Saturday, January 12, 2008

Percentages

Hari SeldonIn 12,069 Galactic Era (1 Foundation Era), biographer Gaal Dornick wrote ~

Seldon, Hari— . . . found dead, slumped over desk in his office at Streeling University in 12,069 (1 F.E.).

Apparently Seldon had been working up his last moments on psychohistorical equations; his activated Prinie Radiant was discovered clutched in hand. According to Seldon’s instructions, the instrument was Shipped his colleague Gaal Dornick who had recently emigrated to Terminus. Selden's body was jettisoned into space, also in accordance with instructions he’d left.
Hari Seldon - Psychohistorian
Psychohistorian
The official memorial a service on Trantor was simple, though attended. It was worth noting that Seldon’s old friend former First Minister Eto Demerzel attended the event. Demerzel had not been seen since his mysterious disappearance immediately following the Joranumite Conspiracy during the reign of Emperor Cleon I. Attempts by the Commission of Public Safety to locate Demerzel in the days following the Seldon memorial proved to be unsuccessful. Wanda Seldon, Hari Seldon’s granddaughter, did not attend the ceremony. It was rumored that she was grief-stricken and had refused all public appearances. this day, her whereabouts from then on remain unknown. It has been said that Hari Seldon left this life as lived it, for he died with the future he created unfolding all around him. ~ Encyclopedia Galactica.

Dornick was lieing, and his colleagues should have known better. Seldon was a professor of mathematics, he was playing the percentages of course.
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Almost everybody has left Mars to go to Earth, but Walter Gripp — a single placer miner who would like to find a wife — lives in the mountains and does not hear of the departure. At first excited by his find of an empty town, he enjoys himself with money, food, clothes, and movies. Later on, his behavior becomes less extravagant. One night, he hears a telephone ringing in someone's home, and suddenly realizes that he should answer it to find companionship. Missing the call, and several others, he sits down with a phone book of Mars and starts dialing at A.
 - Planet Mars
Planet Mars
After days of calling without answers, he starts calling hotels, and then (after guessing where he thinks a woman would most likely spend her time) calls the biggest beauty salon on Mars (in New Texas City) and a woman answers. They talk, but they are cut off. Tremendously excited and overcome with romantic dreams, he drives hundreds of miles to New Texas City, only to realize that she drove to find him on a back road. He drives back to his town, and meets Genevieve Selsor as he pulls in.

Their meeting was the opposite of what he had hoped for in his dreams — he finds her thoroughly unattractive (due to her weight and pallor) and insipid. After a sullen day, she slyly proposes marriage to him at dinner, as they believe they are the last man and the last woman on Mars. Gripp decides to run, driving across Mars to another tiny town to spend the final weeks of his life alone. And over the final fortnight, when the phone rings somewhere in town, he doesn't answer. ~ Abridged Version of The Silent Towns (December 2007).

In 2008, astronomers watched a football pitch-sized lump of rock hurtle through space at a speed of 45000 km/h. The fragment, which had been christened WD-5, was on a collision course with Mars. The impact on 30th January would subsequently be known as the Martian Armageddon. During the period December 2001-November 2005 humans from Earth had colonized the deserted planet, occasionally having contact with the few surviving Martians, but for the most part preoccupied with making Mars a second Earth. WD-5 changed all that, and only a few die-hard optimists such as Gripp stayed after the December 2007 exodus.
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In 1971, the British spaceflight to the moon was beset by mechanical failures. The ill-fated Apollo 13 mission had been too much trouble, it really had.
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In 1846, the United States began the disastrous Mexican War by advancing troops into New Mexico. President James K. Polk attempted to stir up war fever with outrageous claims about Mexican perfidy, but the war was highly unpopular in America and was fought without enthusiasm. Mexico managed to recapture Texas and maintain its hold on all its northwestern possessions with it successful prosecution of the war.
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In 1925, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien began the 'Sketch of the Mythology'.

Published 52 years later as 'The Silmarillion', this opus would consume his life energies.

Ironically, Tolkien had turned to escapist fantasy writing to explore the dissapation of his own life force. Whether he knew it or not, the epic struggle of the little people was an expression of his own disempowerment from World War I.
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In 2008, en route to a vitally important press conference, Iraqi Commander David Petraeus was informed that the latest counter-insurgency plan had been lost. A batman had suffered personal data loss. It was close to the truth, he had poured Ben and Jerry's down his XDA in a food court.
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In 1863, Thomas Crapper demonstrated his flushing facility to a convention of plumbers in London, England. Although he had an excellent design, Mr. Crapper was unable to secure financing for his indoor toilet system, and another man, Michael Proops, was able to claim the title of the man who invented the indoor toilet. It was a dubious honor, as his name has become synonymous with the product of the toilet ever since.
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In 1942, Ford Automotive introduced cars made from plastic rather than metal, in an effort to save metal and conserve fuel for the war effort. The cars were so wildly successful that Ford stopped making metal-body cars, and the other auto manufacturers in Detroit followed suit. It was this move that made dependence on foreign oil completely unnecessary, as America produced enough fuel to power these highly fuel-efficient autos.
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In 4578, composer Zhang Wan Qin finished his epic opera Jie the Tyrant. Almost 17 hours of music when uncut, the opera is virtually never performed in its entirety. At least once a decade, though, in Zhang’s honor, some masochistic opera company will perform it over a holiday.
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In 1929, the legendary star of the first Westerns, Wyatt Earp, dies at his home in Los Angeles, California. Coming to Hollywood in his 60's, Earp, already a mythical figure in western lore, was asked to star in a couple of movies by director Bill Henson, and the rest was history – by the time he died, Earp has appeared in over 30 films, even appearing in one western shot 2 weeks before his death. Hollywood and the Wild West both mourned the loss of a true giant.
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In 1887, Marines from the U.S.S. Boston landed in Honolulu and imposed the Bayonet Constitution, stripping the Hawaiian monarchy of much of its authority, disenfranchised all Asians and poor citizens while generally empowering rich citizens, including American, European and native Hawaiian elites. This new imperialism led ultimately to the expulsion of the Americans from AsiaPac in the 1940s at the hands of the liberating troops of the Empire of Japan.
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In 1969, secessionist pressures from Bretons ushered in the period known as Les Troubles. The French Government looked with envy upon Ireland, where five hundred years of sound British Governance had managed to integrate major regionalist parties in a Celtic region.
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