celebrate the birthday of our beloved national hero, here is a list of things about Rizal that your history teachers probably never taught you at school:

  • Rizal was suspected of being a serial killer

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                                On the 24th of May 1888, Rizal was in the London British Library to copy the book “Sucesos de las Islas de Filipinas” by hand. Incidentally, this was also the time where the notorious ‘Jack the Ripper’ terrorized the city, killing more than five victims. On January 1889, the killings suddenly stopped. This was also the exact time that Rizal left London to publish the book. But that’s not the only reason why he’s suspected of being Jack the Ripper. According to the investigation, the intricate method of killing suggests that only a person with a medical background could do it. We’re all very much aware that Rizal was a doctor. And also, they both have the initial J and R. Though it wasn’t proven, this is one of the most interesting things that Rizal got involved in. Oh and by the way, Jack the Ripper’s identity remains unknown till this day.

  • Rizal was a cheapskate

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                As told by historian Ambeth Ocampo on his book “Rizal without the Overcoat”, there was a time when our hero was invited to a party and was assigned to bring the champagne. Despite his protest, he did bring the champagne but he also lectured his friends and the guests against drinking and womanizing. After his agonizing sermon, he then passed around his hat and asked everyone to chip on for the champagne he bought for the party. You can say he is indeed a penny-pincher but he was on a tight budget of P50 a month and on a foreign land. You would do the same if you’re in his shoes.

  • Rizal is kind of a Psychic

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                Well, not really but he once had a nightmare that terrified him so badly. He wrote in his journal that he had a frightful nightmare in which he died. In his dream, he was portraying an actor who dies in a scene and that he felt vividly that his breath was failing. This incident happened on December 30, 1882, the same day of his execution 13 years later. He also wrote that in the future, he can see that the Philippines will have a massive transport system like trains that will go around the city, making transportation easier for everyone. We did have that eventually, however, if Rizal were to ride the MRT or LRT today, he’ll probably send an angry letter to the management.

  • Rizal is a not actually a Straight-A Student

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                                Yes, we all know that our national hero possesses multiple intelligence and no one doubts he’s a genius but did you know that he wasn’t always the excellent student we thought he was? Jose Rizal’s grades and performance were all just average. And all though he graduated sobraseliente , he received that award along with eight other classmates. His grades in UST weren’t so good either. He had a few passing marks because according to him, “the subjects are a bore and the discussions are dry”.

  • Rizal is still a Mystery

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According to Ocampo, there are still a lot of things that we don’t know about Rizal. For instance, it was said that Rizal distracted himself from depression and self-pitying by writing scribbles. However, none of those scribbles were found. Also, on the eve of his execution on December 29, 1896, Rizal stuffed some papers in his pants and shoes, thinking that his body will be given to his family after he died. Of course, the Spanish government did the opposite and they dumped his body on an unmarked grave at the Paco cemetery. His body was exhumed two years later but the papers he wrote were already destroyed. No one knows what’s written in those papers and no one ever will.

Pinoy Henyo: Amazing Filipino Inventions

                Our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal once said: “Genius knows no country”. He is a genius himself and he is a firm believer that Filipinos are capable of achieving great things. We have so many talented geniuses in the country but the sad truth is most of us can’t even name them because they’re not being promoted like celebrities and other TV personalities even though they should be. However, despite being deprived of support from the government, our Filipino geniuses did not stop creating and inventing new things to improve the lives of the many.

Here are some of the most amazing inventions made by our very own Filipino inventors:

The Karaoke – It’s not a surprise to know that a Filipino invented this since most of us are musically inclined. Invented in 1975 by Roberto Del Rosario, this sing-along machine became very popular across Asia. In the Philippines, we call it Minus One. His first prototype includes a microphone and an amplifier that enables the singer to change the pitch, echo, etc. But why did it become known as Karaoke you may ask? That is because a similar machine was invented by a Japanese man named Daisuke Inoue and became popular in Japan and then, the rest of the world.

Photo from: paulschoic.blogspot.com

Photo from: paulschoic.blogspot.com

The Moon Buggy – In case you don’t already know, the world famous Moon Buggy, used in the Apollo 12 explorations was invented by a Filipino named Eduardo San Juan in 1971. He’s a NASA mechanical engineer and was the leader of the team that worked on the Moon Buggy or the Lunar Rover. Impressive isn’t it? But that’s not all. San Juan is also the designer for the Articulated Wheel System prior to the Apollo Program and worked on the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). He was nicknamed The Space Junkman of NASA.

