Radio Drama
Science Faction

Time Travelers Guide
"Stand By For Mars!"
Time Travelers Guide
If the wealth hasn't been spread your way, find what you need on Ebay.

Volcano Seven
Women With Wings
Delicious Death
The Coldest Equations
Recreational Nuclear Physics
Recreational Rocket Science
Recreational Oceanography
Curie Magazine
The Thing on the Fourble Board
Encyclopedia Asimova
Vertlieb's Views

The Thunder Child - The Time Travelers Guide

It's imperative when you travel through time that you be able to understand what you're seeing in the past. If you know too little (or indeed, too much), you may end up saving someone from being run over by a car, and thus send the course of WWII into a direction in which the Allies do not win, for example.

Even if you do not indulge in time travel, your enjoyment of the historical documents will be heightened if you can understand the references and slang of the day.

Historical Document #1: Rocket to the Morgue (1942)

With action taking place from October 31, 1941 to December 6, 1941

A selection of what you need to know to converse intelligently with Americans in 1942.

The page numbers are from the 1967 edition.

Term Definition
Who's What in the USA
Since 1899, a book called Who's Who kept track of businessmen and other people of note, giving brief biographies, their hobbies, and other information.
. .
"...the ways of God to man that Milton forgot to justify"
pg 7
John Milton (1608 � 1674) is the author of the epic poem Paradise Lost, in which Adam and Eve are tempted by the serpent and cast out of Eden.
. .
Skid Row
pg 9
This term dates back to the 19th century, although the origin is debated. It is generally thought to have orginated in either Vancouver, British Columbia or Seattle, Washington, where it was adapted from the term "skid road", a corduroy road made of logs, used to skid or drag logs through woods and bog.

. .
rosary and scapular and medal
pg 26
The term refers to both a set of prayer beads and a system of set prayers to be said as the beads are run through the fingers, used in the Catholic faith.
. .
Rhodes scholar
pg 10
This scholarship was begun after the death of Cecil John Rhodes (founder of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe) and have been awarded to applicants annually since 1902 by the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, on the basis of academics and strength of character.
. .
his eye coursing over Greek miniscules The "miniscule" is a lower case letter, a "majiscule" is an upper case or capital letter.
. .
"Though if we get into the war..."
pg 11
The action in this novel takes place just before Pearl Harbor...but the war in Europe had been going on since 1939 between Germany and England and France, and while America was neutral most citizens did not believe that would remain the case.
. .
"I think it's fifteen years since the capital police [Washington DC] got a conviction
pg 13
Washington, District of Columbia, the capitol of the United States of America, has long had the highest crime rate in the country.
. .
the Mann act
pg 13
The United States White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910 prohibited "white slavery". It also banned the interstate transport of females for �immoral purposes�. Its primary stated intent was to address prostitution, immorality, and human trafficking. The act is better known as the Mann Act, after James Robert Mann, an American lawmaker.
. .
...looked at the stack of blank paper-and-carbon sandwiches beside him.
Up until the invention of the copying machine in the 1960s, anyone who wanted to keep a copy of their documents had to use "carbon paper" in order to do so. Carbon paper (first called carbonic paper) was paper coated on one side with a layer of a loosely bound dry ink or pigmented coating, usually bound with montan wax. Pressure applied by typewriter keys hitting the surface transferred the carbon to a clean sheet below.
. .
"Your typewriter pinged 25 times.
pg 16
Before the advent of personal computers and laser jet or dot matrix printers, the typewriter was used to "type" correspondence and manuscripts. When the typist came to the end of the line, a "ping' alerted the typist that the margin had been reached, and the "return lever" must be activated to move the roller to the left side of the paper to start a new line.
. .
< Memories of a Useful Life, by Nehemiah Atchison
We have been unable to find any list of this book or author. Presumably author Anthony Boucher made up this reference.
. .
fifth-order curves
pg. 17
We have been unable to find any definition for fifth order curves.
. .
Canyon de Chelly
pg 18
A canyon in Arizona. Canyon de Chelly National Monument was established on April 1, 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service. It is located in northeastern Arizona, within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. The monument covers 131 square miles and encompasses the floors and rims of the three major canyons: de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument.
. .
pg. 18
A play written by English playwright William Shakespeare. Macbeth is a Scottish noble who usurps the throne at the behest of his wife.
. .
cribbed a line from Patience: "I yearn my living." Patience is an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan.
. .
an octoroon in Sao Paolo Octaroon is a racial category of hypodescent used in Latin America and parts of the 19th century Southern United States, particularly Louisiana. An octoroon denoted a person of one eighth black ancestry. This type of cateogrization fell out of use after the 1960s as it is considered deragatory. Sao Paolo is a city in Brazil.
. .
Sister Mary Patientia, O.M.B.
pg 21
O. M. B. Order of Martha of Bethany. (A fictional order, but it explains how nuns are identified through their orders.)
. .
..from She to Caleb Catlum's America Caleb Catlum's America: The Enlivening Wonders of His Adventures, Voyages, Discoveries, Loves, Hoaxes, Bombast and Rigmaroles in All Parts of America, from His Birth in 1798 Almost to the Present Year, Told by Himself , by Vincent McHugh. This book is available from Juniper Books on the web.
. .
the Lark, Gellett Burgess, Bohemium Club, Paul Elder, Henry Miller, Clyde Fitch, Mission Dolores, Leland Stanford University, Kulopangu, the Ngutlumbi
  • Gellett Burgess - illustrator of The Lark, which was published in the late 1800s

