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Old 02-26-2011, 12:07 AM   #51
Attila the Professor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
Where did that come from??

I just don't want to answer him because I know where he's going to take this.

I'll give you this much: revising the history that we've known all our lives is something that it is both easy and natural to resist. I know it certainly comes into play in my own impulses when conspiracy theories of whatever stripe start being bandied about.

But what would it really mean if a Chinese vessel had touched the shores of the Western hemisphere prior to Christopher Columbus? Not much more than it means that the Vikings did, or if any of these other pre-Columbian theories might actually be true. The real point is, none of them took. Sure, it would tell us something about the technology and tenacity (or dumb luck?) of those who might have made it earlier than ol' Christoffa, and there could be some ramifications should any of cross-cultural exchange occurred. But it wouldn't change the fact that the events of 1492 - misinterpreted though they were by the man who actually brought them to fruition - are the ones that led to the Americas, and the Europe, and the world that we know today.

And here's the other big thing: there's nothing to change the fact that, from many reports, he wasn't that great a guy, one who retained the power he achieved in the islands with an iron fist, and often incompetently at that. He was greedy, and possibly responsible for the commencement of what many have considered a genocide, and he also never knew what he had actually found.

But that doesn't matter, unless people are still in the business of idolizing him, or holding him up as a hero. He was pivotal, yes, but so was Vespucci, who actually figured out what it was, and everyone who followed, who we all learned about in grade school. (Well, those of us in the continents, anyhow. I can't speak for education elsewhere, and I'd presume it's lacking on this subject, just as non-American colonial history is given much less emphasis, and understandably so, in my experience.) He's part of the story, and that can't be taken away from him. But let's have some sense of who he actually was, and what he actually did, and recognize that the import of the event doesn't offer much in the way of moral reflection on the man.

(All of this, of course, is also leaving aside that he was a Genovesi in employ of Spanish monarchs who never set foot on anything that's part of the United States, a society that he, like so many of his contemporaries, would scarcely have understood nor endorsed.)

Last edited by Attila the Professor : 02-26-2011 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:53 AM   #52
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I think it is safe to say I can't argue with that.
I'm out.

Haha. I don't care anymore who found America, the thing's discovered. . .
Tiresome.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:56 AM   #53
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Wow A.Prof you really know your stuff *cough*
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:00 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Stoo
Wow A.Prof you really know your stuff *cough*

That's why I backed out.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:08 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
Wow A.Prof you really know your stuff *cough*

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
That's why I backed out.


Do you mean to say that after all this time, all I had to do to bring you two together was reveal just how overbearing and Hunnishly professorial I can be?



Seriously though...I wasn't trying to shut down the debate, but rather offer the lens through which I see it.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:14 AM   #56
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That's one complex lens your peekin through.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:18 AM   #57
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I had a long post wrote up for this thread, and my PC crashed and I lost it all. That makes a body pissed.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:20 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
I'll give you this much: revising the history that we've known all our lives is something that it is both easy and natural to resist. I know it certainly comes into play in my own impulses when conspiracy theories of whatever stripe start being bandied about.

But what would it really mean if a Chinese vessel had touched the shores of the Western hemisphere prior to Christopher Columbus? Not much more than it means that the Vikings did, or if any of these other pre-Columbian theories might actually be true. The real point is, none of them took. Sure, it would tell us something about the technology and tenacity (or dumb luck?) of those who might have made it earlier than ol' Christoffa, and there could be some ramifications should any of cross-cultural exchange occurred. But it wouldn't change the fact that the events of 1492 - misinterpreted though they were by the man who actually brought them to fruition - are the ones that led to the Americas, and the Europe, and the world that we know today.

And here's the other big thing: there's nothing to change the fact that, from many reports, he wasn't that great a guy, one who retained the power he achieved in the islands with an iron fist, and often incompetently at that. He was greedy, and possibly responsible for the commencement of what many have considered a genocide, and he also never knew what he had actually found.

