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Thread: Amazing Untrue History

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    Amazing Untrue History

    BRUNO AND THE ECLIPSE
    On February 17, 1600, Giordano Bruno was to be burned at the stake in Rome for promulgating opinions contrary to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, especially those dealing with the plurality of worlds and aspects of magic and divination (He was specifically accused of humming "My name is John Wellington Welles / I'm a dealer in magic and spells," while working).

    As he was being tied to the stake he predicted that an eclipse would occur on that day, February 17th, striking fear into the hearts of every onlooker and resulting in his being set free. Unfortunately, the only eclipse in historical times that took place on February 17th occurred in 478 BCE, when February didn't even exist (NB: Some scholars dispute this, arguing it did exist, but was spelled Febuary). Bruno then asked if his immolation could be delayed until 2187, since he was sure one would occur in Rome then. The executioner laughed, saying it was more likely men would fly to the moon than be able to predict an eclipse almost six hundred years in the future.

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    Yay! Looking forward to some serious miseducation here!

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    BELL AND THE TELEPHONE
    In 1875 Alexander Ragtime Bell, while experimenting with his new invention (the "long speaker") shouted into the mouthpiece "Mr. Watson! Come here! I need you!"

    Running in from an adjacent room, Watson told Bell that he had not only heard him, but was overjoyed that Bell had finally, after years of denial, made his affections public. Since this was in Massachusetts, the two men were granted a certificate of civil partnership the next day at City Hall. Giving up on the device, Bell and Watson opened the first unisex hair salon in Boston, and with their profits helped King Gillette produce the first economical safety razor.

    Many years later, Watson admitted that the long speaker hadn't worked at all. "He was so loud I heard Alex right through the wall," he said, noting that true love knows no barriers.

    Watson was used by Arthur Conan Doyle as the model for his original private detective, "Conan the Investigator", who appeared in the 1886 Strand magazine serialization "A Study in Blood", which predicted the existence of blood groups more than twenty years before Landsteiner. Doyle then wrote a scientific romance, "The World of A- (A Negative)", in which he introduced the concepts of Corporal Semantics, which led to the universal joke, "Do you have Alfred Korzybski in a can?" Condemned as an anti-Semantite for his demeaning protrayal of people with a Boston accent, Doyle retired from writing and invented the internet instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike alexander View Post
    BELL AND THE TELEPHONE
    In 1875 Alexander Ragtime Bell...
    Now that's hilarious. Very MAD Magazine.

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    Re: Amazing Untrue History

    WHO INVENTED WHAT

    After being abandoned by Bell, the telephone lay dormant as an incomplete invention until 2007, when a descendant (by adoption) of Bell settled in Idaho. In exchange for certain favors, the parts and drawings wound up in the hands of Sen. Larry Craig, inventor of the party line.

    Craig completed the device while visiting a men's restroom at the Minneapolis airport and immediately got a busy signal from the next stall. Craig confessed that his real intent at the airport was to find a chat partner, who turned out to be an undercover officer in the service of the cadaver formerly known as Chertoff.

    Craig later swore off his confession, and claimed that he had only used Morris Code to communicate with the next stall. Mr. Code could not be contacted at his Fire Island home to confirm this information.

    Craig also did a number of flip-flops on his decision to quit the Senate on September 30th, finally stating that his work on inventing the cell phone was too important to interrupt in light of his probably winding up in a cell somewhere. A review of his financial statements revealed that Sen. Craig purchased the flip-flops while vacationing in Provincetown, MA during the summer of '02.
    Last edited by Maksutov; 2007-Oct-23 at 05:29 AM. Reason: typo

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    The Dark Secret of Menlo Park / Serbian Justice

    A late spring evening of 1880 Thomas Alva Edison was drunk on power, electricity and a little bit of Dr. Rheingold's Patented Nerve Tonic. A youthful Huckleberry Finn had been lured to his spider's lair for a lesson in ancient Macedonian customs.
    Edison made the first, untoward move causing the fictional youth to cry out in shock and horror. The doors to the main lab burst open, a slavic silhouetted figure loomed (ironically backlit by gaslight) and muttered "Leave the boy alone, Tommy." Edison raised his hands to his eyes and hissed baring his nascent fangs. Quicker than one can say "Injun Joe" Tesla squeezed the trigger on his patented Electrocatalytic Capacitance Incapacitator setting loose a deadly bolt of electrical energy into Edison's heart blackening it forever with the first powerful jolt.
    Finn and Tesla stood over the smouldering body of the man who created a better lightbulb and rode the coattails of numerous, nameless inventors. Nikola felt a clawed hand grasp his ankle, Edison rasped "You'll get into one little fight and your mother will get scared then you'll be moving in with your Auntie and Uncle in Bel Air."