  • Bohemian Club - Founded in 1872, is a private men's fine arts club, located at 624 Taylor Street in San Francisco, California, modelled on the prominent Century Club, based in New York. It has a diverse membership of many prominent local and global leaders, ranging from artists and musicians to leading businessmen.

  • Paul Elder - a branch of bookstores in California

  • Henry Miller - (1891 � 1980) was an American writer and painter. He is known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of "novel" that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism. Author of Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.

  • Clyde Fitch - (1865 - 1909) An American dramatist who wrote over 60 plays.

  • Mission Dolores - Mission San Francisco de As�s is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco and the sixth religious settlement established as part of the California chain of missions. The Mission was founded on June 29, 1776 by Lieutenant Jos� Joaquin Moraga and Father Francisco Pal�u, both members of the de Anza Expedition, which had been charged with bringing Spanish settlers to northern California.

  • Leland Standard University - Founded in 1891. Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly known as Stanford University (or simply Stanford), is a private university located approximately 37 miles (60 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles northwest of San Jos� in Stanford, California. Situated adjacent to the city of Palo Alto, California, Stanford was the catalyst for the creation of Silicon Valley (the name of course would not become current until 1971), in which it is considered the center both geographically and historically.

  • Kulopangu - No reference found. Boucher made it up!

  • Ngutlumbi - No reference found. Boucher made it up!
  • . .
    Mañana Literary Society
    pg 24
    An informal organization of science fiction writers founded by Robert Heinlein. The name derives from the phrase of the works they always planned to write "tomorrow." (Mañana is "tomorrow" in Spanish.) Disbanded when the US entered WWII.
    . .
    "I'm on the edges of a strange new world..."
    pg 24
    Brave New World is a dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley, first published in 1932. Set in London in 2540 (or AF 632), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, biological engineering, and sleep-learning that combine to change society.
    . .
    Convent of Sister Martha of Bethany
    Maria Monk stuff
    pg 25
  • A convent is a community of priests, religious brothers or religious sisters, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion.

  • Martha is a figure mentioned only in the Bible. No other historical detail about her is known. According to the gospel of John, she was the sister of Lazarus and Mary, and she witnessed her brother's resurrection. According to tradition, Mary was spiritual, Martha actually got down on her hands and knees and worked.

  • Maria Monk (June 27, 1816 � summer of 1839) was a Canadian woman who claimed to have been a nun who had been sexually exploited in her convent. She, or ghost writers who used her as their puppet, wrote a sensational book about these allegations.
  • . .
    a beautiful white elephant
    pg. 25
  • A white elephant is a supposedly valuable possession whose upkeep exceeds its usefulness, and it is therefore a liability. The term derives from the sacred white elephants kept by traditional Southeast Asian monarchs in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. To possess a white elephant was regarded (and still is regarded, in Thailand and Burma) as a sign that the monarch was ruling with justice and the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity.

  • For baseball fans...why do the Oakland Athletics wear an elephant on their uniforms?
    The metaphor was popularized in the United States after New York Giants manager John McGraw told the press that Philadelphia businessman Benjamin Shibe had "bought himself a white elephant" by acquiring the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team in 1901.

    The Athletics manager Connie Mack subsequently selected the elephant as the team symbol and mascot. The team is occasionally referred to as the White Elephants. The team has been located in Oakland since 1968.

