The final paper… not the final, but the last one I got interested in was written in the late forties by a couple of German physicists at Göttingen and… they had been contacted by an eye doctor at the clinic and of course the way medicine works is that, you know, the local doctors will solve all the cases they know how to solve and if they find something they can’t help they refer it up the food chain to the next doctor and so things keep moving up and so if you’re the head of the eye clinic at Göttingen it means you’re the most eminent eye doctor in the German-speaking world ok? So one day that this guy comes to work and in his waiting room is a man who’s got “floaters.” He can see little dark specks floating around in his vision which is a very common thing. So this is like if you’re the most important dermatologist in the world and somebody comes to see you about a freckle. He looks into the guys eye and he sees tumbling around in the guy’s vitreous humor he sees little tiny metal rods. They’re obviously metal. They’re obviously man-made and they’re just floating around loose inside of his eyeball which is perfectly undamaged. There’s no no entry wound nothing like that. So he’s completely mystified. He asks the guy, “What did you do during the war were you in an explosion? Anything like that?” The guy goes, no, I didn’t fight… I was a civilian. Well, what do you do for a living? I drive a truck. Well, do you ever like maybe stick your head out the window or were you ever in a crash you know or anything like that? No, nothing like that, doctor. So eventually he had to give up and write it off as a mystery of science. But then a few months later, another guy shows up. Same symptoms exactly the same thing. No explanation for it. And then another and another. So he starts trying to put the pieces together and figure out what is the common thread among all of these people and turns out the one thing they all have in common is that they’re drivers. Which by then met driving trucks, but during the war because we had targeted their… the Germans… fuel production there have been a lot of trucks lying around that couldn’t be operated because there’s no fuel. So they had gone back to hauling them behind animals and they had had to improvise harnesses and yokes and all that stuff because it was all gone nobody had used it for decades. And that was all easily invented from ropes and straps and whatever they had lying around. But the hard thing was getting whips. Because whips have some pretty specific properties that they have to have if they’re going to crack correctly. But some genius figured out that one thing they had all over Germany by that point was collapsed buildings and a lot of those buildings had running down the outside a braided copper grounding cable and if you just went up to one of them and cut off the length of that stuff and you know did the right motion you could get that thing to crack like a whip. A thing that a lot of novice whip crackers do is that they jerk the whip toward them to make it snap which is really dangerous because it comes back at you but it’s a really easy way to get it to crack every time. So the doctor said… “Did it ever happen when you were doing that you like would feel you know one of these sharp pains in your eye?” And they said, yeah, that happens sometimes, but you know you just kind of blink it away. And few minutes later, you know, it’s like nothing ever happened. So he goes running across the campus to the Physics department and he buttonholes a couple of physicists and he says, “Is it physically plausible that if you cracked a copper grounding cable like a whip that the tensile strength of the copper out at the end would get exceeded to the point where it would snap. And if so would the pieces be going fast enough that they could fly through the air for a few feet and penetrate somebody’s eyeball and come to a stop inside the vitreous humor?” So the physicist, you know, I mean this is all that whole story is in a footnote! It’s compressed into a footnote on page 1 of this paper. And then the rest of the paper is them working out all the physics of whip cracking and proving that you know all of those things could could happen. So as you can tell that’s been a kind of a personal obsession of mine for… I’d say that story qualifies as stranger than fiction.