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    A THUMPING AT APPOMATTOX
    In April 1865, Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy met Ulysses S. Grant of the Union at Appomattox Court House to discuss terms of surrender for the Army of Nothern Virginia. Glancing down at Lee's sword, Grant made the magnanimous gesture allowing Rebel oficers to keep their sidearms if they chose.

    Gen. Porter, who was translating Grant's English into Southern, mistakenly told Lee that officers could would keep their arms at their sides if they chose. Incensed that anyone would think otherwise, Lee stood up and broke into an impromptu Irish line dance, which so impressed Grant that he telegraphed Michael Flatley, who signed the silver-haired Confederate icon to an exclusive five-year contract in the touring company of Lord of the Dance.

    After two years Lee had to quit dancing due to tendon damage in his knees, which required extensive Reconstruction. He later told friends that if he had become a dancer instead of a general nobody would have saluted him, so it all worked out for the best.

    Gen. Grant retired from the army and, except for two terms as President of the United States, never matched Lee's feats. Or feets, either.

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    Re: Amazing Untrue History

    THE UNITED STATES SPACE PROGRAM

    It all began when Wilbur and Orville Wright faked their first heavier-that-air flight while making money on the side by hawking kittens in North Carolina. Robert Goddard had a vision problem, claiming to see Mars. This was disproved by an article in The New York Times. The space program lay dormouse until after many nations had staged what was called "World War II". Bernie Brown of Herr Magnus Brown's Brownshirts arrived in the US and immediately appeared on Walt Disney. After checking to make sure he hadn't hurt his fellow anticementite, Brown bought a Rhode Island Red rooster under the mistaken impression that it was a hen. When asked "Will he lay?" Brown would reply "Ja, ja, track 29!" Brown then headed for the Border Collier's magazine offices and published articles that showed that the conquest of space had already occurred. This tendency to preempt history came to be called "Brownian Motion". Soon NASA (Notable Artificial Space Achievements) was born in response to Sputnik, Muttnik, Glutnik, and Saintnik. The Mercury Rising Seven were the first actors who had the Wright stuff and simulated space flights through the early 1960s. President Kennedy, who was our first president to be so popular that he got mobbed, launched the Apollo program, which was as far as it actually got. Kennedy misunderstood that 1969 was the end of the decade. So did NASA and everyone else, except those on That 70s Show. The Saturn V, so-named because when manufacturers got their contracts for it, their German scientists and engineers would exclaim "VEEEE!", was the largest model Estes ever made, until the one that was bigger. It was used to simulate launches using F1 engines, each with a total impulse of 40.01-80.00 N·s. The return parachutes were painted black so the descending model could not be photographed. Brown died in 1977 and that was the end of the US Space Program.

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    "You'll get into one little fight and your mother will get scared then you'll be moving in with your Auntie and Uncle in Bel Air."
    Hahahahahahaha!
    A few months back, I was walking down the street when there was suddenly a bright flash of light. Colors swirled before my eyes. Then, I was in a room, in some sort of lab, having just exited a glowing portal.
    "Where... am I?" I asked
    A scientist in a lab coat came over and said
    "We've done it! This child is from a dimension exactly the opposite of ours- another universe entirely!"
    "Cool! But, where am I exactly, sir?"
    "Why, Area 15. Everybody's heard of it. This is where we faked the moon landings back in '69."
    "That's silly, everybody knows we really went to the moon."
    "How did you know that? It's above top secret! The girl is dangerous! Security!"
    And that's how I ended up sharing a cell with a Gray.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

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    A MODERN FAIRY STORY
    The superpower invaded the nation, impovering by its leader ruling on a strong personality cult, the nation's resources consumed by the massive internal security apparatus, several wars and international exclusion. The evil weapons he boasted of turned out not to be a bluff to discourage intervention by all the neighbouring countries he had so annoyed, and were destroyed. This anti-religious state was discovered to be sheltering religious extremists who publicly denounced them, and they were captured and the world saved from their religious terrorism. The population, with its tectonic divisions of ethnicity, religion, and resource location, were miraculously reconciled into a harmonised government of national unity for the future benefit of mankind. And the president of the superpower had guaranteed his party's succession for a generation.

