Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Land Leviathan

Two motorbikes are smashing a path through Legoland!

Followed by a remote-controlled bathchair! You would think that the proprietors of Legoland would learn from experience and put up a sign.

In fact that lower image is a rare still from the 1919 movie "Earth Against White Slavers from Mars" from Edison Studios, their first venture into the alien-invasion genre. It was mocked mercilessly by movie critics of the day on account of the shoddy special effects -- "The Martian war machine," wrote one critic, "looked like a remote-controlled bathchair smashing a path through Legoland" -- and the studio was overcome with embarrassment and destroyed all the negatives. Thus it is little-appreciated except by members of the Riddled Time Travel and Film Club.

The original concept was stolen from Frank Shuman's cunning plan to win World War I with a 5000-ton three-wheeled crushing machine which would crash through the countryside at 100 m.p.h  killing civilians (it was not designed to survive an encounter with artillery), powered by 1000-horsepower steam engines yet to be built, until its oil or coal ran out. In short it was the Project Pluto of its day.

You might ask yourself, "So how do we transport a 5000-ton backwards-driving 'Land Battleship' from the shipyards of Sheffield to the shooty places? Fording rivers is all very well, but isn't there an English Channel in the way, or even an Atlantic Ocean if the giant future-destroyer is constructed in the US?" You might especially ask that if you are a paid shill for the rival Submarine-Land- Dreadnaught lobby or the printing-in-red-ink lobby.

But Frank Shuman was a distinguished engineer whose concrete piles, wired glass, wool- degreasing machines and other inventions have made him famous,* and he has thought of everything. Once we have built the dykes and drained Doggerland, our 5000-ton Wartrikes can drive to Europe directly. Take that, Submarine-Land- Dreadnaught lobbyist!

The last time we were visited by a lobbyist for the Printing-in-red-ink industry it was not a pleasant experience.

Bonus giant tanks here and here!
* Also a remarkably prescient pioneer of solar power.

...Belatedly UPDATED because readers keep asking "Uncle Smut, what's a Juggernaut?" Kids today! I hope this helps.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

(it was not designed to survive an encounter with artillery)
What's all this I see about lattices, then??

rhwombat said...

Very few lettuces survive an an encounter with artillery. Brassica were also notoriously gun shy - indeed, concern regarding the introduction of the Treffas-Wagen to the German front lines in 1917 is said to have precipitated the austerity-driven shrinkage of the much larger pre-war Flemish cabbage to the now familiar Brussels Sprout.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Precipitated? So you're saying the Brussels sprout came from the cabbage solution?

fish said...

Which is totally not the same as Juggalonauts.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Once we have built the dykes and drained Doggerland, our 5000-ton Wartrikes can drive to Europe directly.

Also not designed to survive an encounter with artillery.

This plan seems overelaborate, it would have been easier to bean the Hun with rocks.

Smut Clyde said...

That reminds me, BBBB, in your recent report on Neandertal dentition you forgot to cite a prominent researcher into the topic.