Monday, December 07, 2020

Number 2476: Hey Kids! Eat your Wheaties and score a free Captain Marvel comic book!

Wheaties (the “Breakfast of Champions” as the advertising tag-line has said for decades) had a giveaway of free comic books in 1946 . Along with Captain Marvel Adventures, they had Whiz Comics, both from Fawcett, and Flash Comics and Funny Stuff from DC. If I had been a youngster at the time I would have bugged my parents mercilessly to get me Wheaties. The problem is that my dad, Big Pappy, worked in sales for the competition, Quaker Oats Company. Big Pappy frowned on buying anything from business rivals.

Here is a story from the Captain Marvel giveaway, identified by the Grand Comics Database as written by Bill Woolfolk, and drawn by Pete Costanza. There is another personal touch here. Along with the pandemic, this year in my town an earthquake in the spring set off thousands of aftershocks, and some damage to the Pappy abode. The real thing was no fun, but the story from the comic book is amusing. The “keystone rock,” the rock that holds all the other rocks in the world together, is found in an old well by Horace Shakum, and when scoffed at for his discovery, Horace uses it for revenge. He claims, “Just tapping the rock will produce violent earthquakes!” I admit it, earthquakes and aftershocks get me shakin' all over. Give Horace his accolades, and send him far away from that keystone.


Daniel [] said...

Belief that the Earth were a sphere was wide-spred in the days of Columbus; his claim was that the sphere were much smaller than computed. He was simply wrong. But Washington Irving fabulized the story, and many people have come to imagine that Columbus faced significant resistance from scholars.

In 4:1, Captain Marvel speaks of himself as a person distinct from Billy.

And, for once, a fairly good reason is offered for Captain Marvel's un-marveling at a crucial juncture, thereby creating a vulnerability.

There's a notion that the psychological instability frequently exhibited by crackpots somehow demonstrates that they are crackpots. From my readings of the history of science and from my experiences as a scientist, I'd disagree. It isn't being a crackpot, but being treated as society treats crackpots that makes some of the crackpots and some of those mistaken for crackpots exhibit social dysfunction. I can point to researchers such as Semmelweis and Boltzmann, who just lost it because of how orthodoxy treated them. And when a real crackpot is not treated as a crackpot, his or her social adaptation is usually fairly good.

My first paper was heterodox and foundational; had it never been accepted for publication, I would have been socially regarded as a crackpot. And I suffered some real abuse at one stage. When the paper was finally through the process, I had a partial emotional collapse.

Brian Barnes said...

OK, I don't know where to begin with this one! It's a fun read but it's like the found the keystone to logic and melted it with acid!

1. The wall of that well is built, it can't be the keystone!
2. Another completely illogical reason to transform back to Billy (the big cheese could fit in there easily, and there's a hundred other ways to deal with this.)
3. How come the hundreds of times Shazam has dude holes, tunnels, explosions, etc, caused earthquakes? Sure it's not the key stone but removing stones around keystones still destroys the structure. The keystone is just the final stone to lock it in, other stones still matter!
4. Just leaving that stone alone and unguarded means the next people that buy that house and do some renovation will kill us all!
5. Hey, Billy, maybe don't mention all this on the radio!

Yes, I just spend a good bit of time typing all that to Shazam story from almost 80 years ago!