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The Book of the Damned

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Author Topic: The Book of the Damned  (Read 3544 times)
Dusk
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« on: April 12, 2009, 02:50:31 am »

That this preposterous explanation interferes with some of my own enormities.

It would cost me too much explaining, if I should have to admit that this earth's atmosphere has such sustaining power.

Later, we shall have data of things that have gone up in the air and that have stayed up—somewhere—weeks—months—but not by the sustaining power of this earth's atmosphere. For instance, the turtle of Vicksburg. It seems to me that it would be ridiculous to think of a good-sized turtle hanging, for three or four months, upheld only by the air, over the town of Vicksburg. When it comes to the horse and the barn—I think that they'll be classics some day, but I can never accept that a horse and a barn could float several months in this earth's atmosphere.

The orthodox explanation:

See the Report of the Krakatoa Committee of the Royal Society. It comes out absolutely for the orthodox explanation—absolutely and beautifully, also expensively. There are 492 pages in the "Report," and 40 plates, some of them marvelously colored. It was issued after an investigation that took five years. You couldn't think of anything done more efficiently, artistically, authoritatively. The mathematical parts are especially impressive: distribution of the dust of Krakatoa; velocity of translation and rates of subsidence; altitudes and persistences—

Annual Register, 1883-105:

That the atmospheric effects that have been attributed to Krakatoa were seen in Trinidad before the eruption occurred;

Knowledge, 5-418:

That they were seen in Natal, South Africa, six months before the eruption.



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Inertia and its inhospitality.

Or raw meat should not be fed to babies.

We shall have a few data initiatorily.

I fear me that the horse and the barn were a little extreme for our budding liberalities.

The outrageous is the reasonable, if introduced politely.

Hailstones, for instance. One reads in the newspapers of hailstones

p. 19

the size of hens’ eggs. One smiles. Nevertheless I will engage to list one hundred instances, from the Monthly Weather Review, of hailstones the size of hens’ eggs. There is an account in Nature, Nov. I, 1894, of hailstones that weighed almost two pounds each. See Chambers' Encyclopedia for three-pounders. Report of the Smithsonian Institution, 1870-479—two-pounders authenticated, and six-pounders reported. At Seringapatam, India, about the year 1800, fell a hailstone

I fear me, I fear me: this is one of the profoundly damned. I blurt out something that should, perhaps, be withheld for several hundred pages—but that damned thing was the size of an elephant.

We laugh.

Or snowflakes. Size of saucers. Said to have fallen at Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 24, 1891. One smiles.

"In Montana, in the winter of 1887, fell snowflakes 15 inches across, and 8 inches thick." (Monthly Weather Review, 1915-73.)

In the topography of intellection, I should say that what we call knowledge is ignorance surrounded by laughter.



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