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    EDISON AND THE INCANDESCENT LAMP
    In 1879, following his invention of the phonograph (which allowed virtually everyone to hear how bad they sound to others) and the stock market ticker (followed within six months by the invention of the ticker-tape parade), Edison retired to his research laboratory in Edison, New Jersey, to invent an electric lamp. He tried thousands of materials without success, causing skeptics to say the lamp would be Edison's swan song. After a brush with electrocution he finally realized that the technology of the day wasn't up to the task, so he built a time machine and went twenty years into the future, bought a Mazda lamp and brought it home to reverse engineer the components, leading to his successful introduction of electric light and the appellation "The Wizard of Maz."

    While he was in the future, Edison decided to find out if he could change history. Seeking out his father he shot and killed him, but upon returning to his present found he still existed. He felt this disproved the 'grandfather paradox' of time travel, even though he shot his father and not his grandfather.

    After the electric light Edison went on to invent many other items, such as the motion picture. He sued George Lucas for using 'Electric' in his company title ('Lucasfilm') and settled out of court with the Electric Light Orchestra, which had to change its name to Jefferson Starship, which got it in legal trouble with both the original Jefferson Starship and also George Lucas.

    On the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the electric light, all of America turned off its electric power in a five minute dark tribute to Edison. This caused all the stock tickers to stop working, bringing on a panic now known as the Crash of 1929.

    Edison died in 1931 from a gunshot wound inflicted by his father, who when he was told by Edison that he would be murdered in 1899 built his own time machine in 1896 from plans provided by H. G. Wells and went forward 35 years to plug his son in retaliation. Edison senior thus demonstrated the falsity of the 'son paradox', or as he put it, "I just blew the little SOB away."

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    This seems like a good place to share my great-grandfather's stories about Thatisso Ghetto.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

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    GOD AND THE FIRST WOMAN
    God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

    And Woman said, right, buster, whatever you say, just keep your hands unto yourself. And Woman did look around, and she asked Man, couldn't you get a decent place? for I am not the outdoorsy type. Even a studio condo in the East Village, outside of Eden? And she did notice that she was unclothed and said unto Man, where is the Mall? for I have need of coverings, raiments and adornments, for we will not Do It without a ring, and it had better be a decent rock, not some piddling thing you picked up in a pawn shop. And the Man said, what, do I look like I'm made of money? Hard have I worked, naming the beasts of the field, I do not need to hear kvetching. And the Woman said, better I should never been created in the first place, for I will go home to my mother... And the evening stretched to morning, and it was the sixth day.

    And God looked upon what He had created, and saw it was Jewish.

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    HAIG, LUDENDORFF AND THE BATTLE OF YPRES
    In April 1918, Erich Ludendorff, as part of the German spring offensive, decided to attack the British front near Ypres. After almost four years, the German High Commmand could still not agree how to pronounce the name of the town ("Ist Why-prez? Ee-press? Was?") and settled on attacking Kensington instead, which they could pronounce. In response Douglas Haig, who couldn't pronounce the town's name either ("What is it? Bloody Wipers, or something?"), mounted an amphibious assault on Hayling Island, which he could also pronounce.

    Working his way north after taking Portsmouth and Chichester, Haig met Ludendorff at Basingstoke as Ludendorff was coming down the M3 after taking Maidenhead and dropping south through Bagshot. In his role as commander of the British armies Haig closely identified himself with England, and felt the loss of 'his' Maidenhead deeply. To restore his honor he attacked Ludendorff viciously, calling him a "Sausage-eating, Pickelhaube-wearing, Cabbage-Kraut." Ludendorff, deeply wounded, called Haig a snotty Scot, retreated to Bognor Regis to recover, and was moved to rename the town Hamburg-am-Bun, which annoyed the locals, who had just passed an ordnance renaming it Fish-n-Chips. Germans and English eventually settled on the name of Bangor-on-Mash, but the delay allowed units of Pershing's American expeditionary force to steal all the hats in Chapeau-Thierry (known as the battle of Haberdasherrie), causing an influenza epidemic among the defenders due to cold ears.

