Prodded by this post from Friend of the Gormogons J.V. Last and this post on Gamma Squad, we feel it necessary to discuss the Antikythera* Device (pictured at right).
“What’s the Antikythera Device,” you ask, “and will it keep the kythera away as the name promises?” Zip over here and get smart, then come back for some eye candy and the explanation.
So, first the eye candy—check out this guy’s reconstruction. Cool, eh?
Well, it’s not half as cool as the one the Mandarin’s got running in his study. That thing refracts natural light to project the zodiac (Hellenic, Chinese, and some weird thing he claims stems from The Seven Cryptical Texts of Hsan, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never let him borrow my copy) onto the ceiling, it literally plays the music of the spheres, and every Grand Conjunction these little guys come out of a door and kick each other in the stomach (for like a week).
What’s the point, you ask? Well, the Antikythera Device was actually not designed by Archimedes, but the Mandarin (to be fair, working from Archy’s plans). So, July 4, 1976, GorT gets ripped on some past-its-sell-date Quaker State and stumbles over to the Mandarin holding the thing. “I need thish,” he slurred.** The Mandarin started swearing incomprehensibly (as is his wont), but couldn’t extricate himself from the clutches of the Daisy-Dukes-clad lovelies he’d brought in for the barbecue. The next thing you know, sometime in August, Ghettoputer finds GorT upside down in the linen closet, dead to the world and covered in seaweed. So we rebooted him. “Where the hell is my computing engine, you filthy rustbucket of a Kashgar whore’s dog?!” GorT had no memory of any of it—literally, he’d somehow lost chips with about six yottabytes of storage capacity.
Next thing you know, in like 1982, the Czar is flipping through his vintage Ripley’s Believe It…or Not! collections and says, “Mandarin! Get over here! I think I found that computer GorT stole during the Bicentennial! Well, not me so much as some archaeologists in 1900.”
Long story short, the Mandarin broke three toes on GorT’s abdominal access panel.
* Rhymes with "Mandy, Keith! Uh-huh."
** Actually he slurred “010010010010000001101110011001010110010101100100001000000111010001101000011010010111001101101000,” but you probably guessed that.
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