Jy blaai in die argief vir 2011 Desember.

Hit Parade: Hierdie week 47 jaar gelede

31/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

1. There’s always something there to remind me – Sandie Shaw (1)

2. I feel fine – Beatles (4)

3. Baby love – Diana Ross & Supremes (3)

4. She’s not there – Zombies (5)

5. Ain’t that lovin’ you baby – Elvis (2)

6. Everytime that you walk in a room – Searchers (7)

7. Little red rooster – Rolling Stones (nuut)

8. The wedding – Julie Rogers (nuut)

‘Little Red Rooster’ is een van daardie nommers waar Mick Jagger praat eerder as sing (“dogs begin to bark now, hounds begin to howl..”) maar die ghitare maak op vir die gebrekkige sangtalent. Julie Rogers is egter ‘n plesier om na te luister:

The Wedding

You by my side, that’s how I see us
I close my eyes, and I can see us

We’re on our way to say, “I do”

My secret dreams have all come true.

I see the church, I see the people

Your folks and mine happy and smiling

And I can hear sweet voices singing “Ave Maria”

     Oh my love, my love, this can really be

     That someday you’ll walk down the aisle with me

     Let it be, make it be that I’m the one for you

     I’ll be yours, all yours now and forever.

I see us now, your hand in my hand

This is the hour, this is the moment

And I can hear sweet voices singing

“Ave Maria, ave Maria, ave Maria”

‘n Voorspoedige 2012 vir alle bloglesers!

Denizens of Another World,1871,W.R.Loosley: Part 9

29/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

The holographic presentations continued

“Presently these eager visitors bethought themselves of a new way of putting their case; … , I resigned myself to fresh incomprehension! Again the first image was a little ball hanging in the air before me; … ; though in this instance the ball proved, as I bent closer, to be faceted and spiked: flat faces of five sides and spikes, half a dozen, I’d say, standing like pyramids on certain of these facets. To me it meant nothing. … : there now appeared on the scene a small ring or hoop, smaller than a wedding-band, which began to move about the fixed and unchanging object I have already described; faster and faster it whirled, in and out from the centre, until, as a chestnut whirled at the end of a string becomes with rapid motion a single pale band of chestnut-colour, so the ring was lost to sight and became, not a greater ring, but a haze of dim colour extending above and below, before and behind. This haze entirely surrounded the central object, paling more and more to translucence and invisibility as one looked further from the centre; and then it was gone. A new ring, in all ways identical with the previous, went through the same motions; … when the second ring was gone there came a third, which described a wider, weaving path, in the end presenting an inner globe surrounded by a greater, hollow one; and the next ring to appear imitated this one.  Then another, and here the picture was again changed, for its ultimate hazy aspect had at its core a kind of double sphere or hourglass with the narrow part overlaying the centre; the final ring exactly aped the fifth. …

Another presentation had meanwhile begun, this time a plain matter of small bright points of light, like stars, save that one glowed with singular brilliance. … these constellations were nothing to me, if constellations they were. Again we missed understanding; again I hoped that these awesome revelations would not be wholly wasted, and that by later thought I might glean more of the meaning.

This buoyant hope was damped further by the next act, which again told me less than nothing; nor does mature consideration add in the smallest to my understanding.  There came two rings of light, each with a point of fire at its centre, each revolving with moderate speed: a single cog marred the perfect round of each, so the roundabout motion was plain to see. Then, while the small rings spun, another pinpoint of light crept very slowly from the slower-turning ring to the other; and the curtain, so to speak,fell: the whole ‘insubstantial pageant’ dissolving as usual into ‘air, into thin air’.”

Before the interpretations of David Langford, physicist, to Loosley’s above observations are presented, readers may venture their own explanations.

Denizens of Another World,1871,W.R.Loosley;Part 8

28/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

“There followed a fresh calm, and again the dull globe hung in air before me; again the light flared up and died, with weighty pauses between each group of flares. This time I could make little of its arithmetic, count and cipher as I would: beginning as before with a single flare, it went on with six; sixteen; twenty (I think); fifteen; six again; and last of all, one. I turned these figures over in my head, but gleaned nothing. But evidently no response from myself was called for, since after only a little pause a new series of flares began; this sequence was repeated twice, and I murmured the numbers again and again before that could slip away: one flare, a pause; two; three; five, and here I feared that somehow I had erred; and then eight. Again, this was no simple count; I touched the globe curiously, though, and it flared; very well, I was to give my reply, but I had none. I drew back.

