Friday, December 20, 2013

Safety Coffins, Sleeping Beauty, and a Rambling Lemming

Coffins with bells mounted topside that would ring if the occupant pulled a cord aren't as silly as they may seem. The idea wasn't that the dead might want room service.

Safety coffins met a need, or fueled fears, of being buried alive. Back in the 'good old days' of Cholera epidemics, that fear wasn't entirely unreasonable. The Lemming does not miss the 'good old days:' at all.

Then there's the Donora death fog of 1948. Oddly enough, "Happy Days" didn't mention it. Not once. It was set in the 1950s: the sitcom, not what happened in Donora.

Happy thoughts. The Lemming really should think happy thoughts.

Happy wasn't particularly perturbed when a fugitive took refuge in the home he shared with — those miners weren't minors, but were they related, and why didn't Merryweather keep an eye on — never mind.

That was Disney's "Sleeping Beauty:" a heartwarming tale of true love and spinning wheels; or a cautionary tale, chronicling the tragic consequences of Maleficent's hiring practices. Really, couldn't she have found one goon who knew that humans grow?

Growth happens, and so to seasons, which is why trees have growth rings, but folks who study dendrochronology apparently aren't called dendrochronologists. Maybe because they'd get confused with dental hygienists, or start thinking that their job was writing a chronology for some tree.

None of which explains why the Lemming is rambling today. There's an interesting explanation for that, or might be: if the Lemming knew why three days of work abruptly fell into the digital abyss Wednesday evening.

Instead of regularly-scheduled programming, or research, or writing, or whatever it is that the Lemming does to get these posts ready, the Lemming spent most of Thursday doing Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday's work again. A one-to-three compression ratio, or is it three-two-one-we have liftoff?

The Lemming needs coffee. Or sleep. Yes: definitely sleep. There's no question about it, Dave: and the Lemming is not going to get started on HAL 9000's descent into madness.

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