A most determined suicide

A gentleman passing through the United States, on the Union and Pacific Railroad, was one morning telling the guard about a relative of his lately committing suicide. ‘Very sad, indeed,’ replied the guard, ‘but the most determined attempt at suicide happened the other day down Sacramento (California) way. A young man went down to the beach when the tide was out, with a long pole, sharpened at one end, and a hook in the other; he had also a rope with a noose in it, a phial of poison, a pistol, and a box of matches. He drove the pole into the sand, and climbed up it until the tide had risen high enough to drown him, when he swallowed the poison, set his trousers on fire, put the noose round his neck, and then fired his pistol. The bullet, instead of entering his forehead, grazed the top of his head and went through the rope; the rope, being weakened, snapped, and dropped the unfortunate man into the sea, which, of course, put the fire out, and swallowing some sea water made him vomit the poison, and in two or three minutes he was washed ashore alive, and only suffering slightly from the effects of his immersion.’

– Tit-Bits From All the Most Interesting Books, Periodicals and Newspapers in the World, Dec. 3, 1881

Iron Man comics

I’ve been reading Iron Man comic books from way back, the start of the character, and I’ve been terribly amused.

Transistors can do anything, for some reason!

I guess this must be a recurring theme, you know? A new technology becomes a supremely versatile proponent for any device you can think of. The equivalent today would be nanites I suppose. What was it before transistors? Vacuum tubes? Steam power?