The Not Terribly Good Book of Heroic Failures: An intrepid selection from the original volumes

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A documentary team from Scottish independent producers Northlight Productions once threw a mannequin into the Corryvreckan "the Hag" with a life jacket and depth gauge. It is given the epithet "pig-like" as it makes a screeching noise when the vortex is at its full fury and reaches speeds of as much as During a whirlpool there caught student divers, resulting in fatalities. This was not a naturally occurring whirlpool, but a man-made disaster caused by underwater drillers breaking through the roof of a salt mine. The lake then drained into the mine until the mine filled and the water levels equalized, but the formerly-ten-foot deep lake was now 1, feet deep.

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This mishap resulted in destruction of five houses, loss of nineteen barges and eight tug boats, oil rigs, a mobile home, trees, acres of land, and most of a botanical garden. A crater 0.

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Nine of the barges which had sunk floated back. A more recent example of a man-made whirlpool that received significant media coverage occurred during early June , when an intake vortex formed in Lake Texoma , on the Oklahoma—Texas border, near the floodgates of the dam that forms the lake. At the time of the whirlpool's formation, the lake was being drained after reaching its highest level ever. The Army Corps of Engineers , which operates the dam and lake, expected that the whirlpool would last until the lake reached normal seasonal levels by late July.

Powerful whirlpools have killed unlucky seafarers, but their power tends to be exaggerated by laymen.

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Some were staggering along, unable to walk straight, owing to the hard shoes and blistered feet. Free delivery across Pakistan on order of Rs. Men simply went into some store, put on socks and underwear, and left their old things; they then went to some other store, took the food they fancied, and hied themselves to a wine-cellar to provide themselves to their hearts' content. So when a Frenchman lies dying, almost unconscious before the last breath, it is always a woman's name that he cries out, or whispers, though not always the name of his wife or mistress. I am not angry with you for asking of me what I shall do under no circumstances.

However, temporary whirlpools caused by major engineering disasters can submerge large ships, like the Lake Peigneur disaster described above. Besides Poe and Verne, another literary source is of the s, Olaus Magnus , a Swedish bishop, who had stated that a maelstrom more powerful than the one written about in The Odyssey sucked in ships which sank to the bottom of the sea, and even whales were pulled in. Pytheas , the Greek historian, also mentioned that maelstroms swallowed ships and threw them up again. The monster Charybdis of Greek mythology was later rationalized as a whirlpool, which sucked entire ships into its fold in the narrow coast of Sicily , a disaster faced by navigators.

During the 8th century, Paul the Deacon , who had lived among the Belgii, described tidal bores and the maelstrom for a Mediterranean audience unused to such violent tidal surges: [21]. Not very far from this shore … toward the western side, on which the ocean main lies open without end, is that very deep whirlpool of waters which we call by its familiar name "the navel of the sea.

I have heard a certain high nobleman of the Gauls relating that a number of ships, shattered at first by a tempest, were afterwards devoured by this same Charybdis. And when one only out of all the men who had been in these ships, still breathing, swam over the waves, while the rest were dying, he came, swept by the force of the receding waters, up to the edge of that most frightful abyss. And when now he beheld yawning before him the deep chaos whose end he could not see, and half dead from very fear, expected to be hurled into it, suddenly in a way that he could not have hoped he was cast upon a certain rock and sat him down.

Three of the most notable literary references to the Lofoten Maelstrom date from the nineteenth century. At the end of this novel, Captain Nemo seems to commit suicide, sending his Nautilus submarine into the Maelstrom although in Verne's sequel Nemo and the Nautilus were seen to have survived.

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In the 'Life of St Columba ', the author, Adomnan of Iona ', attributes to the saint miraculous knowledge of a particular bishop who sailed into a whirlpool off the coast of Ireland. In Adomnan's narrative, he quotes Columba saying [23]. Sitting in the prow, he lifts up his hands to heaven and blesses the turbulent, terrible seas. Yet the Lord terrifies him in this way, not so that the ship in which he sits should be overwhelmed and wrecked by the waves, but rather to rouse him to pray more fervently that he may sail through the peril and reach us here.

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The Nordic word itself is derived from the Dutch word maelstrom , modern spelling maalstroom , from malen to mill or to grind and stroom stream , to form the meaning grinding current or literally "mill-stream", in the sense of milling grinding grain. Then, no doubt thinking that I had had time to recover myself, he turned to me, more quizzical than ever. But I hope you are not English enough to be a suffragette, Miss ——? I recognized the great compliment of his knowing my name, as I am sure he expected.

I had heard already that suffragettes were to the Emperor as red rags to a bull, and that he always brought up the subject with Englishwomen when he met them for the first time. I ventured to remark that to be English was not necessarily to be a suffragette. All these modern Englishwomen are suffragettes. Well, we should show them what we think of them if they sent a deputation here.

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But while they confine themselves to their own soil we [5] can bless them. They are sowing good seed for us to reap.

