Barks on Discovery Channel
nils at math.uio.no
Fri Dec 23 02:00:01 CET 2005
I really don't know these things so well, but apparently
there's something called "The Mythbusters" on "Discovery
channel". They take some appropriate "myth" and make
a programme out of trying to "debunk" or "confirm" it.
I happened to watch today (from Norway; I've no idea
how this channel operates in other countries), and the
"myth" in question was, interestingly, the idea that
you can get a sunken boat back to the surface by
pumping a large enough number of ping-pong balls
into its vessel. As _we_ already know, the educated listees,
this works, as demonstrated in Barks' May 1949 ten-pager
from Comics & Stories.
So they sank their boat, the "Mythtanic", and invented
a practical scheme for filling it with the ping pong balls.
And after about 27,000 balls, lo & behold, it rose from
the seabed to the surface. So the "myth" was declared
"valid", or "plausible", albeit not very practical -- one thing
is to stir a sunken boat at the seabed, another thing is for
all the balls to actually _lift_ the boat, e.g. creating an
enormous pressure just under the deck, which needs
to be very strong everywhere to not be torn asunder
in the lifting process.
At the very end of the programme the 1949 Duck story
was briefly mentioned, complete with quickly shown scans
of the story, and "Disney / Gladstone" appeared briefly
as acknowledgements scrolled past. No details were given
re the Karl Krøyer 1964 story; this Danish engineer tried
to patent the idea, after having used it in a Kuwait harbour,
but was told that he couldn't get the patent since the idea
was published in 1949 -- in Walt Disney's Comics & Stories.
See also http://www.starch.dk/isi/kroyer/donald2.htm .
Nils Lid Hjort
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