Mr. Katiraie (BS. BA. MBA) is the original inventor of all Back Up Sensors in cars, trucks and buses.

A spiritual basis for creativity, happiness, a new way of life, reasoning, and thinking.

Learn How To Be Creative!

Start being intrinsically motivated and inspired!

Kamyar Alexander Katiraie Virtual Mentoring Is Available

$700 per hour using Zoom on Weekends only

Call (424) 200-2328.

    Happiness requires creativity as the fundamental component. We believe everyone is creative. What’s important is to cultivate the creative spirit from the inside out. We’ll show you how.

    Practice 1

    Please adhere to the guidelines for the illustration below. This is neither a trick or an attempt to deceive your mind. Looking at it scientifically, your brain uses your intuition to identify the appropriate pattern. We’ll explain why and how.


    1) Take a moment to unwind and focus on the four little dots in the center of the image for around 20 seconds.
    2) Next, look at a nearby wall (or any other flat, one-color surface).
    3) A circle of light will start to form.
    4) Start blinking your eyes a few times, and a figure will start to appear.
    What can you make out? Additionally, who do you see?


    What creates the right image?

    Once you realize the correct image by blinking, your peripheral vision, and the power of your intuition have already processed the image. You are intrinsically motivated since this feels like a riddle. Curiosity comes from within.

    When you blink or close your eyes, your mind is relaxed and you are no longer focused but instead engaged. You transfer the correct image to your mind using your intuition. This is how intuition aids in the creative process. In this practice, practically every part of the creative process is engaged. It addresses everything from concentration and focus to being engaged in the activity while yet reaching creativity. The key to creativity is concentration, followed by mental relaxation and absorption so that intuition can do its job. The above practice exercises a variety of mental processes, such as attention, awareness, intuition, curiosity, the subconscious mind, and lastly the creative mind.

    Practice 2

    Do the exercises in the following video. This is the exact opposite of the first practice you just did. In the video below you must focus on the + sign between the two images. The Guidelines are at the start of the video.

    Another one:

    These practices involve peripheral vision. In our first practice all of the patterns of the picture were present but jumbled. We didn’t add any irrelevant pattern to the picture. We allow your peripheral vision to correctly concentrate on the image and put it together properly. Even though it was jumbled, we provided accurate information (but jumbled) to your peripheral vision. In essence, we altered the reality of the patterns rather than changing them. This is significant, which is why I’m highlighting it. Have you ever played with jumbled words? This is kind of the same. Next time you play with jumble words, close your eyes and check to see if you can solve it better.

    In the second video, we fed (or coerced) extraneous or irrelevant information into your peripheral vision by the speed of the video. Your peripheral vision didn’t have any issues in our first practice. However, in the second, your peripheral vision was unable to appropriately interpret the patterns. In other words, your intuition will not be able to properly assist you once you have given your brain information that is unclear or irrelevant.

    So in real life what do you need to do? Get rid of the information that is holding you back. Most successful people are able to focus on the important facts and avoid letting extraneous information cloud their judgment or cause them to make poor decisions.

    The practices above are commonly known as optical illusions. That’s accurate. But, looking at it scientifically, there isn’t any deceit or trickery going on. Even though they are optical illusions, they have a sound scientific foundation that specifically includes the brain and peripheral vision.

    “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

    Lack Of Intuition?

    “You’d better learn secretarial skills or else get married.” Modeling Agency, rejecting Marilyn Monroe in 1944

    “You ought to go back to driving a truck.” Concert Manager, firing Elvis Presley

    “Can’t act, can’t sing, slightly bald, can dance a little.” A film company’s verdict on Fred Astaire’s screen test

    “We don’t like their sound,” Decca Records said in turning down a recording contract with the Beatles.

    “The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union Memo

    “The telephone may be appropriate for our American cousins, but not here, because we have an adequate supply of messenger boys.” A British expert group evaluating the invention of the telephone

    “The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty.” A Michigan Banker advises investing in the Ford Company.

    Intuition Gathering Strategies

    Once you finish this online book, you will realize why those quotes are relevant.  Just to give you a hint, intuition is the key.

    By pure luck, the manufacturer of the Club anti-theft device (for the steering wheel) approached me in 1992. Club was interested in marketing my patented invention, the famous Ultrasonic Blind Spot Back-Up Alert that is installed in almost every car today. Of course, they had to wait 17 years for the patent to expire. The club sold it for $79.99. I received $7.99 in royalties. We sold approximately a million backup alarms worldwide between 1993 and 2000.

    I, Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire, the Beatles and Mr. Ford were lucky!!  I want you to think about this a bit deeper. I wonder how many talented people were passed by companies, bosses or managers who did not have enough intuition to appreciate talent or they were worried to lose their job or replaced by this new talented guy. Think about it!!

    What is intuition? When making a decision, the brain uses intuition to draw from previous experiences, and patterns. When you have an intuitive moment, it happens so quickly that your response is unconscious. We only have a general sense of what is right or bad or how something ought to be.

    The creative process in first practice serves as an illustration of a mind map in which you concentrated, envisioned, discovered virtue, attained creativity, and finally had an Aha! or inspirational moment.

    Creativity and Mind Map

    Here is our mind map:

    Intrinsic Motivation + Concentration/Focusing or a strong form of infatuation, intrigue, or absorption —--> Imagination (Visualization) + Intuition —--> finding Virtue ——-> Strong feelings of inspiration, accomplishments, or the Aha! moment.

    Our approach to creativity is more about enjoyment, inspiration, and inner motivation. It involves setting up the right circumstances so that you can readily inspire your thoughts and feel intrinsic motivation. Everything is achievable once you are inspired, including problem-solving, creativity, self-improvement, intuition, and high levels of performance.

    Don’t you wish you could have a “aha” moment where the solution suddenly appears to you in an original and inspirational way in every challenging circumstance? Our goal is for you to experience the same ease of inspiration, joy, and creativity as you did above.