… So I saw, as in a dream, that a smaller globe now presented itself, brightly shining and spined like a sweet chestnut; around it appeared a kind of hoop, suspended upright with the globe at its centre; in a moment this hoop was gone and another, larger hoop took its place. The show went on until perhaps a dozen hoops had come and gone, each larger than the one before, each of an even brilliance save the fifth, which shone brightly indeed. I stood bemused, as well you might expect. Then followed a change in the central globe, whose radiance altered its tinge a trifle; a shade less blue, let us say; at once a series of widening hoops began to come and go about it, though they lingered for rather more time than in the previous show; and that was all. A third time the little shadow-play began; this time, when two hoops had come and gone, there sprang up the old magic-lantern image of myself, the still extant globe sending an eerie blaze through the region of the fellow’s waistcoat; then the hoops again, until the count of eight was made up; then nothing.

Feeling that something was expected of me, I shrugged my shoulders; bowed to the larger engine, or rather to its Occupants; said aloud, “Sirs, your conjurer’s show is all mystery to me.” ” 

David Langford, who edited Loosley’s manuscript, proposed that the first set of figures (1,6,16,20,15,6,1) with one change to 1,6,16,20,16,6,1 presents the coefficients for the algebraic expression (x+y) to the 6th power, when multiplied out, and that the numbers in the next sequence may be related to the Fibonacci sequence 1,1,2,3,5,8 …, first published by Leonardo of Pisa in 1202.

My wiskunde is beperk tot B.Sc. eerste jaar, dus los ek daardie aspek vir die eksperte.

Die tweede paragraaf het belangrike implikasies, maar die interpretasie word aan die lesers oorgelaat.   

Denizens of Another World,1871,W.R.Loosley: Part 7

27/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

“There followed a pause; I looked again at the alien contrivances, earnestly wondering what thoughts their directing Occupants were thinking as they watched me. Certainly it appeared that they awaited some move on my part, if it is permissible for me to impute such human thoughts to what might lie behind the blank, dead metal facades. Well, on one point at least I might satisfy curiosity; reaching forward with no little trepidation, I touched this motionless image of myself: touched nothing, I should say , for my fingers passed without the least obstruction through the insubstantial outline; nor did I experience any sensation, not even the chill to be expected in such ghostly form; nor, indeed, did the form flinch as my fingers passed into it (as you or I should surely do were anyone to thrust fingers into us). So tenuous was the substance of it that my hand could be seen, though very faintly, within the image: which I thus concluded had something of the nature of the magic-lantern projections of which I have heard. … from the accounts I have read, their images seem little more than illuminated paintings.

… Without any warning, the image was gone. But my captors had not done with me; a new and marvellous image now hung in the air, a dull white orb, as though a diminutive moon had fallen from the sky to hang suspended. It flared with purplish light, though not hurtful to the eyes, and was dull again; it began then to flare and fade in a curious sequence. The manner of it was thus: it flared,and then followed a pause; then it flared again and died twice, and then another pause; then three times: I tallied with my finger; plainly it was counting; at the count of six it stopped. There was a long wait, as though something were expected of me. I held up six fingers, but to no avail; then I touched the insubstantial globe, and straightaway it flared anew, so that I was quick to pull away my fingers; but there was no pain nor any sensation, however the globe seemed afire. Before I could reach out a second time, the charade was repeated, perhaps somewhat more briskly: a count of one, two, three; again it paused at six. Well, though for the most part self-taught, I know my arithmetic as well as any; knowing not what else to do, I reached out to touch the globe (if touch is the apt word for a contact so ghostly), so that it flared; seven times.