  • . .
    the Lockheed plant
    Brides of Christ
    pg 27
  • Lockheed Corporation (originally Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company) was an American aerospace company originally founded in 1912. (It will merge with Martin Marietta in 1995 to form Lockheed Martin.)

  • Nuns wear a wedding ring and are considered to be a bride of Christ.
  • . .
    the Seven Deadly Sins
    pg. 30
    A classification of vices, originally used in early Christian teachings to educate and instruct followers concerning "fallen man's" tendency to sin.

    The Roman Catholic Church divided sin into two principal categories: "venial", which are relatively minor, and could be forgiven through any sacrament of the Church, and the more severe "capital" or "mortal" sins, which, when committed, destroyed the life of grace, and created the threat of eternal damnation unless either absolved through the sacrament of confession, or otherwise forgiven through perfect contrition on the part of the penitent.

    Beginning in the early 14th century, the popularity of the seven deadly sins as a theme among European artists of the time helped to ingrain them in many areas of Christian culture and Christian consciousness throughout the world. They are not referred to in either a cohesive or codified manner in the Bible itself.

    . .
    Braille transcription
    The braille system was devised in 1821 by Frenchman Louis Braille. Braille characters are much larger than their printed equivalents, and the standard 11" by 11.5" (28 cm � 30 cm) page has room for only 25 lines of 43 characters.

    To reduce space and increase reading speed, virtually all braille books are transcribed in what is known as Grade 2 Braille, which uses a system of contractions to reduce space and speed the process of reading. As with most human linguistic activities, Grade 2 Braille embodies a complex system of customs, styles, and practices. The Library of Congress's Instruction Manual for Braille Transcribing runs to nearly 200 pages. Braille transcription is skilled work, and braille transcribers need to pass certification tests.

    With the advent of audio books and electronics, braille began to fall out of use in the latter part of the 20th century.

    . .
    the communion rail
    St. Theresa, St. Theresa of Avila
    pg 31
  • Altar rails are a set of railings, sometimes ornate and frequently of marble or wood, delimiting the sanctuary in a church, the part that contains the altar. A gate at the centre divides the line into two parts. The sanctuary is a figure of heaven, into which entry is not guaranteed. Rails are a feature of Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches.

  • Sister Teresa (who will become known as Mother Theresa), (born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) (1910 � 1997), was a Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity. For over forty years, she ministered to the needs of the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying in Calcutta. She will win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work.

  • Saint Teresa of �vila (known in religion as Teresa de Jes�s, baptized as Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada) (1515 � 1582) was a major figure of the Catholic Reformation as a prominent Spanish mystic and writer and as a monastic reformer.
  • . .
    In the early days of Olsen and Johnson, long before Hell zapopped
    pg. 32
    Olsen and Johnson were zany comedians of vaudeville, radio, the Broadway stage, motion pictures, and television. Their shows were famous for their crazy blackout gags and orchestrated mayhem ("anything can happen, and it probably will").

    Their most famous concept, Hellzapoppin', has become show-business shorthand for free-wheeling, anything-goes comedy; it enjoyed a lengthy run on Broadway and also a movie version.

    . .
    "Our Los Angeles drivers are, I'm afraid, notorious."
    pg 35
    The automobile got it start with engineers creating an internal combustion engine in the 1890s. The US was late on the scene, with automobiles - or autos or cars as they will become known, appearing around 1910. The average American would not be able to afford a car until the 1950s.
    . .
    "I had only recently read a novel concerning poisoned chocolates..." Anthony Berkely Cox wrote a novel called The Poisoned Chocolates Case published in 1929 in England, which ws famous as an affectionate send-up of the mystery novel. Five amateur detectives suggest five different solutions to the same crime...until finally the sixth amateur points out the truth.
    . .
    Doris Dainty Shoppes We have been unable to find any store called Doris Dainty, but perhaps it is an homage to Fanny Farmer chocolates, a company that was started in Rochester, New York by Frank O'Connor in 1919. The company was named in honor of culinary expert Fannie Farmer, who had died four years earlier. Fanny Farmer had a competitor, Fanny May,

    H. Teller Archibald opened the first Fannie May store in downtown Chicago in 1920. Fourteen years later in 1934, there were four-dozen stores in Illinois and its surrounding states in the Midwest.

