Things I learned Over the Weekend

I picked up a couple of books at ReaderCon over the weekend. Although I learned quite a few things at the Con itself, I stumbled across a couple of interesting things I was unaware of in the books:

1.) The first person to be given the assignment of designing the Daleks for the Dr. Who TV show was future director Ridley Scott. Probably fortunately, any design work he did was not used, and the assignment was given to someone else (who I never hear of before.

One reason for the Dalek’s odd design, with the forward thrust of that lower section, was because the designed took pity on the poor stuntmen who would be occupying those suits, possibly for hors at a time, and built them around what were basically tricycles, which let the guy in the suit sit down.

They were originally going to give them grippy things as “hands”, but the show was on a tight schedule and a budget, so they really did end up using toilet plungers for one “hand”. They attached magnets to it, too, so they could pick things up.
2.) In Karl Edward Wagner’s introduction to the Conan collection Red Nails from 1977, he points out that Howard managed to slip a sexual reference past editor Farnsworth Wright. I’m always amazed by the ability pulp writers had to do this (the classic example being a reference to a “ball bearing mousetrap” in one story that is revealed to be a tomcat elsewhere), but I’d read all the Conan stories, and missed this one.

In Shadows in Zamboula (originally titled Man-Eaters of Zamboula) there’s a character named Baal-Pteor. Actually, that turnms out to be a nickname. As the story says:

That seems slightly obscure, but not suggestive, until you connect it with what Howard had written about the deity Pteor in the story Jewels of Gwalhur:

Pteor is a male god of fertility, so we can easily discern what his “exaggerated attributes reflecting the grossness of his cult” must be (and which Howard couldn’t have spelled out more explicitly even if he’d wanted to in 1930s pulps). “Baal-Pteor” is clearly “God Pteor”, as the history-savvy Howard would have known. He’d also have known that “temple wenches” were ritual prostitutes (although, again, he couldn’t have said so in the 1930s). if the temple prostitutes know that “Baal-Pteor” is a good nickname for the guy, it’s not hard to work out why, once you’ve got all the pieces set before you.

(Gwahlur was written before Zamboula, and appeared in print earlier – May 1935 vs November 1935)

The character Baal-Pteor is described as “brown,” and as a huge guy. His significant attribute fits with the racial stereotype of the time. But he’s really big everywhere, so it’s not surprising in any case. But I had never picked up on the implication before.

Gatorade was created / named for the Florida Gators. Generally I’d be mildly surprised and then move along but working every day with several alumni from the rival school, FSU, it just made me oddly happy. FSU seem like a bunch of pricks :wink:

This weekend I was talking with a guy well into his 80s about states of altered consciousness. He told me that when he was 17 he was into cars. He sealed up a garage and painted a car using laquer, without using any kind of respirator.

When he later walked out of the garage it was snowing, and he could hear the snow. He actually heard the flakes falling and he theorized it had something to do with electromagnetism. We were doing shots of Salted Caramel Crown Royal and drinking beer. He noted that liquor and laquer were very different. I offered him some cannabis and he declined, saying, “weed after liquor, never been sicker”.

If we’re getting into that sort of story, I had a budding electrical engineer in one of my physics classes (one of the rare ones who not only knew all of the material, but was actually right) tell me that one time, he accidentally let the magic blue smoke out of some capacitors he was working with, after which lizards started crawling out of the electrical sockets.

#1 Doctor Goldfoot And The Bikini Machine

It’s a spoof of spy films, as you might guess from the title. Vincent Price is fun to watch. Very little of anything else in the film is. But the title song is good- REALLY good. Then, I discovered it was done by The Supremes.
#2 Monster Dog

This is a bad movie. I get the feeling that everybody could’ve done better but got lazy. But, the song sung by the main character is good- Really good. Then, Google informed me that the song (Identity Crisis-es) is sung by Alice Cooper.

#3 I feel left out. A few years ago, I made a life size replica of The Key To Hell from Sandman. I went with the original black, minimalist design over the baroque gold design. I used a variety of paints and adhesives. I forgot to open the windows. I ended up with minor chemical burns to my windpipe and lungs. I saw no visions and heard no snow. It just burned when I breathed for the next few days.

Why isn’t this thread longer?

I didn’t learn very much this weekend. I got together with some friends Saturday and played board games. So I learned the rules to playing Blue Lagoon.

My first thought was that this was a simulation game where you tried to build up enough points to have sex with Brooke Shields (or, if your proclivities run that way, Christopher Atkins), but it turns out to be an “area control and set collection” game.

So I guess I learned that.

There’s a BBC drama covering the creation of Doctor Who in 1963.
Highly recommended for all fans!

I didn’t even bother mentioning the movie when I was playing the game. They’re younger than me and nobody gets my seventies references.

I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t say Jean Simmons and Donald Houston, then, I guess.
Let alone Molly Adair and Val Chard. No one gets my 1920s references outside this Board.

The fact that Alice Cooper played the main character wasn’t a tip-off?

I probably missed the credits and didn’t didn’t recognize Cooper without the black eye make up and usual persona.

Still embarassing though.