Friday, October 16, 2020

"Someone Infinitely Clever Behind All This"

AS FAR AS we can determine, this was the one and only adventure of . . .

"Ray Holmes: Scientific Detective."
By Anonymous.
Artist unknown.
First appearance: Fantastic Adventures, May 1939.

Comic strip (3 pages).
Online at SFFAudio (HERE).

     "That looks like brutal murder to me!"

What could have been a perfect locked room murder turns into a fiasco for the killer when the unexpected happens, in this case the intervention of a reticent smarty-pants scientific detective  . . . .

Principal characters:
~ Dr. Jensen:

  . . . concludes it was heart failure.
~ Major Ackley:
  ". . . bring your prisoner."
~ John Hammond:
  "Manager - Atlantic Space Terminus"
~ Milton Berge:
  "Came to beg for reinstatement!"
~ Ray Holmes:
  "Clue here somewhere."

- An attribute of carbon dioxide plays an important role in our story's plot: "CO2 is an asphyxiant gas and not classified as toxic or harmful in accordance with Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals standards of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe by using the OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals. In concentrations up to 1% (10,000 ppm), it will make some people feel drowsy and give the lungs a stuffy feeling. Concentrations of 7% to 10% (70,000 to 100,000 ppm) may cause suffocation, even in the presence of sufficient oxygen, manifesting as dizziness, headache, visual and hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an hour." (Wikipedia HERE).
- Long before space probes went there to nail down the fact, Venus's atmosphere had already been determined spectroscopically to be largely composed of carbon dioxide: "The atmosphere of Venus is the layer of gases surrounding Venus. It is composed primarily of carbon dioxide and is much denser and hotter than that of Earth. In 1761, Russian polymath Mikhail Lomonosov observed an arc of light surrounding the part of Venus off the Sun's disc at the beginning of the egress phase of the transit and concluded that Venus has an atmosphere. In 1940, Rupert Wildt calculated that the amount of CO2 in the Venusian atmosphere would raise surface temperature above the boiling point for water. This was confirmed when Mariner 2 made radiometer measurements of the temperature in 1962. In 1967, Venera 4 confirmed that the atmosphere consisted primarily of carbon dioxide." (Wikipedia HERE).

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