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Mystery of Ancient Calculator Finally Cracked

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the Curta-had-nothing-on-the-ancients dept.

241

jcaruso writes, "It's been more than 100 years since the discovery of the 2,000-year-old Antikythera Mechanism, but researchers are only now figuring out how it works." From the article: "Since its discovery in 1902, the Antikythera Mechanism — with its intricate and baffling system of about 30 geared wheels — has been an enigma... During the last 50 years, researchers have identified various astronomical and calendar functions, including gears that mimic the movement of the sun and moon. But it has taken some of the most advanced technology of the 21st century to decipher during the past year the most advanced technology of the 1st century B.C."

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241 comments

The question on everyones lips... (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968652)

Did it run Linux?

Re:The question on everyones lips... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16968688)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!

Re:The question on everyones lips... (5, Funny)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968870)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!

Somewhat hard, given that it predates Beowulf [wikipedia.org] by at least 600 years.

Re:The question on everyones lips... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16968936)

Correct. Back then, they were called Hydra clusters, for obvious reasons.

Re:The question on everyones lips... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16969106)

it runs NetBSD silly!

Re:The question on everyones lips... (2, Funny)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969578)

Saying that something runs NetBSD is approximately equivalent to saying that something exists.

Doesn't this [nott.ac.uk] run NetBSD too?

Re:The question on everyones lips... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16969388)

*woooooooooooooooooosh*

Re:The question on everyones lips... (5, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968868)

Did it run Linux?

It was designed by the famous Roman programmer Linicus Torivicus.

Re:The question on everyones lips... (5, Funny)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969242)

Linux? No, it ran windows, that's why it's taken so much time to try to figure it out.

Re:The question on everyones lips... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16970010)

Well it sure isn't a quality webserver

Re:The question on everyones lips... (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968908)

No one knows. Driver issues. Blame the manufacturer.

KFG

Re:The question on everyones lips... (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968958)

What I find amazing about scientists is their dedication to discover and understand the past.

If the big business (Sony/MS/Real *and* Apple) get their way all these little plastic discs and memory stones will just be pretty ornaments to our descendants.
There will be no way to decode the data stored within.

We will become a black hole in history (no goatse refs).

Re:The question on everyones lips... (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969050)

The Age of Information Dark Ages. We live at the dawn of an oxymoron. Yay us!

I can just see 'em sittin' around saying "We don't know WTF they were thinking, because we don't know WTF they were thinking"

You take F451, I'll take Time Enough For Love. We can pool camping gear.

KFG

Yes, Debian. (3, Funny)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968914)

It should be released for the abacus soon as well.

Re:Yes, Debian. (1, Funny)

MicrosoftRepresentit (1002310) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969086)

An interesting fact about abacuses (abacii?): abacuses where not invented around 1000 BC as many believe. In fact, they where invented around 5000 BC, but it wasn't until four thousand years later that someone invented the hole, which allowed people to slide things onto other things. Until then, the abacus was just the frame and and metal rods, with some poor soul having to hold the marbles against the rods. It was very hard to use, and serves as a chilling metaphor for the state of Linux on the desktop today.

Re:The question on everyones lips... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16969074)

Nah, according to the article it's unprogrammable.

Re:The question on everyones lips... (1)

Aeamarth (943939) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969424)

Of course it didn't, that's why it's so hard to do reverse engineering on it!

I guess the microsoft of those times made it

Re:The question on everyones lips... (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969546)

Did it run Linux?

The Antikythera mechanism is *not* user friendly, and until it is Antikythera will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Antikythera zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do hammer-dowel install package, or hit package": Yes, because hitting with "hammer" makes so much more sense to new users than double-whipping a slave that does "setups".

Antikythera zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Antikythera configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of slave storage issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get Quake 0.03 to run in Antikythera?" Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redtoga, you have to smelt quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.tin, then do chmod +x with a file.....

Physical Perl (3, Funny)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968692)

Remember folks, always document your calculators.

Re:Physical Perl (5, Informative)

Thornae (53316) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968832)

Remember folks, always document your calculators

They did.
From the article:
'... X-rays exposed writing on surfaces mashed together in the Mechanism, and never before seen... He declines to be specific about what the writing says. "But it was basically an instruction manual on using the mechanism, and what its purpose was," he says.'

