…as opposed to other gerbils from hell
365 People, Places & Things #94
Who would have thought that gravel would become so valuable?
Alt. Rocks: Floaty Gravel
Ahem! If you will open your textbooks to page 112, we shall discuss that most important discovery of this century, Gravity Negating Granite, or as I’m quite sure all of you call it, “Floaty Gravel”.
This wondrous mineral was first discovered in the American state of Nevada in 1872 by the miners Archibald Banks and his partner Vulcan Moore. The discovery came about when they saw that after a lightning strike, an entire dry lake bed full of gravel rose 5 feet into the air and floated there for a full 4 minutes. Mr. Banks estimated that it had to be about 20 tons or more of generally pea sized gravel. When Mr. Moore examined it more closely (without touching it) he noticed this form of granite was slightly different from any other he had ever seen. In addition, it seemed to be glowing faintly.
When the effect of the lightning subsided, the whole mass of gravel dropped straight down with a loud noise and, as Mr. Banks put it, “a hell of a cloud of dust”. Knowing that they had discovered something amazing, the two miners gathered up a few pounds of it and headed off to Carson City. From there, they traveled on to San Francisco, where they went to see the famous scientist Professor Benjamin Grove.
After several days of experimentation, Grove had discovered that the gravel would float only if it was exposed to an electrical current. The higher the voltage used, the more gravel could be made to float. However, if a set amount of gravel was given an increasing amount of voltage, it would float higher and would actually lift objects placed upon it, assuming one enclosed the gravel so as not to allow it to spread out and float away. At one point, a pound of gravel in a wooden box was given enough voltage to life gravel, box and Professor Groves cat, Hermes, nine feet into the air.
Within a month, Banks, Moore and Grove were back in Nevada and proud owners of not one, but four adjoining dry lake beds, all of which had been purchased at a ridiculously cheap price. These lake beds, students, are the only source of Gravity Negating Gravel and the most heavily guarded mining facility in the world. It is from here that the gravel used in all the great skyships comes.
Once they had made their discovery known to the world, scientists flocked to Nevada and Banks & Moore put them to work experimenting. Inside of a year, the first skyship was built. Two years after that, Banks & Moore were the wealthiest men on the planet. The nations of the world were beating a path to their door and bringing plenty of money with them.
And now, twenty years later, we are told that an expedition to the moon is to be mounted using a specially built type of skyship and some of the latest electrical generators. My, what marvelous times we live in!