    . .
    self-appointed Boswell
    pg. 38
    James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck and 1st Baronet (1740 - 1795) was a lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is most famous for his biography of his good friend, Samuel Johnson. His name has passed into the English language as a term (Boswell, Boswellian, Boswellism) for a constant companion and observer.
    . .
    Marshall looked about hopelessly for someplace to knock out his pipe.
    pg. 38
    In 1975, the state of Minnesota initiated the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, making it the first state to ban smoking in most public spaces. Since then, "smoker's rights" have been encroached upon until by 2007 it was practically illegal to smoke anywhere, including in one's own home if that home also contained a chid.

    We are unsure if Boucher's treatment of Marshall's pipe smoking is meant as a criticism of smokers, or just as an amusing incident. Despite the fact tha there are no ashtrays in the Foulkes home, Marshall lights his pipe, and puts the matchstick in the cuff of his trousers as there is nowhere else to dispose of it. Later on, he wishes to knock pipe ash out of his pipe, and does so, under a rug. He then lights up his pipe again.

    . .
    Mr. Emerson's mousetrap
    pg. 39
    Hilary Foulkes is referencing a phrase credited to Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door."
    . .
    "It ticks...How curious! It ticks..."
    pg 40
    "It ticks." is the phrase the Tin Man uses in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz.
    The maid, who apparently doubled in aluminum, was peeling potatoes.
    pg. 41
    We have been unable to discover what the phrase "doubled in aluminum" means.
    . .
    Marshall thought of the Tell-Tale Heart
    pg. 43
    "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe.
    . .
    Runcible (character)
    pg. 48
    A runcible spoon is a fictitious utensil that appears in the nonsense poetry of Edward Lear. He first used it in 1871.
    . .
    "I ask you no questions and you tell me no lies."
    pg. 48
    This phrase is attributed to is attributed to the Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774).
    . .
    Domenici Saltimbanco
    pg. 49
    We have been unable to find any reference to this name as a carver of rosaries, let alone anything else. Boucher probably made this name up.
    . .
    "...he used to use it with Liberty salesman.
    pg. 49
    We were unable to find a reference to this. Liberty is a store in England, this document takes place in New York.
    . .
    Anson McDonald, Lyle Monroe, Tony Boucher
    Cleve Cartmill, Webb Marlowe (attendees at the Rocket Party) pg. 52, pg 96
    The names of science fiction writers:

    Anson McDonald - pseudonym of Robert Heinlein
    Lyle Monroe - pseudonym of Robert Heinlein
    Tony Boucher - himself
    Cleve Cartmill - author of "Deadline"
    Webb Marlowe - pseudonym of J. Francis McComas (with whom Boucher would five years later, edit Magaizine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

