for readers who enjoy literary references and additional information
Please note: All of the technology and equipment mentioned in The Limbus of the Moon is very real and available.
The locations are real places, although not necessarily where the book places them.
2 Flight Simulatorr – In early versions of the popular Microsoft Flight Simulator computer program, Meigs Field (resurrected here) was well known as the default takeoff field. Mayor Richard M Daly had the air field dug up in the middle of the night by bulldozers in March, 2003.
12 Sixth day of Creation – Genesis 1:24
16 “So the moving finger, having writ, moves on.” - from Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
26 Procrustes, Theseus - a son of Poseidon who invited passers by to spend the night, then stretched them with his smith's hammer or amputated their legs to make them fit his iron bed. Thus one size fits all. Theseus killed him by fitting him to his own bed. Thus no one fits a single size.
27 'Ye Pow'rs wha gie us a' that's gude.' - from Robert Burns' poem, “To a Haggis.”
.....pre-Kayenta – Native American pottery designs. Kayenta often has fine hatching lines over dark solids.
29 Saracen – The poem Orlando Furioso (Mad Roland) takes place during the time of a war between the Christian emperor Charlemagne and Agramante, the Saracen King of Africa. Orlando (Roland) was one of Charlemagne's twelve paladins (knights), or foremost warriors. Henri Saracen's relationship with Captain Roland is revealed in The Queen of the Cloud Forest.
30 the Pride – the ship of pirate Jean Lafitte, on which he lived in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. In return for a pardon, Lafitte helped General Andrew Jackson defend New Orleans against the British in 1815. After being threatened by the USS Enterprise, Lafitte left on the Pride with a great treasure. He survived, but the ship has never been found.
32 a little cloth bluebird in a little silver cage – from The Blue Bird, a play by Maurice Maeterlinck. The Blue Bird of Happiness is supposed to bring good luck.
37 Hecate and the witches, fenny snake, the play - from Macbeth by William Shakespeare. To mention the play by its title is supposed to invite bad luck.
38 SPCA – The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
39 Elihu B. Washburne – Illinois representative, and Secretary of State (1869). He was the only man brave enough to meet with President-elect Abraham Lincoln to foil an assassination attempt. He and his brothers personally cut telegraph wires in key locations to conceal the whereabouts of President-elect Lincoln.
.....Daniel Webster – American orator, statesman, senator, and secretary of state.
.....Jefferson – American founding father and third president of the United States.
40 Push Me Pull You - An animal with two heads, one at each end of its body. From The Story of Dr. Doolittle, by Hugh Lofting.
.....my cousin Elizabeth – Elizabeth Bentley, in 1945 she defected from the Communist Party, became an informer for the U.S., and exposed two networks of spies.
.....Jessica, Rob, Leona, Cuda - The four younger adults are illustrative of the four stages of development as mentioned by Steve: 1= most completely developed (Jessica), 2=less developed, but some (Rob), 3= only partially developed (Leona), 4 = almost feral (Cuda)
43 Poseidon – the Greek god of the sea
44 Tsoi (pronounced Choi) was the family name of one of the Five Ancestors to survive the infamous massacre at the Shaolin monastery
45 Sancho Panza – the “everyman” companion of Don Quixote, in the novel Don Quixote by Cervantes. Panza (“belly”) supplies earthy wisdom.
47 the essential inter-relatedness of all things – a tenet of many belief systems, especially Yoga, Taoism, and Buddhism
48 The modern Shaolin monastery, otherwise austere, has a bathroom which cost three million yuan, or approximately one million dollars
49 Old Yeller – a big, yellow dog in the novel Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. The dog is shot by his owner because he was exposed to rabies while defending the family
50 MUA – Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement, part of government contracts
53 Henry Flagler and his railway – American tycoon and railroad developer of the Florida East Coast Railway. He is known as the father of Miami, Florida.