    If you correctly train your mind and strive to be intrinsically driven, you can be creative in practically any setting. The next Steve Jobs or Picasso could not be you. We didn’t make that promise. However, we guarantee that having little, inspired, and creative experiences will make you happy and successful. We guarantee that you’ll develop a fresh sense of independence and autonomy and find it simple to make new acquaintances. You’ll gain the respect of your coworkers and potentially move on to your next opportunity. We think how much you find what you do noble and virtuous determines how happy and successful you are. In other words, the strength of your intrinsic motivation, the degree to which you see the virtue in what you do, and the reasons behind your actions translate to creativity and success. Finding virtue and passion in what you do is the key.

    Finding virtue is what? Finding virtue does not necessarily equate to “liking”. For the creative process, liking is not profound enough. Steve Jobs wasn’t content to limit his inventions to computers. Steve Jobs believed it was noble and virtuous to make home computers accessible to everyone. Fighting for freedom and equal rights was not just something Mandela and Martin Luther King “liked”. They thought that having freedom and equality was noble and virtuous. John F. Kennedy thought holding public office was a noble pursuit and that civic participation was essential to a flourishing democracy. A generation was motivated to help fix the world both at home and abroad by Kennedy-era initiatives like the Peace Corps.

    The international drive to eradicate the Guinea worm disease has been spearheaded by President Carter.

    By using his position to promote international peace and the fight against disease, President Carter has reimagined what it means to be an ex-president. His greatest achievement to date is the nearly complete eradication of Guinea Worm Disease. The Guinea worm has a significant economic impact. The disease occurs during the planting and harvesting seasons, when there is a strong demand for labor and workers must drink a lot of water, which increases the risk of reinfection. According to one research, rice farmers in southeast Nigeria lost the equivalent of $20 million annually because they were unable to work. According to the same report, more than 60% of students miss school due to guinea worm disease or having to work for relatives who have the disease.

    Since 1986, The Carter Center has taken the helm of the global effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease, collaborating closely with national health agencies and regional populations. Following the eradication of smallpox, guinea worm disease is expected to follow suit. According to a human rights organization, there were just 22 occurrences of the deadly Guinea worm sickness in 2015.

    Introduction to our method

    Our method consists of:

    1) Mindfulness to overcome difficulties and negativity in the mind and to be able to find virtue

    2) Discovering fresh intrinsic motives via independence and observational abilities

    3) Finding virtue leads to discovering creativity

    4) Involving creating innovations

    We go over the value of a mind map and how to create one in the first chapter. We look at a method-based practice in the second chapter.

    The Aha experience might not be feasible without creativity (or originality). The Aha moment might be triggered by the sensation of having produced something original and novel.

    Broad definition of the mind map:

    Finding Virtue (finding virtue with inner truth and passion) + Concentration + Focusing or a strong form of infatuation or intrigue (Intrinsic Motivations) Imagination (Visualization) + Insights + Learning + Intuition ———--> Goal Setting, Hard Work, Determination, Teamwork, and Creativity ——-> Strong feelings of accomplishment, inspiration, and originality

    The power of Intrinsic Motivations and Intuition in the creative process

    In the foregoing exercise, we had no trouble using our intuition. This approach aims to make it easier and more natural to identify intuitive patterns. We will show you how to supplement incomplete information with intuition. You will turn to your intuition once you realize you can’t gather all the data. Your emotions and gut instinct will be added to the creative process. Intuition entails letting up of rational thought and having faith in the unconscious’ perception. You’ll notice that new information, like fresh melodies, readily enters awareness when you’re in an intuitive or mindful state. This novel information might not always make sense and may contain many surprises. The Mind Map’s activities are all connected through intuition.

    When we are not actively thinking about anything, we are more receptive to unconscious mind. Daydreams are quite helpful in the search for motivation because of this. Have you ever heard that for some people, the solution may ultimately come to them in the early hours of the morning or even when they are taking a shower? Now is the moment to let your intuition come up with the solution.

    More on Intuition

    Intuition is a skill that can be learned and developed through life experiences. Consider this example: In an experiment, both chess grandmasters and beginners were shown a chess configuration from an actual game and asked to duplicate it. The chess professionals duplicated the pattern with 95% accuracy, while beginners only achieved about 25% accuracy. Chess configuration based on actual game is very much like the first practice you did where the patterns were actual but jumbled. 

    The same process was repeated, but this time the chess pieces were arranged randomly and not from an actual game. Both experts and novices scored approximately 25% in this second trial. Chess configuration based on random placement and not actual game is very much like the second practice you did where speed of the video injected misinformation.

    Why did the masters perform similarly to the beginners in this scenario?

    Chess grandmasters retain not just a collection of patterns but also an understanding of their significance. When the chess pieces are placed randomly, the configuration has no meaningful context for them, rendering their intuition ineffective. The masters scored 25% because the random arrangement provided irrelevant information, again akin to what we discussed earlier in our second practice.

    This example illustrates that intuition relies on meaningful patterns and context. When presented with random or irrelevant information, even the most experienced individuals cannot leverage their intuitive skills effectively.

    The vast array of patterns stored in long-term memory significantly contributes to an expert’s intuitive ability. For instance, chess grandmasters have around 50,000 real patterns from actual games saved in their long-term memory.

    Experts can quickly connect salient environmental signals to frequently recurring patterns, allowing them to solve problems and make decisions efficiently. This ability to use experience to spot important patterns and predict the dynamics of a situation is a hallmark of intuitive decision-making.

    Experienced decision-makers forecast how the present will evolve into the future by actively visualizing people and objects and imagining how they will transform through various transitions. The goal of this guide is to establish mental frameworks that make it easier to recognize new patterns and foster creativity in any situation. It is also noteworthy that experience alone might not always be the answer. Observing a 15-year-old defeat a 60-year-old grandmaster in chess makes it clear that some abilities are simply gifted by nature.

    How much do we rely on our intuition? Unfortunately, the answer is not much. This gap starts in the classroom, where intuition is not taught. Instead, we are trained to seek accurate information and the correct answers. However, in real life, even with all the necessary data, there can still be uncertainties. This is where instincts come into play. When faced with a gap, most individuals give up, but you shouldn’t. With our strategy, you will come to appreciate these gaps.

