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Yeah, and some think that only men write cience-fiction!

This book is actually barely science-fictional, apart from the fact that it takes place in a fictional world, (probably) in some unknown future. It's really a political book about utopia, anarchism and the imperfections of any human society, with a Cold War tint added to it.

I didn't know anything about Ursula Le Guin before reading it, and so woulnd't have had the reflex of buying one of her books. I stumbled upon it at a friend's house. It was on his dead father's shelf, and caught my attention because the following was hand-written on the first page: "To the greatest anarchist that ever lived -signed (ps: by someone who's name I've forgotten)". And since my friend's father had been this serious human rights activist, I thought hmmmh. And wasn't disappointed, a very interesting book!!

by Alex in Toulouse on Mon Dec 26th, 2005 at 05:42:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here, not that I want to invade this thread, but if you're interested, I was surprised to see that the Wikipedia has an entry on this book:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dispossessed

On a train note, I saw this old postcard of a train in Lorraine at the beginning of the 20th century, which I'm interested in (because one of my hobbies is recreating a 3D model of the area around Verdun in 1916, though I barely indulge in it these days).

I was wondering how I could find out what train is shown on the picture. Any pointers at all? If you don't know any off the top of your head please don't be too kind and waste any time looking for some, as I can also do that on my own, and I'd be embarrassed otherwise! I'm just asking offhand, if you have any snap ideas sort of thing.

by Alex in Toulouse on Mon Dec 26th, 2005 at 06:12:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was wondering how I could find out what train is shown on the picture.

I'm not sure what you mean - what kind of locomotive, local/express/special train, train number in timetable?

The locomotive looks like a VERY old piece even at the time of WWI, a simple inside-cylinder machine resembling Stephenson's 1829 "Rocket". It belongs to Compagnie de l'Est, and carries the number 155 - a low number, tough not the lowest, but the locomotive must be from the eighteen-fifties, it could have been 70 years old at the time of WWI!

Unless this was kind of a museum train run already back then, this can only be a local train. Indeed checking a map, Vaucouleurs lies on the long disused Pagny-sur-Meuse - Neufchâteau line along the Meuse river (Southwest of Nancy), incidentally the one touching Jeanne d'Arc's birthplace Domremy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 04:44:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stephenson's 1829 "Rocket"

Sorry, I was thinking of the 1830 "Planet". The locomotive definitely looks like something from Stephenson's factory - and if l'Est No 155 was re-numbered, it may have been even older than 70 years.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 05:29:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo you're the man !!!

If there ever was such a field as astro-trainology, I'd vote for you to get a Nobel.

Thanks for all the information, I was also wondering about this locomotive, when comparing it against other locomotives I've seen in pics of towns of the area, as it didn't quite seem to fit. If it's that old no wonder!!!

So I'll skip this one (so far I've only obtained detailed information, including blueprints in some cases, about locomotives on or supplying the front lines ... and I was beginning to wonder about how and where to start looking for info/pics on normal trains).

I already have way too much stuff to model anyhow, and have really only barely started (but I've been assembling documentation for over a year now, waiting for my software to be finished to be able to indulge in this ... my idea is to complete a realistic model of the area by 2016, for the 100th anniversary, and offer it all to the town of Verdun or to a computer game manufacturing company for free, on the condition that they'll represent Senegalese and Moroccan and other colonial troops as respectfully as they should (instead of only putting Germans and Frenchies, like they would do). Or to both. Probably to both, but I'm not sure in which order ... my head says the town but my heart wants to play the game :))

Again, thanks!

ps: this is really just a hobby, but I think that if I keep on amassing bits and pieces here and there for another 5 years, when my software might/should be earning me a living, I'll be ready to work on it for 5 additional years and get it all out in time (because Verdun is a small town, and the forts etc around it are very well documented).

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 06:14:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was also wondering about this locomotive, when comparing it against other locomotives I've seen in pics of towns of the area, as it didn't quite seem to fit. If it's that old no wonder!!!

So I'll skip this one...

You don't necessarily have to do that. It was very common until the last few decades that mainline locomotives had a longer life because when they got older, and were replaced by faster, stronger, heavier locos on the mainlines, they continued on branchlines until broke.

my idea is to complete a realistic model of the area by 2016, for the 100th anniversary, and offer it all to the town of Verdun or to a computer game manufacturing company for free, on the condition that they'll represent Senegalese and Moroccan and other colonial troops as respectfully as they should (instead of only putting Germans and Frenchies, like they would do). Or to both.

Great idea, I wish you the will to finish it :-)

BTW, I was in Verdun, on my home from Bretagne, in the summer of 2003 - tough I haven't seen much of the WWI memorials, or even the inner town - I only camped there for the night. (Incidentally, the camping was just next to the first strong curve along the route of the 2001 Tour de France team trials, which I had in good memory from seeing on TV.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Dec 28th, 2005 at 12:12:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ps: sorry for being imprecise, yes I was actually wondering about the locomotive
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Dec 27th, 2005 at 06:31:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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