Shock talk with special guest Derek Mack. We discuss the different kinds of burns and bodily harm caused by electricity, the war of the currents, macroshock vs microshock, electric eels, plus the usual news & pop culture. Note: “Lightning” and “Electric Chair” will be covered in subsequent episodes.
Tesla’s biggest innovation was introducing alternating current as the standard for modern electric power, breaking Thomas Edison’s monopoly on DC power. Mike Daisey is an author and monologuist who performs a one-man show about Tesla, and he tells us how AC/DC isn’t just a band.
Nikola Tesla and the War of the Currents (Part 2) — By 1887, Nikola Tesla secured seven patents for components of his alternating current system. In 1888, George Westinghouse offered to hire Tesla to develop the AC system, and that’s when the Current War really got underway.
Tesla’s biggest innovation was introducing alternating current as the standard for modern electric power, breaking Thomas Edison’s monopoly on DC power. Author and monologist Mike Daisey performs a one-man show about Tesla. In this segment he describes the inventor’s obsession with electricity.
"He literally had visions," Daisey says. "He could create simulations of things that had never been. And they would come to his mind in a flash, whole, complete, and entire."
A Serb, born in 1856 in what is now Croatia, Tesla came to the US to work with Edison on his electricity projects. But the two inventors disagreed about alternating and direct current, and Tesla left to develop his own alternating current generator. It was the beginning of the war of the currents. "AC vs DC, it’s not just a band. It’s a battle over standards. It’s like VHS vs Beta, but this time it’s for your entire house," Daisey explains, "so you really want to be on the right side of this one."
(Originally aired: January 25, 2008)