Sunday, 30 June 2013

Random Thoughts and Events and Updates.

There are times when I can't think of anything to write and others where I have to store pages for future publication.  But I notice that the number and quality of comments both here and on the Besslerwheel forum have dropped off. So in the face of  my own 'writer's block', or as it is sometimes called, 'Literary Constipation', what is one to do? Looking to the wisdom of those who came before me; I should take a break, write something entirely unrelated to the usual stuff. 

Someone asked how my work on Bessler's wheel was going and why did I say nothing about it?  I don't say much because there isn't much to say.  I could describe the many hours I spend designing and building new configurations and also the many times I've eventually dismissed them as unworkable, but there is little of interest there.  I don't post images because if I did, and the design worked I'd have given it away, on the other hand once a design fails I cannibalise the parts so there's nothing left to see.

I have a number of different tasks associated with Bessler's wheel and I have to fit them in with my more mundane chores such as keeping the garden tidy and responding to my wife's pleas for a new tree here, dig up one there, clean the gutters, paint numerous parts of the house and outbuildings, everywhere.  Not to mention removal of the bees which have invaded our attic and found their way into the bathroom via the downlighters!  The final indignity was when one of them stung Mrs C!  These particular bees are bumble bees and quite large, hairy and scary.  You're probably familiar with the venerable line about scientists having proved that a bumblebee can't fly which appears regularly in magazine and newspaper stories, but it's not true, however I can tell you from direct observation that they are incompetent fliers, bumping into each other, tumbling about and missing the hole in the wall etc etc!  Really quite funny - funny, but a nuisance - of course in this country there are laws against killing bees - and foxes and squirrels for that matter, each of which think our garden (backyard) is their personal residential play area.

In the act of getting closer to the bees by climbing onto the flat roof of an adjacent building, in order to see how they were getting in, I happened to observe that the gutters were full of dead moss, leaves and the occasional small bird; and so I've bought a stand-off extension to my ladder so that I can get at the gutters and clean them - never mind the fact that I have a fear of heights and shall have to overcome it to do the job!

We also have a small bird-bath outside one of the garden windows, which is shared by a blackbird and a robin.  I never realised that robins love to bathe six or seven times a day and make a great show of splashing everything around! He bathes even if we are sat four of five feet away - magic! I also have a photo of my feet resting on a foot-rest in the garden, a glass of wine in one hand and the robin perched on the end of my foot watching for worms and grubs to appear in the grass, what a cheek! 

As for my Bessler project, I have completed my tests on a test-rig and my mechanism does what it is designed to do, (I'll say no more for now, on what that might be) and I've cut two MDF discs for use as the basis for my final wheel and a spare, incorporating the mechanisms.  I'm starting with just one mechanisms and will then advance to two, three and finally five to try to discover what difference if any, the numbers make.  Everyone knows that I think five is the optimum number but Bessler seems to suggest that fewer will provide enough stimulus to rotate the wheel, just - so, we shall see.  My chief problem in have five mechanisms is how to fit them all in.  I anticipate that squeezing them all in will be a bit like herding cats and prove equally impossible.

I have finally completed my book to follow up and update my previous one which came out in 1997!  I'm not going to self-publish it this time, but will wait until either I or some other person has succeeded in building Bessler's wheel at which point hopefully someone else (a publisher!) might be interested in taking on all the work involved publishing.  If not I'll offer it as a digital download at some point in the future.

I hope this was not too random and uninteresting.  These ordinary accounts of everyday activities make a break from the serious stuff.



Thursday, 27 June 2013

It's not just MIBs; it's commercial interests that want your discovery too.

The news about Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program and also implicated the British security service and others, is one thing - and knowing the paranoia that permeates the minds of those who continue to research Bessler's wheel, I'm not surprised if my fellow researchers are dismayed to get confirmation of this governmental facility - but there is another scandal brewing which should cause futher alarm and despondency to us.

According to the Independent newspaper a previously supressed report reveals that law firms, telecoms giants, and insurance companies routinely hire criminals to steal  information on business rivals and members of the public.  Of course we all suspected that has been going on but now an official report has surfaced which appears to confirm it.

According to this report the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) knew six years ago that these large firms, were hiring private investigators to break the law and further their commercial interests, yet the agency did next to nothing to disrupt it.

One of five police investigations reviewed by SOCA found private detectives listening in to targets’ phone calls in real-time. The report said a “telephone interception specialist manufactured several devices which were physically attached to the target’s landline at the relevant signal box by a British Telecom-trained telecommunications engineer.”

Illegal practices identified by SOCA investigators went well beyond the relatively simple crime of voicemail hacking and included live phone interceptions, police corruption, computer hacking and perverting the course of justice.

