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The following references to cultural and/or historical events or people in Supervolcano: Things Fall Apart occur during the novel.

Story OrderEdit

  • Page 2
    • "And maybe monkeys'll fly out my ass" - From the movie Wayne's World (1992) an expression skepticism: ‘I am sure he'll pay you back tomorrow.’ ‘Yeah right, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.’
  • Page 4
    • "Hi-yo Silver!" - The fictional character, the Lone Ranger, is a masked former Texas Ranger who fights injustice in the American Old West. Departing on his white stallion, Silver, the Lone Ranger would shout, "Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!".
  • Page 10
    • Jeopardy! - Jeopardy! is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin. The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in question form.
    • Page 17
    • ... how much Oprah or Ellen would pay ... - The Oprah Winfrey Show, often referred to simply as Oprah, is an American syndicated tabloid talk show that aired nationally for 25 seasons from September 8, 1986 to May 25, 2011. The Ellen DeGeneres Show (often shortened to and stylized as ellen) is an American television talk show hosted by comedian/actress Ellen DeGeneres, debuting on September 8, 2003.
  • Page 24
    • Charles Addams cartoon - Charles Samuel "Chas" Addams (January 7, 1912 – September 29, 1988) was an American cartoonist known for his darkly humorous and macabre characters. Some of the recurring characters, who became known as the Addams Family, have been the basis for spin-offs in television, films and animation.
  • Page 25
    • Great Slave Lake - Great Slave Lake is the second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the deepest lake in North America at 614 metres (336 fathoms; 2,014 ft), and the tenth-largest lake in the world. At 61°N latitude, it's surface is generally frozen from November to mid-June.
  • Page 25
    • Saskatoon - Saskatoon is located in central Saskatchewan, Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. It is in the aspen parkland biome and experiences warm summers and very cold winters (plant hardiness zone 2b, record low −50 °C).
  • Page 26
    • Frederick II Hohenstaufen - Frederick II (1194 –1250), was one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages and head of the House of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany, and even to Jerusalem, were enormous.
  • Page 27
    • Theocritus - Theocritus, the creator of Ancient Greek bucolic poetry, flourished in the 3rd century BC. Bryce Miller enjoyed writing poetry in this style.
  • Page 27
    • ... in this long winter of the planet's discontent. - "Winter of our discontent" is the opening line from William Shakespeare's Richard III. In the Shakespeare play it is used to signify the end of winter, the opposite of what Bryce Miller meant here.
  • Page 27
    • Born to be blaaand! ... Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf is a rock group that was prominent from 1968 - 1972. "Born to Be Wild" is a Top 10 rock song by the group which Bryce Miller "goofs" on.
  • Page 30
    • Labors of Hercules - The twelve labours of Hercules or dodekathlon are a series of episodes concerning a penance carried out by Heracles, the greatest of the Greek heroes, whose name was later romanised as Hercules. The establishment of a fixed cycle of twelve labours was attributed by the Greeks to an epic poem, now lost, written by Peisander, dated about 600 BC.
  • Page 30
    • Like the number five in Monty Python and the Holy Grail those were right out - Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the comedy group Monty Python, and directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. The reference to five is to the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch where you count to three after removing the pin and to "Five is right out".
  • Page 33
    • Green Day - Green Day is an American punk rock band formed in 1987. They are one of the world's best-selling groups of all time, having sold over 75 million albums worldwide.
  • Page 39
    • Looks somewhere between Nicolas Cage and an Orthodox icon. - Nicolas Kim Coppola (born January 7, 1964) known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor, producer and director.
  • Page 39
    • ... came from the dark side of the Force. - The dark side of the Force is a fictional moral, philosophical, metaphorical and psychic concept in the Star Wars universe. The Force is a mystical energy which permeates the Star Wars galaxy; its dark side represents an aspect of it that is not practiced by the Jedi who view it as evil.
  • Page 41
    • long pig - European explorers brought home stories of cannibalism from the Marquesas Islands of Polynesia, where human flesh was called long pig.
  • Page 45
    • Lost Chord - "The Lost Chord" is a song composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1877. The lyric was written as a poem by Adelaide Anne Procter called "A Lost Chord," published in 1858. The text depicts an organist idly playing and sounding a magnificent chord like "a great Amen" which he could never rediscover.
  • Page 45
    • Holy Grail - The Holy Grail is a dish, plate, stone, or cup that is part of an important theme of Arthurian literature. The Grail legend became interwoven with legends of the Holy Chalice which was the vessel which Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve the wine.
  • Page 45
    • vorpal blade ... "go snicker-snack" ... - Vorpal sword is a phrase used by Lewis Carroll in his nonsense poem "Jabberwocky". One line "the vorpal blade went snicker-snack!" when it was used to decapitate the titular monster.
  • Page 49
    • Dylan - Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.
  • Page 53
    • ... the law west of the Pecos ... - Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. (c. 1825 – 1903) was an eccentric US saloon-keeper and Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, Texas, who called himself "The Law West of the Pecos".
  • Page 62
    • Shakespeare's grave diggers, familiarity lent a quality of easiness - The Gravediggers (or Clowns) are examples of Shakespearean fools, a recurring type of character in Shakespeare's plays. In Hamlet one gravedigger singing a humorous song while digging leads Horatio to explain "Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness."
  • Page 63
    • Trust but verify. - Trust, but verify is a form of advice given which recommends that while a source of information might be considered reliable, one should perform additional research to verify that such information is accurate. The proverb was adopted as a signature phrase by Reagan, who subsequently used it frequently when discussing U.S. relations with the Soviet Union.
  • Page 63
    • Not even the Three Wise Guys - The Magi, also referred to as the (Three) Wise Men or (Three) Kings were, in Christian tradition, a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
  • Page 70
    • ... five-star review on Yelp - Yelp, Inc. is an American company that operates an "online urban guide" and business review site.
  • Page 71
    • Johnny Depp - John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, film producer, and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor.
  • Page 74
    • Brown v. Board of Education - Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.
  • Page 75
    • ... have to show me ... Missouri - "I'm from Missouri, you've got to show me." This phrase is attributed to Congressman Willard Vandiver and indicates scepticism, requiring proof before the listener will believe it.
  • Page 77
    • no tengo la culpa - "No tengo la culpa", Spanish for "not my fault".