    At this point both Haig and Ludendorff realized they were fighting in the wrong country and rejoined their respective armies in France, which hadn't missed either one. In the meantime the Americans won the war single-handedly. Pershing annexed Belgium as the 49th state, which caused great consternation forty one years later when Alaska and Hawai'i joined the Union, which resulted in 51 states and three rows of seventeen stars on the Amrican flag,which looked rather silly.

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    Christopher Columbus' lost brother
    Well known is the story of the brave journey undertaken by the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Less famous is the tail of the fourth ship, the Minnow. The Minnow was scheduled to land at Plymoth Rock just three hours after the arrival of the first three ships. Unfortunately, due to tragic and halarious circumstances, it never arrived.

    Christopher rarely spoke of his lost brother, one Gill Eagon Columbus. The brother's relationship had turned south after, at the age 8, Gill accidently set fire too, then smashed a sextent made from coconut that Christopher had carved in shop class. It is rumored that Chistopher may have even sabatoged the minnow, but at the last minute had a change of heart; stocking the ship with plenty of rations and a television crew.

    Sources close to the family deny these allegations however. What really happened to the Minnow may remain a mystery, but one thing is certian. We're just not sure what that one thing is.

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    I am not Henry the Eighth I am not I am not

    In a narrowly-averted version of history, Henry of the house of Tudor did not become king because his brother Arthur survived.

    Arthur was unique among kings in that it was not his rightful claim to the throne that was in question, but rather the number following his name. Due to the mythical nature of the original King Arthur, it was unclear among the nobles whether the new monarch should be known simply as King Arthur, Arthur 2, or even "On The Rocks". On his succession he dismissed his adviser Thomas More in favour of his brother Dudley, who had just returned from a pilgrimage in France where he had been filming an expensive series of adverts for free range chickens.

    Despite an early reputation for being physically feeble, King Arthur Tudor married on no fewer than seventy four occasions. Famous wives include Catherine of Aragon, Arwen of Rivendell, Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn, Alanis Morissette II, Jousting Spice, Moat Diggin' Spice, Plague Spice, J-Horror Spice, Anne Boleyn (again), Jane Seymour, Pumpkin Spice, Anne Boleyn (for a third and final time), and, in a surprise move following a papal dispensation, Cardinal Wolsey. With one exception, all of his marriages ended in divorce when they failed to produce a male heir to the throne. The one exception was the marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which was never consumated. Let's face it, poor ol' Catherine never had any luck in any version of history.

    Arthur was an accomplished lute player, lute maker, lute polisher and lute tuner. Given the amount of time he spent getting married or doing lute-related things, one might think he never had time for anything else, but in fact he was also an accomplished linguist, fluent in English, French, Latin, Leg Language and Esperanto.

    In 1973 the prog rock guru Rick Wakeman released an album called The 71 Wives of Arthur the Second*, which wasn't as good as Journey to the Centre of the Earth but which was quite a lot better than No Earthly Connection. What was he thinking of?

    *Don't forget Anne Boleyn made three appearances and Wolsey doesn't really count.

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    "Jousting Spice?"

    Now my timeline is all screwed up. I thought that the mythical King Arthur had a real son by his half sister, Margause (Morgause in Haylinglish).

    Fortunately, it was the bottom half.

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    The History of the Digital Computer

    Mankind has long used calculating devices for everyday tasks, such as the Chinese abacus, which was used to seperate wooden beads between two people; beads being the currency of the period.

    However the modern computer started with Zonrad Kuse, a german engineer who attempted to build the world's first electromechanical computer. It didn't work, but was highly successfull at recreating scat jazz; in fact the word computer is derived from the german words 'bad jazz'. Kuse's invention was so unpopular the German army used it in occupied towns to subdue and demoralize the civilian population.

