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Methauris 
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Post Methauris
A site called semantic librray lists a work by RAH I had never heard of - Methauris - an english edition published by Kaktos, Athens in 1978.

The only other reference that seems to be a plausible source for this is in latin:

Aristoteles vero in Methauris dicit quod tonitru fit vento incluso in nubibus, et hoc ignito et cum sonito exculso, unde prius fit sonitus, posterius vero coruscatio nos vero prius videmus coruscationem quam audiamus tonitro, et hoc contingit quia visus acuitior est et promptier ... aerem U 46 videlicet] scilicet UV 49 in methauris dicit] tr. ...



in my really bad Latin:

Aristoteles in truth, in accordance with Methauris, says that (thunder?) happens (with?) wind and is enclosed in clouds, and this (lights a fire?) and together resounds (??) from strength is created sound, later in truth a strong flash we see glittering that (we) are able to hear thunder, and that it happens because (we) go to see sharply and to be (first?)

Possibly an early natural history?

even Amazon does not have this and there sem to be basicilly no english references.


Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:22 pm
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Post Re: Methauris
If the translation was a little more promising, I'd be inclined to think it was a mislabled piece *about* Heinlein by some Euro. . . that started to happen here and there as you get into the mid-60s and later.

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:29 pm
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Post Re: Methauris
Turns out to be a translation of The Day After Tomorrow. I have no idea why the other site had all that Latin in there.

Also sorry for the hurried typing...it never looks that bad until after I hit send...

And all that started because I was looking for some details about what RAH did during WW2. I know he worked in aeronautical engineering, but other than a few tidbits I have never really known what the main focus of his work was. I speculate it was classified but it would seem likely at this point that any military classifications would have expired by now. Starship was long after that war and there seemed very little in there about the research end of things, which I presume he would have been expert in if he did that during the war.


Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:11 am
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Post Re: Methauris
I'm pretty sure Bill's THJ has an article or three on that subject. . .

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Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:44 am
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Post Re: Methauris
Once again, I'm relying on memory here, I have a biography of Fred Pohl. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that Mr. Pohl, states hat RAH, was working on bomb sights for aircraft. I know that several other sci-fi authors were also working with or in nearby labs, but their names escape me. I have always taken the chapter in TEFL, about the Man Who was Too Lazy to Fail, to be loosely based on Heinlein's life. In that story something is mentioned about classified bomb sights. Hope this helps and I'm not muddying the waters.


Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:48 am
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Post Re: Methauris
Relying on memory but I think he also researched aviation pressure suits.

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Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:11 pm
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Post Re: Methauris
JackKelly wrote:
Relying on memory but I think he also researched aviation pressure suits.

That was De Camp, who worked on (among other things) the constant-volume body joints that ended up with his name.

I think the only thing we are certain Heinlein worked on was plastic aircraft canopies, which might have led to work with helmet faceplates.

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Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:26 pm
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Post Re: Methauris
We had a panel on RAH's work during World War II at the Centennial. Plus, I have a talk about RAH's connections to the history of space suits. I still haven't written this down. Hoping to do so in 2010.

JamesGifford wrote:
JackKelly wrote:
Relying on memory but I think he also researched aviation pressure suits.

That was De Camp, who worked on (among other things) the constant-volume body joints that ended up with his name.

Sort of. De Camp worked on such joints for a couple of weeks, after the war, according to his autobiography.

He was later surprised when somebody told him about "de Camp joints." He was unable to track down anyone who actually used that name. I believe the phrase exists only in the pages of Rocket Ship Galileo. Presumably Heinlein was tipping a hat to his friend; possibly one of his readers jumped to conclusions and alerted de Camp. I have not come across any mention of de Camp in my (modest) reading of pressure-suit literature.

De Camp wrote "The nearest any of us got to space suits was when I saw a suit, submitted by a private contractor, being tested by Larry Meakin, one of the civilian engineers, in the Altitude Chamber." (I'm pretty sure this was the Army's Goodyear XH-3 suit.)

In a letter concerning preparation for Destination Moon around 1949, Heinlein recommends Larry Meakin as an expert on pressure suits.

Heinlein did not do hands-on work that I've been able to document; his 1957 statement about pressure suits is weasel-worded, AND it contradicts de Camp's testimony.

"When we got into the war he [Bud Scoles] sent for me, put me in charge of a high-altitude laboratory of which one of the projects was the development of a space suit (then called a high-altitude pressure suit.) I worked on it for a short while, then was relieved by L. Sprague de Camp, who is an aeronautical and mechanical engineer as well as a writer; he carried on with this research all through the war, testing and developing many space suits."

I've recently learned that Leon Stover discusses pressure suits in Science Fiction from Wells to Heinlein, making a real mess of the facts.
Quote:
I think the only thing we are certain Heinlein worked on was plastic aircraft canopies,

Yes, setting aside his administrative and recruitment work early in the war.
Quote:
which might have led to work with helmet faceplates.

I know of no real-life evidence for this.

However, "Misfit" has a change in its postwar revision for book form, and Galileo has a detail in a description of a bubble helmet, both of which reflect Heinlein's plastics experience acquired during the war.

You folks pushed my infodump buttons...

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Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:38 pm
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Post Re: Methauris
There's a May 1943 work order in the archives signed by RAH as "Test engineer" re the redesign of a machine, including detailed schematics, to test "modulus of elongation" of rubber specimins at low temperatures. Ghu only knows why he kept that. One could speculate towards altitude suits with that, but certainly not exclusively.

There are also assignment/promotion type docs that show him being changed from "mechanical engineer" to "materials engineer". Also moving from "plastics and adhesives section" to "rubber and resins" section.

There's also an unfilled-out template that looks very consistent in design with earlier official docs re "breathing oxygen analysis" including temperature and atmo pressure. That too could be pressure-suit related. Tho it is not filled out, so perhaps he picked up elsewhere in the lab because he was interested rather than working on it himself officially.

He seems to have kept at least those efficiency ratings documents that show him as "Excellent".

There's also a 1943 doc from RAH to a subordinate engineer re plastics testings projects aimed at various parts of an airplane or its usual contents. . . ammo boxes, "fairings, panels, doors" etc

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Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:09 pm
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Post Re: Methauris
Oh, and to how the more fantastic kind of rumors got started, well, here's a recruiting pitch to someone named "George" and engineering friends. . .

"I wish I could tell you something about the work, but naturally almost all of it is confidential. But I can assure you that much of it is a good bit more fantastic than any thing I dared to put into stories."

Baiting the hook with plastic worms, Robert --naughty, naughty!

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Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:38 pm
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