Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn #328 - FINA

Attended the latest meeting of the Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn (HSU), who have now been at it for 28 years. Most of them good years.
I believe two records were set at this meeting.
The first was the attempt (successful attempt) to live broadcast the meeting on Facebook.

Ten members were present.

While a few technical issues need to be worked out, it seemed to be a success in that a few comments were made during the meeting from other states.

The second record set I believe was in the number of presentations or papers on FINA.
We had four very different presentations made on things to be found in FINA.
The gamut running from gaming matrix to how many times things happened in three's in the story.
BSI member Bill Cochran was present and as usual gave a very good paper.

Discussed was how much Holmes had planned out the trip that concluded the Final Problem and how much was left to chance.
While first reading FINA we are lead to believe that Holmes' death was just the end result of this continental chase. But after further reading, as suggested by Bill, the entire process was well planned out by Holmes to bring about the result that happened.
I will post Bill's (and the others) paper here once it comes out in the newsletter.

When reading these tales over again for each meeting I always try to spot something that I had not noticed before, something I think could make a good topic of discussion.

There probably is not much that has not been covered in FINA, as would also be the case with the other 59 stories.
But I came across something I had not heard discussed before ( which may just mean I had not come across some one's thoughts on the subject ).
Several paragraphs in, when Holmes is telling Watson about Moriarty this information is given;
'. . . where he set up as an army coach."
We have heard a lot about the papers Moriarty contributed to science. And that he had been a professor of Mathematics at some smaller university.

But I have never read or heard any discussion of him being an army coach.
Now I doubt that that meant we would have seen him coaching the football team at an earlier Army/Navy match.

But I can imagine several teaching positions in the army that would require mathematics skills;
artillery, codes/intelligence, weather, etc.
While the military at this time was not as advanced technically as we are now, mathematics would still have played a large role.
Are connections while teaching for the army how Moriarty and Moran came together?

It was a very good meeting and made me want to go back and read once again FINA.


  1. I have read (somewhere) someone's views on the army coach bit, but recall no particulars... though your line about Moriarty and Moran coming together there is VERY INTERESTING.

    1. It was one of those things that just jumped out at me that I had not noticed before.