Pár hřejivých slov úvodem

Vítejte, lidé dobří i špatní, malí i velcí, ženy, ženy a taky muži, lidé s uhry, a předpubescentní nedomrlčata. Vítejte, mí skvělí kamarádi, ba i vy, odpadové společnosti, které jsem možná jaktěživ nespotkal.

Vítejte u Olihně Poutníčka, místa, kde se vše lenivě vleče a kde jsem si sám pro sebe. Jak je psáno, Oliheň Poutníček, toť receptář dobré nálady, deník chrabrého sestovatele a sborník literárního refluxu.

Dostojí se zde prostoru romantickým výletům s květy a peřím, romantickým vstáváním o kuropění, romantické pohodičce ve dvou či třech a potom tomu literárnímu refluxu.

Budu si zde tudíž dělat radost, tropit žerty, ve volné chvilce sepíši to Nejdůležitější poznání světa z okamžiku.

Poznámka k výhradám vůči infantilnímu názvu:

Nelitujmež nápadů trvalých hodnot, jež jsou zplozenci našich výstředností a opileckých mánií. Naopak: rozvíjejmež je! Protože proč by ne? Tvůrci, sebestředy takových myšlenek jsme stále jen my sami a jsme-li pro danou chvíli upřímní sami k sobě, jsme to my v ryzí podobě teď a tady. Proto budiž Oliheň Poutníček svým a mým, ač jeho nom může zavdat podněty k pohrdání a posměškům. Nechmež jej tudíž v míru cedit vodu, v níž se zrodil, a učiňmež jej šťastným chápavostí!

S láskou Oliheň Poutníček

The Story of Antikythera Mechanism

In reminiscence of my noble and erudite English-speaking friends and in memory of my grandfather Josef.

Once upon a time there was little me. Small child in continuous attempt to understand the natural relations, consuming tons of smart encyclopaedias asking hither and tither about what and why. Usually, I was given at least some answer, more or less clever, more or less true. Then there was my grandfather. He came with rather opposite approach; he brought a mystery. He, albeit himself very rational and practical man, showed me and my brother an alternative approach: a secret world that lacks the answers, the world of enigmas, secrets, riddles, cryptozoology, ufology, crop circles… In simple words, he introduced us Erich von Däniken, Arnošt Vašíček and many more seekers of the neglected or yet hidden truth.

This world of secrets was exciting. Out of sudden the answers were unfathomable, the world gained a new dimension of mist and obscurity. It was a game, fantasy whetting. We liked it.

As the time passed and I became an anthropologist, many secrets proved themselves less mysterious, more explainable, or even fake. Although I thus became bereft of illusions and more sceptical (which is just), still my fascination was gladly roaming near any fresh notice, any paper or a bit of information that commented on anything a bit mysterious. I think my hobby is still comfortably dwelling inside me, although sedated.

One mystery pretty well known to me was the Antikythera Mechanism, a rusty bronze artifact, about 2000 years old, found on board of a sink shipwreck at Greek coast. The artifact was intriguingly unique – it represented a set of very precisely-wrought sequential cogwheels (melted by the rust together); nothing even a bit similar was found until and since then. And here comes the mystery: what function could this hapax legomenon have, the object that is one of a kind in the world?

The mechanism was found at 1901 and since that time archaeologists were busy with plotting its function. The speculations that came mostly into young me were: a prove of Atlantis or similar technically developed civilisation, a prove of UFO, a prove of time-travelling, a prove of secret society that controls immense knowledge, et cetera. More serious speculations juggled with terms such as the world oldest analogue computer or a clockwork but none of these ever provided clear evidence.

Antikythera mechanism remains, picture stolen from the Internet.

What I personally preserved was that the mechanism is a rather strange and complex mechanical device from antiquity that vastly surpassed its era but whose function we will probably never ever discern.

Some 15 years ago, the mechanism was scanned via CT – a promising method that could have shed beam of light onto the mystery. The images showed even more cogwheels, hidden inside the corroded pancake, and helped to reveal some ancient inscriptions, indicating the mechanism somehow related to solar, lunar, or planetary moves. A nice good step forward. And that was all, for 15 years nothing substantial happened.

Until now! Three days ago, I have found a short notice on one enigma-focused webpage (random encounter from my side), stating that the Antikythera mechanism mystery was finally resolved. Given the dubious character of the page, it made me smile and sentimental, and eventually I closed the page, thinking to myself “but what if?”.

Yesterday, however, I have found another confirmation of the “mystery solution” on Stařešinky, an amazing Czech news webpage, which already prompted me to think more, and forced me to search for a source of this information (https://www.novinky.cz/veda-skoly/clanek/jako-z-jineho-sveta-vedci-zrekonstruovali-anticky-pocitac-predstavujici-model-kosmu-40354275).