But that doesn't matter, unless people are still in the business of idolizing him, or holding him up as a hero. He was pivotal, yes, but so was Vespucci, who actually figured out what it was, and everyone who followed, who we all learned about in grade school. (Well, those of us in the continents, anyhow. I can't speak for education elsewhere, and I'd presume it's lacking on this subject, just as non-American colonial history is given much less emphasis, and understandably so, in my experience.) He's part of the story, and that can't be taken away from him. But let's have some sense of who he actually was, and what he actually did, and recognize that the import of the event doesn't offer much in the way of moral reflection on the man.

(All of this, of course, is also leaving aside that he was a Genovesi in employ of Spanish monarchs who never set foot on anything that's part of the United States, a society that he, like so many of his contemporaries, would scarcely have understood nor endorsed.)

Well put, Attila.

History isn't ours for the choosing, based on how we'd like it to be. That way lies dictatorship and the illusory world of propaganda. We should never lose sight of the evidence, and always be prepared to accept that things aren't always as we've expected.

Columbus stumbled upon the New World motivated by trade and the maximization of profit, but he wasn't responsible for America. Others had already been there for quite a while, and others had settled briefly. The European conquest of America began first with the search for greater wealth.

As with the history of many nations, America's past wasn't noble. Land grabbing, oppression, genocide, slavery, a late eighteenth-century class war in which the bourgeoisie wrested control from the aristocracy, and a nineteeth-century bloody civil war. The history isn't pretty or particularly glorious, just as the history of the British Empire wasn't truly pretty or glorious.

Whether this was the will of a "respectable explorer" or some "random China man" is immaterial. Just let the evidence decide, and not some personal preference.

EDIT: I spent so long typing that this debate moved on without me!
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:21 AM   #59
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. . . How long have you been stalking around here, Montana??
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:50 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
. . . How long have you been stalking around here, Montana??

I woke up less than an hour ago. I've got the 'flu again and I'm drugged up. What day is it? Where am I? What is this strange place? What are all you people doing here?
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:50 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
I woke up less than an hour ago. I've got the 'flu again and I'm drugged up. What day is it? Where am I? What is this strange place? What are all you people doing here?

We are argui. . . discussing whether Chinese discovered America.
But A. Prof. came and shot everything down with logic and meaning.
Now that everyone's updated.
It's the 26th... You're in The Raven...It's a bar.

So you got the flu? Is that why you seem a little loopier than usual?
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:37 PM   #62
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Reading this thread shows that Boogie Boy doesn't have his head screwed on right and is begging for some adjustment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gear
Um, okay. So, you're content to believe convenient history instead of questioning authority and seeking truth? To me, that seems pretty opposite the ideals of an American, but more-so the arrogance and pompousness of Idiot America.
Boogie Lad was patting himself on the back in the Black History Month thread for not being a rascist bigot. Now this. The Boogie Boy sounds just like Cartman having nightmares in the South Park show about Crystal Skull. 'No. No! It's the Chinese! They're gonna take over the world and bring down America! Leave us alone! Somebody's gotta stop them!'
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
What, do you consider this totally archeology because they found two bits of junk?

"Random china man and his crew lost an achor, dropped scrap metal, and scurried back to Asia after stumbling upon today's North America"
Quite a difference from before when you said the theory had good points.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
You think I'm gonna fall for that one?
Post an answer so you can completely destroy it with your quick, smarty-pants replies?
=================
I just don't want to answer him because I know where he's going to take this.
You act like the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz. Stand up and be a man for once in your life! Too bad the Raven doesn't have a poppy field that could put you to sleep...PERMANENTLY!
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It's the 26th... You're in The Raven...It's a bar.
A bar with some under-aged minors hanging about. Somebody call the cops!
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:20 PM   #63
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I knew it would be like Christmas when I saw Ol' Sharkey had posted.
But no, just insults.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:11 AM   #64
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Quote:
1421: The Year China Discovered America Book Description

Based on 15 years of in-depth research, "1421" traces the voyages of an extraordinary fleet of Chinese ships who actually charted America 70 years before Columbus. Illustrations.
"The incredible true story of the discovery of America before Columbus was even born. Gavin Menzies's extraordinary findings rewrite history."

