(Roughly) Daily

As it happens, some of my best friends are crazy…

From BibliOdyssey:

Karl Hans Janke (1909-1988) graduated from high school and attended a technical college for a couple of years and studied dentistry although he didn’t complete the course. He was drafted into the German army in 1940 where he was hospitalised on a number of occasions because of behavioural problems and was eventually discharged from the service on medical grounds in 1943.

By the late 1940s Janke was found to be malnourished and exhibiting increasingly eccentric behaviour and, after a short prison sentence and hospital assessment, he was committed to a psychiatric institution in Wermsdorf, Saxony in 1950 with a diagnosis of chronic paranoid schizophrenia. He remained at this facility for the rest of his life.

The institutional staff either encouraged or tolerated the passion Janke showed for sketching technical designs: he had his own “office” in the hospital in which he produced four thousand drawings and constructed hundreds of models of his “inventions”. Apparently the boxes containing his works were stowed away at the hospital and forgotten after his death and weren’t rediscovered until 2000 when the imaginative artistry and sheer enormity of his output was finally recognised.

Janke was, in his own mind at least, a serious engineer, intent on helping mankind by devising all manner of rocket ship (especially), space vehicle, ferry, bike, propulsion mechanism and associated transport system. His drawings range from simple prototype sketches to incredibly detailed schematics reminiscent of technical manual designs. He was an energetic correspondent with the patent office and various technological and aerospace type agencies and departments, endeavouring – without much luck – to share his inventions with his scientific “peers”. Fearing theft of his intellectual property however, Janke was also assiduous in dating and signing his works with an accompanying statement declaring himself as the author and originator of each idea depicted.

Vacuum Freighter

See a selection of Janke’s remarkable drawings at BibliOdyssey; browse over 3,500 of his drawings at the archive at Deutsche Fotothek.

As we prepare to leave this world, we might celebrate the anniversary of the first full-length film based on a television series:  Rescue from Gilligan’s Island.  (Given how far the genre has come– witness Jackass 2, The Dukes of Hazzard, and on a loftier note, Star Trek— it’s hard to believe that this was only 31 years ago, in 1978.)

source: Clown-Ministry

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