And the globe vanished, and once more the intolerable purple glare flooded my eyes, emanating this time from the second and larger machine. I stumbled again in a daze, and as I stumbled felt delicate pinpricks here and there; collecting myself with an effort, I turned to perceive the smaller machine, which had darted closer, its questing rod touching me here, there and everywhere with as much curiosity as I had shown in reaching for the semblance of myself. One jab of the claw-tipped arm was surprisingly painful, and I knocked it aside forthwith; whereupon the engine withdrew a little way, almost as if in apology. I fancied my action had set off a storm of excitement; the small winking lights, which I have already mentioned as characterising the larger contrivance, flickered wildly.”  

Denizens of Another World,1871,W.R. Loosley: Part 6

26/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

“The engine rolled its slow way about the clearing to where, at the edge, the bushes and briars grew with perhaps unusual luxuriance; there it paused; fumbled with its single arm at the screen of foliage; drew it clear aside to show a second contrivance like the first! But this newcomer, though without a doubt of the same stable, was larger by far; their forms were similar, their sizes diverse; and presently I was to surmise that the larger engine had not the same power of locomotion. … My boldness brought me a little further out into the clearing, for I reasoned that the creeping engine was easily eluded; nearer and nearer I paced, curious to see what might pass between the two. … Sure enough, something was passed from one to the other; it was my stick; yes, the smaller engine might not contain it, but the larger took it in without effort; you may imagine my chagrin. …

Now my boldness led on into folly, as it turned out: a new sound emanated from the smaller engine, a sound reminiscent of nothing so much as Reuben Pearce’s mill-race, though, it could be a trifle deeper in note. The whole of that substantial and (I had imagined) weighty body lifted on that instant; it whirled and seemed to slide across the clearing … For it skimmed along the clearing’s edge; the thing which I had thought so sluggish had in a second or two sped round, behind me, cutting off my road of escape as I stood like a fool about one-third of the way across the clearing. It poised itself, as though just off the ground; with each move the mill-race sound seemed to rise and fall; now the suddenly agile contrivance made a little rush to me, or rather the feint of a rush, for it drew back as I gave ground, the grass rippling about it. I moved this way: it was before me in a trice. I moved that way: it withdrew a little. So in the end I was herded like an errant sheep across the clearing; the evident purpose to bring me willy nilly to its waiting companion. I half feared that some fate comparable to the rat’s awaited me; I cared little for a shroud clear as glass, … I therefore proposed to make good my escape by leaping incontinently through thorn and briar, heedless of my good suit, when once I had been brought near enough to the clearing’s edge. I dare say I should have performed just that feat of inconsiderable heroism, but for a new surprise (was there no end of surprises this day?) conjured up for me.

… ; what suddenly confronted me, born like a spirit from thin air before my eyes, was a man. A man, moreover, who seemed not a little insubstantial; close to translucent; so it seemed that the alian (but at least solid) machines kept the stranger company of ghosts. Again my wonder was mingled with fear. But this man’s face was not unfamiliar; he was dressed like myself in good plain clothes; he narrowly studied a place in the region of my knees, so that with a start I looked down also; there was nothing to be seen, and that apparition did not move in the least. Then the prayer which had trembled on my lips was cut short as though by a thunderbolt, by the worst instant of this eventful afternoon: for, despite some small disparity of feature, this man was undeniably myself! I am not ashamed to record that I clutched urgently at my waistcoat, merely to obtain reassurance that I at least still inhabited the land of the living. Behind me the small engine hummed; beyond this spirit-semblance of myself, the larger engine twinkled with odd lights; and now the image changed. In an eyeblink it shifted; now the semblance of myself was dazed, not fearful but seemingly stunned, perhaps by intimations of disaster: … again the figure suddenly changed, so that the third presentiment showed the same Loosley, but now with a hand before his eyes, so that his countenance was hidden.” 