On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen sailed from its base in China. The ships, huge junks nearly five hundred feet long and built from the finest teak, were under the command of Emperor Zhu Di's loyal eunuch admirals. Their mission was "to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas" and unite the whole world in Confucian harmony. Their journey would last more than two years and circle the globe.

When they returned in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships, now considered frivolous, were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in China's long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. Also concealed were how the Chinese colonized America before the Europeans and transplanted to America, Australia, New Zealand and South America the principal economic crops that have fed and clothed the world.

Now, in a landmark historical journey, Gavin Menzies, who spent fifteen years tracing the astonishing voyages of the Chinese fleet, shares the remarkable account of his discoveries and the incontrovertible evidence to support them. His compelling narrative pulls together ancient maps, precise navigational knowledge, astronomy and the surviving accounts of Chinese explorers and the later European navigators to prove that the Chinesehad also discovered Antarctica, reached Australia three hundred and fifty years before Cook and solved the problem of longitude three hundred years ahead of the Europeans. 1421 describes the artifacts and inscribed stones left behind by the emperor's fleet, the evidence of wrecked junks along its route -- discovered in locations ranging from the middle of the Mississippi River to tributaries of the Amazon -- and the ornate votive offerings left by the Chinese sailors wherever they landed, in honor of Shao Lin, goddess of the sea.

"1421: The Year China Discovered America" is the story of a remarkable journey of discovery that rewrites our understanding of history. Our knowledge of world exploration as it has been commonly accepted for centuries must now be reconceived due to this classic work of historical detection.

...and apparently before him...


Quote:
How the Ancient Egyptian Captain Rata and his Navigator Maui Discovered America in 232 BC


Who discovered America first is an important topic. Obviously the so-called Indians came by a land bridge from Asia some 16,000 years ago, but what about the earliest voyages? Eric the Red is mentioned a a Viking explorer who landed first at Greenland, and then there is Columbus whose voyage in 1492 is usually cited as the first. But what about the Muslim Admiral of the Chinese fleet, Zheng He, who sailed from China to the Western part of North America in 1421, fully 71 years ahead of Columbus. Then, astoundingly, there is the incredible voyage of the ancient Egyptians, Captain Rata and his Navigator Maui, who reached South America in 232 BC! That's 16 centuries before Zheng He and Columbus. How did they do this remarkable feat? Here is some recently arrived at understandings of the technology they used to find their way there and back home to Egypt.

Around the year 232 B.C., Captain Rata and Navigator Maui set out with a flotilla of ships from Egypt in an attempt to circumnavigate the Earth.1 On the night of August 6-7, 2001, between the hours of 11 PM and 3 AM, this writer, and fellow amateur astronomer Bert Cooper, proved in principle that Captain Rata and Navigator Maui could have known and charted their location, by longitude, most of the time during that voyage.

The Maui expedition was under the guidance of Eratosthenes, the great scientist who was also the chief librarian of the library at Alexandria. Could this voyage have demonstrated Eratosthenes' theorem that the world was round, and measured approximately 24,500 miles in circumference? One of the navigational instruments which Maui had with him was a strange looking "calculator" that he called a tanawa; such an instrument was known, in 1492, as a torquetum.

Intrigued by a photograph of the cave drawing of that tanawa in Irian Jaya, western New Guinea, I speculated that Maui must have been looking at the ecliptic to measure "lunar distance," in order to find his longitude. Maui's tanawa was of such importance, that he drew it on the cave wall with the inscription, deciphered in the 1970s by epigrapher Barry Fell: "The Earth is tilted. Therefore, the signs of half of the ecliptic watch over the south, the other (half) rise in the ascendant. This is the calculator of Maui."

