Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four
Episodes 23 | 24 | 24 1/3 | 24 2/3 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 29 1/2
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Chris Carter of afp. Chris Carter also happens to be the name of the creator of the X-Files, a TV-show with secret plots, government conspiracies, "super-soldiers" and alien abductions. It also has a man who smokes a great deal and quite a bit of retrofitting and changing character motivations. "Kip" is a shortening of Christopher, just like Chris, and "James" refers to James/Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States.
Atsa right, Bos
Another pun on Bos/boss coupled with a fake Italian-English accent. Also referencing they way the Chico of the Marx brothers would speak.
twisty passages that looked mostly similar to each other
In text based adventure games that feature a labyrinth the gamer will usually face a "maze of twisty passages, all alike". In the original adventure game, Colossal Cave Adventure, the phrase "You are in a twisty maze of passageways, all alike" occurs.
"... but nothing's imposible, either."
As mentioned in the annotations for episode thirteen there used to be a Swedish version of the french TV-show Fort Boyard whose host was called Gunde Svan. One of his catchphrases was the "close doesn't count at the fort", the other was "ingenting är omöjligt" (nothing is impossible).
See Close doesn't count at the fort
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I missed the big party... hurry up with this story
Örjan goes meta. In real life Örjan missed the last Discworld Convention (DWCon02), while Marco went. That was the con mentioned by ppint in the very first Tale episode (before it even became the tale). Now Örjan and Marco, as well as Orjan and Marco are trying to finish this story by the next Con, in August this year (2004).
Update: ... and made it. Marco posted the last episode just before midnight on the 18th of August. The Con began the 20th.
See Chapter 1, episode 1
volcanic eruption that was plugged by that fortuitous asteroid
Örjan says he thinks he got it from some childrens cartoon spoofing Godzilla and disaster movies. Ingvar (see Autopet) says "It's a mainstay in the late 70s, early 80s Superman comics (I can recall at least one volcano blocked by a Big Honking Rock and I am sure it re-occured). He also played billiards with asteroids (and using something looking like a bazooka for the cue)."
Personally I thought it was about the fact that in 1997 two high profile volcano movies were made (Volcano and Dante's Peak) to be followed by two asteroid movies in 1998 (Deep Impact and Armageddon). Örjan commented that this was neat, but coincidental.
Manga nutter, as we say back home
A Manga nutter would be someone who is nuts for Japanese comics, a theme which runs through this entire episode. "Back home" for Örjan is Sweden, where the phrase "många nötter" means "many nuts", complete with the same connotations as in English.
... got a triple onion three times...
On the Discworld (© Terry Pratchett) there is a card game called Cripple Mr Onion where you can, among other things, get a Triple Onion. A version of the game playable with ordinary cards can be found here: Cripple Mr Onion
... it just had to decimate them!
To decimate is to remove one tenth, which the dragon figured wasn't doable since there were only nine men. Obviously he could have removed 0.9 of a man but since that would have killed the man it would have decreased the number of enemies by 1, thus violating the order. If you choose to be overly literate, which it did. Originally the word referred to killing every tenth man (to scare the rest I'd assume) but has now come to mean just killing (or removing) a large part of a group.
Forty-two is too much of a challenge...
42 is the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything, according to Douglas Adams (in The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy). The question was decided to be "how many roads must a man walk down", if I don't misremember.
Brian Wakeling (Sabremeister Brian) of afp. I don't know who this Ling, who I heard was an enemy of Modesty Blaise, is. And I keep thinking of Lucy Liu who played Ling in Ally McBeal and Uma Thurman's enemy in O-Ren Ishii Kill Bill vol. 1. I realise this is completely irrelevant though.
Modesty Blaise (from the comic of the same name). Blaise comes through Blaise Pascal, physiscist who got the SI unit for pressure named after him. Bar is another unit for pressure. Humility is of course a near-synonym of modesty. In the comic, Modesty Blaise is the former leader of a criminal organisation called The Network. Her specialty is a weapon called a kongo, or yawara stick.
... big knife fighter...
Willie Garvin, Modesty Blaise's constant sidekick, friend and everything except lover, is brilliant with all sorts of knives.
... a trick she's used a lot...
