An Electric Convergence of Coincidence

I often experience a “convergence of coincidence”, which is what usually compels me to write this blog. This time, a series of electric events beg to be blogified.

First, if you havent seen the new movie The Prestige – take time to catch it. I think David Bowie steals the show as Nikola Tesla, the billiant inventor of the telephone repeater, rotating magnetic field principle, polyphase alternating-current system, induction motor, alternating-current power transmission, Tesla coil transformer, wireless communication, radio, fluorescent lights, and more than 700 other patents.

David Bowie in The Prestige

Through another convergence of coincidence, I met David Bowie briefly in a crowded hallway during the 2000 RMA Awards in Las Vegas. For me, it was like meeting my idol, and I felt a little embarrased at the giddy girlish excitement that I could barely contain. Fortunately, I was highly enibriated, and our brief impromtu meeting felt somewhat mystical in circumstance and content. Bowie asked me many questions about a product I was in Vegas to promote which promised to revolutionize the internet with proprietary encoding of video. We didn’t know the product was actually based on “smoke and mirrors”, and would eventually be squashed after spending over $12M to launch it (including the first reunion of The WHO in many years). But that’s another long story.

Who knew he was working on Bowie Net at that time – and was on the cutting edge of creating his own virtual world online. Who better to play one of the greatest inventors and minds of the 19th century than a man who equalled his creativity in the next century. Ok…I’m a fan.

Back to coincidence…

Tesla invented the aptly named Tesla Coil – a fantastic machine developed to transmit electrical power without wires. The Tesla Coil could be considered a simple radio transmitter, operating within a broad range of high frequencies, which transmits power rather than information. Pure Magic – as depicted in today’s movie The Prestige.

Flash back to this summer on the playa at Burning Man. Another mystical, legendary performer uses the Tesla Coil in one of the most amazing displays of raw power and theatrics I’ve ever seen – Dr. Megavolt.

I was the only one of my camp that crossed paths with Dr. Megavolt’s amazing Tesla Coil show on the playa this past year. And I am still in awe. If you’ve never experienced it – it’s worth the trip and dirty agony of sleeping in the dust just to see it. Dr. Megavolt rules. The smell of burnt air is something you’ll not easily forget. And the emotional electricity he (and Mrs. Megaolt) creates is something that (as we Burners say) stays in you.

So what’s this all mean? I don’t know… something about electricity in the air. Something about circumstance. But I feel better having made the connections – and hopefully…you’ve been entertained a wee bit.

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