Eratosthenes had just measured the circumference of the Earth, and the circumference of a sphere is the same in all directions. We know that Maui was thinking about this, because his cave drawings also include a proof of Eratosthenes' experiment to measure the Earth's circumference.
To test the hypotheses, we built a wooden torquetum and used a simplified version of it to measure the change in angular distance between the Moon and the star Altair, in the constellation Aquila (the Eagle). This success proves official dogma wrong, and proves that, in principle, Navigator Maui, during his voyage could have used tables brought from Alexandria, drawn up by Eratosthenes or his collaborators, compared those lunar distances with the distances that he measured, and come up with a good estimate of his longitude.

It is important to note that we are not claiming here that we know everything about the torquetum. We simplified our device for the proof-of-principle experiment, but we will carry out and report on more experiments, using the full instrument.

The torquetum's value, as an analogue calculator, must have been immense, because, once a planet or the Moon are not on the meridian, all "straight lines" become curves—so that calculations are difficult, even with a modern calculator. However, the 23.5-degree plane on the torquetum allows one to directly read the longitude and latitude of a planet or the Moon, relative to the ecliptic, without calculation. These data would be invaluable for predicting eclipses and occultations of various stars or planets by the Moon.

The Inspiration for the Experiment

This was intriguing! What was this "tanawa" for? Why the 23.5-degree plane, characteristic of the torquetum? It could only mean that Maui was looking at the ecliptic, the Moon, and the planets, the "wandering stars."
Of the two torquetums surviving in the world, one belonged to Nicholas of Cusa, and the other to Regiomontanus, both of whom were involved in calendar reform, including setting the date of Easter, which, along with some other religious festivals, is dated by the interaction of the lunar and solar calendars.

But what could Maui have been doing? Trying to determine longitude? The very thought was heretical. To take things out of the realm of speculation, the only solution was to build a torquetum, and see if longitude could be determined by using sightings of the Moon, with simple backyard equipment; if this succeeded, then Navigator Maui could have also succeeded.



PROBABLE ROUTE OF THE EGYPTIAN VOYAGE IN 232 B.C.

Deciphered rock and cave inscriptions from the Pacific islands, western New Guinea, and Santiago, Chile, tell of an Egyptian flotilla that set sail around 232 B.C., during the reign of Ptolemy III, on a mission to circumnavigate the globe. The six ships sailed under the direction of Captain Rata and Navigator Maui, a friend of the astronomer Eratosthenes (ca. 275-194 B.C.), who headed the famous library at Alexandria. Maui's inscriptions, as deciphered in the 1970s by epigrapher Barry Fell, indicated that this was a proof-of-principle voyage, to demonstrate Eratosthenes' theorem that the world was round, and approximately 24,500 miles in circumference.


http://originalscientist.blogspot.co...1_archive.html
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:16 AM   #65
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Continued...

Quote:


A brass model of Maui's tanawa, constructed by Dr. Sentiel Rommel. The base (A) in the plane of the observer's horizon, is oriented so that the axis of symmetry is parallel to the meridian. (B) is the equatorial plane. (C) is the ecliptic plane (viewed from one side in Maui's drawing, hence appearing as a line).

Drawing by Matt Makowski in The Epigraphic Society Occasional Publications, Vol. 32, No. 29, Feb. 1975


Notes
1. For the story of the Rata-Maui Expedition, see "The Decipherment and Discovery of a Voyage to America in 232 B.C.," by Marjorie Mazel Hecht, 21st Century, Winter 1998-1999, p. 62; "Indian Inscriptions from the Cordilleras in Chile" found by Karl Stolp in 1885, 21st Century, Winter 1998-1999, p. 66; "On Eratosthenes, Maui's Voyage of Discovery, and Reviving the Principle of Discovery Today," by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., 21st Century, Spring 1999, p. 24; "Eratosthenes' Instruments Guided Maui's 3rd Century B.C. Voyage," by Marjorie Mazel Hecht, 21st Century, Spring 1999, p. 74; and "Maui's Tanawa: A Torquetum of 232 B.C.," by Sentiel Rommel, Ph.D., 21st Century, Spring 1999, p. 75. 2. Cited in Letters From A New World, 1992. Ed. Luciano Formisano (New York: Marsilio Publishers), pp. 38-39.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:45 AM   #66
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Coming Soon:

The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad

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Old 02-27-2011, 10:49 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
We are argui. . . discussing whether Chinese discovered America.
No, you were discussing whether you found it palatable that Chinese may have "discovered" America.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
If so. I told you earlier, Stoo. I just think it sounds better with Christopher Columbus. Besides, I just don't want to give anything to China, I dislike the them.
Facts are not determined by "what sounds better." The Holocaust sounds indescribably horrible to me, and guess what: it happened.