Despite the widespread criminality uncovered by Project Riverside between 2006 and 2007, none of the suspects identified in the report was charged with criminal offences until after the phone-hacking scandal four years later. Police were finally forced to act after the scandal that caused the closure of Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper ( Murdoch's News of the World), the resignation of two Scotland Yard police chiefs and the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry.

Forget MIB's and government snooping, it's commercial interests that will be hacking into your computer to retrieve your records on solving Bessler's wheel. Should anyone of us be approaching success it seems that the safest option might be to commit everything to paper, lock it away and wipe the computer clean of all records of your work - otherwise your patent applicatiuons will be worthless.



Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Trials and Tribulations of Translating.

The Besslerwheel forum has again debated the accuracy of the English translations I provided in the Bessler's books I publish.  I don't need to rehearse the many arguments I put forth in support of the work of my friend Mike Senior, but there is another aspect to this subject which is worth bearing in mind.

I refer to the change of meanings in words over a period of time, or as wikipedia puts it, "semantic change is the evolution of word usage — usually to the point that the modern meaning is radically different from the original usage. Every word has a variety of senses and connotations, which can be added, removed, or altered over time, often to the extent that cognates across space and time have very different meanings. The study of semantic change can be seen as part of etymology, onomasiology, semasiology, and semantics."  - some words there, I've never encountered before!

There are numerous examples which I needn't repeat here but you can read the article at - my point is this; consider the words of William Shakespear written over 400 years ago, many people find it hard to uderstand some of his writings, but if you think they're confusing, you shoud try reading Geoffrey Chaucer writing over 600 years ago!  So what are we to make of Bessler's words written only 300 years ago?

Samuel Johnson, a contemporary of Bessler's and famous for publishing the first English dictionary wrote numerous articles and books, wrote for example, ""He that has much to do will do something wrong, and of that wrong must suffer the consequences; and, if it were possible that he should always act rightly, yet when such numbers are to judge of his conduct, the bad will censure and obstruct him by malevolence, and the good sometimes by mistake."  It's easy enough to understand but the sentences are long and convoluted and you can doubtless imagine trying to translate that into German, for instance.

But there is another aspect to take into account and that is Bessler's use of slang.  He was taught to use robust language in his poetry, by Christian Weise his teacher, and he did so with enthusiasm.  We therefore have to take into account the use of slang and try to understand its relationship to modern meaning.  One way to appreciate the difficulty with this is to consider just the differences between British English and American English - and we reputably, speak the same language, imagine the difference between English and German slang, separated by 300 years!

Finally there is Bessler's use of metaphors in his writing.   Metaphor is a figure of speech that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object, and it compares two objects or things without using the words "like" or "as".  How are we to always understand that he is using metaphors in his descriptions of things?  Sometimes it's obvious, but not always.

Bessler described a land where"roast pigeons fly into your mouth," not likely but an agreeable metaphor.



Sunday, 16 June 2013

Write without slight - and hearsay evidence is not persuasive.

It's funny how we each believe from time to time that we have solved Bessler's wheel - or at least have taken a significant step along the path to success. Our path, to what seems like a valid conclusion at the time, is filled with moments of revelation interspersed subsequently with the inevitable realisation that we got it wrong. Often these 'discoveries' don't always appear to have been arrived at through a logical chain of reasoning, but are often regarded as instant revelations when the solution seems to jump out at us and we know that we have found the answer! The power of this personal conviction is of an intensity which is so powerful that the urge to share our good fortune is almost irresistible.  Is this certainty a part of a psychological flaw in our make-up, or evidence of a talent for imaginative cognitive scientific research that finds ingenuity to be essential in human reasoning?

I have had a number of these so-called revelations which supply a surprising and previously unthought of piece of artistry in a particularly dramatic way.  Many of these come in the middle of the night and lead to sleeplessness - until dawn sheds her harsh light of truth and reality and on the  subject and what seemed like a momentous revelation turns out to be a momentary lapse of reason.  Those that arrive while I'm at my workbench seem much more logical and worthy of exploration.

I completely understand why some people occasionally wax enthusiastic about the latest lightening bolt of inspiration that's hit them and make announcements which have no basis in fact - to everyone else it is nothing more than hearsay, a feature of the justice system which is not even generally admissable in court.  I tend to empathise with those who make premature announcements - been there, done that - and abusing them for doing so does not help and neither does the growing trend on the besslerwheel forum for being disrespectful to others. It's commonly advised that you shouldn't write anything to or about anyone that you wouldn't have the guts to say to their face.  But as well, the effect of the words may be softened in the presence of the recipent, by the body-language of the person uttering them.  Unfortunately the body-language element is missing on the internet and therefore the words may appear more abrasive than they seemed to the author.  Please think before you write, it may cause a slight. (definition of slight - a deliberate discourteous act usually as an expression of anger or disapproval)



Friday, 7 June 2013

Gravity - or the force of heaviness.