Something that Modesty and Willie used quite often was a trick they called "The Nailer". It involved Modesty taking her top off and either distracting some men long enough for Willie to pick them off with his knives or lying down on the ground and then kicking their butts when they came over to look at the half naked woman. Or, as here, luring the men into some trap. But, as was seen in episode 14, Northmen don't get distraced by bare breasts.
Episode Twenty-four 1/3
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Not really an annotation, just a phrase used by myriads of women (often blonde, always sexy) in sort of men's fantasy situations.
... colour of a crystal ball tuned to spirit laid to rest
The famous opening of William Gibson's "Neuromancer": "The sky was the colour of a television tuned to a dead channel."
Is in this case not a part for a guitar.
Agony and exstacy...
the song really goes: "Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony, Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh lord, why don't we?" It's by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.
It was hot and the noon... in the midst of the bed
This isn't a re-write. It's actually taken verbatim from Book I Elegy V: Corinna in an Afternoon, by Ovid.
"Yeah, but at least that has some literary merit. Mine just sucks."
Fiftyseven is Stacie Hanes who is a lit-critter. It also feels like I've heard something like that before, but that might be my mind looking for patterns where there aren't any.
... dressed like a dancing rodent... black and green leather... silk headscarf
The clothes described are something that could have come straight from the TV-series Xena the Warrior Princess, but in camouflage colours. A theme that is reinforced with the appearence of the second woman. Fiftyseven and Maizie represent Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle who are companions but also opposites. Xena is dark, brooding, violent and used to be evil. Gabrielle is a blonde farm girl who trains as a bard and later in the series begins to follow the way of Eli (a sort of Christ character) which means complete non-violence.
... simple corn-blue dress... hair tied up in braids.
Maizie is dressed like the other porn stereotype (the first being the dominatrix), the milkmaid who is introduced to the carnal pleasures in a haystack by some worldly man.
Maisie is one of those names that silly airhead blondes with big boobs tend to have in fiction. It would surprise me if Willie Garvin hasn't had a Maisie at some point. Maizie also later talks about liking buttered cobs and maize is a kind of corn. Her dress is (as you can see above) corn-blue - the colour that became cyan when it started being used in photography and, later, computers. The name cyan comes from the fact that in the 19th century cyanide was used instead of corn flowers to create this colour. Her hair is probably corn blonde as well.
Feminine, the fourth swordswoman of the apocaplyse
Stacie has "fourth swordswoman of the afpocaplyse" in her .sig since Jon Brierly called her that on afp. Feminine is also a play on one of the real Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Famine.
Stacie Hanes of afp. The slogan of the company Heinz says that they has 57 different varieties and Heinz sounds a bit like Hanes. In reality Heinz had a lot less than 57 varieties when the slogan was first thought up, and a lot more now. Stacie used to be in the US Navy, hence the various references to camouflage.
"Welcome to the cage of fools."
This is a direct translation of "La Cage Aux Folles", a French film about a guy introducing his girlfriend's conservative parents to his gay father. It was remade in the US as "The Birdcage". Bird is actually "oiseau" in French. In the film, La Cage Aux Folles is a burlesque show, hence the connection, although, IIRC, actual women are not involved.
"Good morning, milord" - "That's Tracie"
Tracy Lords, famous actress of movies like "Talk Dirty to Me, Part III" and "Swedish Erotica 57". Looking at IMDb I have to say that my favourite title is "Beverly Hills Copulator" though. She made 50-60 or so such films during the 80s. She is also apparently a decent DJ, according to my boyfriend who once attended a club where she DJ'd.
ladies of negotiable affection
The usual euphemism for prostitutes in the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett.
A showgirl, complete with feathers and all. She also refers to Daisy Duck and the Duckman from the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. The Duckman has a duck on his head, but is apparently oblivious of this fact. If someone asks him about it he'll say "What duck?"
what a novel place to put a feather
Quote from Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett. It's on p.109 in the Corgi paperback.
"You are a very fine swan indeed."
From the song "The Ugly Duckling" by Danny Kaye, based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen.
Gum arabic is a substance often used for the consistency in candy. What Stacie really got stuck in her belly button was latex, though.
"I was a guard on a merchant ship"
Stacie Hanes was a Petty Officer in the US Navy.
Tracie almost demammarised herself... female archers
Reference to the Amazons, who in Greek mythology cut off one breast to improve the draw of their bows.
"I only like to hit people. If it can make someone go 'ow!' then I
want one, preferably in green and black."