Die week se nuus

25/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

NASA se planete

Wetenskaplikes het die eerste twee planete buite ons sonnestelsel ontdek wat ongeveer so groot soos die aarde is. Nasa se Kepler-teleskoop het bevestig dat die planete Kepler-20e en -20f rotsagtig is soos die aarde en deel is van ‘n 5-planeetstelsel om ‘n ster vergelykbaar met die son, sowat 1000 ligjare weg. Die planete is egter veels te warm (426C en 815C). Die bewoonbare planeet wat met groot fanfare tydens Cop 17 aangekondig is, Kepler-22b, het ‘n temperatuur aan die oppervlak van 22C. Aangesien hierdie planeet 2.5 keer so groot soos die aarde is, word nou gespekuleer dat dit ‘n gasplaneet soos Neptunus is en dus nie bewoonbaar nie. (Die Burger,22 Des.). Die akkuraatheid waarmee planete se temperatuur vanaf verbygaande of gereflekteerde sterlig bereken word is imponerend (nie ongeveer 400C, 800C nie).

Volksmoorde

Frankryk se Laerhuis (het hulle ‘n Hoerhuis ook? Ek dog al die grawe, ens. is eeue terug al geelimineer) het ‘n wet aanvaar om dit ‘n misdaad te maak om te ontken dat die dood van 600,000 tot 1.5 miljoen Armeniers gedurende 1915 /1916 deur Ottomaanse Turke ‘n volksmoord was. Praat van ou koeie uit die sloot haal! Enige oorlewendes onder die skuldige Turke moet nou minstens 120 jaar oud wees. Diplomatieke bande tussen Frankryk en Turkye is in gevaar. (Die Burger,22 Des.). Die volgende dag kap Turkye terug deur Frankryk te beskuldig van volksmoord in Algerie gedurende die 1940s/1950s.

Dis dalk nou tyd om die konsentrasiekampe van 1898-1902 weer op te haal, of die Rooihuide in Amerika.

Padsterftes

Gedurende die eerste 20 dae van Desember was daar 90 padsterftes in die Wes-Kaap, bestaande uit 38 voetgangers, 33 taxi-passassiers en 19 ander. ‘Gewone’ ongelukke het net 21% van sterftes veroorsaak, wat nie Minister Ndebele se beoogde drakoniese padregulasies vir gewone motoriste regverdig nie. (Die Burger,21 Des.)

Voelgriep

In China is 17,000 hoenders van kant gemaak nadat een met H1N5 gediagnoseer is. (Aljazeera,23 Des.). Vroeer vanjaar is ‘n groot deel van Europese groente-oeste weggegooi weens moontlike Ecoli-besmetting, alhoewel daar nooit sekerheid was watter groente en van watter produsent wel besmet was nie. Al daai vermorste kos. Intussen sterf Somalieers van honger.

Koolstofbelasting

Die Europese Unie (EU) se nuwe koolstofbelasting op lugdienste wat EU-lughawes gebruik tree op 1 Januarie in werking (13 Euros/ton koolstof vir 2012, eskaleer na 20 Euros/ton in 2020). 46 lande, o.a. die VSA, protesteer weens die verhoogde koste vir hul onderskeie lugdienste wat weer aan passassiers deurgegee sal word. Hoeveel van die protesterende lande het by Cop 17 saamgestem dat koolstof-emissie ingekort moet word? Me. Edna Molewa, S.A.-minister van omgewingsake het ons regering se misnoe uitgespreek en saam met verteenwoordigers van China, Indie en ander lande ‘n protesskrif onderteken. (Die Burger,23 Des.)

Daar word beplan om twee nuwe stralers vir die staatspresident en vise-president aan te skaf en nog twee te kontrakteer, sodat hooggeplaastes minder lugdienste hoef te gebruik. Die koolstofspoor geniet seker nie meer prioriteit nie. Die S.A.-ministeres wat as voorsitter by Cop 10 opgetree het en afgevaardigdes in ‘n blik wou druk om ‘n ooreenkoms te teken, het verkies om eerder ‘n privaatvlug te huur as om haar handsak deur doeane-beamptes te laat ondersoek. Wat sou tog in daai handsak gewees het? Dalk a la Al Debbo se ‘Sonbrilletjies’  “..allerhande snaakse goeters om ‘n kerel mee te vang..”?

Wolf-plaag

Die wolfbevolking in Noord-Amerika neem toe en daar is druk van veeboere dat hul uitgedun moet word. (Aljazeera,24 Des.)

