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How Tesla Will Change The World

We've already discussed part one and part two of Wait But Why's epic interview with Elon Musk, he has finished the series at part four with a bonus audio section. Enjoy!

Part One - Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man
Part Two - How Tesla Will Change The World
Part Three - How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars
Bonus Audio - SpaceX Audio Stuff (podcast and audio book)
Part Four - The Cook and the Chef: Musk’s Secret Sauce [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Nov 10, 2015 - 113 comments

The real Faraday could've fought a 10-year-old Nic Tesla when he was 75

The mysterious Faraday Future (yes, that's the real name), has already hired 400 top automotive engineers (such as the former director of manufacturing for Tesla) and is building a $1B facility to create a new type of electric car as soon as 2017. But what is Faraday Future? Some think its part of Apple's secret "Titan" car project (which will have electric license plates!), while others think it is "China's response to Tesla." The auto industry is changing fast, as, also within the last 24 hours, Toyota started investing $1B in AI and Local Motors rolled out their latest 3D-printed car design.
posted by blahblahblah on Nov 6, 2015 - 54 comments


America's Mad Scientist: 24 hours with Elon Musk (Clickhole)
posted by michaelh on Sep 9, 2015 - 23 comments

Wrestling an Electric Eeel

You might find Tesla (and all of Elon Musk's businesses) to be excitingly Geektastic (or not), but you may have wondered if there's anything more to it than just a lot of cool engineering. Does any of it actually have the potential for real positive change? If you want some information and a framework to help answer that question, check out this post, which investigates Understanding Why What Tesla Is Doing Is Important. [more inside]
posted by Ickster on Jun 3, 2015 - 52 comments

"It's something we must do, and we can do, and we will do."

Tesla Powerwall Battery Economics: Almost There - "Elon Musk announced Tesla's home / business battery today. [video] tl;dr: It'll get enthusiastic early adopters to buy. The economics are almost there to make it cost effective for a wide market... That said, for large scale grid deployment (outside of the home), it still looks like flow batteries[1] and advanced compressed air[2] are likely to be far cheaper in the long run." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 1, 2015 - 101 comments

“The world’s most fantastic, yet tender and pathetic love affair.”

Wings of Desire. "[There] stood the imposing figure of Tesla, wearing a crown of two pigeons on his head, his shoulders and arms festooned with a dozen more, their white or pale-blue bodies making strong contrast with his black suit and black hair, even in the dusk. On either of his outstretched hands was another bird, while seemingly hundreds more made a living carpet on the ground in front of him, hopping about and pecking at the bird seed he had been scattering. It was Behrend’s [the scout’s] impulse to rush in, shoo the birds away and, seizing the missing man, rush him back to the auditorium. Something caused him to halt. Such an abrupt action seemed almost sacrilegious. …" [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 28, 2015 - 12 comments

Humans Need Not Apply

Full of assumptions, still thought-provoking article about self-driving cars by writer Zach Kanter, How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Feb 1, 2015 - 193 comments

For great justice

Tesla Motors announced today that the company will no longer defend its patent portfolio, on the heels of an earlier announcement that the company would open up the designs and specifications for its "supercharger" system.
posted by schmod on Jun 12, 2014 - 80 comments

Intergalactic Spaceboat of Light and Wonder

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal sure loves his Tesla Model S. He also thinks that, for using Tesla's name for his company, the least Elon Musk could do was help fund a Tesla museum. Musk agreed.
posted by gottabefunky on May 14, 2014 - 116 comments

San Francisco's secret electric power grid

"While DC continues to race through San Francisco power lines at nearly the speed of light, it does so anonymously. You’ll find no reference to DC power distribution in PG&E’s annual reports or on its websites. Even some utility engineers are unaware of its existence, which raises a curious question: Why is the inheritor of this legacy, the mighty and sophisticated PG&E, still bothering with DC distribution 133 years later?" [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Nov 29, 2013 - 44 comments

The dawn of an era, available and emulated in your browser to play.

A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted. Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser. And it was so. I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
posted by jdaura on Oct 25, 2013 - 37 comments

your spaceship has been westinghoused

Teslapunk is a new game for mobile where Nikola Tesla has to save the world, shoot-em-up style. The heavy vintage graphics are by Thorsten Fleisch who is no stranger to metafilter. He also did the music. It doesn't get more indie than this. [more inside]
posted by namagomi on Aug 19, 2013 - 5 comments

The best car we have ever tested. Ever.