Exact quote from Stacie. The green and black refers to camouflage.
I like buttered cobs... Grease the nuts!
Amongst the meanings of the word "cob" are: a corn cob; a wild hazelnut; or a short legged horse. Capulette, having a naturally equine turn of mind, is mistaking the first of these meanings for the third. In an afp thread headed "Cobnuts", her original, Jenny Delaney, deliberately confused the second for the third, hence Daisie's comment, which also suggests the mutterings of the similarly reality-impaired Foul Ole Ron - a beggar in the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett.
Another meaning of the word "cob", incidentally, is a male swan which can easily be tied to Daisie.
Episode Twenty-four 2/3
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"Thar she blows... crabble me bowsprit. Ahar. Er..."
A direct quote, subbing Turbot for Swede and Holly for Queeg, from a comment made by Jon Brierley after someone said they wanted to see the Tale's authors "whaling" on each other.
Turbot is also a reference to a former afper involved in a nasty flamewar before my time. It's also an inherently funny word, which has led to it being the fish that assaulted Lord Percy in "Blackadder II", as well as the name of a Discworld beer and an old flame of Jeff's in the British TV-series "Coupling".
Holly replacing Queeg is a reference to Red Dwarf's computer Holly, and back-up computer Queeg. Which is itself a reference to Captain Queeg from "The Caine Mutiny". Jon was actually thinking of Queequeg from "Moby Dick".
Ahab is also the captain in Moby Dick, which fits with "Ahar" at the end there, but since the latter is a common feature in pirate-speak that's probably a co-incidence.
Jon de Almondbread
Jon Brierley of afp. He wrote, under the name of Sir John de Maddeville, about his voyages to the lands of the Wossnames, rather than Lemmings. Which is both an animal and a computer game Pterry has removed and utterly destroyed any trace of on his computer. Sir John de Mandeville was a man who wrote stories of his amazing travels in the 15th century. Almondbread in German is Mandelbrot, which is close to Mandeville. Simple, isn't it?
He said he would not return... shoreline of Julia Island
Like Benoit Mandelbrot, Gaston Julia had a fractal set named after him. Measuring the outer edge of a fractal accurately is impossible as, no matter how finely you mesure, there are always details you are passing over. Fractals are considered to have an infinite boundary.
In fact, any coastline is fractal, since it is made up of countless irregularities.
Gleam Street, Ankh Morpork.
buxom Julia. She's running a gambling syndicate too
Julia Jones of afp. Who has written a series of novels entitled "The Syndicate". It's said to be "A heartwarming tale about geek love among the stars" and a bit explicit. Which fits rather well with this episode.
a proper sailor name, like Nels or Chrys
Lord Horatio Nelson and Christopher Columbus.
Who've ever heard of a sailor called Selene?
Selene is a moon goddess, so this is a reference to the anime series "Sailor Moon". More generally the whole scenario is a pastiche of another sexual stereotype: Japanese girls in sailor suits. The sailor suits are school uniforms, so it's a lolita theme.
"Burberry" is the clothing company that invented the trenchcoat, and they use a beige plaid fabric somewhere on everything they make. Quite often it's the lining. "Buru sera" = "bloomer sailor" is Japanese-English for the underwear of girls in sailor suits.
"Tracie and Daisie, they might be crazy, but I'll never be your girl."
Refers to the song So Long by Abba.
Chasing, dazing, driving me crazy
But I'll never be your girl
the strength of the web deteriorated quite quickly.
Spider-Man's web fluid deteriorates rapidly as well. This is why New York isn't covered in the stuff.
The Japanese word bukkake means "sprinkle". In feudal times it referred to a punishment for infidelity, in which the men of the village ejaculated over the guilty party. This meaning is still used, although now for consensual activity. Hence Affor being "covered in seamen".
Refers to "shibari", the intricate Japanese art of tying people up that is now popular all over the world.
Refers to a Manga comic by that name.
Footnote: to be the latest god
Cargo-cult reference. Supposedly people living on exotic islands used to worship things that floated to shore.
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barrel full of lances... dragon... cook up a real live gryphon?
The Swedish fighter airplanes made by Saab (I believe) are called Tunnan, Lansen, Draken, Viggen, and Gripen. Which means "the barrel", "the lance", "the dragon", "the thunderbolt" or, possibly, "the tufted duck" and "the gryphon". The Viggen plane was left out by Marco on account of him believing (like me) that Viggen refered to the duck, and not being able to fit that in.
