Wikipedia: Ship of Theseus

October 20, 2009

Nick mentioned the Ship of Theseus the other day, and since I didn’t really know what that was, I decided to look that up. It’s one of those things that immediately makes sense, and then you start thinking about it and your brain breaks. It has loads of applications to sports, which I’ll write about soon. Be careful when reading that article as at one point it discusses when something is ‘the same’ as another thing.

The Hammer of Thor doesn’t have much to do with sameness or existence. It mostly deals with smashing things. Known also as Mjöllnir (which means ‘crusher’), it was capable of leveling mountains, which is pretty great. Most hammers cannot do that. Also, if Thor threw it at something, it would magically return to him. When I throw a hammer at something, that’s usually called a felony. And the hammer doesn’t return.

The Belt of Venus is an atmospheric phenomenon occuring at sunset or sunrise. It refers to the pinkish glow that extends above the horizon. It has nothing to do with Venus, and is actually caused by the sun.

The Helm of Darkness was originally given to Hades, but later given to Perseus when he went to kill Medusa. This came as a shock to me because I thought Kid Icarus killed Medusa.

The Hand of God had nothing at all to do with mythology, and everything to do with the World Cup quarterfinals in 1986. Diego Maradona scored a goal that replays showed was clearly played off his hand, which is illegal in soccer. After the game, Maradona said that the goal was one part his head, and one part ‘la mano de Dios’, hence the Hand of God. The legitimacy of his second goal in the quarterfinals has never been questioned.

The Shroud of Turin is a cloth that some feel covered the body of Jesus Christ after he died. The Shroud has a picture of a face impressed upon it, which some believe is the face of Christ. Tests in 1988 suggested that the cloth was made in the middle ages, but the validity of those tests has been called into question. The tests also presented an interesting dilemma for the church, who allowed the tests, but didn’t allow portions of the cloth with the face impressions to be tested. This is because if the tests proved positive, defacing the cloth would have been considered sacrilege. Since Indiana Jones never sought the Shroud, I imagine it could only be so legitimate.

The Ring of Fire is an area of the Pacific Ocean prone to frequent volcanoes and earthquakes. Johnny Cash sings a song about a ring of fire which has nothing to do with tectonic activity. I think more songs should be sung about actual tectonic activity, and not just capitalize on the immense popularity of them.

The Sultan of Swat was Babe Ruth, a major league baseball player in the first part of the 20th century. Babe Ruth held the single season home run record and the career home run record when he retired. He has now been passed in both categories. Some consider Ruth to be the greatest baseball player of all time. It’s hard to argue with them, but I have a different opinion.

The last sentence of this article is this one.


12 Responses to “Wikipedia: Ship of Theseus”

  1. Robin Says:

    Interesting reads.

    So hard to come to a conclusion about the greatest baseball player ever. If we are not judging the person as a human, merely as a ballplayer, then I would submit an argument for Ty Cobb. The guys numbers look like they would have come from a baseball version of Tecmo Super Bowl, except his did not. They were real. He was the real deal. Terrible human, real deal.

    • Nick Says:

      I think you misspelled Satchel Paige.

    • thepolishpistol Says:

      If I were Pete Rose, I would make a poster of things Ty Cobb did, and present it to Bud Selig. Featured prominently would be the time he charged into the stands and beat a fan with a baseball bat. Assuming Bud Selig can read, I think it would be a pretty convincing argument that he should be included.

      In baseball terms though, Cobb has a pretty good argument.

  2. Nick Says:

    Yes… enough links in that last comment I bet I scored another ‘moderator approval’.

    • thepolishpistol Says:

      I think leaving Satchel in the great ‘what-ifs’ makes him more of a legend. However, Satchel is also a huge reason why I feel more strongly about Aaron than Ruth/Cobb. Satchel could not have pitched against those guys, but definitely could have pitched against Aaron. It’s tough for me to believe that a certain player was the greatest ever, if he was only allowed to hit off of white guys.

    • Nick Says:

      hey, where’d my other comment go?

      • thepolishpistol Says:

        The Satchel one? It’s there. I only saw two comments from you.

      • Nick Says:

        just tried again. is it link blocking me? there was a youtube link and a shady “health and wellness” site link in it.

      • Nick Says:

        retyping. oh the pain. breaking the non-youtube link to see if it works this time.

        first “Ship of Theseus”-like reference I remember was from a bad Star Trek novel I read like 50 or so years ago. I can’t remember what it was about, but I remember a scene that had the gist of “Look at your hand. It’s not the same hand that was attached to your arm five years ago. Nor, for that matter, is it the same arm.”

        Of course, since then I came across this thread: httpqrstuv://vitanetonline_com/forums/1/Thread/1001
        which states that the average lifetime of living bone cells are 25-30 years. And since that site seems to have the utmost medical credibility, perhaps only comparable to the esteemed “Homeopathic ER” ( ) I must conclude that that entire story about the hand was complete bunk.

      • Nick Says:

        that did it. what sort of automagic spam filter you have at work here? Freedom of speech, I say!

      • thepolishpistol Says:

        A good one. I get a decent amount of spam each day. And yes, your messages did get flagged.

      • Nick Says:

        and that just proves how impeccable the information on that site must be.

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