Tag Archives: bad@$$

Nature’s Bad@$$es: The Pen-Tailed Treeshrew

I’m changing the “Historical Bad@$$” series to the “Bad@$$es” category, which will also include different species of animals.

Like many treeshrews, the pen-tailed treeshrew has a high brain-to-body mass ratio, but unlike other treeshrews, it is nocturnal. Also, its diet consists mainly of alcohol. The pen-tailed treeshrew spends several hours each night drinking fermented nectar from the bertam palm tree equivalent to 10-12 wine glasses of 3.8% alcohol. The pen-tailed treeshrew does not get intoxicated, despite alcohol levels that would affect humans, because they make extensive use of an alcohol metabolism pathway not highly used in humans.

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Historical Bad@$$: Nikola Tesla

Yes, Tesla. The Serbian-American inventor who worked for Thomas Edison, who was obsessed with the number 3 and died broke trying to tend for an imaginary pigeon that shot lasers from its eyes (the term laser hadn’t been invented yet though). He has an SI unit named after him (the tesla, represented by the symbol T, is a measure of the strength of a magnetic field), and his inventions include no less than:

  • Alternating Current (AC, still in use today)
  • The light bulb (namely the fluorescent lamp, still in use today) and neon lighting
  • Radio (Tesla let Marconi, the person credited with radio, use 17 of his, Tesla’s, patents)
  • Radio (invented 18 years before the person credited with its invention)
  • X-ray photography (Tesla x-rayed his own hand as a test, and he knew of the dangerous effects of x-rays)
  • The remote control
  • The electric motor
  • Wireless communications

He also:

  • Had the first hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls built
  • Experimented in cryogenics
  • Held patents for the predecessors of transistors (used in computers)
  • Sent the first radio transmissions into space
  • Determined the resonant frequency of the Earth
  • Almost destroyed a New York suburb using a resonance machine (also known as an earthquake machine)
  • Reproduced ball lightning in his laboratory (a feat not attained since)

Finally, Wardenclyffe.

Remember the Niagara Falls hydroelectric plant? Yeah, that was built to help provide cheap electricity to the Wardenclyffe Laboratory which would, get this, electrify the Earths atmosphere, providing free electricity to everyone. Unfortunately, the Wardenclyffe tower, from which electricity would be broadcasted, was destroyed in 1917. In October 2012 a crowd-funded project collected $1.37 million, plus a $850,000 grant from the state of New York, to build a museum to Nikola Tesla on the old Wardenclyffe grounds.

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Filed under Historical Bad@$$, Science

Historical Bad@$$: Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart

Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart¬†VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO was a highly decorated British military officer of Belgian and Irish heritage. Sir de Wiart was a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE), a Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB) and a Companion of The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG). A veteran of the Boer War, World War I and World War II. Over the course of his military career he was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip and ear, lost his left hand in 1915. During World War II a plane he was on crashed into the water about one mile off of the coast of Italian Libya, and Sir de Wiart and the rest of the plane’s crew swam the mile to shore were they were promptly captured. After seven months of tunneling during his time in the Italian POW camp, he escaped and spent a week disguised as an Italian peasant and then after was involved in the Italian surrender negotiations. After WWII, Sir de Wiart was the British Prime Minister’s personal representative to Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek. Sir de Wiart died in June 1963 at the age of 83.

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Filed under Historical Bad@$$, History