    . .
    positronic brain tracks of Asimov's robots
    pg 55
    Isaac Asimov is the famous creator of the positronic robots (as well as the three laws of robotics.)
    . .
    the Denvention
    pg 56
    A science fiction convention that took place in Denver in 1941. The third such convention. Another convention wouldn't be held until 1946.
    . .
    a Borgia laying in a the month's supply of aqua tofana The Borgia family of Italy (Cesare, Rodrigo and Lucrezia) were famous for poisoning their enemies, with aqua tofana. Toffana was a poison named after the notorious female, Giulia Toffana.
    . .
    in a sort of Groucho Marx crouch
    pg. 67
    Groucho Marx was an actor and comedian who, while in character, walked with bent legs, in a sort of crouch.
    . .
    Phileas Fogg, who went around the world in 80 days
    pg 73
    Phileas Fogg is a character of Jules Verne.
    . .
    See Charles Fort
    pg. 76
    Charles Fort (1874 � 1932) was an American writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. The Fortean Society is named in his honor.
    . .
    "Half a loaf..."
    pg 79
    "Half a loaf is better than none," is an old saying. (In England, the joke is, "Half a load is better than low bred." (referring to breeding.)
    . .
    Cedars of Lebanon hospital
    pg. 79
    An actual hospital, named for the dense cedar forest that existed in the Biblical lands of Lebanon.
    . .
    An actor in Tobacco Road
    pg. 80
    A 1932 novel by Erskine Caldwell about Georgia sharecroppers. Dramatized for Broadway by Jack Kirkland in 1933, it ran for a then-astounding eight years (3182 performances).
    . .
    "I like Dick Tracy's jaw better."
    pg. 81
    Dick Tracy was a comic strip created by Chester Gould, first appearing on October 4, 1931. The character was famous for his square jaw.
    . .
    The Zemindar of Kota Guti
    pg. 82
    A Zemindar is a tax collector in India and Pakistan, we were unable to find a reference to Kota Guti.
    . .
    He stepped in, dropped his nickel, and dialed the Marshall's number
    pg. 84
    Until the 1980s, when mobile or "cell" phones made their appearance, public telephone boxes dotted the streets. In 1941, it cost a nickel to make a phone call. The price would go up gradually. In the 1990s, it would be a quarter.
    . .
    the Lost City of Xanatopsis?
    pg. 87
    We have been unable to find a reference for this. We suspect Boucher made it up.
    . .
    "...put the quietus on Hilary."
    pg. 88
    "Quietus" is a word used since the 1500s to indicate "a finishing stroke; anything that effectually ends or settles." A fancy way of saying, "killed."
    . .
    "Everyone we meet outside of the M.L.S. is either in aircraft or in social service. They're the two great professions of the day. And the draft coming up for tomorrow."
    pg. 89
    The American Stock Market crashed in 1929, sending the United States into a Depression, along with much of the rest of the world. Democrat President Roosevelt started various social services to ease the plight of the poor.
    . .
    In the lounge car of the Lark, pullman train from San Francisco to Los Angeles
    pg. 90
    George Pullman was the creator of a train car that held berths, so that passengers might sleep.
    . .
    "...remember these words of fatherly advice. The more you help your wife with being a mother, the more time and energy she'll have for being a wife."
    pg. 92
    Many men did not and do not think that they should take any hand in the rearing of children. Anthony Boucher obviously felt otherwise and slipped in a bit of campaigning here.
    . .
    He was great at dominating salons until anyone of interest appeared.
    "A Foulkes manque"
    pg. 96
    A salon, most famous during the 17th and 18th centuries, was an assembly of guests in such a room, consisting of the leaders in society, art, politics, etc.
    Manque means: Unfulfilled or frustrated in the realization of one's ambitions or capabilities.
    . .
    pg. 100
    The California Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Caltech) is a private, coeducational research university located in Pasadena, California, in the United States. Originally founded in 1891, it recevied its present name in 1920.
    . .
    the Qui habitat...the ninetieth psalm. Douay version, King James version.
    pg. 101
    There are many different versions of the Bible.

    The King James or Authorized Version of the Bible is an English translation of the Christian Bible by the Church of England begun in 1604 and first published in 1611. The New Testament was translated from the Textus Receptus (Received Text) edition of the Greek texts, so called because most extant texts of the time were in agreement with it. The Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Hebrew text, while the Apocrypha was translated from the Greek Septuagint (LXX).

