The h2g2 Post 25.10.21

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Posted: 25th October 2021

Stop and Look

Tavaron's Halloween pumpkin.

Halloween is coming. Remember to buy candy and sew up that hole in your costume. Send us photos if you've got 'em. As usual, the early edition of next week's issue will be out on Sunday – the day itself, unless you have Sabbatarian reservations. So next week's issue will be full of ghoulies and ghosties and very, very scary stories. If you have any you're dying to tell (you see what I did there), please get them in quickly, or I shall become grumpy from 'stopping the presses, tearing out the front page', and similar. But seriously, you can't have too many ghosts on Halloween.

This week, we again take you round the world. In response to my plea that Freewayriding wasn't sending any photos because he's going on holiday – he'd better bring me back volcano pics! – Superfrenchie and Milla obligingly dumped their mobiles in my direction. Others sent things my way through email, Twitter, and other transcendental over-the-transom media. As a result, we have wonderfully odd things from all over to wonder at and admire. So do that, please: there's graffiti and street art and really, really interesting architecture from everywhere from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Nature is imaginative and sometimes imaginary this week. Willem is still showing us what things used to be like back in the day – before calendars, even. This week, he's got some truly rare-looking creatures from the Miocene. Sabre-toothed deer, mind you. Or, as Elektra called them, 'Deceased attempts at designing deer.' O-kayy…

I've been digging around in a magazine called Yank: The Army Weekly. Yank was only published during the Second World War, and only sold to soldiers. It's a remarkable source for the inside story of what that conflict was like for the people directly involved in it. Editor Joe McCarthy (no relation to the anti-communist agitator) did an amazing job. As journalist Andy Rooney put it in his memoir My War, 'We considered Yank to be an amusing little magazine with literary pretensions that had nothing to do with news and not much to do with the war. The staff at Yank held an equally high opinion of those of us on The Stars and Stripes. At this distance it's safe to say we were both wrong.' Let's put it this way: there's remarkably little propaganda in Yank, and the soldiers, sailors, and airmen had surprising views about things.

I bring this up because this week's issue of the Post contains not one, but two articles from Yank's 5 October 1944 issue. One is deadly serious and concerns the Hiroshima bombing. Sgt McCarthy went there to interview survivors, and he tells it like it was. It's a chilling story, but there are details in there you may not have read before.

The other story is more amusing and concerns proxy marriage. If you've never heard of proxy marriage before, you're in for a treat. Read about the 'most-married man in Kansas' and why his wife was still speaking to him (barely).

The reason I mention these articles, besides to encourage you to read them, is that they point to one of the things we're here to do. Yank issues are available online through Internet Archive. I fish them out and deliver them on webpages after struggling epically with OCR1 and fact-hunting to provide context to the material.

See, that's what h2g2 is for: to explore Life, the Universe, and Everything. To make this kind of information available throughout the galaxy. Some of this information is fun. Some of it is scary, hence the immortal words, 'Don't Panic!'

Now, the Edited Guide's mission is to do just that: make Earth's knowledge more widely available in a readable form that doesn't put aliens to sleep. Why not do your bit and send an entry the Guide Editors' way? If you're having technical difficulties with the parser boxes, Don't Panic. Just contact SashaQ or me, and we'll figure out how to get it in there. End of Public Service Announcement. Now go away and read this week's Stuff.

Have a great week bobbing for apples, eating too many sweets, and scaring the neighbour's dog. Remember: don't do anything embarrassing while waiting on that doorstep for your trick-or-treat. Your neighbour probably has a Ring camera and a Youtube subscription.

Dmitri Gheorgheni

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Quote of the Week: Saw a cat stalk a lizard for ten minutes before finally pouncing & catching it by its tail. Then suddenly the lizard skittered off, leaving the cat holding the tail, which lizards have been doing to cats from time immemorial, thus making it History's oldest practical joke.

Scott Clevenger, Twitter

Create October 2021 by Freewayriding

October 2021 Create Challenge:
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Create November 2021, by DG

November 2021 Create Challenge:
Twice-Told Tales

Video Extra:
Thunk! The Movie

Crown-Antlered Sabre Deer

Paradicrocerus by Willem.



When You Belong
in a Museum

A VW hippie bus, brightly decorated, in a museum. By Carol M Highsmith.


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Square, Moscow

People sitting or swinging in rings in Moscow's Paveletskaya Station Square. Photo by Solnushka.

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