54 The world turned upside down again – An English ballad protesting Parliament's outlawing of Christmas celebrations as too festive and not solemn enough. Lord Cornwallis's band supposedly played the song when he surrendered after the siege of Yorktown (1781), ending the Revolutionary War. A repeating lyric is: “Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down “
56 diffraction phenomenon called a glory – an optical phenomenon produced by backscattered light
.....Picture of Dorian Gray - a novel by Oscar Wilde. Gray sells his soul so his portrait, not he, would age.
65 Virgil – an ancient Roman poet who appears as Dante's guide through hell and purgatory in The Divine Comedy of Dante.
67 “Pass the claret to me, Barrette.” - a line from the song “Transfusion”, by “Nervous Norvus.”
.....Lila - Sanscrit word approximating "Play." In non-dualistic Hinduism, the universe is thought of as the result of Brahman creative play or sport. Likewise, because she is not human, Lila can have no purpose for what sher does. Her entire world is a king of game.
68 Strangler Fig – Its seeds germinate in a host tree and send roots down to envelop the host. In Banyan-type strangler figs, more roots descend from branches allowing the tree to expand indefinitely. It is under this tree, on Dec. 8 (Dec. 7 Pearl Harbor date), the Buddha found enlightenment. In Christian Scripture, it is the powerful symbol of security and productivity. Cursing the barren fig, Jesus asserted that Judeaism could not bring forth a mesiah. It was Jesus' only miracle to use his power to destroy and which did not do anyone any good.
70 If you live them right, two perfect days can be enough – That's all the lifetime some adult insects, such as mayflies, have.
73 Pregl – also the name of Fritz Pregl, the Austrian chemist and physician who was awarded the Nobel Prize for quantitative organic microanalysis.
76 RFID scanners – Radio Frequency Identification
.....Hina Ko'a or Hina-'opu-hala-ko'a, literally Hina-stomach-passing-coral, meaning Hina giving birth to coral. In Polynesian mythology she is the goddess of the reefs and reef medicine. She became weary of toiling under the sea and rode a rainbow to the moon.
83 Golden Rule – Among industrial consultants, “he who has the gold makes the rules.”
84 black ones – An ultra-exclusive credit card, such as the American Express Centurion card, for elite users who supposedly can purchase anything with it.
93 Meares – John Meares was an eccentric eighteenth century navigator, explorer and maritime fur trader. He discovered and named Cape Disappointment. Many places in Alaska, British Columbia and Oregon are named after him.
94 Mother Carey – a supernatural figure who, with her husband Davy Jones, is responsible for storms and ship-wrecks. Her “chickens” (storm petrels) appear to be able to walk on water and warn sailors of an impending storm.
101 Pacific Centre – a huge shopping mall in Vancouver, British Columbia
102 floor was inlaid with gold – a famous hotel in Vancouver actually has gold inlaid in its floor
103 “Henry Higgins to my Eliza?” - fictional characters in the play Pygmalion or My Fair Lady. Henry Higgins teaches Eliza to assume the airs of a well-born lady.
104 Truth buried at the bottom of the sea. - “Nature has buried truth at the bottom of the sea”. Democritus (also pg. 273)
105 Football player's hair – Pittsburgh Steeler football player, Troy Polamalu, wears his hair long to honor his Samoan heritage. He has insured his hair for one million dollars.
106 Sasquatch – an ape-like humanoid who reportedly lives in the Pacific Northwest and other remote places. Vancouver Island has the largest number of sightings anywhere.
.....Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden – a full-size Chinese or “scholars” garden in Vancouver. The design employs the philosophical principles of Feng Shui and Taoism. Named in honor of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, a nationalist leader who is considered the “father of modern China.”
107 The gardens of Suzhou – a group of gardens in Suzhou region of China, built over a period of almost one thousand years, with many key features of classical Chinese garden design.
112 the music of your city – refers to Chicago “Blues.” Mr. Yop is a great Blues fan.
.....Lake Khanka – the largest lake in Northeast China, on the border with Russia.
