Episode 247: Smollop: The Falling Pilot

Once again, our hoses are inadequate for this job!


The military should have invented a meritorious award for “rode a tornado like an American Tall Tale”.


Notice the caption on this picture of William Rankin? Well, I have decided to give y’all a present. There’s going to be a follow-up to this entry shortly; you’ll get an extra soundfile. I’m gonna read you a story about the other American who rode a tornado like a buckin’ bronco.

But first, William Rankin:

The Man Who Rode the Thunder * his autobiography–click here to request its publication in Kindle format

Rankin (and Herbert Nolan’s) story at Disciples of Flight, a fascinating history of flight website–article by Anders Clark

Do you understand this man jumped from space and spent forty minutes in a storm? I have punched myself in the face trying to pull up my blankets.

his jump from the meterological POV: weatherimagery.com

comparison to stigmata? I have that. You’re welcome. (also a fantabulous horror movie)

the eyeballs. I have a visual for the eyeballs bulge. You’re welcome. Enjoy:


new tag born from this episode: popsie outie

oh, yeah, and that guy who did it on purpose for Red Bull (sans storm): Red Bull space skydive, 2012, Felix Bumgartner–full footage at redbull.com with extra flight data

“shoutout to the Radium Girls”–episode 99, right this way

And here’s the inevitable moment where serendipity plus my weird mind equals I make myself laugh again. Listening to this episode, I kept thinking that I knew there was a song titled “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”, and how appropriate is that? Made a note. Found it–U2. Looked up the lyrics…and they are spookily accurate. It’s funny and eerie, my favorite mix of flavors:

I never thought you were a fool

But darling, look at you

You gotta stand up straight, carry your own weight
These tears are going nowhere, baby…


And you are such a fool
To worry like you do
I know it’s tough, and you can never get enough
Of what you don’t really need now… my oh my

You’ve got to get yourself together
You’ve got stuck in a moment and now you can’t get out of it
Oh love look at you now
You’ve got yourself stuck in a moment and now you can’t get out of it

I was unconscious, half asleep
The water is warm till you discover how deep…
I wasn’t jumping… for me it was a fall
It’s a long way down to nothing at all

I am suspecting these lyrics were inspired by Rankin. Bono, I see you.

Band names from this episode:

  • PopsieOutie: first single “Danger Cloud Baby”
  • Forgotten Oxygen
  • Abandoned Herbert–think Pink Floyd: one-hit wonder “Suffocate in the Sky”
  • Symphony of Hammers: Metallica cover band

Cultural references from this episode:



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About Carla

This Bluestocking bookworm is your friendly Dollop web-wrangler and digital library curator. In other words, pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. I'm just here to John Nash all this stuff together. It's all about connections. IT'S ALL CONNECTED. I live atop a mountain, geographically isolated for the protection of others. Yes, an American mountain.