  • Page 78
    • Manischewitz - Manischewitz is a leading brand of kosher products based in the United States, best known for their matzo and kosher wine.
  • Page 85
    • If it wasn't for the honor ... - Abraham Lincoln on the US Presidency: “I feel like the man who was tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. To the man who asked him how he liked it, he said: ‘If it wasn’t for the honor of the thing, I’d rather walk.’”
  • Page 86
    • Schrödinger's kitties - Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. The scenario presents a cat that may be both alive and dead, depending on an earlier random event.
  • Page 86
    • Division II school - Division II is an intermediate-level division of competition in the National Collegiate Athletic Association which is a nonprofit association that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities.
  • Page 91
    • Currier and Ives - Currier and Ives was a successful American printmaking firm headed by Nathaniel Currier (1813–1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824–1895). Based in New York City from 1834–1907, the prolific firm produced prints from paintings by fine artists as black and white lithographs that were hand colored. The prints depicted a variety of images of American life, including winter scenes; horse-racing images; portraits of people; and pictures of ships, sporting events, patriotic and historical events.
  • Page 91
    • Happy Days Are Here Again - "Happy Days Are Here Again" is a song copyrighted in 1929 by Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics). Today, the song is probably best remembered as the campaign song for Franklin D. Roosevelt's successful 1932 presidential campaign.
  • Page 93
    • Whole Foods or Trader Joe's - Whole Foods Market, Inc. is an American foods supermarket chain that only sells products that meet its self-created quality standards for being "natural". Trader Joe's is a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores whose products are environmentally friendly.
  • Page 94
    • You can't go home again. - You Can't Go Home Again is a novel by Thomas Wolfe published posthumously in 1940. The novel explores the changing American society of the 1920s/30s, including the stock market crash, the illusion of prosperity, and the unfair passing of time which prevents the protagonist from ever being able to return "home again".
  • Page 103
    • I want to get out of these clothes and into a dry martini - American actor Charles Butterworth is credited with the quip "Why don't you slip out of those wet clothes and into a dry martini?" from Every Day's a Holiday.
  • Page 106
    • Just For Men - Just for Men is a hair coloring product designed to color gray hair and marketed to men.
  • Page 111
    • Elmer Fudd - Elmer J. Fudd is a fictional cartoon character and one of the most famous Looney Tunes characters, and the de facto archenemy of Bugs Bunny.
  • Page 112
    • He belonged to the one percent, not to the ninety-nine. - We are the 99% is a political slogan widely used by the Occupy movement. The phrase directly refers to the concentration of income and wealth among the top earning 1%, and reflects an opinion that the "99%" are paying the price for the mistakes of a tiny minority.
  • Page 117
    • Netflix DVD - Netflix, Inc. is an American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media, and flat rate DVD-by-mail in the United States, where mailed DVDs are sent via Permit Reply Mail.
  • Page 117
    • Hornblower - Hornblower is the umbrella title of a series of television drama programmes based on C. S. Forester's novels about the fictional character Horatio Hornblower, a Royal Navy officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Page 125
    • not-quite-wrist radio - The police detective character Dick Tracy, from the eponymous comic strip, had a 2-Way Wrist Radio which he used to communicate with his fellow officers.
  • Page 126
    • waived his Miranda rights - Miranda rights are a warning given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody before they are interrogated to inform them of their Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.
  • Page 130
    • Sitting at the laptop until beads of blood came out ... - Gene Fowler, an American journalist, author and dramatist, was well known for a witticism on writing: "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."
  • Page 137
    • ... like something out of Red Dawn - Red Dawn is a 1984 American war film set in an alternate 1980s in which the United States is invaded by the Soviet Union and its Cuban and Nicaraguan allies.
  • Page 141
    • Frederick II Hohenstaufen - See reference for Page 26 above.
  • Page 143
    • ... heft of a Tom Clancy novel. - Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. is an American author, best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War.
  • Page 155
    • Something was rotten in the state of Serbia ... - This alludes to the quote from Hamlet, Act 1, scene 4: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
  • Page 168
    • ... ancient Cosby routine ... - William Henry "Bill" Cosby Jr. (born July 12, 1937) is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist.
  • Page 179
    • He broke into ersatz Dylan ... - See reference for Page 49 above.
  • Page 179
    • "Please Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go." - "Mr. Custer" is a novelty song, sung by Larry Verne about a soldier's plea to Custer before the climactic Battle of the Little Bighorn against the Sioux, which he did not want to fight. The song is well known by the first line of the chorus: "Please Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go."
  • Page 183
    • She remembered TANSTAAFL too ... - TANSTAAFL or "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" is a popular adage communicating the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing. The phrase and the acronym are central to Robert A. Heinlein's 1966 science-fiction novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, which helped popularize it.
  • Page 184
    • Theocritus understood Doric - For Theocritus, see reference for Page 27 above. Doric was a dialect of Ancient Greece.
  • Pages 198-199
    • Satchel Paige said Don't look back ... - Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige (July 7, 1906 – June 8, 1982) was an American baseball player. Among his many quotable sayings was "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."
  • Page 199
    • ... last frozen circle of hell ... Dante ... - In Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, he depicts hell as a pit with a series of concentric circles where the damned are punished. The center is a frozen lake with Satan trapped in the ice.
  • Page 201
    • ... winter of the world's discontent ... - See reference for Page 27 above.
  • Page 202
    • ... tone poem Whistler would have been proud of. - James Abbott McNeill Whistler (July 11, 1834 – July 17, 1903) was an American-born, British-based artist. Finding a parallel between painting and music, Whistler entitled many of his paintings "arrangements", "harmonies", and "nocturnes", emphasizing the primacy of tonal harmony.
  • Page 202
    • ... adapted a line from Groucho Marx ... - Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977) was an American comedian and film and television star. He is known as a master of quick wit and widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers.
  • Page 204
    • Salman Rushdie or Stephen King - Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie (born 19 June 1947) is a British Indian novelist and essayist. In 2008, The Times ranked him thirteenth on its list of the fifty greatest British writers since 1945. Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies.
  • Page 209
    • The Wind in the Willows - The Wind in the Willows is a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England.