116 through the looking glass – in a book by Lewis Carroll about Alice in Wonderland
.....lumberjacks in tutus – from a skit in Monty Python's Flying Circus
.....carry a mirror...in addition to the towel? It means to be very prepared; “to know where your towel is” from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, in whose honor Towel Day is celebrated every May 25.
119 chin down and head to one side – as did Bobby Kennedy when listening intently.
120 Menu at the Bistro – from the actual menu at the Altitudes Bistro at the Grouse Mountain Lodge in Vancouver
121 phosphodiesterase inhibitors – drugs such as viagra, used to treat erectile dysfunction
123 Maytag Man – the company repairman in Maytag advertisements
.....Oompah band - a form of popular German music with the rhythmical sound of tubas
124 the guy who named it – Georg Luger inventor of the eponymous automatic pistol.
.....RCMP – Royal Canadian Mounted Police
137 in flagrante sterco – caught “in flagrante delicto” means caught in blazing offense. Sterco means dung, thus caught with blazing dung.
140 penjing garden – the ancient Chinese art of growing miniature trees to create an illusion of age. Japanese bonsai is a more modern, simplified version.
146 Peaches of Immortality – In Chinese mythology, they confer longevity on all who ate them. They are celebrated in many famous paintings and tapestries.
149 drank the Kool-Aid – a metaphor referring to unquestioning belief. It is a reference to the Jonestown massacre in 1978 when a cult drank Flavor Aid laced with cyanide.
156 Resistance is futile – a phrase used by the Borg in Star Trek: the Next Generation
163 waypoint – coordinates, such as latitude and longitude, that identify a specific location
165 tap harder for beer – the custom of tapping two fingers of the table means “Thank you”
168 Cisco, let's went – from the old TV series, The Cisco Kid. His trusty side kick, Pancho, did not speak English very well.
170 a vendor – specifically in manufacturing, a vendor provides goods or services
171 all will be revealed - refers to Luke 12:2
177 great train that goes down there from Chicago – “City of New Orleans”, a folk song describing a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans via the Illinois Central Railroad
192 the arms of Morpheus - in Roman mythology, the god of sleep
.....a little lupine – having the characteristics of a wolf, i.e. howling at the full moon.
193 in Hades, in the lower ditches – from The Divine Comedy of Dante, i.e. between Fraud and Treachery.
194 paladins – a Peer, a knightly defender or heroic champion. It's come to simply mean knight, e.g. Paladin in the TV series, Have Gun Will Travel.
.....Elijah's chariot – in 2 Kings 2:8, a chariot of fire appears and Elijah is lifted up.
195 “Alone and drinking under the moon” - Poem by Li Po, also known as Li Bai, a major Chinese poet in the Tang dynasty. He supposedly dirowned trying to embrace the reflection of the Moon in the Yangtze River.
199 Bene gesserit - from Dune, by Frank Herbert, an exclusive sisterhood of highly trained women. The reference in Dune is from John Adams who was asked, “How long can a justice serve?” He answered, “No appointment of a king or senate, ..can be.., for a longer period than quam diu se bene gesserit...” that is, as long as he displays good behavior. From The Works of John Adams, edited by Charles Francis Adams. 10 vol.
204 Quo imus, Domine? Fleeing Rome, St. Peter met a risen Christ and asked him "Quo Vadis?" Where are you going? Rob is making reference to that, but instead, he is asking "Quo imus, Domine?" Where are we going, Lord?
218 Sunken City - Where they are sailing, off Cabo San Antonio, Cuba, there is indeed a sunken city, complete with what appear to be houses, roads and pyramids. Unfortunately, nothing more is known.
206 “Earl Grey, hot?” “Make it so.” - a famous line from the TV series, Star Trek.
.....Isla Mujeres - so called because thousands of ancient statues of women were found there.
208 all those bricks out here - Fort Jefferson, the largest masonry structure in the western hemisphere, contains 16 million bricks, all imported.