Volgens NOAA/NCDC-data koel die VSA die afgelope 15 jaar af teen ‘n tempo van 1.8C/eeu. Oor 10 jaar gemeet is die daling  5.5C/eeu (http://c3headlines.com/global cooling data evidence trends). Niks om op hierdie stadium oor bekommerd te wees nie. Solank die ysbere nie ook ‘n plaag raak nie.

Monargie

Prins Philip, eggenoot van die Britse koningin, is geopereer vir ‘n verstopte slagaar. (aljazeera,24 Des.) Is die eggenoot van ‘n koningin nie veronderstel om ‘n koning te wees nie? ‘n Nasie wat mans se gewig in klippe aangee (1 klip=14 pond; 1 pond=16 onse).

 

 

Bloglesers word ‘n aangename Kerstyd toegewens

    

Hit Parade: 26 Desember 1964

24/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

1. Always something there to remind me – Sandie Shaw (2)

2. Ain’t that lovin’ you baby – Elvis (1)

3. Baby love – Diana Ross & Supremes (4)

4. I feel fine – Beatles (6)

5. She’s not there – Zombies (7)

6. Hallo Operator – Billy Forrest (3)

7. When you walk in a room – Searchers (nuut)

8. Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison (5)

Die Searchers se tweede hit na ‘Needles and pins’.

Na die eerste ses maande het Cliff al 4 hits gehad, waarvan 3 nommer 1 gehaal het.

Die Beatles 3 (2 no.1), Elvis 3 (1 no.1), Rolling Stones 2.

‘A hard days night ‘ (Beatles) hou sover die rekord met 5 weke op nommer 1.

Gisteraand, terwyl Anna beskuit gebak het, het ons plate geluister van o.a. Ge Korsten, Rina Hugo en Laurika Rauch. Ek het aan die slaap geraak en vanoggend wakker geword met ‘Gee my groete aan Mannetjies Roux’ nog in my kop.

My oom se motor is ‘n ou masjien

Hy maak dit vol met dieselien

En hy sing in die strate as hy ons kom sien

My oom is oud en ek is skaars dertien.

My oom drink koffie en my tannie tee

Ek vra oor die reen en hy se ja-nee

En hy drink soet koffie met sy een oog toe

En hy praat weer oor die drie van Mannetjies Roux

O stuur ons net so ‘n bietjie reen

My oom het ‘n tenk vol dieselien

En seen my pa en seen my ma

En my oom op sy plaas in Afrika

Maar my oom het gesukkel op die plaas

Want die son was te warm en die reen te skaars

En die man van die bank het net sy kop geskud

Want my oom, ja my oom was te diep in die skuld.

My oom se motor is ‘n ou masjien

Hy maak dit vol met dieselien

En hy ry na die lande in die oggenddou

Die lande vaal en sy oe grou.

O stuur ons net so ‘n bietjie reen

My oom het ‘n tenk vol dieselien

En seen my pa en seen my ma

En my oom op sy plaas in Afrika  

 

En as jy in die oggend in die lande stap

Hoor jy nog sy motor met sy klak-klak-klak

Maar my oom, ja my oom se oe is nou albei toe

In sy brief stuur hy groete aan Mannetjies Roux

O stuur ons net so ‘n bietjie reen

My oom het ‘n tenk vol dieselien

En seen my pa en seen my ma

En my oom op sy plaas in Afrika 

Denizens of Another World,1871, W.R.Loosley: Part 5

23/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

As the metal carriage departed, I was not too steeped in awe to observe that it left three ruts in the softish ground: though I saw no wheels, their likely situation being obscured by a species of metal furbelow about the thing’s lower parts. … Very well: I knew now that this thing was unable to overtake me in pursuit, or so at any rate it seemed; you may call it folly, but curiosity … now urged me back along the path of these shallow, regularly placed, quite harmless-seeming ruts.