    . .
    the arsenic entry was signed George Spelvin
    pg. 102
    The name George Spelvin used to be used by actors when they were doubling roles in the theater, so that the audience would not realize that the same actor was playing more htan one roll.
    . .
    "that boogy-woogy-playing dinge they've got was going good..."
    pg. 102
    Boogie-woogie is a style of piano-based blues that became very popular in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and was extended from piano, to three pianos at once, guitar, big band, and country and western music, and even gospel.
    When minorities were mentioned in American fiction, up until the 1960s, they were generally mentioned in slighting terms, such as being referred to as a "dinge." This is a reflection of they way they were generally treated in society.
    . .
    [putting it] in a parcel locker in the P.E. station at Sixth and Main
    pg. 103
    Pacific Electric was a company that used to operate trolly cars in various cities in the United States. There would be lockers at each station for people to store their goods. For an example of trolley cars, see the external site: Venice Short Line Tour.
    . .
    "You've got your constitutional rights."
    pg. 103
    The United States is governed by the Constitution. Citizen's rights were expounded upon in the Bill of Rights.
    . .
    General Delivery
    pg. 104
    Still available in the early 2000s, General Delivery is a service provided by the United States Post Office. People who do not have permanent addresses, and do not rent Post Office boxes, can have their mail sent to Their Name, General Delivery, to whatever city they choose. The mail is kept at the main post office in that city for 30 days to be picked up.
    . .
    "He's a good joe."
    pg. 106
    "Joe" is slang for a man, as in "G.I. Joe."
    . .
    "He was always quoting Thomas Paine and Bob Ingersoll
    pg. 107
    Thomas Paine - born in England in 1737, migrated to the American colonies just in time to take part in the American Revolution, mainly as the author of the powerful, widely read pamphlet, Common Sense (1776). Died in New York in 1809.
    Bob Ingersoll - Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll (1833 � 1899) was a Civil War veteran, American political leader and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of agnosticism.
    . .
    "He's a god for a maenad but not for a nun."
    pg. 107
    In Greek mythology, Maenads were female worshippers of Dionysus, the Greek god of mystery, wine, and intoxication, and the Roman god Bacchus.
    "We've got a poor lunger up on the fourth..."
    pg. 110
    Tuberculosis has been known since antiquity, but given this name in 1839. People with this disease cough freqently, and thus "poor lunger" is probably a slang phrase for someone with tuberculosis.
    . .
    "Beauty falls from the air."
    "Beauty is truth?" pg. 111
    Quotes from the English playwright, William Shakespeare
    . .
    This sensation he accounted for with manifold references to Extra Sensory Perception, the Serial Universe...
    The concept of the Serial Universe was described by John William Dunne in his book of the same name. In it, he argued that past, present and future were in fact simultaneous and only experienced sequentially because of our mental perception of them. It was his belief that in the dream state the mind was not shackled in this way and was able to perceive events in the past and future with equal facility
    . .
    The rocketry of Pendray, the time-dreams of Dunne, the extra sensory perception of Rhine, the sea serpents of Gould...
    pg. 112
  • Edward Pendray (1923-1971) - one of the founders of the American Rocket Society
  • John W. Dunne (1875-1949) established his career as an aeronautical engineer working on many early military aircraft. A soldier in the Boer War, Dunne worked on tailless and flying wing designs in the early years of the 20th century, producing inherently stable aircraft.
  • Joseph Banks Rhine (1895 - 1980) The term ESP was coined by Duke University researcher J. B. Rhine to denote psychic abilities such as telepathy, precognition and clairvoyance
  • Rupert T. Gould (1890 - 1948) A Lieutenant Commander in the British Royal Navy. Perhaps most widely known for restoring the marine chronometers of John Harrison, he also wrote about the Loch ness Monster.
  • . .
    the Mary Celeste, or with Benjamin Bathurst, the British diplomat who once walked around a team of horses and was never seen agaon.
    pg. 113
  • The Mary Celeste was found abandoned in 1871. It was fully sea-worthy, and so no one could figure out why the crew had left.

    Benjamin Bathurst (1784 - November 25, 1809?) was a British diplomat serving in Continental Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. On 25 November 1809, during a brief stopover at an inn in the town of Perleberg, he disappeared and was never seen again, although his pantaloons and coat are reported to have been recovered. Although some historians believe he was kidnapped and murdered on orders of Napoleon, his disappearance has never been adequately explained. Numerous alternative theories have been put forward including paranormal ones.

  • . .
    All his model rockets, he explained, were named Aspera, for per aspera, eventually itur ad astra, and he deplored the tendency of the facetious to refer to them as Aspidistra.
    pg. 120
    Ad aspera, per aspra is a Latin phrase meaning "To the Stars through Difficulties"
    After Valier's sad death in 1930...
    pg. 122
    Max Valier (1895 - 1930) An Austrian rocketry pioneer who helped found the German Verein f�r Raumschiffahrt (VfR - "Spaceflight Society"). Died in an explosion in 1930.
    . .
    Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs.
    pg. 125
    A phrase in use since 1707. Apparently it was a practice at one time to suck out the interior of eggs through a small hole in one end.
    . .
    "At the Safeway down the street."
    pg. 129
    The Safeway supermarket chain, founded in 1926, is still in existence to this day.
    . .
    That's a Rogers cover over there, and I've got half a dozen Boks and three Finlays. ...That's an originial Cartier.
    pg. 134
  • Hubert Rogers - the most important science fiction artist in the United States in the late 1930s and 1940s.

  • Hannes Bok (1914 � 1964) The pseudonym of Wayne Woodard, whose illustrations mainly appeared on the covers of science fiction novels and in such magazines as If, Weird Tales, Other Worlds, Fantasy Fiction, Imagination, Castle of Frankenstein, Planet Stories, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

  • Virgil Finlay (1914 � 1971) A pulp fantasy, science fiction and horror illustrator. While he worked in a range of media, from gouache to oils, Finlay specialized in, and became famous for, beautifully detailed pen-and-ink drawings accomplished with abundant stippling and cross-hatching. Despite the very labor-intensive and time-consuming nature of his specialty, Finlay created more than 2600 works of graphic art in his 35-year career.
  • . .
    "Who's the Seventh Sleeper...I'll borrow her when a Good Girl wants a chaperone."
    pg. 141
    In the early part of the 20th century, girls did not go out alone, they always had chaperones - usually an elder woman, so that they would not be on t heir own.
    . .
    "These statements [for draft board] are purely confidential. If we allowed them to be used for police purpose, we might as well install a Gestapo."
    "The American Civil Liberties Union isn't going to jump on your neck ..."
    pg. 144
  • The Gestapo was established on April 26, 1933, in Prussia, from the existing organization of the Prussian Secret Police. The Gestapo was first simply a branch of the Prussian Police known as �Department 1A of the Prussian State Police�.

