Professor Cuthbert Calculus:
'Deaf as well as daft'
"We'll see who's playing the goat!"- Prof Calculus
During WWII, the German V-2 rocket demonstrated the potential feasibility of orbital rockets. Following the war, both the USA and the USSR set out to build such rockets. The great space race was on.
Meanwhile, in plucky little Belgium, the first working moon rocket was designed in the early fifties by an amiable, absent minded professor with a hearing problem, Professor Cuthbert Calculus1. The rocket was launched in 1953 from the neutral European nation of Syladavia, and took Calculus and his friends- Tintin, Captain Haddock, Snowy and the detectives Thomson and Thompson- to the moon.
Though the moon expedition was arguably his greatest triumph, it was by no means Calculus' first or last. As an inventor, Calculus' genius is only exceeded by his lack of awareness of his immediate surroundings. Amongst his inventions are a submarine for treasure hunting, an ultrasound device with potentially evil applications (which the good natured Professor, alas, refrains from using) and, pehraps most intriguing of all, his pendulum.
So far as we can tell, the pendulum is just that- a weight on the end of a piece of string. However, the good Professor can apparantly use this for "dowsing". What's that you say? No scientist would put any faith in the discredited pseudoscience of dowsing? Well, Mr. Know-it-all, Professor Calculus isn't a scientist, he's a Mad Scientist; I thought we had that clear, you simpering buffoon. *Sigh*. Anyway, the Professor's lump of brass on the end of a string is capable of dowsing not just water, but just about anything. Apparantly it can detect medaeval grave sites, and tell if a sample piece of metal is of extra-terrestrial origin. Sometimes of course, it does nothing much at all, and just oscillates in ways that Calculus finds more fascinating than, say, watching out for people who are trying to kill him. This may sound foolish to you. But, then again, you never built a rocket ship, did you?____________________________________
1. An odd translation; in French, his name is Tournesol, meaning "sunflower".For more on Prof. Calculus and his friends, click here
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