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Lyle Zapato

Aluminum Foil Defeated The Nazis

Lyle Zapato | 2005-09-30.2020 LMT | Aluminum

ZPi reader Harry H. emailed this interesting historical note found in the Sept. 29th entry of Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac marking the birthday of Enrico Fermi:

[Fermi] almost discovered nuclear fission in 1934, when he was still living in Italy, in a series of experiments with neutrons. And if he had not made the mistake of using tinfoil to wrap his sample of uranium, nuclear energy would probably have been discovered that year, might even have been used by Hitler to win the war.

Let this be a lesson to all of you: wrap everything in foil. The future will thank you.

Lyle Zapato

Gun-Slinging Lord Kelvin Speaks!

Lyle Zapato | 2005-09-26.2470 LMT | Kelviniana

Voices of History 2: Arts, Science & Exploration, a new CD set of rare and historic recordings from the British Library, features the only known recording of Lord Kelvin speaking. Unfortunately, no word on what he has to say. It's available on the 28th.

Also newly available: Edison's Conquest of Mars (IEEE review with background info) -- the first full reprint with original illustrations of the unauthorized, serialized technothriller sequel to H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, written a year later in 1898 by astronomer and science journalist Garrett P. Serviss.

The novel, a classic example of Edisonade (Victorian and Edwardian era science fiction -- see here for more info on the genre), is primarily about Thomas Edison leading a counter-attack against the Red Scourge of Mars, and features cameo appearances from other famous contemporary scientists, including a "disintegrator-gun-slinging Lord Kelvin."

I haven't read it, but I hope while blasting Martians he gets in some good action lines like "You, like radio, have no future!" or "To measure is to know, but to disintegrate is to DIE!"

UPDATE: I have since read it and added a review.

The Typing Octopus

Calamari Sutra

The Typing Octopus | 2005-09-26.1780 LMT | Cephalopods | Nature

Weird Sex: Giant Squid Do It Deeper (WARNING: not safe for hatchlings):

Although mating has never been observed in giant squid, it is thought that what happens is that the male injects his sperm packages into the female's arms. The process is likely to be a fairly violent affair as the female is probably not that keen on being injected. This is a problem for the amorous male as females are normally a third bigger than they are.

But males get round their inferior size by being endowed with a particularly long penis, which means they can inject the female without having to get too close to her chomping beak. The male's sexual organ is actually a bit like a high-pressure fire hose and is normally nearly as long as his body - excluding legs and head.

But having such a big penis does have one drawback: it seems that co-ordinating eight legs, two feeding tentacles and a huge penis, whilst fending off an irate female, is a bit too much to ask, and one of the two males stranded on the Spanish coast had accidentally injected himself with sperm packages in the legs and body. And this does not seem to have been an isolated incident since two of the eight males that had stranded in the north-east Atlantic before had also accidentally inseminated themselves.

Lyle Zapato

The Monorail-Paraterrestrial Connection

Lyle Zapato | 2005-09-26.1140 LMT | Monorail Danger | NWO | Paraterrestrials

Thanks to the last minute pressure from Seattle Mayor and pneumatic-tube-supporter Greg Nickels, Cascadia is safe from NWO monorail incursions for the time being.

Meanwhile, the citizens of Las Vegas are just now starting to understand the true Monorailist agenda:

Klingon and Andorian ride the monorail

Sept. 22, 2005 -- Twelve aliens suddenly materialized from a wall of space fog as they invaded the Las Vegas Monorail today. Klingon Lieutenant Commander Voq'ha announced that the delegation of Klingons, Vulcans, Borgs, Romulans, Ferengi, and Andorians would ride the Las Vegas Monorail each day until the end of the year. As they visit Earth, on an intergalactic reconnaissance mission, they will interact with the tens of thousands of Las Vegas visitors who ride the monorail every day.

...

"From the farthest reaches of the universe we have watched the Las Vegas Monorail operate flawlessly since the Earth month of January,"* proclaimed Lieutenant Commander Voq'ha ... "We consider this invasion a peaceful reconnaissance mission and plan to learn more about the monorail which we have identified as the most technologically advanced public-transit system in the Milky Way galaxy."

(* Note how this conveniently overlooks the less-than-flawless operations prior to January.)

While the paraterrestrials were fake (as far as we know), this stunt clearly shows that Monorailists are conspiring with real paraterrestrial forces to inculcate acceptance of paraterrestrial activities on Earth's public transportation systems. Furthermore, Monorailists want to share our secrets with them:

"It is an unprecedented honor to welcome this prestigious delegation to Earth," said Curtis Myles, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Monorail Co. "We intend to openly share our public-transit technologies with Lieutenant Commander Voq'ha and the other delegates, and we will communicate them as necessary during their three-month mission."

