The January, 1932 issue of Modern Mechanix invited us to weep for poor Thomas Edison, who allegedly bankrupted himself with dumb real-estate deals before dying, going to his grave a poor man. Edison was a notorious rip-off artist (he once told Nikola Tesla that the money he'd been promised would never come to him, and that Tesla just "didn't understand American humor) and liked to electrocute animals for kicks, so a pauper's death sounds like pretty reasonable karma to me.
Mr. Edison secretly expressed to me the hope that some day I would write just this kind of a story so that it might form a sort of guidance to inventors who would pick up the threads of science where he left off.
During our last meeting I distinctly remember how he placed his arm around my shoulder and said, “I have told you all. Be discreet. Do not tell everything until after I am gone. Then, after I have departed, you can do inventors and scientists a great duty by telling the rest..."
Mr. Edison replied, in his own handwriting: “Would not like to do this for many reasons. At present my income has nearly disappeared on account of the depression in business.”
Edison electrocuted an elephant 105 years ago today
Edison and the music biz: nothing's changed
Edison's mistakes recapitulated by RIAA
I’m touring 20 US cities (plus dates in Canada and the UK!) with my forthcoming novel Walkaway; the full tour hasn’t been announced yet, but I’m delighted to reveal that the NYC stop on May 3 will be at the New York Public Library, where my interlocutor will be the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Tickets are […]
dj BC writes, “In 2006 I mixed a bunch of New Orleans artists with Wu Tang rappers to make the record ‘Wu Orleans.’ 11 years later, here’s part two, with ten new songs. Free MP3 download of both albums here. A very limited run of vinyl with all 20 Wu Orleans songs on two records, […]
Meyer Lansky was an infamous and ruthless gangster — albeit one so personally charming that his life is chronicled in a book called But He Was Good to His Mother — and no friend of New York State Judge Nathan Perlman; nevertheless, as the Nazi-supporting German-American Bund staged more and more toxic rallies in New […]
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Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]
Not all hackers are malicious information thieves—white-hat ethical hackers work with technology companies to ensure the security of their computer systems and user data. With all of today’s high-profile data breaches, ethical hackers are in considerable demand. To learn these critical skills and break into the high-paying cyber security field, try taking the courses in this […]