“There was the theory that A’Tuin had come from nowhere and would continue at a uniform crawl, or steady gait, into nowhere, for all time. This theory was popular among academics.
An alternative, favoured by those of a religious persuasion, was that A’Tuin was crawling from the Birthplace to the Time of Mating, as were all the stars in the sky which were, obviously, also carried by giant turtles. When they arrived they would briefly and passionately mate, for the first and only time, and from that fiery union new turtles would be born to carry a new pattern of worlds. This was known as the Big Bang hypothesis.”—Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an… occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”—President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952
Seventeen days after the San Jose copper and gold mine collapsed, the news that all 33 men trapped inside are still alive was greeted with celebrations more than 2,000ft above them.
But their loved ones will probably have to wait until Christmas to see them again, because it will take that long to bore a new hole wide enough to pull them through.
Glucose, rehydration tablets, oxygen and medicine have made their way down from the surface through an 8cm lifeline and into the miners’ refuge, which is thought to be about 50 square metres, although some reports say it could be larger.