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image from: Wikipedia.com

The Video Phone – In this social media era, one cannot go without taking pictures, making videos or “skyping” with their smart phones. Many kids believe that Steve Jobs is responsible for that but actually; it’s all thanks to a Filipino inventor named Gregorio Zara that we have that kind of technology. He’s a Filipino physicist and engineer who graduated BS Mechanical Engineering in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. In 1955, he invented the two-way television telephone or videophone patented as a “photo phone signal separator network. Other than he also patented 30 other significant inventions and also excelled in the field of physics.

The Medical Incubator- The development of the medical incubator saved a lot of babies and it’s still being used to prevent diseases from harming newborns. The inventor of this jaundice relieving device is a Filipino doctor named Fe Del Mundo. She was the first woman ever to be accepted in the Harvard School of Medicine and has been a prominent pediatrician since then. After the invention of the Medical Incubator, she also devised an incubator made out of bamboo for rural areas without electricity. Dr. Del Mundo then continued on her practice very well into her 90’s. She’s also the founder of The Children’s Medical Center in 1957 which is located in Quezon City. She died on August 2011 with the title National Scientist of the Philippines.

Computer Microchips – If it weren’t for the many chips invented by Diosdado‘Dado’ Banatao, you would be seeing a bunch of ones and zeroes on your screens right now. Banatao is the inventor of the world’s first 16-bit chip in 1972, which he invented while working at Commodore. His invention led to the development of GUI or the Graphical User Interface that allows us to see images on our computers. He is considered to be the Filipino Bill Gates because of his achievements in Modern Technology.

#YESALLWOMEN: Misogyny and Murder

 

                The violent mass killing that happened in Isla Vista, California USA is disturbing enough but the reason behind it is even more terrifying. Six people were murdered and thirteen others were injured when Elliot Rodgers, 22, a student of the University of California Santa Barbara went on a shooting spree. In his manifesto and the equally disturbing video he posted on Youtube the night before the shooting happened, Rodgers ranted for nearly seven minutes against women who he said rejected him and popular kids who ignored him. Rodger stabbed his roommates, ran over some bicyclist and skateboarders on the street, shot at an innocent customer at a deli store and shot three college girls outside their sorority house just because he couldn’t get a girlfriend. Two of them are dead.

“You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. It’s an injustice, a crime, because … I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman.” – Rodgers said in the last video he posted on Youtube. His manifesto obtained by CNN is just as terrifying. It also contains reasons why he hates all women and that he respects any man who can get a girlfriend so easily like his father.

Apparently, Rodgers saw women as objects that he is entitled to have. For him, a woman does not have the right to say ‘no’ to men. They exist to be his girlfriend. Women are just companions, lovers and friends who have to do whatever the supreme gentleman says. This is misogyny in its purest form and what’s worse is there are actually some people (mostly men) who are supporting Rodgers saying that “this is what women get when they friendzone nice guys” and that “they deserve it”.

This gave birth to the trending #YesAllWomen to raise awareness that this mass shooting isn’t the only incident of misogynistic murder around the world and ALL WOMEN have experienced being harassed at some point in her lifetime. In fact, according to the statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the USA, there are more women who got killed by men; their husbands or their boyfriends than there are soldiers who got killed in the war in Iraq (Figures from 2011-2012 only) .

WAR ON WOMEN

To provide even more proof that this is happening around the world, a tumblr website called WhereWomen Refuse.tumblr.com collects all the stories of abused women around the world. And it’s shocking to know that there are a lot of cases involving women getting murdered for saying ‘no’ to a guy at a party, women who get beaten up by complete strangers simply because they did not flirt back and women getting killed by their own husbands or boyfriends for refusing sex. It’s horrible, it’s happening, it’s real and very few people are doing something about it.

And yet people still ask why we need feminism?

This issue here isn’t about the male agenda or guns; this is about women continually fighting for their right to be safe. This is about women having to carry pepper sprays in their purses everyday in case they get attacked.This is about women who have texted each other if they got home safe. This is about women who are afraid to wear short shorts or sleeveless blouses so men won’t say that ‘they’re asking for it. This is about women portrayed by the media as damsels in distress, as prizes and as objects of sexual gratification. This is about teaching your girls not to get raped instead of teaching your boys not to rape. This is about a war against women that has been going on for ages and still, there is not enough being done about it.

May this shooting spree open all of our eyes to what’s really happening around us. Let’s not turn a blind eye to those who are oppressed by this patriarchal society that shaped our morals and beliefs. As long as you are thinking that some people are superior to others because of their gender, race or ability, then you are thinking just like the killer and you are part of what is wrong in this world. The fight for equality should be everyone’s battle.