    The next to try building a digital computer were the British. They created Collossus, especially designed to crack, stir and shallow fry the German Einegga Code ('big egg' code). However the word computer was lost in translation and Collossus was in reality a highly trained pig which pointed at an alphabet board when gently poked. The mainframes at Bletchley Park which many believed were Collosus were actually built by the special effects division of Walt Disney in part of a disinformation program. The pig was credited with shortening the war by two years, and was rewarded with a box of truffles and a small thank you card.

    After the war people gradually realised the need for some sort of computing device, and the incredible utility they could bring to people's everyday lives. The first company to capitalise on this was IBM (International Bizzle Mizzle) who worked and improved on Zonrad Kuse's design. These early computers were slow, complicated and also had an unfortunate side effect of playing scat jazz whenever it was turned on.

    The main technological drive in the computing community throughout the last half of the twentieth century was to reduce the volume of the scat jazz eminating from the computer. To this day if you put your ear to the side of a modern computer you can hear the faint murmerings of scat jazz. Due to this constant subliminal infusion of scat into people's dailiy lives the music is now by far and away the most popular form of music in the modern world; it's early post-war proponents being famous icons such as the Beatles.

    In 1981 IBM developed by far and away the most successfull scat central underprocessor reduction valve yeek (SCURVY). As a result of SCURVY IBM has held a virtual monopoly on the computing market since that time. However computers have grown so large over the last 40 years as a response to Steppe's law (the size of computers will increase by a power of 2 every decade) that few companies other than IBM have the resources to build them.

    We've come a long way since Zonrad Kuse, and nowadays a total of 26 computers exist on the north american continent alone. However some claim that if Kuse's machine never produced scat jazz then as huge resources wouldn't be needed to combat the problem computing may have made much larger advances than it already has. However with the advent of colour computing and 16 bit processors already equipped on the latest models, most people believe this to be a myth.

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    From the journal of John Cabot, 1497.

    The wind blew relentlessly throughout the night and the morning was clear but bitter cold. Today, I and my First Officer journeyed to a nearby village upon the invitation of the local chief. My impressions of this village are that these people are a noble savage who are well suited to life in this unforgiving land. There are also a great many children at play in the snow which is soft and powdery with a consistency not unlike that of flour. I am thankful for this as they are unable to use it in the manufacture of projectiles to throw at my head in the same manner that cheeky English boys often do.

    Before the meal, my First Officer partook in the ritual of inhaling the smoke from some sort of dried weed, which the locals would set afire then allow to smolder. My First was very taken with the cuisine as I observed his appetite seemed to increase three fold. He consumed two bowls of pumpkin gruel, three bowls of beans, nine stalks of maize, three wild boars and, if it not for the quick intervention of myself and the chief, several small children would have been added to his plate. He then insisted on showing the savages how well he danced despite the lack of musical accompaniment.

    The hospitality of our buckskinned hosts was most kind and upon our departure the chief told of us of a mountain of gold located to the south. It is protected by a tribe of Indians who are friendly despite the fact they kill outsiders on sight. Upon returning to the ship I advised my First Officer that I can’t take him anywhere.

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    THE BATTLE OF POITIERS
    On September 10 (Old Style, I think, but does anyone really care?) the forces of King Jean II (also known as ‘Jean le Bon-bon’) of France met the English forces under Edward, the Dark Gray Prince (he insisted to his dying day that calling an Englishman ‘black’ was some kind of funny), near the estate of Sidney Poitiers in France. More precisely, what would someday be France, since the English, by their continued attempts to make the region a part of England, hadn’t quite finished creating France yet.

    The English forces drew up in defensive formations, depending mainly on their longbowman. General Camembert led a charge of French knights which was stopped when the longbowman shot the horses in their vulnerable hindquarters (the French rode quarter-horses), causing them to trip and collapsing the charge. Later, the Dark Gray (Grey in Leg Language) Prince commended the longbowman, amazed that one man could take down so many horses (He used an early version of the Gatling bow (Maxim bow in French)). Froissart noted in his history of the battle that he had snails for lunch that day, which caused Geoffrey Chaucer to throw up. Froissart felt this proved the superiority of French cuisine, to which Chaucer replied it mainly proved French chefs couldn’t move quickly enough to catch anything with a backbone; based on that, Chaucer then wondered why Froissart didn’t just eat another Frenchman. This started the great feud between the two writers that came to be known as the “One Hundred Year’s Kvetch”, which lasted well into the 20th century ( during this latter period Dos Passos accused Hemingway of never using a word he would have to look up in a dictionary, whereupon Hemingway shot Dos Passos, noting, “It was quick, and clean. He died. Then I went home. In the rain.”).