The hunt then was turned about; the hunter became the quarry, and vice versa; and I closely observed this quarry as it proceeded back towards the wood’s heart. With new eyes I looked narrowly at the ground wherever it chanced to be soft; and sure enough, the tell-tale ruts were everywhere …, then I pictured the outlandish visitor wandering all helpless and lost, astray in dark woods. …

Thus ran my thoughts; now, the carriage’s steady motion through the woods was arrested; it settled itself and turned a little with the whirring sound, so that I feared my presence detected; extended its rod again, towards something half-hidden in the long grass; as near as I could discern, the rod opened into something like a claw, this being at its remotest end. Daintily the claw closed upon its new prey; lifted it; it proved to be a rat, or some other such small creature, its life extinct. Three times the purple light fell on the little corpse, illuminating the tree-trunks with its vivid radiance; then a second arm of different aspect was thrust out towards it; the first arm twirled the dead vermin about and about, while the second dispensed long streamers clear as glass, which yet waved in the gentle breeze; neatly as a Christmas parcel, the rat was swathed in this glassy shroud. The second arm withdrew; the first, still clutching the small package, disclosed joints I had not suspected as it folded inward; a panel in the body of the metal contrivance whisked back, and the corpse was dropped within; then click! and click again! and rod and panel might never have been. On rolled the three-wheeled engine.

… We continued in the same ill-assorted procession, still moving towards … the spinney’s heart and the bonfire clearing that lies there. On the way , we passed the very spot where I had first parted the bushes; there, to my great annoyance, the clawed rod leapt out again to seize my good walking stick: which being too lengthy to stow away, was carried off on high as though it were some captured colours. Through excess of ire I pressed somewhat closer; through an adequacy of caution, I did not come too close.

As we came to the clearing, I saw what I should have seen on earlier visits: but before I had been searching for scorched grounds, and scrutinizing the grass a little at a time. Now my vision swept over the entire clearing, and I perceived the sign whose very size and breadth had allowed it to escape me: the grass and weeds lay bent and slightly flattened, showing where they had been pressed down over a wide expance; I judged it circular; pressed down by some weight the size of a house, now removed! Well, in the clear light of retrospection, it seemed pretty plain that my small exploring acquintance was built on altogether too trifling a scale to be the author of last night’s radiance and thunder. Some great object had descended from the heavens and here came to rest; its passenger the ambulant Icosahedron had debouched; afterwards, that which carried it had been spirited away.  

Denizens of Another World,1871, W.R. Loosley: Part 4

22/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

“Again I found myself nonplussed, and might have gaped a good while, but then the thing, quicker to act than I, rocked on its base and contrived to turn itself a trifle to its one side: whereupon, with the sound of a small and well-oiled lock, it opened what I could think of as an eye. To be exact, one rounded protuberance which now pointed towards me revealed itself to be movable; the metal skin thereof flew back into the body of this object, disclosing a glass or crystal lens less than an inch across. Peer as I might, I could discern nothing in the inky dark behind that unexpected window; … My heart leaped as it broke upon me that within some diminutive creature might sit studying the world through its small, round window.

But I was favoured with barely half a minute’s scrutiny before yet another novelty was unveiled: like the lifting of a second eyelid, a nub adjacent to the first was opened. Again a glassy lens was revealed, but on this occasion I could not peer closely, for from it came a great flash of purplish light: dazzling and painful to the eyes as lightning itself. I jerked my head back soon enough, I may tell you, with a great dazzled spot floating before my eyes no matter how I blinked and squinted. Twice more this purplish light flared, each flash etching another blind spot on my vision; then followed another small click; with eyes half-shaded by a hand, I darted another curious glance. … What came towards me now was a thin rod which smoothly extended itself from another of those diversely gifted protuberances: a rod somewhat stouter than a common lead-pencil, which aimed itself unerringly at my upper body, like an accusing finger …

As if this frightening onset were not enough, the whole contrivance now shifted forward from the underground with a renewed sound; not unlike a child’s clockwork toy. I thought it prudent to retreat; did so; it was plain that far from being the inanimate machine I had first suspected, this thing was subject to a directing will or animus, which now urged itself towards me: with what purpose I could not surmise. … I was hard put to continue my backward motion and avoid the touch of the swaying rod. Who knew what galvanic potency it may hold, if the very lightning were at the command of the directing intelligence; or, as I presently came to consider it, the Occupant! …, about this time, the impairment in my vision began to fade: it was nothing more than dazzlement, as if I’d stared too long into the Sun.