Yestereve I have found the original paper, it was published in March in Scientific Reports (by Nature Research group, which another project is renowned Nature). Indeed, yestereve I have found the paper and stood with it, completely struck in awe, well over midnight, reading and gasping.


(T. Freeth, D. Higgon, A. Dacanalis, L. Macdonald, OPEN A Model of the Cosmos in the ancient Greek Antikythera Mechanism, Sci. Rep. (2021) 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84310-w.)

Voilà, thanks to the paper I came into the nicest piece of interdisciplinary scientific work I have ever ever ever seen. During perusing the paper, I was sending its link forth to many my friends, the longer I read, the more recommendations I sent…

Okay, what happened?

Indeed, a team of scientists most likely discerned the mystery of the mechanism. It is verily a mechanism showing moves of celestial objects known to ancient Greeks within Zodiac (i. e. Moon, Sun, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn), adding some Greek-important dates, such as Olympiad and some more. It was propelled by crank and the set of cogwheels transmitted the motion to the whole system. After the CT done 15 years ago, this was somehow expected.

But the most striking was the modus operandi and its vast complexity. As I wrote it to my father and uncle, it was a flawless mixture of Indiana Jones, Dan Brown, and Umberto Eco and a real science, namely archaeology, history, ancient Greek philology, math, astronomy, and mechanics.

The scientists managed to abstract and use every bit of information from the corroded bronze plate and did the following:

First, they unravelled the damaged inscriptions on the plate and found names of some planets. As the names were clear, the research went historic – Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek astronomical knowledge was studied. It was crucial to follow the back-then understanding of moves of the planets with regard to the back-then accuracy. With such astronomical principles understood, it was possible to progress on in the puzzle.

Near Venus and Saturn inscriptions there was a set of numbers which (in combination with aforementioned historical astronomy) turned out to be so-called synodic cycles (how often the planets perform full cycle around the Earth). With the known synodic circles of the two planets math came. Using prime factors of the known synodic numbers the scientists were searching for the factors that could likewise relate to the remaining planets, Sun and Moon, and would determine relatable size of the appropriate cogwheels + number of their teeth.

There were also many more adjustments (most of them I did not truly understand), some antique knowledge on the synodic circles was as precise as the cogwheels would be immensely huge to be exactly accurate (containing over 1500 teeth), therefore they adapted some (for me mysterious) tricks to convey the forces from wheel to wheel that enabled them to scale-down the wheel sizes to about 60 teeth… And many many more.

Charts portraying cogwheels, during reconstrucing the mechanism. Taken from Freeth, Higgon, Dacanalis, Macdonald, et al. (2021).

Step by step, the scientists managed to make a great (and crazy) mechanic Goliath of cogwheels, using small innuendoes left on the original rusty artifact, such as various fenestra, imprints, leftovers of some pointers… In the end, every single hint provided by the artifact was used, adapted, and modelled. Now, the last deed remains: to construct a real model of the mechanism, which will be a great mission for metalworkers and jewellers (the planets are to be made from semi-precious gems, in congruence with colours and the fashion of the antiquity). That will stand for a final satisfaction for generations of scientists and archaeology and history and mechanics enthusiasts.

Cogwheels pandemonium during reconstrucing the mechanism. Taken from Freeth, Higgon, Dacanalis, Macdonald, et al. (2021).

The authors admit some own inventions that do not find evidence in the remains of the artifact – so there is for example no clear evidence about Moon being incorporated into the system. However, let us assume the ancient author would not omit such an important object from his ingenious gadget. Along with the authors, I am nearly sure that the Lunar remains got simply lost during the two millennia in sea water. Moreover, the addition of the Moon does nowhere infringe the system that was preserved.

Generally, the mechanism of Antikythera was a product of a genius (or a group of them), that “surpassed its age” by hundreds of years. The mechanism was in fact quite similar to (yet even more complex than) the famous Prague clockwork that came into being 1500 years later (and okay, which is already self-propelled). Interesting is that until now we know only of single such a unique mechanism. Seemingly, the know-how necessary for its replication was lost or very well protected and this gadget has therefore never become mass-accessible. The question remains whether this one really is the only of kind ever made or we could expect finding of some its counterparts in future… And another question tickles nearby, how many similarly unique mechanisms were lost in mysterious seclusions of time?

Complex look of the mechanism, taken from Freeth, Higgon, Dacanalis, Macdonald, et al. (2021).

I would be glad if you, kind reader, stepped forth and read the original paper. It is written in a very approachable English, most of the exploration processes are explained in a very humane language so even I felt attached to it and could have not stopped reading till the end. Do at least yourself a favour, and take a look to the very bottom of the paper and see the three amazing animations supplemented (under References).

I found these readings about the Antikythera mechanism as a great adventure from beginning to the end, exactly as the story of one mysterious artifact should be related and, after many unsuccessful attempts to solve it, finally concluded.