    A second infantry charge was led by the Dauphin (French for Dolphin), and was broken up by the remaining knights who were performing the Cobb’s Traverse maneuver, which was emulated by the Dolphin. A third charge, trumpeted by Louis the Strong Armed of Orleans was likewise routed by his own troops, leaving King Jean to be captured by the Duke of Ellington.

    King Jean was taken to England and held for Prunella Ransome, who refused to let him go. Charles, his heir, demanded a rematch with the English, who agreed to hold one at Agincourt, at which time the French asked for best three out of five. The French finally won when forces led by the young Jonah Vark raised the siege of New Orleans almost thirty feet. Vark became Charles’ royal chef, but was later executed for burning the steak at a royal dinner.

    As a result of the Battle of Poitiers the French made official the use of many extra letters (‘eau’ = ‘o’) in their words, including the universal ‘silent x’, e.g., ‘roux’,’ Theroux’, etc. as a means of confusing their enemies. England decided to relocate its fleet to Scapa Flow on the assumption no one would look for ships in a place with such a silly name.

    King Jean died in England under mysterious circumstances and an autopsy revealed he had no backbone, a common defect in the Valois ruling line. Prunella Ransome went into motion pictures and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in “Far from the Madding Crowd.”

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    GALILEO AND THE INQUISITION
    In 1633 Galileo was called before the Inquisition to answer charges that the content of his book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, contained errors, was against the Magesterium and Scripture, and portrayed Pope Urban as a clown with a big red rubber nose. Specifically, according to the charges, “When Sagredo answers Simplicio’s objection to the cause of the tides by throwing a cream pie in his face, followed by spraying him with seltzer water, the Church feels that said Galileo did impugn, demean and make a fool of the Chair of Peter and its current Occupant.”

    In his defense, Galileo claimed that the name ‘Nabru’ had nothing to do with ‘Urban’, but was rather a clever anagram which when decoded read “Able was I ere I saw Elba,” which looks like a palindrome but in Italian means, “The Mother of All Battles emulates the shapes of Cynthia,” referring to his ex-mistress, Cynthia Moone, with whom he had many fights. He also said that the heliocentric theory of Copernicus referred to in the book was a typo, when what he actually meant was the ‘hellocentric’ theory, in which the Earth revolves around a giant image of Hello Kitty. “How anyone could take this as serious is beyond me,” he said in response.

    Unmoved, the Inquisition sentenced Galileo to be shown the instruments of torture, and he was taken into a room full of ten-year-olds holding accordions. Fearful of hearing “Lady of Spain” he abjured his previous position, but as he left muttered “Epsom si muove,” indicating he needed a laxative.

    Galileo’s house was placed under arrest and was not allowed to move for the next ten years. He devoted the rest of his life to writing his book Discourse on Two New Sciences, wherein he proved that if you dropped the Pope and a lump of lead from the Leaning Tower of Pisa you couldn’t tell them apart.

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    ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA

    Mark Antony lived in the period when the Roman Republic was turning into the Roman Empire, not that most people could tell the difference. This was the 'pre-dipthong' era of Rome, otherwise he would have been known as Mark Anthony.

    As one of the Triumviri (Latin for "the three viruses"), Antony shared power with Julius Caesar's adopted son Octavius, (who took the name of Gaius Julius Caesar, stolen from the real Gaius Julius Caesar in a daring midnight raid, leaving him to be called "Toby"), and Jose' Carreras (known as "the Third Tenor").

    On a trip to Egypt, Antony met its Queen, Cleopatra Ptolemaeus (formerly "Elizabeth Taylor") and was smitten by her charms, which was hard to avoid considering how far they stuck out. An amateur herpetologist, Antony also admired her asp.

    When Octavius called Antony back to Rome to battle Pompey, Cleopatra threw a hissy fit (recall she collected snakes), exacerbated by Antony's marriage to Octapus, Octavius' sister. Octavius and Carreas made a pact with Pompey which they promptly broke, and Antony went back to Egypt for more Cleopatra, an early example of making love, not war, to the point that Antony became impotent and Cleopatra swore off sex forever.