Lest you think such Monorailist-Paraterrestrial conspiring could never happen in Cascadia, consider this: Is it just a coincidence that the current Seattle Monorail was built in proximity to the Space Needle or that it runs through the Science Fiction Museum via a hole next to a large, clawed flying-croissant (near where it burst into flames a year ago)?

monorail and flying-croissant
What really happens to monorail riders as they pass through there?
Do any of them experience "missing time"?

Seattlites: remember to vote NO in November for the new monorail ballot proposal -- that is, unless you want to be assimilated.

Lyle Zapato

Dactyl Fractal Metastasizes

Lyle Zapato | 2005-09-24.7530 LMT | Random Found Thing | Polydactylism

Here's an ad for Verizon broadband found in October's Wired:

Look familiar?

So, here's the question: Did Verizon's ad agency get the idea from my site (consciously or unconsciously), did both they and I get the idea from some third party that I've forgotten about, or is it that the evolution of the Human mind has reached a turning point -- spurred, perhaps, by our increased reliance on finger-mediated communication -- where the archetype of the Handlebrot is now manifesting itself spontaneously in our collective consciousness and we should expect to see it pop up in more places as time progresses?

If any Jungian chaoticians have a theory, I would be happy to hear it.

Lyle Zapato

The Atomium Resurfaces

Lyle Zapato | 2005-09-16.7320 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy | Aluminum

In the guestbook, Cascadia Patriot points to a news story today about the Belgians unveiling the Atomium's restored exterior. They're claiming that its new stainless steel coverings will stand up to Belgium's supposedly wet and windy weather better than the old aluminum ones. This is a lie for two reasons:

Atomium
Mirror balls and tubes -- sure, that doesn't look like it exists only in a computer. Where's the checkerboard ground receding into infinity?

1) The Atomium doesn't exist.

I mean, just look at it! Who would build such a ridiculous thing? It is a fictitious building in a fictitious country. As such, fictitious weather isn't going to affect it, except fictitiously. They only pretend to have such absurd buildings to make Belgium seem like a technological Utopia (that and it's supposedly the HQ of Captain Euro.)

2) Aluminum can stand up to the elements just fine.

In reality, this whole "renovation" story is a ruse to spread FUD about Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies. They want you to associate aluminum with something to be removed and disposed of, hoping you will "renovate" your currently safely beanied head, thus leaving yourself exposed to the Conspiracy's psychotronic manipulation.

Furthermore, as reported here previously, the Belgians were selling the supposedly stripped off aluminum sheet to the public, hoping that paranoids would be foolish enough to buy it for use in shielding their homes so they can walk around beanieless, not realizing that the aluminum was newly manufactured with embedded psychotronic circuitry that would turn any structure shielded with it into a Belgification device.

Thanks, "Belgium", but I'll stick with my AFDB and the more probable architecture of Cascadia...

Lyle Zapato

GPM #15: Professor Polar Bear

Lyle Zapato | 2005-09-16.4630 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | Black Helicopters
Professor Polar Bear

Professor Polar Bear lives just north of Barrow, Alaska. A rather bookish fellow, he learned all he could about the environment from an Eskimo tribe (instead of trying to eat them). The Professor saw a troubling trend:

Recently Professor Polar Bear has become concerned about melting ice and the warming environment. Professor Polar Bear brought this warming problem to the attention of some new friends he met while feeding one day.

(Feeding on whom, one wonders...) These new friends were members of the US Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program, for whom the Professor now works as an expert on global warming, weather, radiation, and pointing at things. There he joins fellow GPMs Teacher Turtle and PI Prairie Dog in the ARM Study Hall. (In introducing PI Prairie Dog, a "principal investigator for the ARM Program", the site oddly notes that members of his species were once found living in a colony the size of Belgium.)

So what exactly does ARM do? They claim they work under the DOE monitoring the atmosphere to study global climate changes using such sinister looking equipment as this:

SKYRAD

ARM is also involved in the study of aerosols and their effects on the atmosphere. However they aren't just conducting passive measurements. As uncovered by special ops agents of the Georgia Militia, ARM is working with the DOE's Atmospheric Science Program to use unmanned aerospace vehicles to study the nucleating properties of aerosol sprays. In other words: They are creating chemtrails.

Much like a polar bear in nerd's clothing, ARM's seemingly innocent studies are actually a cover for potential Eskimo-endangering destruction. Unfortunately, their activities raise more questions than we have answers for at this time: Could it be that they are conducting an advanced black helicopter breeding program on the North Slope of Alaska? Why are spruce beetles mysteriously drawn to the area? Are they in league with HAARP to control the weather? And what was the real reason that US Senators John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Barrow, Alaska last month for a helicopter ride?