Consumer Reports says the Tesla Model S is a truly remarkable car.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes on May 9, 2013 - 251 comments

The cars catching on fire probably had something to do with it

While Tesla Motors expects its first profitable quarter (despite some bad press), the electric car competitor it unsuccessfully sued for stealing its technology, Fisker Automotive, teeters on the brink of insolvency. How did Fisker, a company valued at over $1 billion dollars at the beginning of 2013, end up in this sitation? A Timeline of Fisker's Rise and Fall
posted by meowzilla on Apr 18, 2013 - 23 comments

Now watch this drive

The Verge (video) and the New York Times (text) push the Tesla Model S electric car to its limits
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Feb 12, 2013 - 126 comments

Nikolai Tesla's Planetarium Collection

Owen Phairis, aka “Nikolai Tesla, Man of Lightning”, has a planetarium projector museum near Bear Lake, CA. Cool Hunting takes a tour.
posted by zamboni on Jan 26, 2013 - 4 comments

The Undesirables

The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then man’s new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. ~Nikola Tesla, Liberty Magazine, February 9, 1935
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 16, 2012 - 74 comments

Tesla Network of Supercharger Stations for the Tesla S Series

"Does Tesla's Supercharger answer the road trip question for EVs?" Tesla announces plans to rollout a network of supercharger stations that will generate more solar power than the Tesla S series cars draw, leading to a net input into the grid. Yahoofinance says "...the first six Supercharger stations, which will allow the Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada and Arizona."
posted by BillW on Sep 26, 2012 - 57 comments

Nikola Tesla day is July 10th

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal published a comic entitled "Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived.." Alex Knapp at Forbes responds with "Nikola Tesla Wasn't God And Thomas Edison Wasn't The Devil" Inman responds to the response very succinctly. (the oatmeal previously)
posted by rebent on May 21, 2012 - 97 comments


This is the coolest thing in the world. For reals. It's "Dueling Banjos"... played on two giant Tesla Coils. That's... pretty dang amazing. As if that's not enough, perhaps you'll like the Nyan Cat theme? Or perhaps Sweet Home Alabama, for jonmc? Or In The Hall of the Mountain King, for the most awesome remake of M ever? [more inside]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Mar 14, 2012 - 42 comments

The Tesla Brickster

$40,000 is what you'll pay to have the battery replaced if you leave your Tesla Roadster, a $100K electric car, unplugged long enough that the battery discharges completely. Reportedly, the problem will also plague the upcoming Model S coupe, a $50K downmarket model. Owners cannot insure against this loss, it is not covered by warranty, and the car cannot be driven, recharged, or easily towed if so "bricked".
posted by seanmpuckett on Feb 22, 2012 - 173 comments

The Breakout Hit Of The Season

Designer and Illustrator - Dr. Monster- shows us how to make a modern movie poster. Maybe you'd like to see one of his posters? Or a happy scooter? Or a motivational poster? Or just a dapper looking Tesla with a Tesla Cannon?
posted by The Whelk on Feb 18, 2012 - 7 comments

Doctor Who, Cali style...

The Doctor Who theme, Adam Savage of Mythbusters, and tesla coils! (SLYT) ... just a part of this weekend's S.F. Bay Area Maker Faire.
posted by markkraft on May 23, 2011 - 28 comments

Play Tesla the Weather Man

You are Nikola Tesla. Dodge obstacles and control the elements as you race to stop Thomas Edison. A game by ThoughtQuake Studios, made using open source software and part of IndieDB's top 100 games of 2010. via BlenderNation.
posted by circular on Mar 14, 2011 - 10 comments

iron tesla

Iron Man on electric guitar with tesla coils. [VIDEO]
posted by philip-random on Oct 4, 2010 - 46 comments

danyk's Electromagnetic Shenanigans

(MLYT) Danyk666 and his microwave oven, danyk and his unshielded Source, danyk's little jacob's ladder, danyk heats water, zaps a CD, uses wrong AC power. Also hairspray high-volt abuse, his flyback transformer no workee (wait for it), carbon scoring on your droids? And danyk's small shaded-pole motor ...OF DEATH!!! [more inside]
posted by billb on Aug 25, 2010 - 35 comments

The History of Nikola Tesla

The History of Nikola Tesla - A Short Story. In celebration of the 154th anniversary of Nikola Tesla's birth. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 10, 2010 - 26 comments

Does what it says on the tin.

Tesla Christmas Tree.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Dec 24, 2009 - 12 comments

They called him mad! Mad! Zzzzt!

Wireless electricity has been mentioned previously. A recent TED Talk actually shows it in action. The presenter, Eric Giler of WiTricity Corp (a startup founded by MIT researcher Marin Soljačić), mentions the first attempt at wireless electricity, the Wardenclyffe Tower, designed and built over a hundred years ago by Nikola Tesla. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Aug 30, 2009 - 95 comments

Hydrogen. It's the fuel of the future, and it always will be.

Pics of the new Tesla S-Model have been leaked. With an anticipated price tag of 50K and a potential 45-minute recharge time, will this finally kick-start a true replacement to the internal combustion engine? And if so, where will the electricity come from? What future is there for the fuel-cell vehicle, or will fuel cells remain stationary? Is that really it for hydrogen? [more inside]
posted by molecicco on Mar 28, 2009 - 68 comments

SpaceX finally makes it to orbit

SpaceX's fourth flight was successful. Scaled Composites' X-Prize winning SpaceShipOne made the first privately funded hop into space. SpaceX just took the next big step and inserted a dummy payload into orbit. Next, they will launch the much larger Falcon 9 and later test out the human-carrying Dragon. CEO Elon Musk also enjoys dabbling in banking and exotic electric cars.
posted by b1tr0t on Sep 28, 2008 - 45 comments