The question intelligent people are asking here doesn't seem to be whether the Chinese were here before Columbus, but rather, whether what "some random Chinese dude" found constitutes a discovery.

I responded to that earlier, and similar points have been made by others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillKill4Food
And [doing the "paperwork" is] really all that matters for a "discovery," isn't it? The Chinese treasure ships and the Viking raiders may have found America, but Columbus was the one who opened it up, so to speak, so I really think it's weird to claim that the Chinese or Vikings "discovered" it, especially considering, like Lonsome said, the Native-Americans were here first.

On that note, when we speak of the "discovery" of King Tut's tomb, we talk about Carter (who found the tomb like Columbus found America), not the priests who interned the Egyptian king (which would correlate to the early natives of America) or the grave-robbers who found him first (analogous to the Vikings here).
If you want to discuss whether the evidence for a Chinese presence holds water, or whether anyone except the Native Americans "discovered" America, then fine.
However, Discolad, for you to just say "well this stuff sounds better so Imma believe it" is stupid and you surely know better if you think it through.
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:28 PM   #68
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However, Discolad, for you to just say "well this stuff sounds better so Imma believe it" is stupid and you surely know better if you think it through.

I'm just tired of arguing with the likes of Stoo.
I was about to say more but he'll shoot that down too. . .
And that. . .
And this. . .
The past four lines too...
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:05 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith

Well, since this thread shows no signs of dying, I'll stoke the fire a bit and give DiscoLad a potential foothold (along with using his actual screen-name). This review of the book pretty much makes the author's theories sound less valid than Erich von Däniken's evidence of ancient aliens.

MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Here's a taste:

Quote:
It would be nice if there were some evidence. I searched in vain for a potsherd, reliable carbon-14 date (these, Menzies tells us, are still being done), inscription, anything. Even when Menzies claims to have seen the evidence, he does not reproduce it. In one telling passage, he tells of his discovery of an inscription in Cape Verde in an unrecognizable script. Does he send it to the British Museum? A university? No. Noting that it looks like scripts on Indian banknotes, he sends it to the Bank of India, who pronounce that "it looks like Malayalam." Well, good: so it should be decipherable. Are we provided with a translation? No. Is the inscription reproduced in the book? No.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:15 PM   #70
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Christopher Columbus encountered Mermaids in 1493.

No doubt they were Chinese Mermaids.

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:17 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
I'm just tired of arguing with the likes of Stoo.
Re: "the likes of..." Do you mean rational folks? WillKill is right. Even though you originally stated that the theory has "some good points", you are, NOW, unwilling to consider the possibilities simply because you don't like Chinese people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
I just think it sounds better with Christopher Columbus. Besides, I just don't want to give anything to China, I dislike the them.
A bit of wisdom to contemplate: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and appear dumb, than it is to open it and remove all doubt." (I don't remember the author.)
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:28 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Stoo
(I don't remember the author.)
I was going to Google it and help you out, but came up with nothing. Tough luck.

EDIT: Why'd you put "Re" this time instead of just replying? Out of curiousity.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:32 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by DiscoLad
I was going to Google it and help you out, but came up with nothing. Tough luck.

EDIT: Why'd you put "Re" this time instead of just replying? Out of curiousity.

Mark Twain
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:32 PM   #74
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Mark Twain

Google or just straight up knowledge?
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:34 PM   #75
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Google or just straight up knowledge?

I think I remember reading it long ago...Hell, I should Google and see if I'm right.
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