January 20th, 2012: Remember yesterday, when I mentioned the amazing “Sherlock Holmes Unlocks The Secrets of Effective High-Performance MySQL Database Administration”? I got a few emails saying “holy crap I would read that book” (so would I!) and then Bredon sends me… THIS.
Anyway long story short I’m pretty sure I wrote it in the future and sent it through time to be published back in 1983. I bought it and when it arrives I’ll let you know what secrets I’m going to / already have left there for myself!
“MOMA historian Russell Lynes summed up the rhetorical dialogue: “You call that art!” the public says (not asks) and the Museum replies in ringing tones “Yes, we call that art!””—Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in America.
Torpedo juice is American slang for an alcoholic beverage, first mixed in World War II, made from pineapple juice and the 180-proof grain alcohol fuel used inUnited States Navy torpedo motors. Various poisonous additives were mixed into the fuel alcohol by Navy authorities to render the alcohol undrinkable, and various methods were employed by the U.S. sailors to separate the alcohol from the poison. Aside from the expected alcohol intoxication and subsequent hangover, the effects of drinking torpedo juice sometimes included mild or severe reactions to the poison, and the drink’s reputation developed an early element of risk.
The U.S. torpedoes were powered by a miniature steam engine burning 180- or higher-proof ethyl alcohol as fuel. The ethyl alcohol was denatured by the addition of 5–10% “pink lady”, a blend of dye, methanol and possibly other ingredients, in the first part of the Pacific War. Methanol causes blindness when ingested, and cannot be made non-poisonous. The methanol was said to be (largely) removed by filtering the fuel mix through a compressed loaf of bread.
Later, a small amount of Croton oil was added to the neutral grain spirits which powered torpedoes. Drinking alcohol with the oil additive caused painful cramps, internal bleeding and a violent emptying of the bowels. It was intended as a replacement for methanol which had caused blindness in some sailors. To avoid the Croton oil, sailors devised crude stills to slowly separate the alcohol from the poison, as alcohol evaporated at a lower temperature than Croton oil. The stills were sometimes called ‘Gilly’ stills, and the resulting potable alcohol was known as ‘gilly’.
The standard recipe for torpedo juice is two parts ethyl alcohol and three parts pineapple juice.
Here’s Laurence Klotz’s eyewitness account of Professor G.S. Brindley’s notorious 1983 presentation to the Urodynamics Society meeting in Las Vegas. The Prof came on stage in track pants, told the audience (some in formal attire in anticipation of a reception later) about his experiments injecting his penis with various substances intended to induce erection, and showed them pictures of his mighty organ standing proudly as proof of efficacy. The Prof then wondered if perhaps his own sexual arousal had contributed to the state of the aforesaid organ, and asked, Socratically, whether giving a presentation such as this one, could possible cause sexual arousal. Of course not! And yet, he had a boner at that very moment. Which he went on to demonstrate:
The Professor wanted to make his case in the most convincing style possible. He indicated that, in his view, no normal person would find the experience of giving a lecture to a large audience to be erotically stimulating or erection-inducing. He had, he said, therefore injected himself with papaverine in his hotel room before coming to give the lecture, and deliberately wore loose clothes (hence the track-suit) to make it possible to exhibit the results. He stepped around the podium, and pulled his loose pants tight up around his genitalia in an attempt to demonstrate his erection.
At this point, I, and I believe everyone else in the room, was agog. I could scarcely believe what was occurring on stage. But Prof. Brindley was not satisfied. He looked down sceptically at his pants and shook his head with dismay. ‘Unfortunately, this doesn’t display the results clearly enough’. He then summarily dropped his trousers and shorts, revealing a long, thin, clearly erect penis. There was not a sound in the room. Everyone had stopped breathing.
But the mere public showing of his erection from the podium was not sufficient. He paused, and seemed to ponder his next move. The sense of drama in the room was palpable. He then said, with gravity, ‘I’d like to give some of the audience the opportunity to confirm the degree of tumescence’. With his pants at his knees, he waddled down the stairs, approaching (to their horror) the urologists and their partners in the front row. As he approached them, erection waggling before him, four or five of the women in the front rows threw their arms up in the air, seemingly in unison, and screamed loudly. The scientific merits of the presentation had been overwhelmed, for them, by the novel and unusual mode of demonstrating the results.
The screams seemed to shock Professor Brindley, who rapidly pulled up his trousers, returned to the podium, and terminated the lecture.
Klotz adds, “Professor Brindley made a huge contribution to the management of ED, for which he deserves tremendous gratitude. He was a true lateral thinker, and applied his unique mind to a variety of problems in medicine.”
The use of the word ‘fall’ or ‘the fall’ to mean autumn is commonly assumed to be an Americanism, but in fact it is found in the works of Michael Drayton (1563-1631), Thomas Middleton (1580-1627) and Sir Walter Ralegh (?1554-1618).