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freakboy6117

Larger Than Life! Real people who could be pulp heroes.

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As I always post to these sort of thread Atomic Robo is a webcomic/print comic series about Nikola Tesla's atomic powered robot "Son"

 

Try The Shadow from Beyond Time. Where atomic Robo assists Charles Fort and HP Lovecraft against an extradimensional entity from outside time.

or  The Deadly Art Of Science in which atomic robo and Zen Gun slinging crime fighter team up to defeat a sinister plot involving a crystal skull and Odic force masterminded by none other than Edison in a final war of the currents.

 

and finally The Knights of the Golden circle where a temporally displaced and dying atomic robo teams up with Bass Reeves and Doc Holliday to fight a secret invasion of the united states by a German mad scientists with a zeppelin warship and an army of steampunk cowboy zombie cyborgs.

 

and thats just the pulp stories starring real people.

 

there is also a sister comic Real Science Adventures  which are stories in the same universe but without Atomic Robo the first story online (which is strangely the second published volume) is the The Billion Dollar plot in which the Centurions of Science a secret super team with Nikola Tesla, George Westinghouse,Annie OakleyCharles Fort, a young Ehrich Weiss(aka Harry Houdini), Wong Kei-ying and  Winfield Scott Lovecraft( HP lovecraft's father and in this world his salesman job is a cover for his role as an agent of the secret service) fight a deadly plot by a sinister Cabal of industrialists

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Running off at a bit of a tangent has anyone been reading  "Rough Riders" from "Aftershock comics ? A sort of American "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" with Teddy Roosevelt forming a team with Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison, Jack Johnson, Edward Eastman and Annie Oakley to investigate well I would call them "anomalies". Looks good so far (four issues down as far as I know).

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Willis Lee, admiral aboard USS Washington and commanding the US force for the final stage of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, also won six medals (small arms shooting, both individual and team) in the 1924 Olympics, and has been described as "the contemporary {1942} master of radar fire control".

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Willis Lee, admiral aboard USS Washington and commanding the US force for the final stage of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, also won six medals (small arms shooting, both individual and team) in the 1924 Olympics, and has been described as "the contemporary {1942} master of radar fire control".

I can't find anything in my "Complete Book Of The Olympics" about Lee winning any individual medals, only team medals in 1924. Which event did he win an individual medal in ?

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Tom Mix, Joseph Kittenger, -any- of the early rocket men (including Werner von Braun), with modifications, several U.S. Presidents would fit in the list: Abraham Lincoln, Andrew "Devil" Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt...Ugh, too little sleep to have any more pop into mind.

 

Possibly Harry Truman, being a WWI veteran and of the "colorful" vocabulary.

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Back to baseball, Ted Williams, known to have crazy good eyesight, served in 2 wars (WWII and Korea) as a pilot, though he only served in the war zones in the latter war.

 

Often downplayed his war record, if I remember, claiming that most of the other pilots were much better, and deserved more recognition.  Might have also served with John Glenn (cant remember though)

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Another from baseball.

 

Arlie Pond- a pitcher with the legendary Baltimore Orioles of the 1890s, one of the first college graduates in the league.  He went to college to practice medicine, and even doubled as team doctor with the Orioles.  When his career ended served as a doctor in the Spanish-American War in the Phillipines. Afterwards, after coming back to AMerica, and failing in an attempt to get back into baseball and marrying, he and his wife went back to the Phillipines (I think circa 1902) and spent most of the rest of his life until his death in 1930, helping the Philippine people with things like vaccination

 

Note: A lot of those Oriole players would become HOFers,  their manager Ned Hanlon, future managing greats John McGraw, WIlbert Robinson, and Hughie Jennings. Also other players  Wee Willie Keeler, and an early baseball star who was nearing the end by the 1890s, Dan Brouthers.  Also one of Pond's fellow pitchers was Joe Corbett, brother of the heavyweight champion.  And one other player he played with on those Oriole teams deserves mentioning, Kid Gleason who would later manage the ill-fated 1919 White Sox of the Black Sox scandal.

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Here's a woman with a gift for marrying pulp . . . heroes. Ganna Walska (1887-1984) is described in her Wikipedia page as an "opera singer and garden enthusiast." The "garden enthusiast" is because she created the Lotusland botanical gardens at her mansion in Montecito, California. By all accounts (and that means that I skimmed the Wikipedia page), an interesting setting for a pulp adventure.

 

But the "opera singer" is another matter entirely. She is the model of Susan Alexander, the amateur singer that Charles Kane tries to turn into a star in Citizen Kane, but the wealthy husband who promoted her was  scion of the McCormick dynasty, Harry Fowler McCormick, an amateur avaitor who received one of the animal gland transplant operations offered by Serge Voronoff to cure his impotency. Of course, in the pulps, that kind of surgery ends up giving you animal vitality and . . . appetites. (You have to write that with the ellipsis in front.) For a hero, it could be more of a Professor Challenger kind of thing.

 

Anyway, what with the impotence and all, that marriage was not long for the world. Her next (fourth) husband was, naturally enough, the inventor of a death ray, the Englishman Harry Grindell Matthews., who seems at the time to have been living in a  fortified laboratory on the coast of Wales, busily inventing ways of detecting submarines and seeding aerial mines against bombers, while working on a "stratoplane" that he offered to the British Interplanetary Society. Now, I think that in real life, some or most of these inventions might have been imaginary. But you can see where pulp writers get their ideas. (Or where Matthews got his.)