Lyle Zapato

Limericktionary

Lyle Zapato | 2005-09-12.2100 LMT | Letters | Miscellaneous | Art

A loyal reader writes in with a link and suggestion:

I am not sure this is up your alley, but as a long-time fan of you and your website (I even bought the book), and also of the website mentioned below, I thought I'd send you the following address: www.oedilf.com. Ostensibly, it has nothing to do with the NWO, but then again, who can ever be certain?

Again, I don't know that limerick-writing is your thing, but for a man of your talents, I would not be surprised. Anyways, you can at least write one about AFDBs or black helicopters, to raise consciousness about these matters. (If it is rejected, we'll know for sure that the site is just another devious attempt by the NWO at controlling peoples' language, and hence, their minds.)

Yours,
Hollander

The site he links to is The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form, which, as the name implies, has limericks for every word submitted by people with too much time on their hands. Exactly my sort of thing!

Here's one I just wrote to raise consciousness about the importance of beanie camouflage:

Aluminum makes a nice hat;
All paranoids will tell you that.
But what most don't know
Is the shine will show
Up on the CIA's landsat.

Since there's a minor limerick war over the spelling of the name of lucky atomic element 13, here's a more historical take:

Sir Davy coined "alumium",
Then said it was "aluminum".
"The end's improper!
(Rather 'twere 'copper'...)
Hell! Call it 'aluminium'!"

I'll submit them and we'll see just how far the NWO's language control goes...

Update: I've been informed by Hollander that those two limericks just won't do. Here's a correction of the first using some suggestions of his:

Aluminum makes a nice hat.
All paranoids will tell you that.
But what most do not know
Is reflections will show
On the CIA's evil landsat.

The second one was a complete disaster, so I redid it:

"Alumium" Davy first picks,
Then thinks that "aluminum" clicks.
"But the end don't agree
With my K and Mg!
I hope 'aluminium' sticks."

The Typing Octopus

Happy Hatchday!

The Typing Octopus | 2005-09-04.9900 LMT | Cephalopods | Nature
Lyle Zapato

Pneumatic Tubes In Fiction

Lyle Zapato | 2005-08-25.9800 LMT | Pneumatics | Technology | Entertainment

Yesterday, I noticed that Wikipedia's entry for "pneumatic tubes" links to my Inteli-tube page. Since I reorganized the site, I went to update the link.

While there, I decided to clarify an ambiguous statement about pneumatic postage stamps (which were mentioned here previously). Of course, I had to also add a picture of one of the stamps.

Then I had to move a misplaced paragraph listing some occurrences of pneumatic tubes in fiction from the postal section. I put it in it's own section and expanded on it:

When pneumatic tubes first came into use in the 19th century, they symbolized technological progress and it was imagined that they would be common in the future. Jules Verne's Paris in the 20th Century (1863) includes suspended pneumatic tube trains that stretch across the oceans. Albert Robida's The Twentieth Century (1882) describes a 1950s Paris where tube trains have replaced railways and pneumatic mail is ubiquitous. Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888) envisions the world of 2000 as interlinked with tubes for delivering goods. Michel Verne's An Express of the Future (1888) questions the sensibility of a transatlantic pneumatic subway. In Michel & Jules Verne's The Day of an American Journalist in 2889 (1889) the Society for Supplying Food to the Home allows subscribers to receive meals pneumatically.

Later, because of their use by governments and large businesses, tubes began to symbolize bureaucracy. In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, pneumatic tubes in the Ministry of Truth deliver newspapers to Winston's desk containing articles to be "rectified". The movie Brazil, which has similar themes, also used tubes (as well as other anachronistic technology) to evoke the stagnation of bureaucracy. At the start of each episode of the 1999 television series Fantasy Island, a darker version of the original, bookings for would-be visitors to the Island were sent to the devilish Mr. Roarke via a pneumatic tube from a dusty old travel agency, making the tube seem not so much bureaucratic as sinister.

The failure of pneumatic tubes to live up to their potential as envisioned in previous centuries has placed them in the company of flying cars and dirigibles as ripe for ironic retro-futurism. The 1960s cartoon series The Jetsons featured pneumatic tubes that people could step into and be sucked up and swiftly spit out at their destination. Futurama imagined similar devices for the citizens of 31st century New New York.

But, sometimes a tube is just a tube, and not all pneumatic tubes in fiction are symbolic or meaningful beyond simply being interesting technology. In the James Bond film The Living Daylights, a supposed Soviet defector was smuggled across the Iron Curtain in an oil pipe-line. While not technically a pneumatic tube, the design of the transportation system in Logan's Run, in which cars traveled in elevated clear tubes, seems influenced by pneumatic tube aesthetics.

So, if anyone knows any other notable pneumatic tubes in fiction that I missed, please add to the article.