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Annus Horribilis

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Dear Oz,


Try Adeptus Ineptus


As you may know, an adept is an alchemist who can create a Philosopher's Stone, which the ancients felt could transmute base metals into gold. In 1701 in Berlin one Johann-Freidrich Bottger, a nineteen year old apothecary's apprentice, told King Freidrick I that he could discover how to make - the Stone. KFI financed the venture, but Bottger failed and fled the King's wrath to Poland.


There he made King Augustus II a similar proposition, who bit at the bait. But alas, Bottger failed again, and double alas, was caught by Augustus's men before he could flee again. August threw him into prison, but wanting to cover the possibilities, provided him with a laboratory.


Wise move, because Bottger, in his thrashings about in the lab, or just to do something different, discovered the secret of making Dresden China. Here he had a practical answer to Europe's quest of a cheaper, but quality, alternative to having to import China's china. Certainly a more practical topic of research.


But his failures in alchemy earned him the sobriquet Adeptus Ineptus.


Now if that story doesn't cover the territory from investor to promoter to grubstaker to prospector to mine maker, to assayer, to researcher, etc., I don't know what does.



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