  • Page 220
    • ... fortified like something in Baghdad's Green Zone. - The Green Zone is the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. It is a 10 sq km (3.9 sq mi) area of central Baghdad, Iraq, that was the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city.
  • Page 227
    • Mad Magazine - Mad is an American humor magazine founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines in 1952.
  • Page 229
    • Sweet Charity - Sweet Charity is a musical with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon. It is based on Federico Fellini's screenplay for Nights of Cabiria. However, where Fellini's black-and-white Italian film concerns the romantic ups-and-downs of an ever-hopeful prostitute, in the musical the central character is a dancer-for-hire at a Times Square dance hall.
  • Page 229
    • Cabaret - Cabaret is a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it is based in nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw.
  • Page 230
    • Fort Knox - The United States Bullion Depository, often known as Fort Knox, is a fortified vault building located adjacent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, used to store a large portion of United States official gold reserves and occasionally other precious items belonging or entrusted to the federal government.
  • Page 234
    • Here Be Dragons - "Here be dragons" is a phrase used to denote dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of the medieval practice of putting dragons, sea serpents and other mythological creatures in uncharted areas of maps.
  • Page 240
    • Pompeii and Herculaneum - The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were Roman towns partially destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
  • Page 253
    • The Jungle - The Jungle is a 1906 book written by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities.
  • Page 256
    • Glock - The Glock pistol, sometimes referred to by the manufacturer as a Glock "Safe Action" Pistol, is a series of polymer-framed, short recoil operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistols designed and produced by Glock Ges.m.b.H., located in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria.
  • Page 257
    • ... grokked that. - Grok is a word coined by Robert A. Heinlein for his 1961 science-fiction novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, where it is defined as follows: "Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man."
  • Page 258
    • I'm not even the walrus. - "I Am the Walrus" is a 1967 song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney.
  • Page 266
    • This is the way the world ends ... - "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper." are the last two lines in the final stanza of T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men.
  • Page 273
    • ... as high as LeBron James' eye. - LeBron Raymone James (born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Standing at 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) and weighing 250 lb (113 kg), he has played the small forward and power forward positions.
  • Page 278
    Michelin Man

    Michelin Man

    • Michelin Man - Bibendum, commonly referred to as the Michelin Man, is the symbol of the Michelin tire company.
  • Page 288
    • "Don't leave home without it." - American Express Company, also known as AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York City, New York. "Don't Leave Home Without It" was a slogan for the AmEx credit card.
  • Page 291
    • "What's in a name?" - "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet." - William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (Act 2, Scene 2).
  • Page 291
    • Love Among the Ruins - Love Among the Ruins is a 1975 British television film directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn and Sir Laurence Olivier. Set in Edwardian England, it tells the story of Jessica Medlicott (Hepburn), an aging grande dame, formerly an actress of the London theatre. When Medlicott is accused by a young man of seducing and then abandoning him, she retains the services of the greatest barrister in Britain (Olivier), who turns out to be a former suitor still in love with her.
  • Page 292
    • ... a yellow card ... red. - In Association football a yellow card is shown by the referee to indicate that a player has been officially cautioned while a red card is used to signify that a player has been sent off or expelled from the game.
  • Page 293
  • Page 298
    • Cabbage Patch doll - Cabbage Patch Kids are a line of dolls created by American art student Xavier Roberts in 1978. The doll brand went on to become one of the most popular toy fads of the 1980s and one of the longest-running doll franchises in America.
  • Page 303
    • Willie Sutton - William "Willie" Sutton (1901 – 1980) was a prolific American bank robber. Sutton is known, albeit apocryphally, for the urban legend that he said that he robbed banks "because that's where the money is."
  • Page 309
    • ... the hide of a particularly hideous Nauga. - Naugahyde (sometimes abbreviated to Nauga) is an American brand of artificial leather (or "pleather" from plastic leather). Naugahyde is a composite of a knit fabric backing and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic coating.
  • Page 321
    • ... line in Rocky and Bullwinkle - The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show is an American animated television series that originally aired from November 19, 1959, to June 27, 1964, on the ABC and NBC television networks.
  • Page 322
    • ... honor of the thing ... - See reference for Page 85 above.
  • Page 322
    • The drummer in - was it Def Leppard? - Richard John Cyril "Rick" Allen (born 1 November 1963) is the drummer for the English hard rock band Def Leppard. He is famous for overcoming the complete amputation of his left arm and continuing to play with the band.
  • Page 326
    • ... make like ET and phone home. - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction film. The plot is of a stranded alien "phoning home" for a rescue spaceship.
  • Page 330
    • "maybe the horse will learn to sing." - Fable attributed to Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian.
  • Page 230
    • Duplos - Duplo is a product range of the construction toy Lego, designed for children aged 1½ to 5 years old. Duplo bricks are twice the length, height and width of traditional Lego bricks, making them easier to handle and less likely to be swallowed by younger children.
  • Page 335
    • the Mummy or the Wolfman - The Mummy is a 1932 horror film (remade in 1999) from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest. The Wolf Man is a 1941 (remade in 2010) American Werewolf horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner.
  • Page 339
    • Mission: Impossible theme - "Theme from Mission: Impossible" is the theme tune of the TV series Mission: Impossible (1966–1973). The 1960s version has since been widely acknowledged as one of TV's greatest theme songs.
  • Page 339
    • Tom Cruise - Tom Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV; July 3, 1962), is an American film actor and producer. He is well known for his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible film series between 1996 and 2011.
  • Page 341
    • Barney and Baby Bop - Barney & Friends (which began as a series of home videos, Barney and the Backyard Gang in 1987) is an American children's television series aimed at children from ages 2 to 5. The series, which first aired on April 6, 1992, features the title character Barney, a purple anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus rex. Baby Bop, a three-year old green Triceratops, was added later as a supporting character.
  • Page 356
    • Doctor Phil - Dr. Phil is a talk show hosted by Phil McGraw. McGraw offers advice in the form of "life strategies" from his life experience as a clinical psychologist.
  • Page 359
    • Mrs. Lovett did in Sweeny Todd - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 1979 musical thriller. Set in 19th century England, the musical tells the story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after 15 years' transportation on trumped-up charges. He vows revenge on the judge and, later, other people too and teams up with a piemaker, Mrs. Lovett. He opens a barbershop in which he slits the throats of customers and has them baked into pies.