Like the Mormons' tablets... (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969324)

"He declines to be specific about what the writing says."

WTF ... so they figure all this out, and then they keep the writing secret? What's up with that.

Re:Like the Mormons' tablets... (5, Interesting)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969502)

they keep the writing secret? What's up with that.

Because it's kind of hard to read, even if you know Greek. Quite a lot of work needs to be done to get the text transcribed fully, even if parts of it are easy to read. Have you looked at the third image in the slide show? Could you make an accurate transcription of the text shown?

FWIW, I can read Greek, but all I can make out is some references to a "square showing a given" something, some numbers, and something about moving some bits of the mechanism but not others. The third line's got some words in it but I can't fit them together without context.

Getting less important (3, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969404)

Abacus: millions still in use today.

Slide rules: very few still in use today, but they were very important from 1620's (when they were invented) until the 1970/1980s -- 350 years.

Now, a calculator older than 5 years is a historical curiosity (although I still use a 15-year old calculator on a day-to-day basis).

What we're seeing is a shortened lifetime for calculators, software, etc. which probably makes documentation less important (excpet for historical curiosity). You would not realisticly expect any software / device you design now to be in use 350 or 2000 years from now.

You Whippersnappers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16968696)

You whippersnappers got this fancy Antikythera thing... I used to have only abacus [wikipedia.org] back then. Talk about being spoiled!

Just imagine... (5, Funny)

Mish (50810) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968714)

But it has taken some of the most advanced technology of the 21st century to decipher during the past year the most advanced technology of the 1st century B.C."
Maybe in 2000 years we'll have the technology to decode that sentence!

Re:Just imagine... (1)

epp_b (944299) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969128)

Maybe in 2000 years we'll have the technology to decode that sentence!
That's asking a little much. I mean, slashdot and commas? C'mon.

Nice! ... (1)

Rowanyote (980640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968716)

So is there enough information to reverse engineer it? RowanYote

No, just an EULA (3, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968910)

I agree not to leave this thing lying around for people to discover in 2000 years time. I agree not to reverse engineer this device......

Re:Nice! ... (3, Informative)

DogFacedJo (949100) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968960)

>> ... is there enough information to reverse engineer it?

    There is. The article gets to the point at the very end, and frustratingly turns out to be hype for the upcoming release of what it does. The point is that they found significantly more text (than had been previously found) by using x-ray tomography to show slices of its internals. The text they found included the manual which was conveniently written in greek.
    Apparently it turns out that the previous attempts to reverse engineer what it does were somewhat off.

    I agree with the above poster: it is not really news yet - they are merely about to present their results. Hate. Hype.

   

Re:Nice! ... (1)

gigne (990887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968996)

I agree. I was disappointed with the lack of closure. It actually read more like an advert for HP, and how amazing they are.

Re:Nice! ... (3, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968992)

Not a chance! Let me remind you of a little thing called the BC-CA. The BCCA is the predecessor of the DMCA, and if you think the DMCA is draconian - the BCCA prescribed death for every violation.

Re:Nice! ... (1)

ZippyKitty (902321) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969340)

I seen a presentation on this a few months ago. (but did not RTFM)

They are working on that - but some gears are missing. As well the case it was in is gone too and it appears that a lot of the documentation and text was on the case (I think there were some traces of the case that they could figure this out from). From previous work a model was made - but the new information showed a different gear configuration. I image that someone will build a new one soon though.

ZK

Just goes to show... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16968736)

Don't throw out the instructions; archaeologists from the 40th century might need them.

On the serious side, though... How much of our stuff will be unusable only 200 years from now?

Re:Just goes to show... (3, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968812)

How much of our stuff will be unusable only 200 years from now?
And even if anything still works, you can count on a Microsoft ad campaign to make you feel like a dinosaur for not upgrading to the latest version.

Re:Just goes to show... (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969316)

You can make that 20 years. I have stuff on 5 1/4 that will never see the day of light anymore. And programs on my Casio fx180 (well... 36 instruction programs are fairly easy to remember so I am not griping over those.)

I have to say though that the device is one solid Prior Art... take that Sharp and HP!

Re:Just goes to show... (5, Interesting)

Suzuran (163234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968862)

As part of the Project Apollo research effort, I can tell you that the Apollo spacecraft (Which is arguably one of mankind's greatest achievements) didn't even make it 50 years - Even now, with the spacecraft still intact and the crew still alive, we are having to undertake a large reverse-engineering project with limited documentation to recreate the operation of the spacecraft.

