There are many people whom it would be a pleasure to see in person. I’d love to spend the day with my girlfriend Galya, with Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of Green Day, with Robert Downey, Jr., or with Carl Sagan. The person I would most want to spend a single day with, however, is Nikola Tesla.
Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest scientists to have ever lived. He was a genius, the man who perfected AC current, and the creator of the Tesla Coil. Tesla has been more or less forgotten by history. Instead of remembering a man who conceived the possibility of wireless devices decades before they were even close to reality, we remember a man named Thomas Edison, a person known in his time for electrocuting animals. I would love to be able to pick the brain of one of the greatest minds of all time about the state of the world today.
Our day would begin early, at twelve o’clock midnight. I am not going to waste a second of my twenty-four hours of being with one of the most incredible people in the history of the world. We would talk for eight hours before getting ready for the day. After doing all the usual morning routine things, we would go to Alexander’s, a mom-and-pop restaurant that serves some of the best breakfast food I have ever tasted. We would then meet with the creator of the webcomic The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, at Wardenclyffe, Tesla’s last remaining laboratory. Matthew Inman started an internet campaign to purchase Wardenclyffe and transform it into a museum, so he deserves more than anyone to meet Tesla should he return to life. The internet campaign raised over one million dollars for purchasing the lab.
After Matt and I admired Tesla’s genius for a few hours, we would begin to introduce him to some modern technology. We would show him televisions, computers, iPhones, and all sorts of other mystical modern-day devices. We would ask him what he thought about the technological wonders before him. We would pick his brain on how he would improve upon their designs. We would spend several hours of learning what the greatest mind in the past century years thought about some of our most incredible inventions of the past decade. Tesla and I would then go with Matt to Starbucks on Matt’s dime. We’d all have a great time drinking hot beverages and eating pastries while looking at the news of the day.
After we took our afternoon coffee, we would take Tesla to meet the President of the United States. This would be done, because President Obama has wanted to use more environmentally friendly forms of energy production. Tesla built the first hydroelectric power plant, one of the first examples of environmentally friendly energy sources. If he was able to do that back in the early nineteenth century, imagine what Tesla could come up with if he had today’s level of technology on-hand to toy with. After a meeting with the President, Tesla, Inman and I would all head to a gaming convention, and enjoy catching Tesla up on thirty years worth of video games. We would then have a marvelous dinner at Old Country Buffet. Afterwards, Tesla and I would say our goodbyes to Inman and head back to my house. Sitting by a fire, we’d drink some scotch. I’d ask the great mind before me, the man who while walking along was struck with the idea for the perfect AC design, about his hopes and dreams. I’d question him on his aspirations, his life, and the pigeon he loved. As the night wound on, I’d share a moment with this man, someone I admire. It would be a moment in which I would understand him as a person, and not just as the legend I see him as today.