Pascal's Submarine references


"...A woman's had all she can stand
Hysterically screaming, "I'm waiting for my man"
Madam, we're doing all we can
But can you give me your man's name again

Are they dead or worse, alive?

Is there something that you're trying to hide?
Russian accent - Las Vegas cap says, "can we talk about all that inside?"

With Klebanov within her grasp
There's just one more thing she's dying to ask
They stuck a needle in her arm
Saying, don't do yourself more harm
She collapsed."

Another unlikely anthem, Gord made a tune about the tragedy of the Kursk a sing along song. On August 12, 2000, the Soviet-era nuclear submarine Kursk was rocked by explosions and sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea. All 118 crew members perished. Nadezhda Tylik lost her 24 year old son Sergei Tylik in the accident. She famously berated Russia's deputy prime minister Ilya Klebanov on television over the governments slow response to the sunken sub and their later unwillingness to reveal details of the disaster. For days after the accident, surviving sailors on the Kursk made contact with their Russian commanders, but by the time they were reached, it was too late. As Tylik began to scream at Klebanov, she was poked with a syringe and dramatically collapsed. The images were beamed around the world, and as Gord explains below, it was this image which inspired "Pascal's Submarine:" 

"I placed the now familiar photograph of a Russian mother, Nadezhda Tylik, screaming at deputy prime minister Klebanov on my bulletin board.... the look on her face, the cool detachment of the nurse who injects her with a sedative (which turns out to be heart medication that puts the lady out), the blank expression of a man (Klebanov) whose government has placed state secrets over human life and knows there is nothing he can say.... the song wrote itself."

Blaise Pascal, courtesy of Wikipedia was: "a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher who lived from June 19, 1623 to August 19, 1662. Important contributions by Pascal to the natural and applied sciences include the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarification of concepts such as pressure and vacuum. Pascal also did groundwork in projective geometry and in probability theory, which has major ramifications in economics and the social sciences.

Most of these contributions were made early in his life, as following a mystical experience in 1654, he fell away from mathematics and physics and devoted himself to reflection and writing about philosophy and theology. This period was characterized by the composition of his two most famous works, the Lettres provinciales and the Pensťes. Pascal suffered from ill-health throughout his life and died two months after his 39th birthday."

Gord wrote: "Pascal said (I think in his Pensees) (Iím paraphrasing, fairly well), "all manís misery stems from a single cause, his inability to remain quietly in one room" ó I suppose I liked the juxtaposition of that quote with the now absurd advice of the pundits that these sailors should remain still and limit their movements in order to conserve oxygen."