Re:Just goes to show... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16969048)

As part of the Project Apollo research effort, I can tell you that the Apollo spacecraft (Which is arguably one of mankind's greatest achievements) didn't even make it 50 years - Even now, with the spacecraft still intact and the crew still alive, we are having to undertake a large reverse-engineering project with limited documentation to recreate the operation of the spacecraft.
It isn't functional and never was.
When will people realize that the whole moonwalk thing was a hoax?
Are even the astronauts so brainwashed that they believe they have been on the moon?
Some lunatics!

Re:Just goes to show... (3, Informative)

wkk2 (808881) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969118)

Root cause of the problem: Since the equipment was out sourced to a contractor, NASA never obtained all the details or tooling. The contractors were under no obligation to retain the tooling necessary to make additional units. I suspect that someone said "we need space" and everything was sent to a landfill.

Re:Just goes to show... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16969250)

I predict in 200 years from now, Linux will be poised to take over the desktop.

slownewsday (5, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968746)

Absolutely nothing new in this article, except that the latest team are going to be releasing their findings soon. Basically, it's a page filler, some entertainment, not news at all.

Really, we need a new word, for news which isn't functional information, but just amusing/entertaining.

I wish they'd bloody well get round to publishing the full translation of the text, though!

Re:slownewsday (4, Insightful)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968776)

Yeah, I was really disappointed. I've heard about this device before, and more detailed specifics about it would be very interesting, but this article is just a fluff piece.

Re:slownewsday (2, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969372)

Don't you just love it when someone posts an article that basically say "hey we have something really interesting to tell you but we're not telling."? Usually being a tease is considered mean.

Re:slownewsday (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968820)

The entire story in a nutshell:

"No comment."

Film next week.

Really, we need a new word, for news which isn't functional information, but just amusing/entertaining.

"Rupert."

KFG

Re:slownewsday (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969104)

You got it.

Re:slownewsday (2)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969230)

Usage:

"Hey, ja see the rupert about Spears in the Post the other day?"

And the mind implodes into a psychic black hole of noninformation about nothing from nowhere.

Welcome to the future. Here's your drool cup.

KFG

Re:slownewsday (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16968942)

It is news to most /. readers, used to fud and lame articles.

Re:slownewsday (0, Offtopic)

dr_labrat (15478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968948)

Yeah, there are tags called slownewsday, fud, notfud and itsatrap. Not to mention the fact that, though it may be new to the editors, its not news.

Re:slownewsday (1)

rbochan (827946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969058)

Really, we need a new word, for news which isn't functional information, but just amusing/entertaining.


There is one [fark.com]

Re:slownewsday (1)

GWBasic (900357) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969294)

Really, we need a new word, for news which isn't functional information, but just amusing/entertaining.

Filler

I actually enjoyed reading the article as I only recently became aware of the device. BT named a song after it on his new album, This Binary Universe [amazon.com].

Re:slownewsday (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969406)

Really, we need a new word, for news which isn't functional information, but just amusing/entertaining.

I thought it was "news show" - you just perhaps have to create some variations along the lines of "net news show" (or should it read "tube news show"?).

CC.

Re:slownewsday (4, Funny)

Random Data (538955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969746)

Really, we need a new word, for news which isn't functional information, but just amusing/entertaining.


Fox News?

Beowulf cluster (3, Funny)

PsyQo (1020321) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968772)

Some archeologists suggest that the people who used this calculator, actually tried to build a Beowulf cluster out of these, but were unable to because Beowulf wasn't born yet.

Re:Beowulf cluster (2, Interesting)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969416)

Just makes me think. If it's this hard to figure out what a geared mechanism does, how hard is it going to be for a hypethetical future generation discovering a computer to figure out what the heck it was for?

If we all get wiped out by a comet or something and humanity has to start from scratch would we eventually end up using silicon? Or would we come up with a biological solution (like the human brain)? It's cool to think about.

Maybe we've already dug up things that are more advanced than what we have but we're too primitive to recoginize what it is.

And the secret message is... (0, Offtopic)

gibbdog (551209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968780)

Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!

stupid (2, Insightful)

vincpa (646684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968788)

Goes to show how stupid we are with the most advanced tech.

