I'm posting this in "off topic" because it does not refer to our favorite car company:
I got an email today titled "A note from Tesla generator." The email promised free electricity using a device the government has been trying to keep hidden. (Where do these idiots come up with these ideas?)
I did not open the link in the email because I don't know whether it's just going to try to sell me another perpetual motion machine, or whether it's going to try to infect my computer with a virus. I never open links in emails unless there is something in the text of the email that absolutely convinces me it comes from a legitimate source, or the link actually points to a site I trust.
I actually love perpetual motion toys, and I have several. Of course there's the classic drinking bird. And there's a really cool battery powered thing which is cool because unless you're an electrical engineer you probably can't figure out how it works, since there's no electrical connection between the roller thingy that rolls back and forth seemingly forever, and the base where the battery is hidden. Apparently the arms of the roller interact with a magnetic field generated in the base in such a way that it always gets pushed in the direction it's moving.
The scam in the email I got today plays on the fact that a lot of people believe that Nikola Tesla invented machines that would give us free electricity, and only our evil government is preventing us from having them. Which is kind of odd, really, because we actually have free energy beaming at us wirelessly from that big thermonuclear reactor a relatively safe 93 million miles away. And most alleged "free energy" machines probably cost more to build (if they worked, which of course they don't) per watt of output, than a solar collector or wind turbine.
I blame our educational system and fundamentalist religion for the pathetic ignorance of science in the populace that allows free-energy scams to persist, as well as such medical scams as chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, etc., and the plethora of other irrational beliefs such as AGW denialism and young-Earth creationism.