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Reaperbryan

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17 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

What are the odds that he knew, and decided to prank the studio staff by pretending to be oblivious?  


If so, he was a better boss than most I've known.

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Along the western coast of the island now known as Britain, about twenty miles inland from the spot where the city of Lancaster would one day stand, there lies a hill.  It looms over the surrounding landscape; and one day in the distant past, an Anglo-Saxon interloper turned to one of the native Celts, and said "What's that place called?"

 

And the Celt said "Pen."  Which in his language, meant "hill".

 

"Oh, that's a good name!" said the Anglo-Saxon.  "But ... there's a hill there.  Let's call it 'Pen Dale'."

 

Which, of course, meant "hill hill".

 

Years passed.  Wars were fought.  Witches were hung from grim gallows at the base of that very hill.  And through the operation of time and universal human laziness of pronunciation, the name "Pen Dale" shifted and twisted and eroded away into just "Pendle".

 

"You know," people started saying, "Pendle's a good name.  But there's a hill there!  Let's call it: Pendle Hill."

 

Today, you can go and visit a rather well done historical exhibit documenting the 17th century witch trials that took place at Hill hill hill.

 

And if the past is prelude, rest assured that some day your great great great great great great great grandchildren will be visiting that same place.  Its name might be something like Pendhil Tal, or Penhil po dao, or Penil Pahāṛī, or even just Pennle Hill.  But what you can count on is that it will be called "hill hill hill hill."

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That brings to mind the works of Terry Pratchett.

In one of his Discworld novels, he talks about how when the Ankhians began exploring the world, they found out the names of various animals, places, and topographical features by seizing a native, shaking him roughly, and shouting at him in a language he might or might not understand, "WHAT DO YOU CALL THAT THING? THAT THING THERE? SEE? WHAT IS IT CALLED?"

And this is how various animals, places, and topographical features' names got written down and registered in Ankh-Morpork. Only later was it found that a great many animals, places, and topographical features now had names which translated as things like "Your finger, you fool," and "Who is this idiot who does not know what a mountain is?"

I thought this was a very funny thing. I miss Terry Pratchett.

Only later did I hear the story about the English explorer who was escorted through the Florida everglades by Spanish soldiers, making biological observations and writing them down for report to the English gentry. This was in a time when the British heard about "cotton," understood it as "like wool, but vegetable rather than animal," and promptly began imagining a sort of tree that grew sheep instead of fruit.

No, I'm not kidding. Google "vegetable lamb" if you don't believe me.

Anyway, at one point, the Brit saw this enormous swamp reptile sunning itself on a log. He goggled, and asked his translator, "What in all that's holy is THAT thing?"

The translator grinned; the giant reptiles often had that effect on out of towners. "Ah, senor, we call that one el lagarto." (Ah, sir, we call that one the lizard.)

The Brit promptly sketched the dinosaurian horror, and labeled the page Allagarto. Over time, the English word for this particular beastie lingual drifted ... into alligator.

Which made me wonder if the Spaniards were just used to gigantic man eating lizards, or if that particular translator was pulling the Brit's leg by implying that a six foot fanged lizard was no big deal...
 

Vegetable_lamb_images3_670.jpg.43ddee5aa769fab5278b5362f047e08d.jpg

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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There is also the shaggy dog story that many aboriginals took to calling the British The Alawi.

 

'Cos they would wander out of the bush and announce "We're the Alawi!" (Where the Hell are we?)

Edited by paintybeard
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8 hours ago, Clearman said:

@pcktlnt should be nervous...

About people wanting to lick up his belly milk? 

I think he's pretty safe.<_<

 

Heck. I don't think we even need a warning from Pingo not to lick the platypus. :wacko:

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10 hours ago, Darsc Zacal said:

About people wanting to lick up his belly milk?

 

But...His belly milk brings them all to his yard...

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14 hours ago, Darsc Zacal said:

About people wanting to lick up his belly milk? 

I think he's pretty safe.<_<

 

Heck. I don't think we even need a warning from Pingo not to lick the platypus. :wacko:

 

4 hours ago, Clearman said:

 

But...His belly milk brings them all to his yard...

 

And now I’ve got an image of a hedonistic @pcktlnt, wearing a toga and a crown of ivy, lounging on one of those low and long couches, with a pewter pitcher of heavy cream slowly pouring it down his front.

 

Thanks brain. I wanted to take a nap. Looks like I’ll be awake for awhile. 

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Pegazus, I could have lived the entire rest of my life in contentment without that image invading my brain. 

In other news, Thomas Edison did not invent photography, nor did he invent the motion picture, but he did enough tinkering with them that he was granted various patents on the machinery. Regrettably, he did not care for anyone else making motion pictures, and moved against rival moviemakers, both legally and otherwise, sometimes with lawyers, and sometimes with armed thugs.

This is why a great many moviemakers relocated as far from New Jersey as they could while still being in America: Los Angeles, California, a place known for its warm climate and extremely sunny clear weather, a thing of great value when one considers that the stage lighting of the time was seldom up to the needs of motion picture making of the time. At least one studio literally built a soundstage with a glass roof for lighting purposes, AND mounted the entire building on a turntable, so's to take best advantage of the daylight at any time of the day. (Edison had a similar building, the Black Maria, he called it, but New Jersey's climate wasn't as salubrious as LA's for moviemaking).