    “It is through logic that we prove It is by intuition that we discover.” Henri Poincare

    Bach spoke about how musical inspiration flows naturally. When asked where he got his melodies from, he said, “The problem is not finding them; it’s—when getting up in the morning and getting out of bed—not stepping on them.”

    People that are creative either inherently are or learn to be:

    1) Self-learners who are naturally inclined to learn new things, mindful, find the activity to be noble and righteous, and have amazing concentration and visualization abilities.

    2) Possess uncommon, unconventional abilities for observation and focus.

    3) The desire for challenges; the constant quest for virtue and nobility in the work (it must be a noble task). If not, it is not right or noble, and it is not something that should be done.

    4) Refuse to accept “no” as an answer.

    5) Takers of Risks; Intuitive.

    6) Are intelligently eccentric.

    7) Face challenges head-on rather than avoiding them.

    8) Sincere; liberated; inquisitive.

    9) Accepting their vulnerability and not being afraid to show their vulnerability or to feel shame.

    10) Childlike; quickly bonds with like-minded individuals.

    11) Capable of mental reprogramming.

    12) Complete control over what should be brought to their attention (again, observation), as well as how to interpret it properly for creativity.

    13) Imagination and vision make it simple to foster creativity.

    Perhaps the human consciousness functions something like a productive information processing system. You need to grow better at observing and listening (all the inputs) if you want to use your awareness to its fullest potential. As well as rewire the brain’s neural network to produce the proper creative process. We’ll demonstrate for you.

    We want to train your mind to learn to move from the left side to the right side of the illustration above to feel inspired, to get absorbed easily in new tasks, to learn to create new pattern of intuition easily, to innovate and to create.

    Think of a chocolate factory. Input must be chocolate ingredients for this factory to generate chocolate. Correct? Additionally, the equipment has to be set up to make chocolate. Correct? You now need to accomplish two things in order to alter this factory’s output. Change the factory’s input before changing the equipment.  In other words, both input and machinery must change to get a different output.

    In his book Seven Habits, Stephen Covey provides an intriguing example. A guy on a bus notices a group of loud and disruptive children. He becomes angry and furious. Let’s specify the input first. The input is the obnoxious noise made by a group of rambunctious children. Anger is the result of an imbalanced mental region that also perceives children as being unruly and in need of restraint.  Do you see the input and the machinery in this example?

    The man learns from the their father that the mother of the children just passed away. The input is now updated, as you can see. It is now characterized as subliminal disobedience rather than merely annoying noise. It’s amazing how quickly the mind transitions from agitation to tolerating. In fact, the mechanism develops into an instinctively sensitive portion of the brain. He is now employing his empathetic or sympathetic part of his brain. You might argue that the unstable and imbalanced portion of his brain gets taken over by the empathetic portion. But note how both brain regions are driven by intuition.

    When you encounter a similar circumstance in the future, ask yourself, “What is the input I am receiving?” Then, ask yourself, What region of my brain is handling this input? If I do a different analysis of the information, can I intuitively process it in a different manner?

    Our approach focuses on teaching you superior information processing and observational abilities.

    You feel energized and are capable of accomplishing incredible goals if you can shift from the left side of the picture above to the right side in any circumstance. You are now prepared to develop new patterns of intuition, to always trust your gut, and to experiment with your creative side. We’ll demonstrate how this change is doable. I want to underline that in the figure above, our left and right sides are not the same as the left or right hemispheres of the brain. Our example from before just serves to highlight how our awareness typically operates in two modes. Sometimes we process information from the left side based on circumstances from previous lives and our prior observations. We’ll demonstrate that we can put a permanent end to this.

    A virtuous task is one that is produced by an inspired and fully conditioned awareness, whether it be for the sake of improving life (inventions), purely aesthetic enjoyment (arts), or the love of the activity itself (dancing, photography, woodcarving, rock climbing, etc.). We launch a merciless assault on these obstacles as soon as they are established in order to reach the Aha moment. These noble difficulties often produce hard effort, timelessness, and foresight as their outputs or outcomes.

    Once on the right side, a curious mind needs virtuous challenges. You are challenging newly created pattern of intuition to excel itself or to complete itself. It more like: let’s see if I am right.
    Child Like (not childish) Thinking Pays
    Be Authentic, Vulnerable, Let Mindfulness Solve
    Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
    Secret To Creativity: Be Authentic

    Thomas Paine, A True Social Entrepreneur and Inventor

    “We have it in our power to begin the world over again!” Thomas Paine

    Unlike George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, or John Adams, who shaped the American experience with their democratic impulses and aspirations, Thomas Paine brought a unique perspective. He was a key figure in the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the struggles of British workers during the Industrial Revolution. Paine, one of the most remarkable political writers of the modern era, was the son of an English artisan who only became a revolutionary after arriving in America in late 1774 at the age of thirty-seven. He had never expected to take on such a role. However, inspired by the determination of the American people to resist British rule and captivated by America’s contradictions, possibilities, and energy, he committed himself to the American cause. Through his pamphlets Common Sense and The American Crisis, Paine encouraged Americans to transform their colonial rebellion into a revolutionary war, defining the new nation in a democratically expansive and progressive manner.

    Paine was known for his inquisitive nature, sociability, compassion, and strong-willed, combative spirit. He was always ready to argue and fight for what he believed was right.

    At the war’s end, Paine emerged as a popular hero, widely recognized as “Common Sense.” Joel Barlow, an American diplomat and poet who served as a chaplain in the Continental Army, famously remarked, “Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain.” Yet Paine’s work was far from over. He saw America’s political, economic, and cultural potential as extraordinary, but he did not view this potential as solely for Americans. Paine considered himself a “citizen of the world,” despite his English birth, American adoption, and French honors. Nonetheless, the United States always remained central in his thoughts and evident in his labors, and his later writings continued to influence the young nation’s events and developments.

    However, Paine’s contributions were not always appreciated, and his affections were not always reciprocated. His democratic arguments, style, and appeal, along with his social background, confidence, and single-mindedness, antagonized many among the powerful, propertied, prestigious, and pious, creating enemies even within the ranks of his fellow patriots.