 

Walska's . . . appetites not being slaked by death rays and interplanetary space ships, she soon moved on to the famed "white lama," Theos Casimir Bernard, master of Tantric yoga. (If you know what I mean, and I think you do, etc, etc.) Bernard died in an attempt to reach the forbidden Key Monastery, in 1947, a year after Walska and Bernard were divorced.

 

Her first and second husbands were pretty colourful, too, although not quite as obvious a source of material. 

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If we are talking pilot/sportsmen how about the Australian test cricketer Keith Miller who served in the air force. Once when asked whether he was feeling pressure during a game he is supposed to have replied "Pressure  ? This isn't pressure. Pressure is having a Messerschmitt up your arse !"

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Another one I just found interesting.

 

Glen Curtis a pioneering engineer who developed built many legendary seaplanes I just found out not only was he a great inventor but was the only person ever to have achieve the world land speed record on a motorcycle which was the fastest motorcycle in the world for almost 30 years.

 

http://newatlas.com/glen-curtis-pioneer-aviator-land-speed-record-holder/46766/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget

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Another one I just found interesting.

 

Glen Curtis a pioneering engineer who developed built many legendary seaplanes I just found out not only was he a great inventor but was the only person ever to have achieve the world land speed record on a motorcycle which was the fastest motorcycle in the world for almost 30 years.

 

http://newatlas.com/glen-curtis-pioneer-aviator-land-speed-record-holder/46766/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget

Glenn Curtiss was, indeed, a great engineer and entrepeneur, but he never held the land speed record. He was timed at 136.36mph in a 1907 run at Ormond Beach, Florida, but lots of people were whizzing about tracks at high speeds at the time and claiming good times. That's why the "Land Speed Record" has rules, and adjudicators, and, from January 26, 1906 to November 6, 1909, by Fred Marriott, at 127.66mph, set in a Stanley Rocket.  

 

Sorry to be a bit peevish here, but Curtiss' claimed land speed record is p.r. Swallowing it whole is bad for history of technology, and almost certainly very, VERY bad for technology policy. (To see me bring some real sunshine to the thread, ask me what I really think of Nikolai Tesla.)

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Glenn Curtiss was, indeed, a great engineer and entrepeneur, but he never held the land speed record. He was timed at 136.36mph in a 1907 run at Ormond Beach, Florida, but lots of people were whizzing about tracks at high speeds at the time and claiming good times. That's why the "Land Speed Record" has rules, and adjudicators, and, from January 26, 1906 to November 6, 1909, by Fred Marriott, at 127.66mph, set in a Stanley Rocket.  

 

Sorry to be a bit peevish here, but Curtiss' claimed land speed record is p.r. Swallowing it whole is bad for history of technology, and almost certainly very, VERY bad for technology policy. (To see me bring some real sunshine to the thread, ask me what I really think of Nikolai Tesla.)

Okay i'll bight. What is your beef with Nicola Tesla ?

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Okay i'll bight. What is your beef with Nicola Tesla ?

 

He was a patent troll and a fabulist. He made money for his partners by stealing Galileo Ferrari's commutator-less induction motor and then spent the rest of his "career" entertaining the press. Although now that I think about it, I'm not sure that I should be directing my anger at a pathological liar (it's like being upset at a person in a wheelchair for not being able to reach the top shelf) so much as his enablers. 

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 That article doesn't  say that Tesla stole Ferrari's motor. Marconi stole some of Tesla's ideas for radio too and it has only been recently that Tesla has received any credit for his contributions. Simultaneous inventions do occur without theft as well, an example would be Edison and Swann inventing the incandescent electric light at about the same time on opposite sides of the Atlantic.  I think that you are being too harsh in your judgement of Tesla.

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This is what pisses me off about these discussions. No, the article doesn't say that Tesla stole the prior art. Tesla's whole career was basically, "Oh, yeah, I totally invented that first, but there was a lab fire/oh, hey, look at this vaguely plausible word salad." Then a League of Fabulising Gentlemen consisting of Croatian nationalists, crackpots, and people who think science fiction is real life combine to smooth over the cracks.

 

But what should have happened is that Ferrari should have hauled Tesla (and, more importantly, his backers) into court and the judge should have ripped them a new one. Prior art invalidates a patent! The fact that didn't happen would astonish anyone who didn't know about the gently-born American army officer who managed to patent the teepee just before the Civil War, or the Connecticut tinkerer who patented the padlock (7000 years old, the archaeologists tell us!), or the gardening book that tells us, with all seriousness, that the French drain was invented by a Nineteenth Century New England landscaper named "French."

 

American patent courts were notoriously corrupt. That was why there was a whole industry based on employing "inventors" (preferably fluent in major European languages) to pursue the "independent" invention of European breakthroughs. Some of those labs lasted long enough to transition into real research after WWII, when American technology finally caught up and zoomed past European (but, note, because this was mostly a matter of government funding, even backwards Japan had some elements of a "more advanced technology" than the United States in 1941). So what you get is European inventors like Joseph Swan and Henry Bessemer, in effect, throwing up their hands and accepting that they needed American partners --which motivated still more patent trolling.

 

So, from this perspective, Tesla wasn't such an awful person, but rather a stalking horse for his partners --the people with the influence to corrupt the courts. What bothers me about him is that he was such a fabulist. The idea that Marconi stole Tesla's radio inventions being a pretty clear case in point.

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Obviously we see this matter differently. It is is a little bit surprising to me that you seem to be so vehemently anti Tesla. You may have perfectly good reasons for this, but I haven't seen anything to prove any of your assertions so I shall continue to give Tesla the credit that I think is his due. Merry christmas !

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