209 hooks, rodes, Bahamian - Hooks are anchors, rodes are the chains they're attached to, and Bahamian is a two-anchor configuration to minimize movement at anchor.
.....reflection of the moon – the description from a famous poem by Li Po, a major Chinese poet in the Tang dynasty. He supposedly dirowned trying to embrace the reflection of the Moon in the Yangtze River
.....Dr. Mudd – Dr. Samuel Mudd was convicted and imprisoned at Fort Jefferson for aiding John Wilkes Booth who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.
210 'Man cannot discover new oceans..' - Andre Gide, French writer, won the Nobel prize in1947.
212 wise guys – slang for a member of the mafia.
213 Gilbert and Sullivan opera – refers to The Pirates of Penzance where one character was kept in servitude by counting only his Leap Year birthdays.
215 Churchill – Winston Churchill said, “Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.”
216 “Slante mhath”, “Slainte mhor” - (Slanja va, Slanja vor) Scottish Gaelic drinking toasts meaning “great health” and “health to yourself”. It was also a Jacobite toast meaning “Health to Marion,” a secret code name for Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart), pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
.....Alice's tea party – refers to a nonsensical tea party with the Mad Hatter in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.
218 Island of the Swallows – Cozumel, a island off the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, named by the Maya. According to Maya legend, the goddess Ixchel, the goddess of love and fertility, sent her favorite bird there. They're still there, as you can see every April and May.
dawn rosy fingered that's the way the dawn was repeatedly described in Homer's Ulysses
.....Lot's wife – She was turned into a pillar of salt, from Genesis 19:26.
224 Davy Jones locker – an idiom referring to the bottom of the sea.
.....Mayan temple - There really is such a temple by the sea, just not there.
229 Mary Tyler Moore – from the 1970's TV sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. One of her stock lines when she was upset was to wail “Oh, Rob.”
230 Caimans = crocodile-like reptile. Laughing Birds = Laughing Gulls that have a harsh, repetitious call.
239 his favorite historian – William James Durant
246 Haber and Bosch - The Haber-Bosch process produces ammonia from the nitrogen in the air. Without it most agriculture would be impossible.
.....Norman Borlaug - who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution"and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply by developing high-yielding wheat varieties.
254 'Tragedy of the Commons” - a dilemma described by Garrett Hardin in 1968, whereby a shared resource is ultimately depleted due to people's self-interest and unwillingness to care for the resource.
256 Chupacabra - “goat sucker”, a legendary creature in Latin America that eats everything. La bonita Chupacabra means “that pretty Chupacabra.”
264 Razon. No puede ser matado. – In Spanish, razon means reason. The phrase means “Reason. It cannot be killed.” Only dreams can be killed, and Cuda has none to kill.
269 “Car fifty-four, where are you?” - an American sitcom from 1961 to 1963, about two incompetent policemen.
271 Tiresias – a blind prophet of Thebes in Greek mythology, famous for his clairvoyance. He always told the truth.
.....Euripides and Aeschyus – great tragedians of ancient Greece.
272 head – the toilet on a ship
273 the moon began to rise out of the ocean beckoning them with a “clear silver light”- from a poem by Sapho, an ancient Greek poet.
274 remain positively buoyant – divers are much less likely to damage delicate corals if they remain positively buoyant and do not wear gloves.
277 the guy without an enemy wins – paraphrase of a important tenet from the Tao Te Ching.
278 aerogel - a synthetic porous material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas. The result is a very light solid with extremely low density and thermal conductivity.
.....Phoebe is a Greek goddess who had responsibility for the moon.
.....unity movement – a center left political movement in preparation for a national referendum on New Caledonia.
279 New Caledonia – a special collection of islands 750 miles east of Australia
.....Chateaubriand Bay – on Lifou Island, one of the Loyalty Islands in New Caledonia
281 WAAS contour – a navigation system developed to augment the Global Positioning System.
286 Come, oh come, divinest shell. - Hook is quoting the poet Sapho, who was addressing her lyre that was made from a tortoise shell.
