Editorial: Emperor’s Challenge all the way down

Trent Ernst, Editor


There’s a story, from whence it came, no one knows, but Stephen Hawking attributes it to Bertrand Russell, while John Ross, who wrote about it before Hawking, attributes it to William James.

The story makes reference to the classic idea of the world turtle. In this mytheme, the world is flat and balanced on the back of a giant turtle.

(Yes, I know this is sounding a lot like a Terry Pratchett book, but he just appropriated the idea for his Discworld books.)

Anyway, the first known telling of the story can be tracked back to 1854 from a debate between preachers Joseph Barker and Joseph Frederick Berg, the latter of whom attributes it to an unknown “heathen.”

Here is Hawking’s version of the story, from his book A Brief History of Time:

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

This issue, too, is like that. You might have seen the cover story on the Emperor’s Challenge and thought to peer underneath the covers to see what else you could see and have discovered it is Emperor’s Challenge all the way down.

You see, this is our annual commemorative issue for the Emperor’s Challenge. Historically, this is a pull-out section inside the regular paper, but this year it is the whole paper. Mines closed and all that rot.

Speaking of Emperor’s Challenge, thanks to Ridge Rotors for flying us about so we could take aerial video of the race.

Next issue, we will return to our regularly scheduled coverage of all things Tumbler Ridge, which might include, but is not limited to:

  • Council
  • Grizfest
  • Emperor’s Challenge
  • Is summer over, or is it just sucky out there?
  • Northern Gateway
  • Gathering bungee straps found along the side of the highway.

Before we get there, though, I have a request for all of you. In just over one month, I will be riding from Dawson Creek to William’s Lake on bike as part of Cops for Cancer.

Well, yes, if you wanted to donate, you could by going to bit.ly/trentrider, but that wasn’t what I was going to ask.

Here’s the deal. We run a one person newsroom here at the Tumbler Ridge News. There’s me, and that’s about it.

While I will have lots of stories to tell from the ride, it won’t be an entire paper’s worth of stories.

I will be doing my darndest to write about things happening in Tumbler Ridge, but I know that things will get missed, simply by virtue of the fact that my time will be spent focusing on the ride itself.

So, I need you to tell me what’s happening. Write a letter. Send a photo. Write a story. Tell everyone what you did on your summer vacation. Tell everyone about the first day of school.

If you are interested in writing something, please send me an email at editor@tumblerridgenews.com, just so I know what (if anything) is going to be showing up.

Thanks, all!