The front dials showing movements of the celestial objects. Taken from Freeth, Higgon, Dacanalis, Macdonald, et al. (2021).

My granddad who brought me to this mysterious world of enigmas and unsolved puzzles died the last December. And thus, for me, the timing of the paper publication (and its postponed transition to the Czech media) became a nice cosmologic and chronologic conundrum – I finished its reading today early morning, exactly at the grandfather’s name day (which is a mere COINCIDENCE). ;o)

Zimní les u Adamova

Kdysi dávno, v dobách, kdy smělo se dle svobodné vůle po sousedních gminách pohybovati, kdy v přírodách bylo lze než vlastním nosem inhalýrovati a kamarádi pozdravné „čágo“ mohli bez obavy hlučně do tváří si vzkřiknouti, jsme před týdny cirka třemi vyrazili v les. V les za Adamov, druhé nejznamenitější město naší republiky (po Bohumíně).

Bylať ještě poctivá jihomoravská zima, zažili jsme s přáteli a psem mnohá dobrodružství. Tak třeba led na pěšince kousíček nad Adamovem. Ten překvapil natolik, že jsme se málem do Adamova vítězoslavně vraceli dříve, než jsme jej vůbec opustili (situace přezdívaná v kuloárech ejaculatio ante portas).

Po zdolání ledopádu jsme se pro jistotu řácky posilnili likéry, a to bylo jisté, že už nepřituhne.

Dobrodružství pokračovalo nálezem jeskyně s výstavním cencůľem. Tam pojedli jsme něco ovocí a zase bylo blahodárně.

Potom jsme se brodili mraky až k oné nečekané nebeské bučině o kus nad jeskyněmi, totiž k místu opředenému tajemstvím, mlhou, loňským listím, a hlavně nehybnými zelenavými pni zakletých boučků a buků, kde se lidský hlas tetelivě ztrácel v hučivé hloubce toho vznešeného lesního chrámu. Tom si dal banán.

A zase jsme šli dál, prosyceni tím chladivě zimním lesem bez velkých sněhů, šli jsme mlžným údolím mraků dolů (též kolem fascinující placenty či bachoru či jiného uzenářského výrobku). Následovala druhá jeskyně, s dalšími podivuhodnými cencůľmi. A dál jsme šli, dolů kolem mechem opředeného Ruského kříže až ke Staré huti a k Adamovu, kde jsem už měl mlhy vstřebáno vrchovatou měrou, a i závěrečná pouť vlakem se mi tak stala tajuplnou.

Inu, jak praví klasička Janička, není jak nám.

Jarek Blaňko

Totiž to bylo tak… Žil byl jeden ministér zdraví a takových těch věcí. A na Wikipedii mu dočista scházela profilová fotografie a zela tam prázdná ďura a zela si a zela a zela…

Kremo vystupuje ze své Oktávky.

Až jednou nás to trklo – i tu se dalo dohromádky několik hlav, mistrů svého oboru, režisér, model, fotografka, IT přeborník, něco komparzistů a nadšených fanoušků.
A protože byl pan ministr tváře ryze generické…

Ministr Blaňko nechápe, co lid nechápe na smečce jím zavedených opatření.

Produkce, režie, námět, PR: Chief Salamander
Model, kostýmy: Jarek Blaňko
Fotografie a post-processing: Rebi
IT: ConPower
Komparz, odborné konzultanz: PoD, Wojc, Dáš
Fanclub: Snad všichni ostatní


Ministra zdravotnictví a takových těch věcí ČR:

Oficiální stránka současného ministra zdravotnictví a takových těch věcí ČR.

Nastalo nádherné odpočítávání, první minuty slasti, vítězství, úspěchu, přijímání květů a nabídek k sňatku… Jak dlouho asi tahle defraudace vytrvá?
Když v tom…

Strůjce všeho zmaru: Jiří Kopal (všecko skopal), zlatý wikipeďo, nemáme ho rádi! Aneb již o tři minuty později, v nekřesťanskou jednu hodinu ranní:

Jiří Kopal po své oblíbené činnosti – kopání do hradů z písku.

Konec, šlus, exitus. Hodiny poctivé práce přišly vniveč, neboť dílo zkázy bylo, patrně nenávratně, dokonáno.
I přesto všechno nás však jímá posvátné potěšení z dobře odvedené práce, jisté je, že nebesa nás neminou.

Díky všem!

P. S.: Tímto se upřímně omlouvám Jiřímu Kopalovi za vědomé podrývání jeho záslužné činnosti jakožto i letmé hanobení jeho jména, obé jsa myšleno než v nízkém pubescentním žertu. Jeho soudné činnosti si samozřejmě (spolu s ostatními defraudanti) velmi vážíme.