Previously – Tereshkova and Lucid.
As far as I can remember, “The Saturday of Marten Van Kleek” was what first stimulated my interest in historical and buried landscapes.
Even though the nearest big city, Boston, has an enormous amount of new land (check this map (.pdf) of the tiny town as of 1645), I’ve always been especially interested in subterranean rivers and Boston, with the Fenway and other salt marshes, just doesn’t have much to offer. The really big city just beyond Boston does, though.
..We had a lantern to pierce the cellar darkness and fifteen feet below I clearly saw the stream bubbling and pushing about, five feet wide and up-on its either side, dark green mossed rocks. This lively riverlet was revealed to us exactly as it must have appeared to a Manhattan Indian many years ago.
With plum-bob and line, I cast in and found the stream to be over six feet deep. The spray splashed up-wards from time to time and standing on the basement floor, I felt its tingling coolness.
One day I was curious enough to try my hand at fishing. I had an old-fashioned dropline and baited a hook with a piece of sperm-candle. I jiggled the hook for about five minutes and then felt a teasing nibble. Deep in the basement of an ancient tenement on Second Avenue in the heart of midtown New York City, I was fishing.
Feeling a tug, I hauled up in excitement and there was a carp skipping before me, an almost three pounder. I was brave enough to have it pan-broiled and buttered in our upstairs kitchen and shared it with my brother…*
Last October, when Sandy hit, I was concerned about my son. He lives in Brooklyn – quite a ways away from the water, but that didn’t stop me from worrying. I didn’t know if perhaps he was in the middle of an old ravine or a bowl that held a pond way back when. Off I went to the evacuation map where I found that he was in good shape. I wasn’t crazy – here’s a graphic ganked from Manhattan Past’s ‘Manhattan Evacuation Plan Reveals Island’s Old Contours‘ post.
Note the orange hook in the top center of the evac map that corresponds with where Collect Pond used to be. No equivalent in Lefferts Gardens across the East River, but one never knows.
And finally, there’s Tim Maly’s excellent City Built on a Dredge – more on NYC, the made landscape and water. Mr. Maly looks at evacuation maps, too – much of the red at the tip of Manhattan Island is new land made of spoils from dredging. One (railfan’s) quibble: “The High Line is an architectural marvel made possible by the dredging of Newark Bay.” should read more like “…the re-purposed High Line park…” – the High Line was there before and it was, in it’s original form, killed by the container (all of which I am 1000% sure Tim knows – as I said – quibble).
* quote from Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It.
One more Fireball reference I’d like to note – Alan Moore made a great joke in The Black Dossier: “Allan Quatermain and Mina Murray steal a rocket named Pancake XL4. Each ship of the series is traditionally named after the manner of her predecessor’s destruction. The Mushroom Cloud XL2 and the Shrapnel XL3 are named as other examples of the Fireball XL5′s antecedents. The Pancake XL4 is destroyed by a collision with a mountain, exploding in a huge fireball and earning the XL5 its name.” *
Ripped from the Twitter headlines! The genesis of this post:
I’ll pull @aeromenthe’s excellent link out and embed it. L. Sprague de Camp’s (1956) A Gun for Dinosaurs:
I think there’s a rule that any time travel yarn has to deal with a kill-yer-grampy paradox (did H. G. Wells address it? I honestly can’t remember.) de Camp’s universe won’t allow a paradox, but Ray Bradbury’s will – A Sound of Thunder (1952) is his time travel/dino hunting tale. Tangentially – while looking for an on line version of ASoT, I stumbled across a reference to another dino hunting story I’ve never read: Birian Aldiss’ ‘Poor Little Warrior!’
As regards time travel paradoxes, you’d need to go a long way to beat Heinlein’s All You Zombies. Warning – classic Heinlein attitude displayed throughout.
In A Gun for Dinosaurs, Reginald Rivers talks about using a .600 Nitro Express in the Cretaceous. A .600 NE is a huge gun, but whenever I think of dinosaur guns, one always springs to mind: the Holland & Holland Saurian 4 bore.
A little bit of history… Before there was modern smokeless powder, there was black powder. Both propellants get called gunpowder, but they are not the same thing. Black powder burns much more slowly than smokeless, and thus, with reasonable barrel lengths, just can’t produce muzzle velocities (how fast the bullet is going when it leaves the barrel) that hunters take for granted today. There are 2 terms in the equation for kinetic energy – velocity and mass. Since our black powder velocity is constrained, upping the mass is the option that’s left. The bore number is how may lead spheres of bore diameter it would take to get to 1 lb. A round ball bullet for a 4 bore weighs a quarter pound! Wikipedia’s entry on the 4 bore is quite good, if you’re curious.
I’m assuming the Saurian is built for black powder (or black powder equivalent) loads, though it’s somewhat academic. This is an art gun – an opportunity for engravers, smiths, stockmakers and cabinet makers to show their skills. I have an old magazine somewhere with more pictures of the Saurian – if I ever find it I will scan and post. The case, as I recall, included a glassed in area with a display of varous dinosaur fossils. Is the Saurian what I’d choose for my time travel dino hunt? Hell no. But it’s not like I’m going to have to choose anything any time soon.
And to finish, via @tetzoo, a major dino hunting disappointment.
…Savage said, there are signatures of resource constraints in present-day simulations that are likely to exist as well in simulations in the distant future, including the imprint of an underlying lattice if one is used to model the space-time continuum.*
I especially like:
For example, Davoudi suggests that if our universe is a simulation, then those running it could be running other simulations as well, essentially creating other universes parallel to our own.
“Then the question is, ‘Can you communicate with those other universes if they are running on the same platform?’” she said.
A better Skynet – the simulation host becomes a strongly godlike AI when it’s universes start comparing notes.
Khar Bii is a televised ovine conformation show/Senegalese Idol/beauty pageant on the air in (obv) Senegal. I heard about it this morning on NPR and loved it sincerely; I enjoyed Ms. Quist-Arcton’s report (she is always excellent), but I could have done without Inskeep’s mocking tone during the intro and outro. Yes, Steve, livestock are important to a lot of people, even in the developed west! Off to Youtube where a lot of the Khar Bii episodes have been posted. Here’s what’s billed as the finale:
Francophones, help me out. I can pick out a bunch of French – mouton is, for example, prominent and I pick out bits of the explanation of toxoplasmosis, but I’m mostly lost. Is it because my French skills are so horrible, or are the presenters speaking a mix of French and Wolof? Or perhaps Dakar-Wolof? I think I heard ‘nyami’.
TIL (things I learned, in internetspeak):
The cub came off the tree, made a break for it, got scared and…
…went back up the tree for a bit.
I wasn’t the only one snapping pics.
Falconry, that is. Now that peacay has posted from The Book of the Hunt of King Modus & Queen Ratio (what are you waiting for – click through – I’ll wait) I can turn this little bit of goofiness loose.
N. B. I discovered the image only because peacay pointed me to the book pre-post – all credit redounds to him and all blame to me.
And some explanation for non-falconers: sure seems like the protagonist is trying to whup on one of his hunting companions with a lure. A slip is a chance for a hawk to pursue game – it can be screwed up innumerable ways, but mostly by flushing game before the raptor is in position.
Brilliant. Click here or on either of the pix to go to the complete portfolio.