Edison didn't like this, but sending thugs to California wasn't cost effective. He did send lawyers, though, and is known to have sued Carl Laemmle more than two hundred times. Laemmle was the founder of Universal Studios.

The wildcat filmmakers, however, were numerous and distant enough that Edison couldn't stop them all. He did manage to crush his competitors on the East Coast, but California was a distant place and different culture. And that's why Hollywood remains in California, while the East Coast film industry is largely nonexistent (or was until the dawn of television).

debff1f2-5ecf-41cb-852a-e9061170cd02-banner.jpg.d687fe834dc25c32cdfc8c87e420a2b6.jpg(Edison's Black Maria film studio. A replica stands there in New Jersey today.)

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I spent YEARS, back in the eighties, hunting for a copy of this movie, The Intruder, aka Shame! Still have a copy on VHS.

Now it's available in full length, uncut, on YouTube. It's one of the more disturbing movies I've ever seen. Yet, I think it should be seen.

William Shatner, of all people, plays a fellow who comes to a small Southern town to speak out against integration, in the early sixties. He's a sort of racist agitator. Many N-words are hurled around. But that's not the part I found disturbing.

Apparently, they shot this film on location, and had many townspeople as extras and in small roles. And they thought Shatner was the hero of the movie. At least, until filming was almost done, and the local cops caught on... and ran the film crew out of town. But the versimilitude of the location filming and real people doing real things makes the casual racism and kneejerk ugliness downright horrifying to modern audiences. It seems downright surreal now. Corman was sure he'd made a winner... but it tanked, since releasing it in the middle of the civil rights movement didn't exactly make it entertainment.

Look it up on YouTube for an education, if not actual entertainment.

 

download.jpg

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"Rufus" was a 3.5 inch (89 mm) ball of plutonium. The core was originally made by the US for use in a third World War II nuclear bomb, and was used for experiments at Los Alamos Laboratory after the war ended. 

 

Incident 1:

On August 21, 1945, physicist Harry Daghlian's was performing neutron reflector experiments on the core. He was working alone, moving bricks of neutron-reflective tungsten carbide closer to the core to bring it closer to criticality. While moving a brick closer to the core, Daghlian accidentally dropped it onto the core and thereby caused the core to go well into supercriticality, a self-sustaining critical chain reaction. He quickly moved the brick off the assembly, but received a fatal dose of radiation. He died 25 days later from acute radiation poisoning.  A security guard seated 10-12 feet (3-4 m) away, died 33 years later of  of acute myelogenous leukemia at the age of 62.

 

Incident 2:

On May 21, 1946, physicist Louis Slotin and seven others were conducting another experiment with the core.  Two half-spheres of beryllium (a neutron reflector) were placed around the core and the top reflector was to be moved over the core via a thumb hole on the top. Instruments nearby would then measure the activity in the core as the reflectors where moved closer and farther away.  If the 2 halves of the reflector where to touch, the core would go supercritical. The only thing preventing this was the blade of a standard straight screwdriver, held in Slotin other hand. Slotin had done this many times before and therefore it was "perfectly safe".  On the fateful day, Slotin's screwdriver slipped outwardjust a small distance while he was lowering the top reflector. Instantly there was a flash of blue light as the core had become supercritical, releasing an intense burst of neutron radiation. Slotin quickly twisted his wrist, flipping the top shell to the floor. Luckily for the others in the room,  Slotin's position over the apparatus shielded them from much of the neutron radiation, but he received a lethal dose of 1,000 rad and died 9 days later from acute radiation poisoning. The nearest person to Slotin, received a high but non-lethal radiation dose, and was hospitalized for several weeks with severe radiation poisoning and developed chronic neurological and vision problems as a result of the exposure.  

 

After these incidents, the core was referred to as the "Demon Core". 

Hands-on experiments were stopped, and remote-control machines and TV cameras were used to perform such experiments with all personnel at a quarter-mile distance.

 

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Citrine's story is terrifying, and entirely true. I do not recommend googling for images; intense radiation poisoning is not a pleasant way to go, and only slightly less pleasant to look upon. Everybody in the ROOM on both occasions was tested and studied out the wazoo to gather data on radiation poisoning, and I can only wonder what it must be like to have a silly little workplace accident, and then DIE nine days later with half the government poking, prodding, and asking nosy questions about what it feels like.

I always imagine atomic lab-matories as these high tech spotlessly clean places with guys in lab coats and yellow radiation suits with underlighting under the guys' faces and one token female scientist who's there to make coffee and have exposition spouted at her, not long before Bruce Banner is irradiated and turns into the Hulk, or a scorpion is exposed to gamma rays and is already the size of a Corgi by the time it sneaks out into the desert or something.

It weirds me out to look at these recreations of the laboratory where Slotin had his accident. How did these guys survive long enough to eat lunch?

DemonCore_Slotin.jpg.6515781381d50aaa6a95ef07b2728953.jpgSlotin_accident_mockup-15.jpg.4865bdc4555fd43ed09d46b9828e780a.jpg 

 

Jeez'n'crackers, MY workplace is about that chaotic, and all I do is paint MINIATURES! None of which have ever actually tried to kill me, I might add, discounting a couple incidents with hobby knives and the Dremel.

The Demon Core was later melted down, and recycled for use in later test bombs. And good riddance.

 

 

 

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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