    First proposed seal of the United States, 1776
    First proposed seal of the United States, 1776

    Founding fathers

    On July 4, 1776, shortly after the Declaration of Independence was ratified, the Continental Congress tasked John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin with creating a seal to symbolize the new United States. They selected the image of Moses leading the Israelites to freedom. The Founding Fathers also inscribed a verse from Moses on the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” (Leviticus 25:10)

    When George Washington passed away in 1799, two-thirds of his eulogies referred to him as “America’s Moses.” One orator noted, “Washington has been the same to us as Moses was to the Children of Israel.”

    In 1788, Benjamin Franklin observed the challenges that some newly independent American states faced in establishing a government. He suggested that, until a new code of laws could be agreed upon, they should be governed by “the laws of Moses” from the Old Testament. Franklin justified his proposal by noting the effectiveness of these laws in biblical times: “The Supreme Being… Having rescued them from bondage by many miracles performed by his servant Moses, he personally delivered to that chosen servant, in the presence of the whole nation, a constitution and code of laws for their observance.”

    John Adams, America’s second president, explained his preference for the laws of Moses over Greek philosophy when establishing the Constitution: “As much as I love, esteem, and admire the Greeks, I believe the Hebrews have done more to enlighten and civilize the world. Moses did more than all their legislators and philosophers.” Swedish historian Hugo Valentin also credited Moses as the “first to proclaim the rights of man.”

    Moses is prominently depicted in several U.S. government buildings due to his legacy as a lawgiver. In the Library of Congress, a large statue of Moses stands alongside a statue of the Apostle Paul. Moses is also one of the 23 lawgivers depicted in marble bas-reliefs in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives in the United States Capitol. The plaque’s overview states: “Moses (c. 1350–1250 B.C.), Hebrew prophet and lawgiver, transformed a wandering people into a nation and received the Ten Commandments.”

    The other twenty-two figures have their profiles turned to Moses, which is the only forward-facing bas-relief.

    Statue by Michelangelo Buonarotti — in Basilica San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

    Moses appears eight times in the carvings that adorn the ceiling of the Supreme Court’s Great Hall. His face is featured alongside other ancient figures such as Solomon, the Greek god Zeus, and the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva. The east pediment of the Supreme Court building depicts Moses holding two tablets. Representations of the Ten Commandments are also found carved into the oak courtroom doors, the support frame of the courtroom’s bronze gates, and in the library woodwork. A particularly controversial image is situated directly above the chief justice’s head. At the center of a 40-foot-long Spanish marble carving is a tablet displaying Roman numerals I through X, with some numbers partially hidden.

    In the Christian tradition, “Moses” is often metaphorically referred to as a leader who delivers people from dire circumstances. Several U.S. presidents have invoked the symbolism of Moses, including Harry S. Truman, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, who called his supporters “the Moses generation.”

    Winston Churchill, in his 1931 essay “Moses—the Leader of a People,” used the story of Moses to advocate for strong leadership in Britain, asserting that “human success depends on the favor of God.” He rejected the notion that Moses was merely a legendary figure, instead describing him as “the supreme law-giver, who received from God that remarkable code upon which the religious, moral, and social life of the nation was so securely founded… [and] one of the greatest human beings with the most decisive leap forward ever discernible in the human story.” Churchill emphasized the contemporary relevance of Moses, suggesting that “we may believe that they happened to a people not so very different from ourselves.”

    Churchill implied that the Ten Commandments were a foundational set of laws: “Here [on Mount Sinai], Moses received from God the tables of those fundamental laws, which were henceforth to be followed, with occasional lapses, by the highest forms of human society.”

    In later years, theologians linked the Ten Commandments to the development of early democracy. Scottish theologian William Barclay described them as “the universal foundation of all things… the law without which nationhood is impossible. Our society is founded on it.” Pope Francis, addressing the U.S. Congress in 2015, emphasized the importance of just legislation to maintain unity, stating, “the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being.”

    My Collection of 10 Commandments

    Gift From Rabbi

    He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:3)

    Abraham-Louis Breguet

    Every great watch house has a remarkable origin story, and for Breguet, it begins with its founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet. Born on January 10, 1747, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Breguet faced early adversity when his father passed away when he was just 11 years old. His mother remarried her late husband’s cousin, Joseph Tattet, who was part of a family already established in the watchmaking business with a sales office in Paris. In 1762, Tattet took young Breguet to Paris, where he became an apprentice to a master watchmaker at Versailles, though the identity of this mentor remains unknown.

    After completing his apprenticeship, Breguet is speculated to have worked with renowned horologists such as Ferdinand Berthoud or Jean-Antoine Lepine. He certainly furthered his education in mathematics at the Collège Mazarin, under the guidance of Abbé Marie. Marie, who also tutored the children of the Comte d’Artois, introduced Breguet to the aristocratic families who would later become his prestigious clientele.

    While many know Breguet for his invention of the tourbillon, pioneering the guilloché technique on watch dials, and his reputation as the finest watchmaker of his era, there are intriguing facets of his legacy that are less well-known. For instance, Napoleon Bonaparte was a client before he ascended to the role of emperor. Breguet also crafted the most complicated pocket watch ever made for Marie Antoinette, although it was completed only after her execution. Additionally, the Breguet family expanded their legacy beyond horology, venturing into aviation and introducing the telephone to France.

    Join us on a journey through time as we explore some of Breguet’s most significant historical achievements in Paris and beyond.

    1783–1827: Breguet Creates the most complicated pocket watch ever created for Marie Antoinette.

    Marie Antoinette’s pocket watch, fittingly for one of history’s most infamous royals, remains one of the most extraordinary and complex timekeeping inventions ever created. Symbolic of her tumultuous and brief life, the queen commissioned the watch in 1783, requesting every possible complication and refinement of the time, with no expense spared. Gold was to be used wherever possible, and the watchmaker was given unlimited time to complete it.

    The self-winding masterpiece features a minute repeater, a full perpetual calendar, the equation of time, a power reserve indicator, a metallic thermometer, an on-command independent seconds hand, a small sweep seconds hand, a lever escapement, a gold Breguet overcoil, and shockproofing. This intricate creation has been compared to shrinking a cathedral clock into a pocket watch. Unfortunately, it took 44 years to complete and was finished by Abraham-Louis Breguet’s son long after Marie Antoinette’s execution during the French Revolution on October 16, 1793. The pocket watch now resides in the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem.