  • Page 361
    • the Grim Reaper - The concept of Death as a sentient entity has existed in many societies since the beginning of history. In English, Death is often given the name Grim Reaper and, from the 15th century onwards, came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood.
  • Page 361
    • "Had we but world enough, and time, ..." - The six quoted lines come from To His Coy Mistress, a metaphysical poem written by the English author and politician Andrew Marvell (1621–1678).
  • Page 363
    • Erica Jong - Erica Jong (née Mann; born March 26, 1942) is an American author and teacher known for her fiction and poetry. Jong is best known for her first novel, Fear of Flying (1973) which originated the phrase of "zipless fuck". This is defined as a sexual encounter for its own sake, without emotional involvement or commitment or any ulterior motive.
  • Page 364
    • Mensa - Mensa is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. It is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test.
  • Page 367
    • ... the Red Death in the Poe story. - "The Masque of the Red Death" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague known as the Red Death by hiding in his abbey.
  • Page 370
    • Al Gore - Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician, advocate and philanthropist, who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States (1993–2001), under President Bill Clinton. He has founded a number of non-profit organizations, including the Alliance for Climate Protection, and has received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in climate change (global warming) activism.
  • Page 370
    • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang - I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) is a crime/drama film starring Paul Muni as a wrongfully convicted convict on a chain gang who escapes to Chicago.
  • Page 374
    • He's pining for the fjords ... - Monty Python (sometimes known as The Pythons) were a British surreal comedy group that created Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. The "Dead Parrot Sketch" is arguably the most popular sketch from the program. John Cleese complains to a pet shop clerk that the "Norwegian Blue" parrot he sold him is dead but the clerk refuse to accept this claiming (among other things) that the parrot is "resting" and "pining for the fjords".
  • Page 376
    • Spring came to Guilford on little cat feet ... - "Fog" is an English haiku poem by Carl Sandburg. It starts with "The fog comes on little cat feet."
  • Page 379
    • If The South Had Won The Civil War - If The South Had Won The Civil War is a fictional account set as a history text in Look magazine (1960) and then expanded into an alternate history book (1961) by MacKinlay Kantor.
  • Page 379
    • The Man in the High Castle - The Man in the High Castle (1962) is a science fiction alternate history novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. It is about daily life under totalitarian Fascist government in a defeated and occupied post-World War II US.
  • Page 380
    • Ob-la-di, ob-la-da - "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is a song credited to Lennon–McCartney, but written by Paul McCartney and released by the Beatles on their 1968 album The Beatles (commonly called The White Album).
  • Page 382
    • "plus royaliste que le roi" - French for "more royalist than the king".
  • Page 383
    • Here Be Dragons - See reference for Page 234 above.
  • Page 385
    • Commander Toad - Commander Toad is a series of children books by Jane Yolen.
  • Page 393
    • Barry Bonds - Barry Lamar Bonds (born July 24, 1964) is a former American baseball left fielder who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (1986 - 2007).

Contemporary Figures and ThingsEdit

  • Barry Bonds - Barry Lamar Bonds (born July 24, 1964) is a former American baseball left fielder who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (1986 - 2007).[1]
  • The drummer in - was it Def Leppard? - Richard John Cyril "Rick" Allen (born 1 November 1963) is the drummer for the English hard rock band Def Leppard. He is famous for overcoming the complete amputation of his left arm and continuing to play with the band.[2]
  • Cabbage Patch doll - Cabbage Patch Kids are a line of dolls created by American art student Xavier Roberts in 1978. The doll brand went on to become one of the most popular toy fads of the 1980s and one of the longest-running doll franchises in America.[3]
  • Looks somewhere between Nicolas Cage and an Orthodox icon. - Nicolas Kim Coppola (born January 7, 1964) known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor, producer and director.[4]
  • ... heft of a Tom Clancy novel. - Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. is an American author, best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War.[5]
  • ... ancient Cosby routine ... - William Henry "Bill" Cosby Jr. (born July 12, 1937) is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist.[6]
  • Tom Cruise - Tom Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV; July 3, 1962), is an American film actor and producer. He is well known for his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible film series between 1996 and 2011.[7]
  • Johnny Depp - John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, film producer, and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor.[8]
  • Division II school - Division II is an intermediate-level division of competition in the National Collegiate Athletic Association which is a nonprofit association that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities.[9]
  • Doctor Phil - Dr. Phil is a talk show hosted by Phil McGraw. McGraw offers advice in the form of "life strategies" from his life experience as a clinical psychologist.[10]
  • Duplos - Duplo is a product range of the construction toy Lego, designed for children aged 1½ to 5 years old. Duplo bricks are twice the length, height and width of traditional Lego bricks, making them easier to handle and less likely to be swallowed by younger children.[11]
  • Dylan - Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.[12]
  • ... how much Oprah or Ellen would pay ... - The Ellen DeGeneres Show (often shortened to and stylized as ellen) is an American television talk show hosted by comedian/actress Ellen DeGeneres, debuting on September 8, 2003.[13]
  • Fort Knox - The United States Bullion Depository, often known as Fort Knox, is a fortified vault building located adjacent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, used to store a large portion of United States official gold reserves and occasionally other precious items belonging or entrusted to the federal government.[14]
  • Glock - The Glock pistol, sometimes referred to by the manufacturer as a Glock "Safe Action" Pistol, is a series of polymer-framed, short recoil operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistols designed and produced by Glock Ges.m.b.H., located in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria.[15]
  • Al Gore - Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician, advocate and philanthropist, who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States (1993–2001), under President Bill Clinton. He has founded a number of non-profit organizations, including the Alliance for Climate Protection, and has received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in climate change (global warming) activism.[16]
  • Great Slave Lake - Great Slave Lake is the second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the deepest lake in North America at 614 metres (336 fathoms; 2,014 ft), and the tenth-largest lake in the world. At 61°N latitude, it's surface is generally frozen from November to mid-June.[18]
  • Green Day - Green Day is an American punk rock band formed in 1987. They are one of the world's best-selling groups of all time, having sold over 75 million albums worldwide.[19]
  • ... fortified like something in Baghdad's Green Zone. - The Green Zone is the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. It is a 10 sq km (3.9 sq mi) area of central Baghdad, Iraq, that was the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city.[20]
