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Factoids April 24, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in gummint, ideas, sense of wonder, UFOs, web & computers, weird news, westerns, writing.

Write what you know. That tired old dictum has been around forever, and it’s not really true. Well, in a sense it is because you cannot write about something you either don’t know or can’t think up. But I don’t know what it’s like on Mars. Nobody does, unless their name’s Opportunity or Spirit. Or what a real space alien is like (and I doubt they are tiny gray critters, but what do I *know*? I can make up better stuff than that.) Fiction out to be built from the wellspring of your imagination and not only what you know know.

Mixing weird little factoids into your fiction can be fun, though, and they are usually stranger than anything you can contrive. In the past week I’ve come across a few truly bizarre ones. I have no idea if I will ever use them in a story but they are curious to downright weird.

BLEVE is such an example. Passed along Saturday by a firefighter from the other side of the mountain. Video for Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion, something you probably want to be far away from. Note in the video they say a 6 ton tank truck was blown over three-quarters of a mile. Let’s hear it for shipping propane and LNG on our highways.

Iguanas have the same internal structure as a chicken. I find this questionable but the source was impeccable. Iguanas have teeth and chickens don’t. Unless they are vampire chickens, of course. Hey, it could happen. Twilight has to go somewhere for a new plot, right?

Rolls Royce has an electric model for only $3m. It’ll go a fabulous 125 miles on an 8 hr charge using a 3 phase 220 line. (Is anyone else worried about having their electric bills go skyhigh thanks to electric car users? How many coal-fired generating plants spewing radon and soot will it take to power a fleet of electrics? Ones that don’t spontaneously catch fire? How many pounds of REE does it take to build this behemoth? It takes 25 lbs for a Priapus hybrid now. And will they use roads without paying taxes for it? (I noticed that some states are thinking about this since there won’t be gasoline taxes to build or maintain roads used by the sizzling little electrics.)

The Army Medical Museum collected skulls as part of a phrenology study. Captain Jack of Modoc War fame ended up there. Or at least his head did.

And Easter is undergoing the same changes as Christmas (hardly a factoid) but this is a wonderful convolution. Easter eggs are now politically correct spring spheres. Think of how hard that is for a chicken to lay. Spherical eggs? Ouch.

Happy Easter to those of you who indulge in biting the ears off chocolate bunnies and other traditional activities.



1. bridgesburning - April 24, 2011

Iguanas have the same internal structure as a chicken? Shouldn’t they be clucking or something? Maybe we should ride iguanas and save both gas and electricity. Maybe…oh never mind..love the post!

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