In Response

Jan. 1, 2006
Insightful editorials Just a quick thanks for the insightful editorials you pen for Motion System Design. You never shy away from shedding the light of

Insightful editorials

Just a quick thanks for the insightful editorials you pen for Motion System Design. You never shy away from shedding the light of day on whatever needs exposure, and you do so in a professional way. I have especially enjoyed the last two on Nikola Tesla, as he never really received the press and respect he deserves. Here's a little tidbit I ran across on the web that I thought you might enjoy:

Tesla on Mark Twain:

“I had hardly completed my course at the Real Gymnasium when I was prostrated with a dangerous illness or rather, a score of them, and my condition became so desperate that I was given up by physicians. During this period I was permitted to read constantly, obtaining books from the Public Library, which had been neglected and entrusted to me for classification of the works and preparation of the catalogues. One day I was handed a few volumes of new literature unlike anything I had ever read before and so captivating as to make me utterly forget my hopeless state.

They were the earlier works of Mark Twain and to them might have been due the miraculous recovery that followed. Twenty-five years later, when I met Mr. Clemens and we formed a friendship between us, I told him of the experience and was amazed to see that great man of laughter burst into tears.”

Nikola Tesla, “My Inventions: the autobiography of Nikola Tesla”, Hart Bros., 1982. Originally appeared in the Electrical experimenter magazine in 1919.
Max O. Hohenberger
ExxonMobil Chemical Co.
Baton Rouge, La.

Making waves

Great article, but how can I get to Part 1? I went to Motion System Design's website and searched for Waverunner, Tesla and tried locating it in the archive, but no luck. Maybe you can add links to these previous articles on your website. I'm looking forward to the next editorial in this series.

Also, I have a great idea for a future article: I'm installing new sprinklers in my yard and must rent a machine to dig the trenches, due to the hard clay soil. To prevent destroying my water main or sewer pipes, I first marked their locations. Then, a friend demonstrated something I've never seen or heard of called “Water Witches,” which are made from coat hangers. He spun them around, held loosely in his hands, and slowly walked around the yard. I honestly thought he was out of his mind or playing a trick! As he walked past existing pipes, the coathangers began to cross. It seemed to work, so I tried it myself. As I approached my water main, the coat hangers crossed then relaxed (went parallel) when I backed away. I tried another location, one with a sprinkler pipe … same thing. Today I searched the Internet for a scientific explanation and found that it is a somewhat accepted practice for finding water, but hasn't been scientifically proven. I am amazed, humbled, and completely dumbfounded. Science is a good tool, but this proves there are still plenty of things we don't know.
Richard Key
L3 Communications
Datron Advanced Technology Div.

Editor's Note: To view past editorials and MSD articles, please visit, click on “Issue Archive,” then the year and month.

Watching our Ps and Qs

Thanks for your excellent article titled, “Not in my house.” I completely agree with everything you wrote, but was shocked you were allowed to publish it. I work for a “PC” company, and we have to watch everything we say and do. I encourage you to continue speaking and writing the truth and am encouraged that we who admire the Boy Scouts, submit to God and truly love our country, and regard abortion as infanticide are not beaten yet.
Mark Kiddie
Folsom, Calif.

Help wanted

I am working on a project where I have to measure the linear position of an air driven piston (and also the pressures). I was pleased to discover your article on the web and am very interested in the concept of using a magnet and transducer to determine such data. Can you send me additional information about it?
Dr. C. Smith McGloin
Balfour Beatty Rail Technologies Ltd.
Derby, Del.

Editor's Note: If readers would like to share information on this topic, please email [email protected]. We now have a forum on our blog for these exchanges as well. Go to

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