  • ... as high as LeBron James' eye. - LeBron Raymone James (born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Standing at 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) and weighing 250 lb (113 kg), he has played the small forward and power forward positions.[21]
  • Jeopardy! - Jeopardy! is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin. The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in question form.[22]
  • Erica Jong - Erica Jong (née Mann; born March 26, 1942) is an American author and teacher known for her fiction and poetry. Jong is best known for her first novel, Fear of Flying (1973) which originated the phrase of "zipless fuck". This is defined as a sexual encounter for its own sake, without emotional involvement or commitment or any ulterior motive.[23]
  • Just For Men - Just for Men is a hair coloring product designed to color gray hair and marketed to men.[24]
  • Salman Rushdie or Stephen King - Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies.[25]
  • Manischewitz - Manischewitz is a leading brand of kosher products based in the United States, best known for their matzo and kosher wine.[26]
  • Mensa - Mensa is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. It is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test.[27]
  • Michelin Man - Bibendum, commonly referred to as the Michelin Man, is the symbol of the Michelin tire company.[28]
  • waived his Miranda rights - Miranda rights are a warning given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody before they are interrogated to inform them of their Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.[29]
  • He's pining for the fjords ... - Monty Python (sometimes known as The Pythons) were a British surreal comedy group that created Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. The "Dead Parrot Sketch" is arguably the most popular sketch from the program. John Cleese complains to a pet shop clerk that the "Norwegian Blue" parrot he sold him is dead but the clerk refuse to accept this claiming (among other things) that the parrot is "resting" and "pining for the fjords".[30]
  • Like the number five in Monty Python and the Holy Grail those were right out - Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the comedy group Monty Python, and directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. The reference to five is to the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch where you count to three after removing the pin and to "Five is right out".[31]
  • ... the hide of a particularly hideous Nauga. - Naugahyde (sometimes abbreviated to Nauga) is an American brand of artificial leather (or "pleather" from plastic leather). Naugahyde is a composite of a knit fabric backing and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic coating.[32]
  • Netflix DVD - Netflix, Inc. is an American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media, and flat rate DVD-by-mail in the United States, where mailed DVDs are sent via Permit Reply Mail.[33]
  • ... how much Oprah or Ellen would pay ... - The Oprah Winfrey Show, often referred to simply as Oprah, is an American syndicated tabloid talk show that aired nationally for 25 seasons from September 8, 1986 to May 25, 2011.[34]
  • ... a yellow card ... red. - In Association football a red card is used to signify that a player has been sent off or expelled from the game.[35]
  • Salman Rushdie or Stephen King - Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie (born 19 June 1947) is a British Indian novelist and essayist. In 2008, The Times ranked him thirteenth on its list of the fifty greatest British writers since 1945.[36]
  • Saskatoon - Saskatoon is located in central Saskatchewan, Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. It is in the aspen parkland biome and experiences warm summers and very cold winters (plant hardiness zone 2b, record low −50 °C).[37]
  • "Born to be blaaand!" ... Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf is a rock group that was prominent from 1968 - 1972. "Born to Be Wild" is a Top 10 rock song by the group which Bryce Miller "goofs" on.[38]
  • Whole Foods or Trader Joe's - Trader Joe's is a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores whose products are environmentally friendly.[39]
  • Whole Foods or Trader Joe's - Whole Foods Market, Inc. is an American foods supermarket chain that only sells products that meet its self-created quality standards for being "natural".[41]
  • ... a yellow card ... red. - In Association football a yellow card is shown by the referee to indicate that a player has been officially cautioned.[42]
  • ... five-star review on Yelp - Yelp, Inc. is an American company that operates an "online urban guide" and business review site.[43]

Fictional WorksEdit

  • Barney and Baby Bop - Barney & Friends (which began as a series of home videos, Barney and the Backyard Gang in 1987) is an American children's television series aimed at children from ages 2 to 5. The series, which first aired on April 6, 1992, features the title character Barney, a purple anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus rex. Baby Bop, a three-year old green Triceratops, was added later as a supporting character.[45]
  • "Born to be blaaand!" ... Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf is a rock group that was prominent from 1968 - 1972. "Born to Be Wild" is a Top 10 rock song by the group which Bryce Miller "goofs" on.[46]
  • Cabaret - Cabaret is a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it is based in nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw.[47]
  • Commander Toad - Commander Toad is a series of children books by Jane Yolen.[48]
  • Currier and Ives - Currier and Ives was a successful American printmaking firm headed by Nathaniel Currier (1813–1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824–1895). Based in New York City from 1834–1907, the prolific firm produced prints from paintings by fine artists as black and white lithographs that were hand colored. The prints depicted a variety of images of American life, including winter scenes; horse-racing images; portraits of people; and pictures of ships, sporting events, patriotic and historical events.[49]
  • ... came from the dark side of the Force. - The dark side of the Force is a fictional moral, philosophical, metaphorical and psychic concept in the Star Wars universe. The Force is a mystical energy which permeates the Star Wars galaxy; its dark side represents an aspect of it that is not practiced by the Jedi who view it as evil.[50]
  • ... last frozen circle of hell ... Dante ... - In Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, he depicts hell as a pit with a series of concentric circles where the damned are punished. The center is a frozen lake with Satan trapped in the ice.[51]
  • Elmer Fudd - Elmer J. Fudd is a fictional cartoon character and one of the most famous Looney Tunes characters, and the de facto archenemy of Bugs Bunny.[52]
  • ... make like ET and phone home. - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction film. The plot is of a stranded alien "phoning home" for a rescue spaceship.[53]
  • Happy Days Are Here Again - "Happy Days Are Here Again" is a song copyrighted in 1929 by Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics). Today, the song is probably best remembered as the campaign song for Franklin D. Roosevelt's successful 1932 presidential campaign.[54]
  • Labors of Hercules - The twelve labours of Hercules or dodekathlon are a series of episodes concerning a penance carried out by Heracles, the greatest of the Greek heroes, whose name was later romanised as Hercules. The establishment of a fixed cycle of twelve labours was attributed by the Greeks to an epic poem, now lost, written by Peisander, dated about 600 BC.[55]
  • Holy Grail - The Holy Grail is a dish, plate, stone, or cup that is part of an important theme of Arthurian literature. The Grail legend became interwoven with legends of the Holy Chalice which was the vessel which Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve the wine.[56]
  • Hornblower - Hornblower is the umbrella title of a series of television drama programmes based on C. S. Forester's novels about the fictional character Horatio Hornblower, a Royal Navy officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.[57]
  • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang - I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) is a crime/drama film starring Paul Muni as a wrongfully convicted convict on a chain gang who escapes to Chicago.[58]
  • I'm not even the walrus. - "I Am the Walrus" is a 1967 song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney.[59]
  • If The South Had Won The Civil War - If The South Had Won The Civil War is a fictional account set as a history text in Look magazine (1960) and then expanded into an alternate history book (1961) by MacKinlay Kantor.[60]
  • The Jungle - The Jungle is a 1906 book written by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities.[61]
  • "Hi-yo Silver!" - The fictional character, the Lone Ranger, is a masked former Texas Ranger who fights injustice in the American Old West. Departing on his white stallion, Silver, the Lone Ranger would shout, "Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!".[62]
  • Lost Chord - "The Lost Chord" is a song composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1877. The lyric was written as a poem by Adelaide Anne Procter called "A Lost Chord," published in 1858. The text depicts an organist idly playing and sounding a magnificent chord like "a great Amen" which he could never rediscover.[63]
  • Love Among the Ruins - Love Among the Ruins is a 1975 British television film directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn and Sir Laurence Olivier. Set in Edwardian England, it tells the story of Jessica Medlicott (Hepburn), an aging grande dame, formerly an actress of the London theatre. When Medlicott is accused by a young man of seducing and then abandoning him, she retains the services of the greatest barrister in Britain (Olivier), who turns out to be a former suitor still in love with her.[64]
  • Mad Magazine - Mad is an American humor magazine founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines in 1952.[65]
  • The Man in the High Castle - The Man in the High Castle (1962) is a science fiction alternate history novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. It is about daily life under totalitarian Fascist government in a defeated and occupied post-World War II US.[66]
  • ... the Red Death in the Poe story. - "The Masque of the Red Death" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague known as the Red Death by hiding in his abbey.[67]
  • Mission: Impossible theme - "Theme from Mission: Impossible" is the theme tune of the TV series Mission: Impossible (1966–1973). The 1960s version has since been widely acknowledged as one of TV's greatest theme songs.[68]
  • the Mummy or the Wolfman - The Mummy is a 1932 horror film (remade in 1999) from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest.[69]
  • "Please Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go." - "Mr. Custer" is a novelty song, sung by Larry Verne about a soldier's plea to Custer before the climactic Battle of the Little Bighorn against the Sioux, which he did not want to fight. The song is well known by the first line of the chorus: "Please Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go."[70]
  • Ob-la-di, ob-la-da - "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is a song credited to Lennon–McCartney, but written by Paul McCartney and released by the Beatles on their 1968 album The Beatles (commonly called The White Album).[71]
  • ... like something out of Red Dawn - Red Dawn is a 1984 American war film set in an alternate 1980s in which the United States is invaded by the Soviet Union and its Cuban and Nicaraguan allies.[72]
  • ... line in Rocky and Bullwinkle - The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show is an American animated television series that originally aired from November 19, 1959, to June 27, 1964, on the ABC and NBC television networks.[73]
  • Shakespeare's grave diggers, familiarity lent a quality of easiness - The Gravediggers (or Clowns) are examples of Shakespearean fools, a recurring type of character in Shakespeare's plays. In Hamlet one gravedigger singing a humorous song while digging leads Horatio to explain "Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness."[74]
  • Mrs. Lovett did in Sweeny Todd - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 1979 musical thriller. Set in 19th century England, the musical tells the story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after 15 years' transportation on trumped-up charges. He vows revenge on the judge and, later, other people too and teams up with a piemaker, Mrs. Lovett. He opens a barbershop in which he slits the throats of customers and has them baked into pies.[75]
  • Sweet Charity - Sweet Charity is a musical with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon. It is based on Federico Fellini's screenplay for Nights of Cabiria. However, where Fellini's black-and-white Italian film concerns the romantic ups-and-downs of an ever-hopeful prostitute, in the musical the central character is a dancer-for-hire at a Times Square dance hall.[76]
  • Not even the Three Wise Guys - The Magi, also referred to as the (Three) Wise Men or (Three) Kings were, in Christian tradition, a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.[77]
  • "Had we but world enough, and time, ..." - The six quoted lines come from To His Coy Mistress, a metaphysical poem written by the English author and politician Andrew Marvell (1621–1678).[78]
  • vorpal blade ... "go snicker-snack" ... - Vorpal sword is a phrase used by Lewis Carroll in his nonsense poem "Jabberwocky". One line "the vorpal blade went snicker-snack!" when it was used to decapitate the titular monster.[79]
  • The Wind in the Willows - The Wind in the Willows is a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England.[80]
  • the Mummy or the Wolfman - The Wolf Man is a 1941 (remade in 2010) American Werewolf horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner.[81]
  • not-quite-wrist radio - The police detective character Dick Tracy, from the eponymous comic strip, had a 2-Way Wrist Radio which he used to communicate with his fellow officers.[82]
  • You can't go home again. - You Can't Go Home Again is a novel by Thomas Wolfe published posthumously in 1940. The novel explores the changing American society of the 1920s/30s, including the stock market crash, the illusion of prosperity, and the unfair passing of time which prevents the protagonist from ever being able to return "home again".[83]

Historical Figures and ThingsEdit

  • Charles Addams cartoon - Charles Samuel "Chas" Addams (January 7, 1912 – September 29, 1988) was an American cartoonist known for his darkly humorous and macabre characters. Some of the recurring characters, who became known as the Addams Family, have been the basis for spin-offs in television, films and animation.[84]
  • Brown v. Board of Education - Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.[85]
  • ... last frozen circle of hell ... Dante ... - In Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, he depicts hell as a pit with a series of concentric circles where the damned are punished. The center is a frozen lake with Satan trapped in the ice.[86]
  • Frederick II Hohenstaufen - Frederick II (1194 –1250), was one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages and head of the House of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany, and even to Jerusalem, were enormous.[88]
  • the Grim Reaper - The concept of Death as a sentient entity has existed in many societies since the beginning of history. In English, Death is often given the name Grim Reaper and, from the 15th century onwards, came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood.[89]
  • ... the law west of the Pecos ... - Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. (c. 1825 – 1903) was an eccentric US saloon-keeper and Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, Texas, who called himself "The Law West of the Pecos".[90]
  • long pig - European explorers brought home stories of cannibalism from the Marquesas Islands of Polynesia, where human flesh was called long pig.[91]