Ça va, mon vieux? and malheur
The former approximately means "How are you, old boy?" in French. The latter means misfortune, or bad luck.
"Hoom," muttered Bart slowly.
Bart the Woodsman is speaking like an ent from the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. The reason is that Leo Breebaart (see Bart the Woodsman) has been compared to this "flame warrior" ent. He has also, though Marco didn't know this, said himself that he's an ent, in a comparison between afp and the Lord of the Rings universe:
Continuing this analogy on a slightly smaller scale, I suppose that makes me the a.f.p. equivalent of an Ent: not going anywhere, just becoming increasingly more fossile and grumpy and nostalgic about the Olden Days when the world was young and life was good. Even the name (Breebaart/Treebeard) fits, and of course I too am always on the lookout for a female of my species -- without any hope of success whatsoever.
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sounding eerily like the cry of underground spirits
In The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett, the character Twoflower is trying to explain a new concept of social forces to another character, Rincewind. This phenomenon is called, in Twoflower's langauge, "reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits", or echo-gnomics.
he's got a huge cellar - What an adventure! - colossal cave...
FiX, upon whom Ballong is based, is rather fond of wines and often talks about his large collection thereof. In wine circles that's usually what "having a large cellar" means, that you have many bottles, rather than that it's a large space.
Advent or Adventure or Colossal Cave (really Colossal Cave Adventure) is a very old computer game, the first real adventure game actually. It's been referenced once before, by Marco. See twisty passages that looked mostly similar to each other
Cave is also the French word for wine cellar.
... net a hacking cough - rogue monsters loose - dark abyss
NetHack, Rogue and Dark Abyss - three more classic computer games. NetHack and Rogue are both random dungeon games.
Also see "... stare into the abyss for too long."
Sounds like a children's story, to me.
The plot of The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien is quite like what Villtin has just described. The Hobbit was also an early computer RPG, most notable for being the origin (possibly) of dwarves constantly singing about gold.
Now we're cooking with charcoal
"Now we're cooking with gas" is an English expression meaning "now we're on to something" or "now things are going well". On the Discworld (in the books by Terry Pratchett) gas is substituted for charcoal since they do this industrial-society thing bit differently than here on Earth.
Ballistic cabbages at dawn.
"Cabbages [ballistic or otherwise] at dawn!" is a mock-challenge common on afp. It's also been done for real (with the winner facing Terry Pratchett, if Örjan recalls correctly) at at least one CCDE.
"What's dripping down from the roof?"
In Alien (the movie Marco is so fond of referring to) a man is looking for a cat when he notices slime coming down from above. His end is much like that of these guys. Of course, the dragon has for a while now been firmly established as the alien.
See The dragon yawned... partial to flesh.
Il faut cultiver son jardin
"One has to maintain one's garden" in French. The closing phrase of Candide, by Voltaire.
crest of the McAroney family
Macaroni. A joke on the Scottish clan names beginning with Mc or Mac (meaning "of" or "son of" I believe). It's a fairly common joke, other examples are McAbre (from Discworld) and McAnix (from Asterix).
Rhino Carte Blanche
Örjan's favourite cognac is Renault Carte Noir. "Blanche" is white in French, while "noir" is black. "Rhino" of course sounds a bit like Renault.
rundlet - tierce - tuns - firkins
All these are types of barrels.
mead and dricku
Referrs to the saying "both meat and drink", especially that to the Norse god Odin mead has been described as being both meat and drink.
Dricku, or Gotlandsdricku, is a Swedish homebrewed beer-like beverage flavoured with juniper berries. It's mainly made on the island of Gotland. Dricku is simply the word "dricka" (Swedish for drink) pronounced in a Gotland dialect.
"I love the smell of brassica in the morning"
A very famous, and often quoted, line from the movie Apocalypse Now, by Francis Ford Coppola, is "I love the smell of napalm in the morning". It's from a longer speach which goes:
You smell that? Do you smell that?... Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
Brassica is botanical latin for the cabbage family of plants.
The League Against Turgorial Discrimination, Manifested is a reference to the Manifesto of the League Against Turgorial Discrimination, put forth by Richard Bos (See Dextra Bos) in the summer of 2000.