    Breguet also made significant innovations by producing the first automatic wristwatches in the world, delivered to the Queen of Naples, a relative of Napoleon. The meticulous Breguet archives in Paris detail the brand’s illustrious clientele since the 18th century, including kings and emperors of France. These records also note transactions with modern figures like Winston Churchill and the romanticized Marie Antoinette, who purchased her final Breguet pocket watch while imprisoned and awaiting the guillotine during the French Revolution. Each of these stories about Breguet products and their famed owners could stand alone as independent discussions.

    ### The Invention of the Perpetual Watch

    The origin of the self-winding watch, initially called the “perpetual watch,” remains uncertain. While Louis Perrelet is credited with the principle of the rotor, Breguet used a different kind of moving weight known as the “masse à secousses.” This innovation powered two barrels that provided a “power reserve”—a term coined by Breguet—of 60 hours. Breguet’s experimentation with multiple barrels continued throughout his career, culminating in the use of four barrels.

    Although the concept of the oscillating weight eventually prevailed, Breguet’s contributions included several other innovations. For his repeating watches, a particular specialty, he replaced the traditional straight gong across the rear plate with curved gongs wound around the movement, a design still in use today.

    ### The History of Breguet

    The history of the Breguet brand spans four centuries, rich with inventions and innovations that have profoundly shaped the entire history of watchmaking. Given the numerous significant events in Breguet’s past, we will chart the path from its origins to the present in two articles.

    The brand takes its name from its founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, who was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, on January 10, 1747. His ancestors were French Protestants who fled to Switzerland in 1685 to escape the intense persecution that followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which had previously ended the religious wars in France. Despite the prohibition against leaving the country, around 400,000 Protestants, including the Breguet family, risked their lives to escape France.

    Abraham-Louis faced early adversity when his father, Jonas-Louis, died when he was just eleven years old. Soon after, his mother, Suzanne-Marguerite Bollein, remarried her late husband’s cousin, Joseph Tattet, a member of a family of watchmakers. In 1762, Tattet took young Breguet to Paris, where he was apprenticed to a master watchmaker in Versailles, though this mentor’s name remains unknown.

    Upon completing his apprenticeship, Breguet worked for two of the most esteemed watchmakers of the era, Ferdinand Berthoud (1727–1807) and Jean-Antoine Lépine (1720–1814). Recognizing the importance of mathematics for his craft, Breguet continued his education with evening classes at the Collège Mazarin under Abbé Marie. Impressed by Breguet’s talent and intelligence, Marie played a crucial role in introducing him to the French Court and the aristocracy, who would later become his clientele.

    Despite the loss of his mother, his stepfather, and his mentor Marie in quick succession, Breguet managed to care for his younger sister and, in 1775, at the age of 28, established his own business at No. 39, Quai de l’Horloge, on the Ile de la Cité by the River Seine near Notre Dame. That same year, he married Cécile Marie-Louise L’Huillier, the daughter of an established Parisian bourgeois family, likely using part of her dowry to fund his new enterprise.

    ### Innovations and Legacy

    Breguet is known for numerous groundbreaking innovations, including the invention of the tourbillon and pioneering the use of the guilloché technique on watch dials. His client list read like a who’s who of the elite, including royalty and influential figures. Among his notable commissions was the creation of the most complicated pocket watch for Marie Antoinette, although it was completed long after her execution.

    Breguet’s influence extended beyond watchmaking into fields like aviation and telecommunications. His legacy is preserved in meticulous records housed in the Breguet archives in Paris, documenting interactions with clients such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, and many others.

    The Perpetual Watch and Other Innovations

    The origin of the self-winding watch, known as the “perpetual watch,” is debated, with Louis Perrelet often credited for the rotor principle. However, Breguet introduced a different mechanism, the “masse à secousses,” which powered two barrels and provided a power reserve—a term Breguet coined—of 60 hours. Throughout his career, Breguet experimented with multiple barrels, even using four towards the end.

    Breguet also revolutionized repeating watches by replacing the traditional gong with curved gongs wound around the movement, a design still utilized today. These innovations and more highlight Breguet’s lasting impact on horology, cementing his status as a pioneer and visionary in the watchmaking world.

    I am extremely proud to own a 53 mm Abraham Louis Breguet Quarter Repeater and Music Box. I spent more than $32,000 just to restore and clean the watch. Why? Because you can never place a price on true creativity. (Alexander Katiraie)

    Thanks to Abbé Marie’s introductions, Abraham-Louis Breguet quickly began receiving orders from the aristocracy. Among his first commissions were a self-winding watch for the Duc d’Orleans in 1780 and another for Marie Antoinette in 1782. These self-winding, or “perpétuelle,” watches brought him considerable fame both at the court of Versailles and throughout Europe. While he wasn’t the first to create a self-winding watch, Breguet is widely credited with producing the first truly reliable and effective one.

    From 1787 to 1823, records show that Breguet sold sixty “perpétuelles.” Though there are no records from 1780 to 1787, it is estimated that another twenty to thirty pieces were produced during that period.

    The French Revolution posed significant dangers for Breguet due to his close ties to the aristocracy and the royal court. Fortunately, he had become friends with revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat, whose sister Albertine made watch hands for him. Tradition holds that Breguet saved Marat from an angry mob by disguising him as an old woman, allowing them to escape safely.

    When Marat learned that Breguet was marked for execution, he arranged a safe conduct pass, enabling Breguet to leave Paris and travel to Geneva in 1793. Breguet then moved to Le Locle, where he set up a small workshop with a few employees, continuing to work for royal families in Russia and England, including King George III.

    In 1795, as the political situation in France stabilized, Breguet returned to Paris to find his factory in ruins. With help from friends, particularly the Choiseul-Praslin family, he rebuilt his business at the Quai de l’Horloge. The urgent need for reliable timepieces in the Army and Navy ensured Breguet’s welcome return. He was compensated for his losses during the Reign of Terror and secured military service exemptions for his staff to expedite the recovery of his factory.