I had no idea what his Majesty meant by the last sentences, though I could see that an innuendo was intended. His certainty that he was right about all modern Englishwomen was only what I had seen in visitors to Schloss ——, every one of whom, especially the Prussians, knew far more about English ideas and customs than the English knew about themselves. I had sometimes disputed their statements, though without effect, but I could not contradict the Emperor.

All I could do was to wonder what he had meant by "sowing the good seed," and a glance he had thrown to his aide-de-camp or "adjutant," as the officer might more Germanly be called , but it is only after these five years that I have perhaps guessed the riddle. The Kaiser must even then have begun to count on the weakening of England by its threatened "war of the sexes. The Emperor proceeded to introduce his officer attendant, who was a Count von H——.

He informed me that he and his suite had travelled all night in the royal train, to inspect the nearby garrison and breakfast with the officers.

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Having a short time to spare, he had arranged to motor up to Schloss —— and have a look at the children, in order that he might report on the Princes' health to their mother and father the next time they saw each other. He, too, is all right? On hearing that the baby was not as well as could be wished, he looked anxious, but cheered up when he heard that the feverishness was caused by cutting teeth.

When he made a "witticism," he laughed out aloud, opening his mouth, throwing back his head slightly with a little jerk, and looking one straight in the eyes to see if one had appreciated the fun of the saying. The more one laughed the better he seemed pleased, and the more lively he became, almost like a merry child. But when the subject was dismissed, and he began to think of something else, I noticed—not only on that day, but on others, later—that occasionally an odd, wandering, strained expression came into his eyes. For a moment he would appear older than his age; though when his mind was fixed upon himself, and he was "braced" by self-consciousness, he looked almost young and very vital, if fatter than his favorite photographs represented him.

That day at Schloss —— the Emperor did not stay with us longer than twenty minutes at most, but he managed to chat about many things in that time, the latter part of which was spent in talking with Lieutenant von X——, to find whom he sent the younger of my Princes.

I have heard that the Kaiser is always anxious as to the first impression he makes, even upon the most insignificant middle-class person; and having delivered himself of this harangue, he set to work to smooth me down before departing.

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He asked questions about myself, and the family his friends with whom I had lived in England. With his head thrust forward and wagging slightly, he mentioned several advantages which an English governess had over a German one; and then he blurted out, sharply and suddenly, that, if my little Princes' parents had listened [7] to his advice, they would have had an Englishwoman for their children two years sooner.

I am forever accused by newspapers of being indiscreet, because I speak what I think. But this is no secret. You will learn it for yourself if you are as intelligent as I suppose. She never was intended by nature to be a wife and mother, though she would be a charming person if she were neither. As it is she will do what she likes in spite of everything and everyone. I have said enough—or too much. Where is von X——?

The Lieutenant was hovering in the background, ready for an auspicious moment: and the Emperor turned his attention to the governor of my elder Prince. It was not till he was ready to go that he had another word for me, and then it was only "Auf wiedersehen. I noticed how large it was in contrast with the left, which he kept out of the way. It was beautifully cared for, and there were more rings on it than an Englishman or American would wear, but it was not an attractive shape, and looked somehow unhealthy.

As if in punishment to me for such a thought, the big hand gave mine a fearful grip. It was like the closing of a vise, and I could almost hear my bones crack. I wondered if the Emperor had cultivated this trick to show how strong he was; but I should have been glad to take his strength on faith.

I could not help wincing, though I tried not to let my face change. If it did, he appeared to take no notice. He had finished with me, after a military salute; and letting the children run by his side, he and his attendant, [8] with Lieutenant von X——, walked down the path Bertha Krupp, the "Cannon Queen" and richest German heiress in Germany, if not the world, had been married to the South German diplomat, Gustav von Bohlen und Halbach, less than four years. She was only about twenty-four, but the coming of children had aged her as it does all German women apparently, and she had already ceased to look girlish.

Her husband, who is sixteen or seventeen years senior to his wife, might have been no more than ten years older, to judge by their appearance when together.

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He put the name of Krupp in front of his own immediately after his marriage with the heiress, and few people add the "und Halbach" now, except officially While I was in the "Spatzenhaus" with the boys, Herr Krupp von Bohlen brought in these four gentlemen and another, to see the celebrated visitors' book kept there since Bertha and Barbara were children. General von Bernhardi had arrived the night previous, and this was my first sight of him, as well, of course, of Herr Eccius and Doctor Linden.

I was more interested in the last of the three, because I had listened while Frau Krupp von Bohlen repeated to the children a wonderful story about the intelligence of some fish in the Naples Aquarium; and all I knew then of General von Bernhardi was that he was considered a great soldier, and had been the first [9] officer to ride into Paris in , or some tale of that sort. However, the minute I saw him I felt that here was a tremendous personality, and an intensely repellent one, a man to be reckoned with. I determined to ask a great many questions concerning him of the Countess, who knew everything about everybody, and did not object to telling what she knew with embellishments.

My name was politely mentioned by the host, and the visiting gentlemen all bowed to me.