"nut, nut, nut," bos offered, still in legume mode.
Not an annotation, but anyway. Nuts are not legumes (and Örjan knows this). Peanuts, however, are legumes. This is something that us peanut allergics never tire (we wish) of explaining to people. Especially people who think that since I can't eat peanuts I obviously can't eat any other nuts either, or almonds (also not nuts). However, they'll happily serve me soydrenched peas, which I can't eat since I'm allergic to legumes...
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Leno - Bobbob
Jay Leno is an American talk show host who has been mentioned before (See ... stroking his chin - which had not been shaved for three days. It was of old oak, and fifteen feet high). However, here all we want is his first name, Jay. Jay and Silent Bob (Bobbob doesn't have a speaking part) are two recurring characters in Kevin Smith's Jersey cycle of movies: Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Trivia: Jay and Silent Bob also appear in Scream 3. Silent Bob (who actually does speak once in Dogma) is played by Kevin Smith himself, and Jay by his friend Jason (Jay) Mewes, who used to work in Kevin's comic book store. Other (famous) recurring actors in Kevin Smith's movies are Ben Affleck (5), Matt Damon (3) and Jason Lee (5). Less famous actors also occur in more than one movie, Kevin Smith likes to use the same people over and over. Producer Scott Mosier has bit parts in all of them.
Wine, wine, wine, wine
Together with Lowmar's "Hiho" comment it's pretty clear that this is a reference to the favourite song of the dwarves: Gold, gold, gold, gold. With the famous chorus of: Gold, gold, gold, gold.
... dunked him head-first... nailed the lid on.
In Richard III by William Shakespeare the Duke of Clarence is murdered by being drowned in a barrel of wine. Whether he was in fact shoved in a barrel or not, is still a contested fact, though there doesn't seem to be much evidence in favour of the theory. A Google search will show that the thing is a complete fabrication, he was decapitated, that it was in fact a barrel of malmsey and that it was actually a barrel of madeira, and he was hung head-down in it. Water has also been suggested. So take your pick.
... that glowing, green crystal.
In the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve, there are a couple of glowing, green crystals. One is a recording of Superman's real father, Jor-El, and the other one restores Superman's powers in case of emergency.
"Enough of this nonsense... time for action!"
Marco says: "There's a sigfile I've seen someone sport that says something along the lines of "Now is not the time to take action, now is the time to wibble incessantly!" Can't remember whose sig, though, and don't know what the original source is."
"Jag kan hantera en såg, Jag kan yxa en båt, Jag kan ro!"
These lines come from a Swedish song called "Hon kom över mon" (She came across the sandy heath) by Contact (a Swedish progg band from the 1970s). It's also been done by Dia Psalma. The lines mean:
I can handle a saw
I can hew a boat
I can row!
"... och vulkanen börjar morra... springer som fan!"
A line from a Swedish song called "Den saltaste bönan i stan" or "Sodom och Gomorra", from a revue/variety show. It was written by Ulf Peder Olrog and performed by Annalisa Ericsson. Sadly I can't find the full lyrics, but the quoted line means "... and the volcano starts to roar. Well then I take my handbag and run like hell".
"That's your opinion, Jimmy"
Refers to a Jimmy who briefly appeared on afp and made himself impopular by, among other things, claiming that it is physically impossible for a woman to handle a proper sword. Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary from others on the group.
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"The small red and white balls... that opened them"
Pokéballs. In the Pokémon universe (TV-show, games etc.) people go around capturing different creatures in little balls that are half white, half red and have a button on the side. When the putton is pushed the creature is released and ready to fight. The small yellow mouse creature is Pikachu, main creature of Ash, the hero in Pokémon. Pikachu goes around saying "pika" all the time, but here he died halfway through. Örjan has kids and has apparently got Pikachu toys up to here, as he'd really like to see him dead :o)
... strange tube... flat bit stuck on one end... the word "Lux"... produce light
It's an Electrolux vacuum cleaner. Of the old sort that had a cylindrical body, a bit like a barrel, and the tube comes out the top. Electrolux's first vacuum cleaner was called Lux 1 and had the word LUX written on the side. Lux more commonly means "light" in latin and is a unit for measuring light intensity.
"... rounded oblong with numbers... "Nookie"... vibrated"
A Nokia cellphone, set to vibrate. "Nummer", the Swedish word for number, is also Swedish slang for nookie.
