Charles Brian Orner
SOSTENUTO - A Novel

Notes

Interested readers will discover additional details here in a wide variety of areas, including the arts, astronomy, business, culture, environment, gaming, geography, language, history, literature, music, mythology, philosophy, politics, religion, and science. Spend a little time with the notes; it'll pique your interest. Then buy the book. Most notes have been taken from public sources such as Wikipedia. The remainder are given attribution.

Chapter 21

1    A military backpack, also called a MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment, pronounced like the name “Molly”), is designed to adjust the amount of equipment a soldier carries. The contents of a MOLLE are similar to what a backpacker would carry but differ depending on the location of the soldier, the length of the assignment and the soldier’s mission.
“Battle Rattle” is military slang for combat gear.

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Chapter 22

1    Baratiner: French; to chat up, sweet-talk (engage in small talk in order to seduce or convince).
2    Brown Bessie, the famous champion butter cow of the Chicago World’s Fair dairy test, averaged over eighteen kilograms (forty pounds) of milk a day for five months, and made 1.3 kilograms ( three pounds ) of butter a day.

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Chapter 23

1    Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, / And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, / I will be brief: your noble son is mad. - Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2 - William Shakespeare
2    The Angel Moroni is, in Mormonism, an angel that visited Joseph Smith, Jr. on numerous occasions, beginning on September 21, 1823. According to Smith, the angel was the guardian of the golden plates, which Latter Day Saints believe were the source material for the Book of Mormon, buried in a hill near Smith’s home in western New York.

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Chapter 24

1    “I Shot the Sheriff” is a song written by Bob Marley. The song was first released in 1973 on The Wailers’ album Burnin’. Marley explained his intention as follows: “I want to say ‘I shot the police’ but the government would have made a fuss so I said ‘I shot the sheriff’ instead… but it’s the same idea: justice.”

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Chapter 25

1    The floods in Pakistan began in late July 2010, resulting from heavy monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan, which affected the Indus River basin. Approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was underwater, approximately 796,095 square kilometers (307,374 sq mi). According to Pakistani government data, the floods directly affected about twenty million people, mostly by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, with a death toll of close to two thousand.

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Chapter 26

1    Red doors are frequently found on Episcopal and other churches. According to Dr. Richard C. Hoefler, dean of Christ Chapel at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, “Christians have entered into worship, into the presence of God, through the blood of Christ.” It is also said that a red door in the Lutheran Church hearkens back to the time of Martin Luther, who posted his Ninety Five Theses on the red doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany—the crimson color symbolizes the church as part of the Reformation.

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Chapter 27

1    “Soylent pink” is an epithet for a product the meat industry calls “lean finely textured beef” (LFTB), “finely textured beef,” and “boneless lean beef trimmings” (BLBT). In 2001, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the product for limited human consumption, and it was used as a food additive to ground beef and beef-based processed meats as a filler, at a ratio of usually no more than twenty-five percent of any product. The production process uses heat in centrifuges to separate the fat from the meat in beef trimmings. The resulting product is exposed to ammonia gas or citric acid to kill bacteria. A series of reports in March 2012 from ABC News created controversy, brought widespread public attention to and raised consumer concerns about the product. It was reported at that time that seventy percent of ground beef sold in U.S. supermarkets contained the additive, and that the USDA considered it as meat. A 2008 Washington Post article stated that in ground beef containing the filler, the amount can be up to twenty-five percent, but usually does not exceed this percentage. The product has been described as “essentially scrap meat pieces compressed together and treated with an antibacterial agent. In the U.S., beef that contains up to fifteen percent of the product can be labeled as “100% ground beef.”

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Chapter 28

1    Myrddin Wyllt (a legendary figure associated in some sources with events in the sixth century), is a figure in medieval Welsh legend, known as a prophet and a madman. He is the most important prototype for the modern composite image of Merlin, the wizard from Arthurian legend.

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Chapter 29

1    The word ‘row’ as used here is a double-entendre, referring both to a line of cards in the matrix, and a row—the British term for an argument or altercation.
2    S. W. Erdnase is a pseudonym used by the author of The Expert at the Card Table, a book detailing sleight of hand, cheating and legerdemain using playing cards. Still considered essential reading for any card magician, the book, known also as either the Bible or, commonly, just Erdnase, has been in continual publication since 1902. Erdnase’s true identity is one of the enduring mysteries of the magic community.

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Chapter 30

1    “Don’t Panic” is a phrase on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The novel explains that this was partly because the device “looked insanely complicated” to operate, and partly to keep intergalactic travelers from panicking. “It is said that despite its many glaring (and occasionally fatal) inaccuracies, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy itself has outsold the Encyclopedia Galactica because it is slightly cheaper, and because it has the words 'DON’T PANIC' in large, friendly letters on the cover."

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Chapter 31

1    Tailings, also called mine dumps, culm dumps, slimes, tails, refuse, leach residue or slickens, are the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable fraction from the uneconomic fraction (gangue) of an ore.
      In mining and in archaeology, overburden (also called waste or spoil) is the material that lies above an area of economic or scientific interest. In mining, it is most commonly the rock, soil, and ecosystem that lies above a coal seam or ore body.

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Chapter 32

1    Scientology promises the ability to hone one’s “theta perceptics” (senses of the thetan rather than the physical “meat body”) and promises “communication with the theta universe” with enhanced ‘perceptics’ such as “hunches, predictions, ESP at greater and lesser distances, communication with the dead, perception of the Supreme Being, etc.” - Science of Survival, 50th anniversary edition, 2001, p. 576.

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Chapter 33

1    The fundamental interactions, also known as fundamental forces or interactive forces, are the interactions in physical systems that appear not to be reducible to more basic interactions. There are four conventionally accepted fundamental interactions—gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear—each understood as the dynamics of a field. The gravitational force is modeled as a continuous classical field. Each of the other three is modeled as a discrete quantum field, and exhibits a measurable unit or elementary particle.

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Chapter 34

1    Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religious Millenarian group based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of thirty-nine members of the group who had committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following Comet Hale–Bopp.

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Brian Orner