  • ... adapted a line from Groucho Marx ... - Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977) was an American comedian and film and television star. He is known as a master of quick wit and widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers.[92]
  • Pompeii and Herculaneum - The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were Roman towns partially destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.[93]
  • Schrödinger's kitties - Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. The scenario presents a cat that may be both alive and dead, depending on an earlier random event.[94]
  • Willie Sutton - William "Willie" Sutton (1901 – 1980) was a prolific American bank robber. Sutton is known, albeit apocryphally, for the urban legend that he said that he robbed banks "because that's where the money is."[95]
  • Theocritus - Theocritus, the creator of Ancient Greek bucolic poetry, flourished in the 3rd century BC. Bryce Miller enjoyed writing poetry in this style.[96]
  • ... tone poem Whistler would have been proud of. - James Abbott McNeill Whistler (July 11, 1834 – July 17, 1903) was an American-born, British-based artist. Finding a parallel between painting and music, Whistler entitled many of his paintings "arrangements", "harmonies", and "nocturnes", emphasizing the primacy of tonal harmony.[97]

QuotesEdit

  • Shakespeare's grave diggers, familiarity lent a quality of easiness - The Gravediggers (or Clowns) are examples of Shakespearean fools, a recurring type of character in Shakespeare's plays. In Hamlet one gravedigger singing a humorous song while digging leads Horatio to explain "Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness."[98]
  • "Don't leave home without it." - American Express Company, also known as AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York City, New York. "Don't Leave Home Without It" was a slogan for the AmEx credit card.[99]
  • Satchel Paige said Don't look back ... - Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige (July 7, 1906 – June 8, 1982) was an American baseball player. Among his many quotable sayings was "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."[100]
  • Like the number five in Monty Python and the Holy Grail those were right out - Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the comedy group Monty Python, and directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. The reference to five is to the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch where you count to three after removing the pin and to "Five is right out".[101]
  • Spring came to Guilford on little cat feet ... - "Fog" is an English haiku poem by Carl Sandburg. It starts with "The fog comes on little cat feet."[102]
  • ... grokked that. - Grok is a word coined by Robert A. Heinlein for his 1961 science-fiction novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, where it is defined as follows: "Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man."[103]
  • "Had we but world enough, and time, ..." - The six quoted lines come from To His Coy Mistress, a metaphysical poem written by the English author and politician Andrew Marvell (1621–1678).[104]
  • Here Be Dragons - "Here be dragons" is a phrase used to denote dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of the medieval practice of putting dragons, sea serpents and other mythological creatures in uncharted areas of maps.[105]
  • "Hi-yo Silver!" - The fictional character, the Lone Ranger, is a masked former Texas Ranger who fights injustice in the American Old West. Departing on his white stallion, Silver, the Lone Ranger would shout, "Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!".[106]
  • If it wasn't for the honor ... - Abraham Lincoln on the US Presidency: “I feel like the man who was tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. To the man who asked him how he liked it, he said: ‘If it wasn’t for the honor of the thing, I’d rather walk.’”[107]
  • ... have to show me ... Missouri - "I'm from Missouri, you've got to show me." This phrase is attributed to Congressman Willard Vandiver and indicates scepticism, requiring proof before the listener will believe it.[108]
  • "maybe the horse will learn to sing." - Fable attributed to Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian.[109]
  • "And maybe monkeys'll fly out my ass" - From the movie Wayne's World (1992) an expression skepticism: ‘I am sure he'll pay you back tomorrow.’ ‘Yeah right, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.’
  • no tengo la culpa - "No tengo la culpa", Spanish for "not my fault".[110]
  • He's pining for the fjords ... - Monty Python (sometimes known as The Pythons) were a British surreal comedy group that created Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. The "Dead Parrot Sketch" is arguably the most popular sketch from the program. John Cleese complains to a pet shop clerk that the "Norwegian Blue" parrot he sold him is dead but the clerk refuse to accept this claiming (among other things) that the parrot is "resting" and "pining for the fjords".[111]
  • "plus royaliste que le roi" - French for "more royalist than the king".[112]
  • "Please Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go." - "Mr. Custer" is a novelty song, sung by Larry Verne about a soldier's plea to Custer before the climactic Battle of the Little Bighorn against the Sioux, which he did not want to fight. The song is well known by the first line of the chorus: "Please Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go."[113]
  • "plus royaliste que le roi" - French for "more royalist than the king".[114]
  • vorpal blade ... "go snicker-snack" ... - Vorpal sword is a phrase used by Lewis Carroll in his nonsense poem "Jabberwocky". One line "the vorpal blade went snicker-snack!" when it was used to decapitate the titular monster.[115]
  • Something was rotten in the state of Serbia ... - This alludes to the quote from Hamlet, Act 1, scene 4: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."[116]
  • She remembered TANSTAAFL too ... - TANSTAAFL or "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" is a popular adage communicating the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing. The phrase and the acronym are central to Robert A. Heinlein's 1966 science-fiction novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, which helped popularize it.[117]
  • This is the way the world ends ... - "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper." are the last two lines in the final stanza of T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men.[118]
  • Trust but verify. - Trust, but verify is a form of advice given which recommends that while a source of information might be considered reliable, one should perform additional research to verify that such information is accurate. The proverb was adopted as a signature phrase by Reagan, who subsequently used it frequently when discussing U.S. relations with the Soviet Union.[119]
  • He belonged to the one percent, not to the ninety-nine. - We are the 99% is a political slogan widely used by the Occupy movement. The phrase directly refers to the concentration of income and wealth among the top earning 1%, and reflects an opinion that the "99%" are paying the price for the mistakes of a tiny minority.[120]
  • "What's in a name?" - "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet." - William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (Act 2, Scene 2).[121]
  • I want to get out of these clothes and into a dry martini - American actor Charles Butterworth is credited with the quip "Why don't you slip out of those wet clothes and into a dry martini?" from Every Day's a Holiday.[122]
  • ... in this long winter of the planet's discontent. - "Winter of our discontent" is the opening line from William Shakespeare's Richard III. In the Shakespeare play it is used to signify the end of winter, the opposite of what Bryce Miller meant here.[123]
  • Sitting at the laptop until beads of blood came out ... - Gene Fowler, an American journalist, author and dramatist, was well known for a witticism on writing: "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."[124]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Things Fall Apart, pg. 393, HC.