"Kal-el cardia luthor!"
Kal-el was Superman's name on Krypton, his birth planet, and cardia means heart. So the incantation is basically "Superman ♥ Luthor". Since Lex Luthor is Superman's arch enemy this would only be true in certain types of fanfic - probably based on the TV-series Smallville, where Superman is still just Clark Kent and friends with Lex Luthor.
... a sphere, so black... a perfectly white cube...
These are two of the geometrical objects mentioned earlier. The perfectly white cube comes from the Infocom computer games. The blackness of the sphere could be a reference to the similarly deep blackness of the Monoliths in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey novels.
"Are you ready?" ... "Clench your teeth, clench your teeth."
The words Autopet, Westala and Villtin are chanting come from a song called "Är du redo?" by a Swedish artist called Orup. He is most recently known for writing the Swedish entry in the Eurovision song contest (2004) "It hurts". Unfortunately I can't find the lyrics for you.
The magical word that opens doors is of course Sesame, only backwards this time.
Up, up and away...
Another Superman reference.
This exchange was lifted almost verbatim from the movie Blues Brothers by John Landis. Only there it's "shit" instead of dung.
The Pengabinge is what Scrooge McDuck's money bin is called in English. Considering how he guards his money, it's probably a very good word to use for a warding spell.
The dragon just came closer... magicians footsteps
The dragon is mimicking the behaviour of the Luggage in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Being two menacing, eyeless creatures that eat people, and have an ability to go pretty much anywhere, the dragon and the Luggage are pretty much kindred spirits.
... crimson hat...
Red Hat is a version of the Linux operating system. To defenestrate really means to throw someone out a window, but in modern computer speak it means to throw out Windows in favour of some other operating system, often Linux. Richard Bos (see Dextra Bos) isn't a big fan of Windows.
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"You can't kill the boseyman"
"You can't kill the bogeyman" is either a quote from the horror film Hallowe'en, or a Phrase Or Saying the aforementioned film franchise co-opted.
Three shimmering tetrahedrons, one red, one blue and one yellowy green...
A tetrahedron is a four-sided solid. A regular tetrahedron is a pyramid with a triangular base, consisting of four identical equal triangles. These are, presumably, another three of the geometrical objects mentioned earlier.
In the Nintendo game Legend of Zelda, there were three Triforces, which were shown as triangles. In the comics, which Marco read, "the Triforce of Strength was depicted as being red and the Triforce of Wisdom as yellow or, in some cartoons, green, which I actually preferred. The Triforce of Courage was not ever shown, to my knowledge, but going by RGB logic I thought it had to be blue."
In one of the sequels, Ocarina of Time, all the triforces are golden. The godesses that made the triforces on the other hand are red, green and blue.
The Nookie device started playing what someone must have thought was a jolly little tune...
Reference to irritating musical ringtones on mobile phones (see Nookie). The Nokia one is particularly irritating since it's by far the most common one you hear. And hear, and hear, and hear...
"In three minutes this area will be a cloud of vapour the size of Detbradskar."
True to form, Marco makes another reference to Aliens here:
RIPLEY: "I don't wanna hear it, Bishop! She's alive. And
there's still time."
BISHOP: "In nineteen minutes this area is gonna be a cloud of vapour the size of Nebraska."
"Det brådskar" have a superficial visual resemblance to "Nebraska", but also happens to be Swedish for "it's getting short on time", and is defined by Marco as "when you're almost at the station, five minutes before the train leaves, and you discover you have forgotten the tickets at home and it's a five-minute trip home between your house and the station."
"Will you stop counting!" ... "Yes", said the Varing. "In two minutes, twenty-five seconds."
Another reference to The Hitchhiker's Guite to the Galaxy trilogy. In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, when Arthur has tied up the ship's computer and the ship is under attack, this scene is played out with Ford counting down the time until they are destroyed and Zaphod says "Will you stop counting!"
Book of Jobs
Refers to the biblical Book of Job, but also note that Bos is an adept of Jobs-Imac, and the "proverbs of Jobs" were also mentioned by Messy Marall when she was introduced.
"the scrolls of Xu-nil Xinu."
Linux and Unix backwards.
Episode Twenty-nine and a half
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the streets of Anorankhmar.