    Although his activity was disrupted during his exile, Breguet used the time to develop exceptional ideas and inventions that later achieved great success. Breguet’s excellence extended beyond technique and style; he was also a shrewd marketer. For instance, in 1797, he created the Souscription, a famous single-hand pocket watch. In 1810, he conceived and made the first known wristwatch in response to a commission from the Queen of Naples. This watch, Breguet number 2639, was an exceptionally thin, oval repeater with complications, mounted on a wristlet of hair and gold thread.

    The fate of the Queen of Naples watch, Breguet number 2639, remains uncertain. Although there are no sketches in the archives indicating its exterior, it is documented in a register of repairs for after-sales service. Dated March 8th, 1849, the entry notes that Countess Rasponi, residing at 63, Rue d’Anjou in Paris, sent the watch for repair. The countess was identified as Louise Murat, the daughter of Joachim and Caroline Murat, who married Count Giulio Rasponi in 1825. The watch was again brought in for repair in 1855, marking the last trace Breguet has of it. Today, its existence remains unknown, as it is not listed in any public or private collection inventory.

    Breguet’s success brought him considerable wealth, with his firm producing around 17,000 timepieces during his lifetime. Despite his prosperity, he maintained a modest lifestyle and was renowned for his kindness and good humor. Among the many honors he received was the official title of chronometer maker to the French Royal Navy, bestowed by Louis XVIII. This title was highly prestigious, as it recognized Breguet’s expertise in marine chronometry, which played a crucial role in navigation for fleets.

    In addition to his naval appointment, Breguet became a full member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1816 and was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by Louis XVIII in 1819. Upon Breguet’s death in 1823, his son Antoine-Louis Breguet, also a talented watchmaker, took over the company and continued its growth and innovation.

    Under Antoine-Louis’ leadership, the Breguet brand maintained its reputation for top-quality standards and continued to innovate. Notable inventions during this period included the first watch with keyless winding and the sympathique clock. The watch number 4952, created for Count Charles de L’Espine in 1830, featured a knurled button that served both to set the hands and rewind the watch, effectively birthing the modern winding crown.

    Unfortunately, Antoine-Louis failed to patent this revolutionary mechanism. Ten years later, a major Genevan watchmaking firm filed a patent application for a similar invention, highlighting the missed opportunity for the Breguet brand.

    The Breguet Classique Chronométrie, winner of the “Aiguille d’Or”, the highest distinction honouring the finest timepiece of the year at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve 2014


    Alexander the Great’s conquests are legendary, spanning vast territories and reshaping the geopolitical landscape of the ancient world. Born in 356 BCE as the son of Phillip II, King of Macedonia, Alexander demonstrated exceptional military prowess from a young age. Upon his father’s assassination in 336 BCE, Alexander ascended to the throne and embarked on a campaign to conquer the Persian Empire.

    In a series of epic battles between 334 and 331 BCE, including Granicus, Issus, and Gaugamela, Alexander led his army to victory against Persian forces, expanding his empire across the Mediterranean. His conquests extended over 10,000 miles to the Indus River in India, establishing him as one of history’s greatest military leaders. However, his ambitions were curtailed by his untimely death in 323 BCE at the age of 32.

    Alexander’s empire, though short-lived, left an enduring legacy. Stretching from Egypt to India, it facilitated the spread of Greek culture, with Alexander founding numerous cities, including Alexandria in Egypt. This cultural diffusion, known as Hellenism, had a profound and lasting impact on the Middle East and beyond, influencing art, architecture, literature, and philosophy.

    During his campaign, Alexander encountered the Jews of Israel, who were subjects of the Persian Empire. Accounts suggest a positive interaction, with Alexander showing respect to the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, sparing the city from destruction. This encounter marked the beginning of a complex cultural relationship between the Jews and Greeks, characterized by mutual curiosity and admiration.

    For the Jews, the Greeks represented a new and exotic culture, known for their intellectual tradition and love of wisdom. The Greek language was revered for its beauty, with some Jewish texts even permitting the writing of Torah scrolls in Greek. Despite initial positive interactions, tensions and conflicts would arise over time, particularly concerning religious and cultural differences.

    The relationship between Jews and Greeks would continue to evolve, influencing each other’s societies and beliefs in significant ways. This interaction between two ancient civilizations remains a fascinating chapter in history, highlighting the complexities of cultural exchange and the enduring impact of Alexander’s conquests.

    Not Entrepreneur, Not Wealthy But Happy!!!

    This book is not entirely about becoming wealthy or a successful entrepreneur. It is about finding happiness. In the process, we believe you must discover what you find noble and virtuous. This doesn’t necessarily mean doing what Mother Teresa did; it is a deeply personal journey. As you read on, you’ll see that doing something noble and virtuous can lead to happiness, and that is what truly matters. With that in mind, as you read below, you understand that all these characters were happy people.  In fact, the mentally sick person, I believe, is the one (John L. Sullivan) who sent Oofty Goofty to hospital.

    John L. Sullivan, often considered the first heavyweight boxing champion of the gloved era, had a career that spanned from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. Known as the “Boston Strong Boy,” Sullivan became one of the earliest sports superstars in the United States.

    During his career, Sullivan made substantial earnings, particularly from his championship fights and numerous exhibition matches. It’s reported that he made about $1 million in his boxing career ($40 million in todays money), a substantial sum for the time period. This would be worth much more today ($40 million in todays money) when adjusted for inflation.

    Sullivan’s wealth primarily came from prize fights and exhibitions, but like many athletes of his era and later, he struggled with financial management. After retiring, he experienced financial difficulties, largely due to lavish spending habits and investments that did not pan out. Despite these challenges, his earnings during his active years were significant for an athlete of that era.

    Sullivan did struggle with various personal issues, including alcoholism, which significantly impacted his life and career. His heavy drinking was well-documented and led to erratic behavior and difficulties both in and out of the ring. This addiction was a major challenge for him and contributed to his decline in later years.

    Read more about it below:

    That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of our time.

