The Balloon-Hoax

"The Balloon-Hoax" is the title used in collections and anthologies of a newspaper article written by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1844. Presented as a true story, it detailed European Monck Mason's trip across the Atlantic Ocean in only three days in a gas balloon, it was revealed as a hoax and the story was retracted two days later. The story now known as "The Balloon-Hoax" was first printed in The Sun newspaper in New York; the article provided a detailed and plausible account of a lighter-than-air balloon trip by European balloonist Monck Mason across the Atlantic Ocean taking 75 hours, along with a diagram and specifications of the craft. Poe may have been inspired, at least in part, by a prior journalistic hoax known as the "Great Moon Hoax", published in the same newspaper in 1835. One of the suspected writers of that hoax, Richard Adams Locke, was Poe's editor at the time "The Balloon-Hoax" was published. Poe had complained for a decade that the paper's Great Moon Hoax had plagiarized the basic idea from "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall", one of Poe's less successful stories which involved similar inhabitants on the Moon.

Poe felt. The story was first published on April 1844 in the New York Sun, it ran with the headline: ASTOUNDING NEWS! BY EXPRESS VIA NORFOLK: THE ATLANTIC CROSSED IN THREE DAYS! SIGNAL TRIUMPH OF MR. MONCK MASON'S FLYING MACHINE!!! Arrival at Sullivan's Island, near Charlestown, S. C. of Mr. Mason, Mr. Robert Hol- land, Mr. Henson, Mr. Har- rison Ainsworth, four others, in the STEERING BALLOON "VICTORIA," AFTER A PASSAGE OF SEVENTY-FIVE HOURS FROM LAND TO LAND. FULL PARTICULARS OF THE VOYAGE!!! A retraction concerning the article was printed in The Sun on April 15, 1844: BALLOON - The mails from the South last Saturday night not having brought a confirmation of the arrival of the Balloon from England, the particulars of which from our correspondent we detailed in our Extra, we are inclined to believe that the intelligence is erroneous; the description of the Balloon and the voyage was written with a minuteness and scientific ability calculated to obtain credit everywhere, was read with great pleasure and satisfaction.

We by no means think such a project impossible. Poe himself describes the enthusiasm his story had aroused: he claims that the Sun building was "besieged" by people wanting copies of the newspaper. "I never witnessed more intense excitement to get possession of a newspaper," he wrote. The story's impact reflects on the period's infatuation with progress. Poe added realistic elements, discussing at length the balloon's design and propulsion system in believable detail, his use of real people, including William Harrison Ainsworth lent credence to the story. The character of Monck Mason was not a real person, though he was based on Thomas Monck Mason; the story is an early form of science fiction responding to the emerging technology of hot air balloons. The story may have been an inspiration for Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days; as Verne scholar William Butcher pointed out, Verne was an early admirer of Poe and his novel Cinq semaines en ballon was published within a year of his non-fiction book Edgar Poe et ses œuvres.

Verne has a character mention Poe's story in From the Earth to the Moon. It is not difficult to see Poe's works, published in France as Histoires extraordinaires, as one of the influences on Verne's Voyages extraordinaires; the first human-carrying lighter-than-air craft of any type to cross the Atlantic was in 1919. The British dirigible R-34, a direct copy of the German L-33 which crashed in Britain during World War I; the 3559.5 mile flight from Britain to New York City took 108 hours 12 minutes. The first human-carrying unpowered balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean was Double Eagle II from August 11 to 17, 1978; the Pacific was crossed in three days by unmanned Japanese "fire balloons" in 1944 100 years after Poe's story. Works related to The Balloon-Hoax at Wikisource The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Raven Edition, Volume 1 public domain audiobook at LibriVox

RA Centre

The RA Centre is a recreation and activity centre in Ottawa, Canada. It is operated by the Recreation Association of the Public Service of Canada. Having been in business for over 75 years, with a membership that exceeds 22,000, the RA is one of the largest community sport and fitness not-for-profits in the National Capital Region; the RA operates out of fourteen corporate fitness centres in the region. The RA is governed by a volunteer board, operated by a combination of paid staff and volunteers. Over fifty programs are offered, including squash, hockey and archery; the RA Centre offers a conference rooms which can be booked for meetings or weddings. The Centre is located on Riverside Drive near the corner of Bank Street, next to Billings Bridge Plaza, it is built on the site of the brickyards of the Ottawa Terra Cotta Co.. Ltd, bought by the Federal government in 1954 and closed in 1958. Clubs and Sports offered at the RA Centre include: Aikido Archery Badminton Ball Hockey Basketball Beach Volleyball Bridge Camps Canoe Camping Chess Curling Euchre Fencing Fitness Target Shooting Ice hockey Judo Racquetball Skiing Snowboarding Football Softball Squash Swimming Volleyball

Flame test

A flame test is an analytical procedure used in chemistry to detect the presence of certain elements metal ions, based on each element's characteristic emission spectrum. The color of flames in general depends on temperature; the test involves introducing a sample of the element or compound to a hot, non-luminous flame, observing the color of the flame that results. The idea of the test is that sample atoms evaporate and since they are hot, they emit light when being in flame. Bulk sample emits light too. Bulk sample emits light due to the motion of the electrons, therefore its spectrum is broad, consisting of a broad range of colors. Separate atoms of a sample present in the flame can emit only due to electronic transitions between different atomic energy levels; those transitions emit light of specific frequencies, characteristic of the chemical element itself. Therefore, the flame gets the color, determined by properties of the atomic energy shells of the chemical element of the substance being put into flame.

The flame test is a easy experiment to set up and thus is demonstrated or carried out in science classes in schools. Samples are held on a platinum wire cleaned with hydrochloric acid to remove traces of previous analytes; the compound is made into a paste with concentrated hydrochloric acid, as metal halides, being volatile, give better results. Different flames should be tried to avoid wrong data due to "contaminated" flames, or to verify the accuracy of the color. In high-school chemistry courses, wooden splints are sometimes used because solutions can be dried onto them, they are inexpensive. Nichrome wire is sometimes used; when using a splint, one must be careful to wave the splint through the flame rather than holding it in the flame for extended periods, to avoid setting the splint itself on fire. The use of cotton swab or melamine foam as a support have been suggested. Sodium is a common component or contaminant in many compounds and its spectrum tends to dominate over others; the test flame is viewed through cobalt blue glass to filter out the yellow of sodium and allow for easier viewing of other metal ions.

The flame test is quick and simple to perform and can be carried out with the basic equipment found in most chemistry laboratories. However, the range of elements positively detectable under these conditions is small, as the test relies on the subjective experience of the experimenter rather than any objective measurements; the test has difficulty detecting small concentrations of some elements, while too strong a result may be produced for certain others, which tends to cause fainter colors to not appear. Although the flame test only gives qualitative information, not quantitative data about the proportion of elements in the sample, quantitative data can be obtained by the related techniques of flame photometry or flame emission spectroscopy. Flame atomic absorption spectroscopy Instruments, made by e.g. PerkinElmer or Shimadzu, can be operated in emission mode according to the instrument manuals; some common elements and their corresponding colors are: Gold, platinum, a number of other elements do not produce a characteristic flame color, although some may produce sparks.

Colored fire Emission spectrum Photoelectric flame photometer Qualitative inorganic analysis Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy Flame Test - Coloring Fire - Pictures of Several Flame Tests, Includes Instructions - Flame Coloration by Element