Re:stupid (2, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969082)

Big deal - I know a couple guys, in the PRC, that could reverse engineer this thing and have working copies, with instructions in 12 languages, for sale on street before dusk...

The terrible tapir. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16968794)

""It's been more than 100 years since the discovery of the 2,000-year-old Antikythera Mechanism, but researchers are only now figuring out how it works.""

Hey! All you Jefferson "Light my Tapir" guys. Pay attention.

Olden days people.. Pssh. (2, Funny)

Asrynachs (1000570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968830)

I'm sure at the lab it went something like this...

'Hey professor Roy, have you figured out how that ancient calculator works yet?'

'Well no.. eh heh... It's sort of a mystery.. Those olden days people were a lot more cleaver than we gave them credit for. I think we might have to change our hypothesis'

'ARE YOU INSANE?! We'll be a laughing stock! I can imagine the headlines now... "Scientists Change Hypothesis: Community Laughs at Expense".. I can't go through that again! You remember the Stone Henge fiasco?! The Bloody Scots threatened to raise Fingal!!'

'...I'll get my gun'

And the clock stopped... (5, Informative)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968856)

...thus, by tracking back to which epicycles were extant in the cosmos at that time, we were able to pinpoint the moment of the crime (a piracy, perhaps?).

Actually this story is a little old, people have had the Antikythera device scoped out for a couple of years now. It's a sort of geared astrolabe using an epicyclic model (an astronomical paradigm adopted in Ptolomy's ptime) and the parts inside the corroded find were derived by some good ol'fashioned NMI scanning.

An astrolabe is basically a clock -- an analogue computer that correlates time, star position and latitude. Look 'em up -- they're beautiful instruments and very logically constructed. Each point indicates a star, the off-centre circles (al'mucanthers) are the projections of the celestial latitudes from the polar axis (think of a bunch of hoops on one spindle of a Tower of Hanoi model, then crank the spindle off the perpendicular by a few degrees, to give you an idea of the projection. Light source on top, your shadow rings are the al'mucanthers). Move the star pointer to one of those circles, then read the index off the rim of the device (the Mater). Because of their simplicity and elegance (the mathematical model, not the construction!) they were used up until Columbus' time. If the Antikythera device had been a better predictor, we might well have seen more of them. And a lot more gears. The only thing we still use from the development of the astrolabe today is the flat head screw, seen on one model in 1565.

Re:And the clock stopped... (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969060)

and how to build a complex epicyclic movement with ancient Greek tech? Sure, they had gears, but this is rather more of a mechanism. Our (so-called modern) astrolabes were quite crude by comparison, as were our clocks until the 16th Century or later.

Re:And the clock stopped... (2, Informative)

Cimon Avaro (1022609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969872)

Actually this story is a little old, people have had the Antikythera device scoped out for a couple of years now. It's a sort of geared astrolabe using an epicyclic model (an astronomical paradigm adopted in Ptolomy's ptime) and the parts inside the corroded find were derived by some good ol'fashioned NMI scanning.
I think you misread the article. It didn't say they used an epicyclic model but an epicyclic mechanism (instead of differential gearing). That is, they weren't specifically using an epicyclic mathematic model of stellar movements. What the story claims is that the physical mechanics of the machine worked like those spirograph things you get in cereal boxes, rather than the clockwork mechanisms we are all so familiar with.

Stargate plug (5, Funny)

ultracool (883965) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968860)

They should have given it to SG1. Dr. Jackson would have figured it out in no time, and they would have used to save the Earth from a far more technologically advanced enemy.

Just Goes to Show (2, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16968970)

This just goes to show why documentation is so important. Kids, when you want your CoolWare 1.3.37 still to be in use 2000 years from now...document it!

Re:Just Goes to Show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16969510)

Maybe this will be the incentive Linux developers need to produce easy to use software with equally easy documentation? Na! The truly hardcore should be able to figure it out!