    John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    From 1859 until his death in 1880, Joshua Abraham Norton was the self-proclaimed emperor of the United States. His popularity was such that when he died 30,000 of his ‘subjects’ attended his funeral. (New York Public Library)


    From 1859 to 1880, Joshua Abraham Norton was the emperor of the United States. His accession to the American throne was proclaimed by an edict published in the San Francisco Bulletin on September 17, 1859:

    At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of the United States, I, Joshua A. Norton, declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these United States, and in virtue of the authority thereby vested in me, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different states of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the first day of February next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, both in our stability and in our integrity.


    Norton I, Emperor of the United States, and protector of Mexico.

    Born in London in 1815 and raised in South Africa, Norton made a small fortune during the California Gold Rush by speculating in property. In 1853, he gambled a quarter of a million dollars on an effort to corner the rice market in San Francisco, buying and stockpiling all the available supply and thereby artificially inflating the price. However, just as he was about to cash in, several ships laden with rice sailed into the bay, glutting the market. Prices plummeted, and Norton went bust. He was soon reduced to working in a sweatshop and living in a seedy rooming house.

    Most people would have been daunted by such a reversal of fortune, but not the doughty Norton. He discovered his true vocation: ruling an empire. He began confiding in his friends that he was really Norton I, emperor of California. In 1856, the same year he filed for bankruptcy, he also issued his first imperial edict, imposing a monthly tax of fifty cents on sympathetic merchants in San Francisco to bankroll the fledgling empire. By 1859, he had decided that California was not big enough for him, and he annexed the whole United States.

    He became instantly famous. He suspended the Constitution and dissolved both the Republican and Democratic political parties on the grounds that “their existence engendered dissensions.” He printed his own money in twenty-five- and fifty-cent denominations, which were accepted freely in most shops and restaurants in San Francisco. Yet as emperor, he felt that he was entitled to more, and he tried to negotiate loans of several million dollars from the banks, which found tactful ways of evading the imperial demands.

    Norton took his responsibilities seriously. For more than twenty years, he patrolled the streets, seeing to it that the sidewalks were unobstructed and the streetcars ran on time. He never missed a session of the state Senate, where a chair was reserved for him, and he attended a different church every week so as to avoid sectarian strife in the empire. The emperor was a benevolent despot for the most part, but when his authority was challenged, he responded with an iron fist. When Maximilian assumed the throne of Mexico, which was an imperial protectorate, Norton sentenced him to death as a usurper.

    The emperor always wore a blue military uniform with golden epaulettes, which had been given to him by army officers, with a tall, plumed beaver hat, a sword, and a rosette. In 1869, when his uniform became shabby, he issued another edict:

    Know ye to whom it may concern that We, Norton I, Emperor Deigratia of the United States and Protector of Mexico, have heard serious complaints from our adherents and all that our imperial wardrobe is a national disgrace, and even His Majesty the King of Pain has had his sympathy excited so far as to offer us a suit of clothing, which we have a delicacy in accepting. Therefore, we warn those whose duty it is to attend to these affairs that their scalps are in danger if our said need is unheeded.

    The city’s Board of Supervisors, mindful of its scalps, appropriated the money to buy him a new uniform. The emperor, touched by this gesture, knighted the whole board.

    The King of Pain referred to in the emperor’s edict was a fellow street royal, a patent-medicine salesman who wore scarlet underwear, a heavy velour robe, and a stovepipe hat decorated with ostrich feathers. The king rode a black coach drawn by six white horses—considerably more horsepower than the crowded city streets required.

    J.J. McBride a.k.a. The King of Pain

    J.J. McBride a.k.a. The King of Pain

    San Francisco, always renowned as the capital of the freakish and fantastical, had its golden age of weirdness in those post-Gold Rush years. Another of Emperor Norton’s subjects was Oofty Goofty, the Wild Man of Borneo, who walked about swathed in fur, making strange animal cries. He supported himself by allowing passersby to kick him for ten cents, cane him for twenty-five cents, and hit him with a baseball bat for fifty cents. The boxing champion John L. Sullivan, getting his half-dollar’s worth, sent Oofty Goofty to the hospital with a fractured spine.

    Oofty Goofty

    There was also a phrenologist named Uncle Freddie Coombs, who bore a striking resemblance to George Washington. He took to wearing knee breeches, a powdered wig, and a tricorn hat, and went about the city with a banner proclaiming himself to be “Washington the Second.”

    Montgomery Street was the beat of the Great Unknown, an impeccably attired, vaguely theatrical gentleman with a gold-headed cane who took a stroll every afternoon, mysteriously averting his gaze and speaking to no one. After many years of this enigma, there was a public reception in Pacific Hall, where it was revealed to everyone who was interested enough to pay twenty-five cents that the Great Unknown was a retired German tailor named William Frohm.

    Great Unknown.

    In their lifetimes, Emperor Norton, the King of Pain, Oofty Goofty, Uncle Freddie Coombs, and the Great Unknown were regarded as harmless eccentrics, a source of delight, and even a sort of strange asset to the community. Today they would be declared to be suffering from any number of well-defined mental illnesses, vigorously battered with tests and physical treatments, diagnosed, tranquilized, stabilized, and forced to be “normal,” whether they wanted it or not. Yet there is no evidence that these men were unhappy or that their lives would have been improved in any way by being compelled to surrender their eccentricities and conform. If Emperor Norton had been “cured,” he might have had a normal, conventional, dull career as a clerk or salesman—a miserable comedown for a man who had wielded the scepter. His life would have been impoverished, and so would that of the society he lived in. When Norton died in 1880, the San Francisco Chronicle ran the headline “Le Roi Est Mort.” The police were summoned to ensure order among the huge crowds of people who came to the funeral parlor to pay their last respects to their beloved monarch. All flags in the city were flown at half-mast. Thirty thousand mourners attended the lavish graveside service, and many more than that turned out to see the funeral procession pass through the streets of San Francisco to the Masonic Cemetery.

    Emperor Norton and his court pose a challenge to the assumption that underlies all modern psychology: that we know more than we used to about the mind and therefore are doing things better now. In fact, a strong case could be made that even though nineteenth-century Californians knew nothing about brain-cell synapses or neurotransmitters, delusional grandiose mania, or borderline syndromes, in humanitarian terms they got it much better than we do now.