I must have made a foolish spectacle: retreating through a tangled wood, my stick lost, my caution not permitting that I turn my back on that which followed. How long this slow and absurd chase lasted, I do not know; it seemed a great time; again and again I fancied the malevolent implacable Occupant of the machine, surely a creature from the star (as I now thought it, the vessel) of last night. It would have been a creature little more than a foot in height, I supposed, and bethought myself of our legends of Little Folk in the woods and fields! With such a mixture of thoughts I continued, … and presently , to my vast relief, the hunt was called off as suddenly as it had been set on; my squat pursuer halted as though at the edge of some unseen abyss, and not a hairsbreadth farther it would go. The slender rod returned without sound into the gleaming casing; with further whirrings and lurchings the whole vehicle was turned round about; and off it went, moreor less along the path by which we had come. Such was the first part of my encounter with these travellers from afar.” 

The readers’ interpretations of Loosley’s observations are invited

Denizens of Another World,1871, W.R. Loosley: Part 3

21/12/2011 in Sonder kategorie

” … Nobody, it seemed, new of the night’s strange doings. It was with a wry smile that I recalled the sermon of some American divine, it runs in part: There are thousands of people in the great town who will not sleep a moment tonight …

Plainly America is a very wicked country; as plainly, High Wycombe is strangely barren of gambling-houses and the sinful night life which keeps men from their beds. … For myself, I resolved to leave on a walk to Plummers Green, there being no funeral that day to require my personal attention … About three in the afternoon, then, I put on a pair of stout boots and took up a heavy stick which accompanies me on country walks, though this was scarcely more than a mile …

The hill, ascending through fields to Littleworth and Plummers Green, is tolerably steep, … steep enough to make anyone regret heartily his whimsical wild-goose chase. I was persuaded, though, that just as much folly lay in turning back now as in carrying out my inspection of where the prodigy had come to earth. … So I mused until beneath the trees; then entered the small wood, … , and the man who wishes to subject thirty acres to minute scrutiny must perforce take a good long time over his task. 

But this first shaft of common-sense was presently answered by another. So great a blaze as that fallen star, I fancied, could scarcely pass among living trees without scorching them here and there, perhaps setting dry leaves ablaze: indeed, I wondered that, with such fire come down to Earth, the whole wood had not been set alight. Still, I had seen no flame leaping red and yellow; only that steady, unearthly white, and then no more. I moved in among the trees, straining to recall just where the light had seemed to die; straining, I fear, with no success.

… and so I continued to poke and pry. Then came the discovery without which I should never have set pen to paper this day, should in the end have dismissed last night’s amazement … though in the first instant I thought little of what I now saw, which was no more than a movement in the low, bushy growths nearby. I was curious, still; I peered close, saw only a shifting of leaves which rustled; incontinently I thrust my stick into the foliage, thinking that perhaps this animal might be goaded into showing itself. Imagine my astonishment when the steel ferrule struck: was it stone? no, metal! Some improvident farmer, then, had tossed out an old plough rather than to have it mended: but again, no, for now the foliage heaved again, and this metal thing rapped twice against the stick’s extremity. … I threw down my stick and parted the tangled  briar …

It is no easy matter to describe what I saw; a thing at whose sight a fresh access of awe and wonder held me rooted to the spot. The first likeness which sprang to my mind was from an engraving of Plato’s perfect solids … the Icosahedron or twenty-faced body. The skulker in the leaves, then, resembled an Icosahedron all of glittering metal; about eighteen inches in height, with perhaps more facets than your true Platonic body, and then less perfect in their regularity. But the edges were not sharp; they were rounded and smoothed by some craftsman who could achieve in metal what’s difficult enough in wood. The symmetry was marred further by many small nubs and protuberances of the same shiny metal; scarcely a facet was free of such blemish. This whole outlandish construction, I saw, was streaked with honest Buckinghamshire mud; and here and there a damp, dead leaf clung to its mirror-bright skin. A fine thing, indeed, to discover on a woodland stroll!