    The role of the Gestapo was to investigate and combat �all tendencies dangerous to the state.� It had the authority to investigate treason, espionage and sabotage cases, and cases of criminal attacks on the Nazi Party and Germany.Laws passed in 1936 effectively gave the Gestapo carte blanche to operate without judicial oversight.

  • The ACLU was founded in 1920 by Crystal Eastman and Roger Baldwin. Lawsuits brought by this organization ever since have done much to shape the evolution of US Constitutional Law. It has defended organizations as diverse as the Ku Klux Klan and the pro-gun ownership group Second Amendment Foundation. Often, its clients are notoriously unpopular such as neo-Nazi organizations and the North American Man/Boy Love Association, (NAMBLA), a group which supports lifting all age restrictions on pederasty.
  • . .
    "He got there fustest."
    pg. 148
    John Bedford forrest, a Civil War soldier, is often erroneously quoted as saying his strategy was to "git thar fustest with the mostest," but this quote first appeared in print in a New York Times story in 1917, written to provide colorful comments in reaction to European interest in Civil War generals.

    Bruce Catton writes, "Do not, under any circumstances whatever, quote Forrest as saying 'fustest' and 'mostest.' He did not say it that way, and nobody who knows anything about him imagines that he did."

    . .
    the disappearance of Ambrose Bierce...the disappearance of Ambrose Small (someone was collecting Ambroses, a theory of Charles Fort.)
    pg. 151
  • Ambrose Bierce - (1842 � 1914?) was an American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer and satirist, today best known for his Devil's Dictionary. In his 70s, he journeyed into Mexico to accompany Pancho Villa's army, and most likely died there.

  • Ambrose Small - (1863 - vanished December 2, 1919) was a Canadian theatre magnate, who owned theatres in several Ontario towns including the Toronto Grand Opera House and the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario. He disappeared on 2 December 1919. It is alleged that Small's wife and her lover killed him and cremated his body in the London Ontario Grand Opera theather furnace (ironically, one of Small's holdings). It is further alleged that a police inspector was involved in a "cover-up" of Small's disappearance.
  • . .
    "Mr. MacLeish was right. 'It is the questions that we do not know.'"
    pg. 168
    Archibald MacLeish (1892 � 1982) was an American poet, writer and the Librarian of Congress. Associated with the modernist school of poetry, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times.

    His famous quote is: "We have learned the answers, all the answers. Unfortunately, it is the questions we do not know." from his book of poems, The Hamlet of A. McLeish (1928).

    . .
    turret-lathe operator
    pg. 168
    The turret lathe is a form of metal cutting lathe that is used for short production runs of parts. The "turret" part of the name is a special style of tailstock that can hold up to 6 tools with straight shanks.
    . .
    "Something we'll never know about this case is who did what and with which and to whom, or in less famous words, who was defrauding whom in what manner."
    pg. 169
    The "Five Ws" (and one H) were memorialized by Rudyard Kipling in his "Just So Stories" (1902), in which he used them in a poem accompanying the tale of "The Elephant's Child." Journalists were taught that they must answer "who, what, where, when and why" in their reports.

    Various sources on the web, including the copyright-free Wikipedia.

    Warning! Warning!

    Danger! You might miss intriguing updates if you do not subscribe to
    The Thunder Child mailing list!

    Warning! Warning!
    Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

    Recommended Reading

    Learn more or
    Buy Now

    [Home Page] [Contact Us] [Triskelion] [TechnoOcean] [Daily Space] [Store] [Site Map]

    To see our animated navigation bars, please download the Flash Player from Adobe.

    All text © 2006, 2007 The Thunder Child unless otherwise credited.
    All illustrations retain original copyright.
    Please contact us with any concerns as to correct attribution.
    Any questions, comments or concerns contact The Thunder Child.