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16968988)

...they're only just now figuring out a highly complex bit of machinery from the time when humans were supposedly about 'as dumb as teh average ape'. Yeah right. This fits right in with the Biblical account of the flood - humans have always been highly-intelligent beings (come on you humanists, how does this not appeal?) and all they've been lacking after the flood is the right materials, knowledge, and man-power to create great civilizations. After all, how would you feel if just you and your family were dumped into a post-apocalyptic world with the bare essentials? I thought as much. And no, you wouldn't be living in a condo either. If you DID have a portable two-man tent it'd break down very quickly (relatively speaking) and nothing would be left afterwards, though that highly complex gadget you just couldn't do without manages to survive until those silly people way in the future decide to try and figure it out.

Re:So... (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969988)

The difficulty of figuring this thing out is because it is fused together by corrosion, not because it is doing something so amazing.

dude, it's a wheel to a pizza oven !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16969064)

Greek Pizza that is

Relative Difficulty (4, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969092)

But it has taken some of the most advanced technology of the 21st century to decipher during the past year the most advanced technology of the 1st century B.C.

To pull out the old quote, "It is twice as difficult to debug a program as to write it. Therefore, if you put all of your creativity and effort into writing the program, you are not smart enough to debug it."

Without any information even about what it's supposed to do, beyond being a series of gears, without knowing if it's even a fragment of a larger whole - or even knowing if it actually worked for the intended process (or was the ancient equivalent of a buggy program), that makes for quite a challenge.

I'm guessing, in the future, a massively advanced civilization that came across the ones and zeroes of Internet Explorer, without the O.S., without info about HTTP, without Windows or a computer based off that comical silicon technology they've only found fragments of, they wouldn't be able to figure it out either.

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16969168)

Yes, but is it Turing complete?

comments (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969188)

Does anyone else need convincing that comments might not be a waste of time?

Re:comments (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969556)

comments might not be a waste of time

To put it in CS language, surviving technology from the ancient world tends to be more binaries than source code. With some notable, and correspondingly important, exceptions (such as Vitruvius).

The lesson? (1)

yndrd (529288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969190)

Properly document your hardware!

Re:The lesson? (2, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969968)

Properly document your hardware!

      They did, only no one could overstand the joyful tongueage it was scribated in. Press green button marked RED to activating your unit and with disdain you must...

some things don't change (1)

rgaginol (950787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969394)

And what was true then which is also true today is that little device gave someone absolute job security - along with a middle manager to go along with it. Surely there is enough material here to do a "ye olde Dilbert" strip. Documentation - bah, keep it minimal, make sure you need to be employed since there isn't anyone on earth capable of maintaining it;)

Compass (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969470)

1) Astrological & Calendar functions
2) Found on a shipwreck

I get the feeling it was just a complicated compass.

Pfft (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969472)

If it took them this long to reverse-engineer an ancient calculator with 30 gears, imagine how long it's gonna take them to reverse engineer that crashed alien ship in Area 51.

No wonder they're keeping everyone out- they're embarrassed.

Heliocentric as well ... (3, Interesting)

pbhj (607776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969492)

I find it amusing.

This is a heliocentric astrolabe style device from about 80BC; an advance from geocentric designs. Yet most people on /. appear to espouse the view that everyone before the middle-ages thought the earth was flat. Now granted - the rotation of planets around a common star doesn't necessarily imply the understanding of rotation of a non-flat planet but as soon as you consider other planets rising and setting you're going to start getting some major clues ... really, we've not developed that much.

I guess at 1:43am I'm easily amused!

I'm curious (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969536)

Would ancient timepieces suffer from overflow? Did they just stick a zero in front of the year back then?


(Granted their calendar would register '1st century BC' at somewhere between year 3000 and year 4000, at a random guess.)

Evil Technology (2, Funny)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969650)

Doesn't this thing remind anyone of the countless ancient artifacts we've seen in movies that are expressly designed to summon some evil force (the devil, elder gods, pokemon, etc.) to the Earth to destroy or enslave mankind forever? Should we really be playing around with this thing?

Everything is under control (3, Funny)

The_Dougster (308194) | more than 7 years ago | (#16969954)

The reports of strange lights emanating from the lab were merely energy discharges from the material under the effects of the x-ray analysis, which is quite normal actually. Unfounded rumors of strange demonic figures running amok in the complex were likewise nothing more than a mischievous prank by a few of the overworked scientists who took a joke a bit too far. The security forces stationed around the building are merely there to keep pesky reporters from spoiling next-week's release. Any sounds which appear to be gunfire are simply sonic gas bubbles popping from out of the high tech equipment. So everything is completely under control, no need to worry.
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