I've discussed this before but it seems an apt moment to mention it again, following comments on the Besslerwheel forum.

Many people search for the word "gravity" in Bessler's writings and some suggest that since he didn't use the word he did not ascribe the energy which drove his wheel to gravity.

Sir Isaac Newton described gravity, but he didn't use that word either.  He wrote his book, 'PhilosophiƦ naturalis principia mathematica', entirely in Latin, because that was the language used by the learned, and many books on academic and scientific subjects were written in Latin so that they could be read by people in all the European countries regardless of the reader's own native language. The name "gravity" comes from the Latin word, "gravitas", which means "heaviness". 

"Gravity" is a force that's exerted between heavy bodies that had what Newton called mass, Newton was saying that weight shouldn't any longer be regarded as simply a property possessed by a "heavy body", but that a body that seems to be heavy is in fact being attracted by another body with mass, in this case, the earth.

The fact that Bessler used all kinds or words to describe gravity is simply because the word, "gravity" had not yet been recognised in its own right as a name for the force of attraction Newton was describing.  He describes it as a heaviness, out of balance, preponderance, etc etc.

"Principia" came out in 1687 and took many years to become known throughout Europe and it's unlikely that Bessler ever had access to the book, but even so the word used was simply "heaviness" in Latin, and was not generally understood as an attraction between two masses.

So accept, as I have always done, that Bessler's wheel derived its energy from gravity - or the force of heaviness.

NOTE - you can read Newton's Principiua on line at the Cambridge digital library.  The website is



Monday, 3 June 2013

Update - and problems encountered along the way

This is partly an update and an account of my thoughts during the current build and the problems I'm encountering.

Bessler once commented in his Apologia Petica, "If I arrange to have just one cross-bar in the machine, it revolves very slowly, just as if it can hardly turn itself at all, but, on the contrary, when I arrange several bars, pulleys and weights, the machine can revolve much faster...'.

Now I have always believed that Bessler had five mechanisms in his wheel (and I could supply convincing evidence that this was the optimum number) and that anything less was a waste of time, but it is obvious that just getting a wheel to turn continuously, no matter how slowly, would be a perfectly acceptable proof of principle and a major achievement.  So what's the problem?

I recently decided to build just one mechanism on a test rig and try to perfect it before building more for the wheel itself.  But instead of then assembling four more mechanisms and attaching them to the wheel, I realised that the next logical step would be to test the wheel with just one mechanism - which isn't the same thing as building a single one and then making the wheel with however many I designed it for. Having designed mechanisms which operate as one of three, four or five, I see a problem in designing a wheel using just one of my mechanisms. With more than one, they are intended to operate in conjunction with each other, but with just the one, I'm wondering how to use it effectively.  Do I add one or more weights at certain points to counter the missing mechanisms and their weights?  Should I reposition the mechanism so that it is more central?  I depends on how big it is relative to the wheel's size and more importantly, how it is designed to work.

So now I have a mechanism that appears to do what I want it to do, but it is hard to fit five of them on a wheel, which means either making each smaller, or using a larger wheel.  Much better to try to adapt the single mechanisms to operate on its own in driving the wheel "very slowly,just as if it can hardly turn itself at all!" Of course another option is to build it with more than one, maybe two,three or four mechanisms, I'd have no problem fitting two or three on the existing wheel

The mechanism works according to the concept I have encoded at the end of each blog.  I know that some have suggested that I should include pictures of my work, but I can't yet until I know that it won't work.  I will try to post some pictures of my failed design using the 'kiiking' principle, unfortunately I cannibalised the parts to make this next desing, but I may have some parts remaining.



Sunday, 2 June 2013

Google login now required - sorry anons

Sorry guys, but the comment section has turned into a sordid mess of foul language, tantrums, vicious retorts and tit-for-tat recriminations, which has nothing to do with Bessler or the blog.  Against my wishes,  I must require a log in to at least see who is commenting.  Why people resort to moronic name-calling I don't know; why they consistently refer to slang names for actions and parts of the human reproduction system I don't know either.

It seems to me that the people who are interested in solving Bessler's wheel are intelligent, reasonable and capable, so it cannot be they who persist in demonstrating their inadequacy by resorting to schoolboy taunts more suited to the children's playground than to intellectual persuits such as we enjoy.

The use of swear words is usually done for gratuitous effect and is often associated with stress in an individual, but it also demonstrates a lack of imagination and imagination is one of the chief requirements in Bessler research - and a lack of it is not something you could ever accuse Bessler of..  In his words, "Oh - be gone!, you evil hornets, you prattlers swollen with poison, you envious wretches who have so vilely debased me! Only your lap-dogs will be enticed by your poisonous crumbs!"


Johann Bessler's Graphic Clues

Despite including several drawings illustrating his wheel (althouigh external views only) in his publications, Grundlicher Berchicht, Apolo...