    (Antony and Cleopatra made so much love that Egypt soon developed an enormous love surplus, driving down the cost of love on the international market to the point that even ordinary people could afford some love. This marks the great shift from commercial to romantic love in the ancient world. Before this, a man could say to a woman, "I pay you", give her some money, and get on with it. From this point on he had to say "I love you", then give the money to a florist and fancy restaurant before getting it on. The macroeconomic implications echo down to the present, where a man gives a woman a handful of severed plant sexual organs and expects her to get all dreamy-eyed instead of being repulsed by the symbolic actions represented. We won't even get into the implications of her inserting them into a vase. This is a family show.)

    Octavius defeated Pompey, forcing him to lie flat while he stood on the defeated man's head. He found the view from Pompey's head so exhilarating he forgot to give Antony his share of the spoils, causing Antony to challenge him in battle. They met at sea, a tactical mistake for Antony since he had no navy. Swimming back to Cleopatra he accused her of perfidy, which Cleopatra denied, saying that it was against her religion, allowing her to win back Antony's love by smiting him a few times with her charms, although at this point they were no longer lovers, just good friends.

    Challenged to another battle by Octavius, Antony agreed as long as it took place on land. Octavius compromised by holding the first part of the battle on land (which Antony won) and the second half at sea (which Antony lost). Antony called it a draw, then drew his sword, tried to fall on it, and mostly missed. Carried to Cleopatra, he denounced her as a cold fish, then died in her charms. Octavius then called on Cleopatra to surrender, but instead she killed herself, providing innumerable latter 19th century artists with a ready-made sad tableau. They were buried together, Cleopatra still cold, Antony stiff.

    Assuming the title of Emperor, Octavius changed his name again, this time to Augustus. When he died he was succeded by Tiberius, who changed his name to Septembrus.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    4,330
    And the next epic was Ben Hur (written later,
    filmed before), a government information story
    showing the dire need in places to make sure
    roof tiles are securely nailed down.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    4,330
    THE HAYLING/THORNEY EGG WAR.

    Surprising Paul has not made reference to this
    yet. It happened in the early eighteeth century
    and has a claim to be the first ballistic
    missile war between land masses separated by
    water.

    One day a Septimus Septic, ordnance
    manufacturer had stopped at Havant market on
    his way back from Portsmouth Dockyard where he
    had failed to sell the Navy two light cannon
    he had made at his foundry in Sussex. He was
    trying to cheer himself up with ale when there
    was a commotion outside. Voices were raised
    and eggs were flying and splattering down.
    On inquiring he was told of two eggs farmers
    at loggerheads because one was selling eggs
    with predominately white shells which
    attracted the gentry more. One farmer was from
    North Hayling and the other from Thorney.
    Here was an opportunity. Septimus waited and
    later made his way to North Hayling. He sold
    one cannon and six balls and a small barrel
    of gunpowder. Fortunately the farmer could
    read and perused the instruction sheets. He
    was a bit puzzled about the sheets printed in
    other languages, French, German, Dutch etc
    but Septimus explained that the Navy hired
    many mercenaries from the continent.

    On his way back to his Sussex hammerpond
    manufactury he found the other farmer
    at Emsworth market and hence the other gun
    with balls and powder was sold. A good trip
    afterall he concluded.

    So it fell out that one clear morning a few
    days later the first shot was fired from
    Hayling to Thorney. Not a bad shot either
    falling on one uncollected white egg and
    scattering many hens. But a return shot a few
    minutes later was most surprising hitting a
    barn. Exchanges continued for the rest of the
    day with much recycling of cannon balls, an
    economic bonus as all the powder was used
    giving much utility.

    The farmers met up again at Havant while
    trying to purchase more powder. After
    several drinks they settled their differences.

    Interstingly, Septimus Septic came to North
    Hayling to retire at a place called Stoke. It
    fitted in with the family motto, Stoke things
    up and get rich.

    The Thorney farmer moved his farm to the east
    side of Thorney Island and called it West
    Thorney. An attempt to confuse the ranging
    details should the dispute flare up again.

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