Immediate prospects for the electric car

Two takes on the immediate future of the electric car: we are either "Going Nowhere Fast" (if you ask a petrolhead from Top Gear magazine) or we are witnessing "The End of the Petrolhead" (if you ask The Economist). A bestiary of current and planned models includes TeslaMotors (now in production), Fisker Automotive (who are being sued by Teslamotors), the GM Volt (due 2010), The Lighting Car Company, the plug in Prius, the GWiz (now slightly less squishy apparently), the Corbin Sparrow, a few (vapory?) models from Zap! and the wondrous Sinclair C5.
posted by rongorongo on Jun 26, 2008 - 67 comments

Electric Christmas Trees

Electric Christmas Trees. [more inside]
posted by Tube on Dec 23, 2007 - 3 comments

This Should be Played at High Voltage

Steve Ward's Singing Tesla Coil video. Previously.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 15, 2007 - 22 comments

Danger, Danger High Voltage

Creepy High Voltage Installations The Russian countryside yields sometimes most improbable sights - abandoned artifacts and installations from bizarre military/scientific research, strangely futuristic forms left to rust and decay - to be found by a curious photographer. "Master" stumbled upon this installation close to Russian city of Istra (50 km from Moscow) quite by chance, and these mysterious shots were percolating for a while around the web, until the answer was found. According to this little, cryptic, and quite secretive website [in Russian], the weird alien-like towers are the Experimental Grounds for High-Voltage Generation, the only open-air kind in the world. Amazingly, it's still in use... as the powerful lightnings rip through the night and the darkened forest - much like in "The Prestige" movie.
posted by psmealey on Jul 4, 2007 - 38 comments

DANGER - High Voltage

Don't try this at home. Watch in awe, bedazzlement, and concern as a lone Australian (with no professional training) builds tesla coils, lasers, railguns and exploding wires -- in his own garage. [Previous mad science on MeFi]
posted by Spike on Mar 30, 2007 - 17 comments

Pass the Future, please.

Tales of Future Past* — It's been a looong Monday. Do you want to get off the planet and out of the city to a place where you can really live? Well, here's some food for thought on the way home down life's highways. First, take a break from all this depressing war talk. Then empower yourself by giving yourself some space and maybe taking off for a few days. Drive just a bit slower, turn up the volume and imagine that your mechanic will say the tranny's OK after all. Once you're in the front door, take time to get slightly wired and forget all about politics. Get recharged for tomorrow: have a nice long bath, put your mind at ease, watch Ur Fave shOw, and listen to some soothing music. Now, don't things look a lot better? [*Note the 'Start the Tour' links at the bottom of each page.]
posted by cenoxo on Feb 12, 2007 - 10 comments

"The future, for which I have really worked, is mine."

How did we miss the 150th anniversary of Nikola Tesla's birth?
posted by unknowncommand on Dec 9, 2006 - 43 comments

electric music

Tesla coil music system (YouTube alert) and five other musical gadgets you didn't know about.
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 21, 2006 - 24 comments

The Tesla Roadster

Nikola Tesla lends his name to an electric car that can reach 60pmh in 4 seconds and travel 250 miles between charges. Early witnesses include Arnie and Wired. An old Tesla rumour is that he made his own back in the 1930s.
posted by rongorongo on Aug 3, 2006 - 93 comments

A Brief History of Precision Guided Weapons

One-page history of remote-controlled weapons. Includes some Tesla goodness.
posted by Heywood Mogroot on Dec 15, 2005 - 10 comments


Did God create hurricane Katrina? Well, probably not. But perhaps, it was George Bush continuing his plan for world domination by using HAARP and scalar technology to control the weather by applying the suppressed theories of Nikola Tesla! See, once Bush has induced economic armageddon it will quickly induce the peak oil crisis thus leading to permanent martial law whereby he'll be able to suspend the constitution. Once all these pesky government controls have been removed, then Bush will finally be able to achieve the neocon dream of a New American Century.
posted by slogger on Aug 30, 2005 - 57 comments


Lightning On Demand is a volunteer organization of engineers, artists, scientists and machinists. Our key objective is to produce a controllable discharge of lightning at the greatest physical scale imaginable using modern technology. They've built the worlds biggest Tesla coil, Electrum, a Taser Cannon and some other projects
posted by warbaby on Apr 30, 2005 - 19 comments

the future used to be so much nicer...

"The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere "stick" in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis."

From an interview with Nikolai Tesla in 1937 about the now near future...
posted by Aleph Yin on Nov 29, 2003 - 12 comments

While scientists like Einstein and Heisenberg are familiar names, others like Nikolai Tesla have been largely forgotten by history, despite the fact that some of his work with electricity still cannot be replicated to this day. Despite this, claims of governmental conspiracies are probably fairly far from the truth.
posted by nick.a on Oct 12, 2002 - 19 comments

Bert Hickman has a ten inch diameter Tesla coil powered from two neon sign transformers in his screened-in (but unheated) porch, along with a device that produces magnetic fields strong enough to shrink coins. One of the byproducts of the coin-shrinking: an eight inch ball of plasma.
posted by tranquileye on May 14, 2002 - 15 comments

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