    Why is that? Precisely what does it mean, in the first place, to say that Emperor Norton and the others were eccentric?
    The dictionary tells us that an eccentric is someone who deviates from the conventional or established norm and is different from the rest of us—hardly a definition that is likely to satisfy a trained psychologist. That description applies just as well to a criminal or a person with a birth defect.

    What does science have to say on the subject? Ten years ago, when I first began asking these questions, I undertook a thorough search for some answers through the vast, forbidding tundra known as the scientific literature. One would expect that abnormal or clinical psychology, which has produced definitive treatises on every conceivable deviation from normal behavior, must surely have established a sound, widely tested profile of the eccentric, one that carefully distinguishes the syndrome from other, harmful forms of mental aberration. Yet, in fact, there is next to nothing to be found on the subject of eccentricity in modern scholarly literature. Because eccentrics tend to be healthier than most people, they rarely seek the services of the medical profession, and the medical profession, as a rule, is not very interested in those who do not seek it out.

    In the field of experimental psychology, it is an open secret that we have learned a great deal about how penniless undergraduates perform in narrow and sometimes deliberately deceptive experiments, while psychiatrists, on the other hand, know about every possible variation in the behavior of people who have had mental breakdowns. The rub, from a scientific point of view, is that those two groups rarely overlap, so most of the theoretical knowledge obtained by the experimental psychologists is useless to the psychiatrists who are dealing with patients. Meanwhile, almost nobody is studying adult nonpatients, the vast bulk of humanity.

    Of the four best-known textbooks on psychiatry, three make no mention of eccentricity. The fourth describes it, cryptically, as a form of “predominantly inadequate or passive psychopathy,” adding that it is “usually difficult to distinguish the symptoms of eccentricity from schizophrenic manifestations.” These summary statements are tossed off with nonchalance, and there is no mention of the fact that they are based upon a database of zero patients and research subjects and upon clinical observations that are at best haphazard.

    Thus, it appeared to me that actual scientific knowledge about eccentrics was virtually nonexistent. Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does a scientist. Since no study of eccentricity existed, I decided to begin my own. It occurred to me that it would be a great advantage to psychology to have a basic understanding of the thought processes of people who come to regard themselves and who are regarded by others as eccentric, if only to help distinguish their behavior from certain forms of mental illness. Such a study would also be an ideal way to learn about illogical thought processes, and it might help us to understand more about the deep human mystery of schizophrenia. Furthermore, given the frequent association of eccentricity with genius and the ability to conceive startlingly original artistic and scientific breakthroughs, it seemed to be an obviously worthwhile subject for psychological research. The annals of eccentricity include, in addition to Emperor Norton and Oofty Goofty, such names as William Blake, Alexander Graham Bell, Emily Dickinson, Charlie Chaplin, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, not to mention Albert Einstein and Howard Hughes. If we could gain even the barest glimpse into how all those people came to be the way they were, it might just help the rest of us to be more creative, more original, and better at being ourselves.

    Ann Atkins shares her home and grounds in Devon with 7500 garden gnomes.

    The poem below is from the hymn “The Spacious Firmament on High,” written by Joseph Addison. It was first published in The Spectator, a daily publication founded by Addison and Richard Steele, in an issue dated August 23, 1712. The hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 19 from the Bible and celebrates the beauty of the heavens as a testament to God’s creation.

    The 19th psalm

    The spacious fermament on high,

    With all the blue etherial sky,

    And spangled heavens, a shining frame,

    Their great original proclaim.

    The unwearied sun, from day to day,

    Does his Creator’s power display,

    And publishes to every land,

    The work of Almighty hand.

    Soon as the evening shades prevail,

    The moon takes up the wond’erous tale,

    And nightly to the list’ning earth

    Repeats the story of her birth.

    Whilst all the stars that round her burn,

    And all the planets in their turn,

    Confirm the tidings as they roll,

    And spread the truth from the pole to pole.

    What tho’ in solemn silence, all

    Move round this dark terrestrial ball,

    What tho’ no real voice, nor sound,

    Amidst their radiant orbs be found,

    In reason’s ear they all rejoice,

    And utter forth a glorious voice;

    For ever singing as they shine,


    Read the Fable Below

    There were only three monks in the world a very long time ago, and only three. They were deeply worried that their decisions would have an impact on the monastery’s destiny. Their goal was to inquire of any intelligent man how to preserve the future. Nobody could provide the answer.

    To discover the solution, they embarked on a global journey. One man said, “The wise rabbi far away on the other side of the world might have the answer,” halfway around the globe. To find the knowledgeable rabbi, they packed.

    They eventually located him. The Rabbi gave them advice on how to treat all of their ailments and other issues, but he was completely clueless on how to keep the monastery afloat. The monks were so let down that they packed up and set on departure. Rabbi called them back as soon as they opened the door, telling them that he was now positive that one of them was closely connected to God and might even be profit such as Abraham. The Rabbi further explained to them that this is merely a test from God.

    The monks believed that because Rabbi was too elderly, he had either lost his wits or gone insane. After thanking him, they departed mocking the old rabbi.

    Upon returning to the monastery, every monk considered the sage’s parting remarks and concluded, “It is not possible that I am related to God, or I might be a profit.” Every monk therefore concluded that if the Rabbi is right and I am unrelated to God, then at least one of the other two must be.

    Thus, each monk started to regard the other two with the utmost reverence, thinking that they might be related to God.

    After few months, each monks thought I must be related to God after realizing how much respect each was getting from the other two.

    The monks also came to the conclusion that I should wear nicer clothes if I am related to God. Each dressed more elegantly as a result. “If I am related to God, I should have better housing,” they embarked on adding trees and flowers. Hence, they created the tastiest meals, painted the monastery, sang, drew, created artwork, made sculptures, and more. CREATIVITY MOTIVATION!!!

    Globally, people wrote and sung about the just constructed, breathtaking monastery. Many traveled from all over the world to view and savor the delectable food, plants, and flowers; some even made the decision to remain. And those who stayed preserved the monastery’s future. The fable’s lesson is that God is a part of all of us.

    “The greatest gift one can give oneself is self-respect.” Alex Katiraie