The name of the previously unnamed Ankh-Morpork-like city, created by combining the Holy Anorankh of afp with Fafhrd and the Mouser's Lankhmar. Shortly before this episode was written, Marco and Orjan realised they probably needed a name for the city, and being unable to come up with one themselves, they asked afp for help. The winner was contributed by Daibhid.
"Always look on the bright side of life."
The title of the famous song sung at the end of Monty Python's Life of Brian.
Autopet stopped counting, and they waited almost without breathing ... They got to wait almost a minute
This caused a bit of discussion, but it was eventually agreed that this shows that just like on Terry Pratchett's Discworld, in the Taleworld, too, a strong magic field slows light down, as explained by Marco:
One mile is equal to 1'609 metres. The speed of sound, at sea level and normal atmospheric pressure, is about 340 metres per second. 1'609 / 340 = 4,732352941... - i.e. sound needs 4,73 seconds to travel a mile. Multiplied by 13 gives 61,52 seconds. Let the speed of light (in a magic field) be slightly over the speed of sound, and you have "almost a minute" for the light to reach our heroes, and the sound "a few seconds later".
This only goes to show that maths are best done when you don't really think about what you're doing.
It opened in the study of a scriptwriter
Apparently, the Barrier inspired Highlander. Not the other way round at all, oh no.
An arc of blue-white current wormed and squirmed its way up between the metal rods
All the special effects here comes from the Terminator films, indicating that time travel is about to happen.
Footnote: He had a rubber duckie for that sort of thing
Refers to a couple of somewhat mystical mentions by Peter Ellis on afp.
Under the skin of his forearms something moved, and over the knuckles of each hand three steel claws slid out
As has already been established, the real world inspiration of Peterwok, Peter Ellis, in no way or form resembles an Ewok (see Peterwok. Or does he? He seemed to grudgingly admit as much:
OK, so I'm an Ewok, but I'm the Ewok version of Wolverine, OK?
This is a reference to the Marvel Comics character James Howlett, aka Logan, aka Project Weapon X, aka Wolverine. It appears Marco believed his claims.
Nine months later, they had a baby.
This scene explains where Peterwok's missing clone egg ended up (see An arc of blue-white current), which in turn explains how Westala and Autopet can be, genetically speaking, near-identical twins while being unrelated. It might, or might not, be worth mentioning that another famous barbarian from the north - Conan - had a father who was a blacksmith, too. Daibhid found another reference there, though, which while not intended appealed so much to Marco he decided to claim it was. In Daibid's words:
Oh, dear Lord, I think I've finally worked this one out.
Would I be right in assuming that, despite the festival of Hanoverian Hinckley taking place in a few days, the story is set in July?
This would give the name of afper April Goodwin-Smith.
"I ordered garlic-flavoured ... dipped in butter!"
Now that is going back a bit. In the leadup to the 2002 Discworld convention, Ingvar informed Marco that:
Anyone carrying anything resembling a machete at the con will be ejected. The security trolls will also confiscate your breadsticks if you look suspicious.
When Marco was asked if he was entitled to carry any offensive weaponry, he was told "a limp asparagus, dipped in butter." The garlic came into it somewhere as well.
They had a slap-up tea, with cream buns
The traditional end to Thrilling Adventures. Just ask Malicia Grim, heroine of Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and..., or any number of Enid Blyton protagonists.
"Är det en rullad affisch,
Eller kanske en pain riche,
Eller har du var't ute och fångat en levande svan?"
This is from a Swedish revue song, called, "Vad har du i fickan Jan" (What's that in your pocket Jan), though the only part I remember apart from the title (and first line) is "är det en jättebanan" (is it a giant banana). That should suffice to tell you what sort of song it is, i.e. one asking whether Jan is glad to see the lady singing. In case you're really interested, a literal translation could look like this:
Is it a rolled-up poster,
Or maybe a pain riche, (small baguette)
Or have you been out to catch a living swan?
"There is that big festival in Hannoverian Hinckley in a few days' time."
The 2004 Discworld Convention, at the Hanover Hotel, Hinckley.
See I missed the big party... hurry up with this story
Swedish revue, again. It's referring to a comic lecture on humour, featuring a joke about a person called "Fingal Olsson". The basic joke is:
"Tell me, isn't that Fingal Olson sitting over there?"
"Nah, he's dead."
"He can't be, he's moving."
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