  2. Ibid, pg. 322, HC.
  3. Ibid, pg. 298, HC.
  4. Ibid, pg. 39, HC.
  5. Ibid, pg. 143, HC.
  6. Ibid, pg. 168, HC.
  7. Ibid, pg. 329, HC.
  8. Ibid, pg. 71, HC.
  9. Ibid, pg. 86, HC.
  10. Ibid, pg. 356, HC.
  11. Ibid, pg. 230, HC.
  12. Ibid, pgs. 49, 179, HC.
  13. Ibid, pg. 17, HC.
  14. Ibid, pg. 230, HC.
  15. Ibid, pg. 256, HC.
  16. Ibid, pg. 370, HC.
  17. Ibid, pg. 293, HC.
  18. Ibid, pg. 25, HC.
  19. Ibid, pg. 33, HC.
  20. Ibid, pg. 220, HC.
  21. Ibid, pg. 273, HC.
  22. Ibid, pg. 10, HC.
  23. Ibid, pg. 363, HC.
  24. Ibid, pg. 106, HC.
  25. Ibid, pg. 204, HC.
  26. Ibid, pg. 78, HC.
  27. Ibid, pg. 364, HC.
  28. Ibid, pg. 278, HC.
  29. Ibid, pg. 126, HC.
  30. Ibid, pg. 374, HC.
  31. Ibid, pg. 30, HC.
  32. Ibid, pg. 309, HC.
  33. Ibid, pg. 117, HC.
  34. Ibid, pg. 17, HC.
  35. Ibid, pg. 292, HC.
  36. Ibid, pg. 204, HC.
  37. Ibid, pg. 25, HC.
  38. Ibid, pg. 27, HC.
  39. Ibid, pg. 93, HC.
  40. Ibid, pg. 34, HC.
  41. Ibid, pg. 93, HC.
  42. Ibid, pg. 292, HC.
  43. Ibid, pg. 70, HC.
  44. Ibid, pg. 117, HC.
  45. Ibid, pg. 341, HC.
  46. Ibid, pg. 27, HC.
  47. Ibid, pg. 229, HC.
  48. Ibid, pg. 385, HC.
  49. Ibid, pg. 91, HC.
  50. Ibid, pg. 39, HC.
  51. Ibid, pg. 199, HC.
  52. Ibid, pg. 111, HC.
  53. Ibid, pg. 326, HC.
  54. Ibid, pg. 91, HC.
  55. Ibid, pg. 30, HC.
  56. Ibid, pg. 45, HC.
  57. Ibid, pg. 117, HC.
  58. Ibid, pg. 370, HC.
  59. Ibid, pg. 258, HC.
  60. Ibid, pg. 379, HC.
  61. Ibid, pg. 253, HC.
  62. Ibid, pg. 4, HC.
  63. Ibid, pg. 45, HC.
  64. Ibid, pg. 291, HC.
  65. Ibid, pg. 227, HC.
  66. Ibid, pg. 379, HC.
  67. Ibid, pg. 367, HC.
  68. Ibid, pg. 339, HC.
  69. Ibid, pg. 335, HC.
  70. Ibid, pg. 179, HC.
  71. Ibid, pg. 380, HC.
  72. Ibid, pg. 137, HC.
  73. Ibid, pg. 321, HC.
  74. Ibid, pg. 62, HC.
  75. Ibid, pg. 359, HC.
  76. Ibid, pg. 229, HC.
  77. Ibid, pg. 63, HC.
  78. Ibid, pg. 361, HC.
  79. Ibid, pg. 45, HC.
  80. Ibid, pg. 209, HC.
  81. Ibid, pg. 335, HC.
  82. Ibid, pg. 124, HC.
  83. Ibid, pg. 94, HC.
  84. Ibid, pg. 24, HC.
  85. Ibid, pg. 74, HC.
  86. Ibid, pg. 199, HC.
  87. Ibid, pg. 184, HC.
  88. Ibid, pgs. 26, 141, HC.
  89. Ibid, pg. 361, HC.
  90. Ibid, pg. 53, HC.
  91. Ibid, pg. 41, HC.
  92. Ibid, pg. 202, HC.
  93. Ibid, pg. 240, HC.
  94. Ibid, pg. 86, HC.
  95. Ibid, pg. 303, HC.
  96. Ibid, pgs. 27, 184, HC.
  97. Ibid, pg. 202, HC.
  98. Ibid, pg. 62, HC.
  99. Ibid, pg. 288, HC.
  100. Ibid, pgs. 198-199, HC.
  101. Ibid, pg. 30, HC.
  102. Ibid, pg. 376, HC.
  103. Ibid, pg. 257, HC.
  104. Ibid, pg. 361, HC.
  105. Ibid, pgs. 234, 383, HC.
  106. Ibid, pg. 4, HC.
  107. Ibid, pgs. 85, 322, HC.
  108. Ibid, pg. 75, HC.
  109. Ibid, pg. 330, HC.
  110. Ibid, pg. 77, HC.
  111. Ibid, pg. 374, HC.
  112. Ibid, pg. 382, HC.
  113. Ibid, pg. 179, HC.
  114. Ibid, pg. 382, HC.
  115. Ibid, pg. 45, HC.
  116. Ibid, pg. 155, HC.
  117. Ibid, pg. 183, HC.
  118. Ibid, pg. 266, HC.
  119. Ibid, pg. 63, HC.
  120. Ibid, pg. 112, HC.
  121. Ibid, pg. 291, HC.
  122. Ibid, pg. 103, HC.
  123. Ibid, pgs. 27, 201, HC.
  124. Ibid, pg. 130, HC.

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