287 Questah noot – “What's up?” in the language Leona's father taught her.
288 black baseball cap – Rob is a White Sox fan, of course
289 “they shall beat their swords into plowshares” – from Isaiah 2:3-5
292 that strange picture of the goddess... - the goddess for whom the boat was named, Hina Ko'a.
296 ...two helos incoming, one blue, one FANG. - Helos is a navy term for heliocopters and if they are actually Navy they are called "blue". The army term is chopper.
.....FANG – slang for F*****g Air National Guard for every state but Florida, where it stands for Florida Air National Guard.
297 HS – U.S. Department of Homeland Security
298 hypersonic sound - Focused sound waves that can be heard only bya person directly in the beam and by no one else. The modulating wave is extracted from the hererodyned carrier by the air.
.....ONI – Office of Naval Intelligence
.....DIA – Defense Intelligence Agency
.....M-code GPS - Military-only GPS with improved anti-jamming, secure access and greater accuracy
.....Spooks – slang for secret agents or spies
302 AI programmer – programmer for Artificial Intelligence branch of computer science.
306 “Ah, there's the rub” - from Hamlet's soliloquy, by Shakespeare.
308 three legs tied with a piggin' string – refers to a rodeo contest to quickly tie three legs of a calf or goat with a stout string.
321 Blues Fest – annual blues festival held in June in Grant Park in Chicago.
325 TSA – Transportation Security Administration, part of HS, especially at airports
.....five to seven federal – five to seven years in a federal penitentiary
.....kielbasa – an especially flavorful, aromatic Polish sausage
.....DEA dog – a drug-sniffing dog of the Drug Enforcement Administration
326 Good Guys wear black – nickname for the Chicago White Sox baseball team
.....“Scotland the Brave” - a Scottish patriotic song, considered an unofficial national anthem of Scotland.
327 Clarence “Gatemouth" Brown – an American musician, best known as a multi-instrumentalist playing the blues.
328 In the movie - meaning in The Blues Brothers movie starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd
329 “Milkcow's Calf Blues” - written and recorded by Kokomo Arnold and later by Robert Johnson
330 Little Walter – Marion Walter Jacobs (1930 - 1968) an American blues harmonica player
.....Walkin' By Myself – Music and lyrics by Jimmy Rogers and Big Walter Horton
.....Pinetop's Boogie Woogie – Clarence Smith (1904 -1929) an American blues pianist.
.....his motors - slang for the motor neurons in the back of the neck that control all muscle movement
331 Defenders – approximately 30 foot aluminum-hulled boats purchased by the Chicago Police Marine Unit with Homeland Security funds.
332 the lighthouse – Chicago Harbor Lighthouse, built in 1893 for the Columbian Exposition, now stands at the end of the northern breakwater of Chicago Harbor.
334 coyotes - On a very hot day in 2007, a coyote wandered into a Chicago sandwich shop and sat in the store's beverage cooler for about 40 minutes. Animal control officers captured the coyote.
336 McKinley Morganfield – known as “Muddy Waters” (1913 – 1983), was an American blues musician, considered the ”father of modern Chicago blues”.
337 Macarena – a silly, audience participation dance
341 Rock, Paper, Scissors – a kids' hand game played by two people: rock breaks scissors, scissors cut paper, paper covers rock.
347 Stockholm Syndrome – a psychological phenomenon in which hostages develop positive feelings towards their captors. Named for a bank-hostage situation in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1973. Examples: Pocahontas in 1600's and Patty Hearst in 1974.
349 Long John – aka Long John Silver, notorious fictional pirate in the novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson.
355 Emily (Trading) Post – refers to Emily Post, an American author famous for writing on the rules of etiquette.
358 new locks – refers to the Third Set of Locks Project that will double the capacity of the Panama canal by 2014