How to Find Your Roots

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Reader Comments (30)

Ah, so granpa Meyer sold his moonshine "process" to the germans? That makes sense.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjh

They really did use the Meyer Method. You might very well qualify for the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

And I thought my family was special for having an axe murderer...

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Southern moonshiners r the best

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdruw

Heh, I read this after watching episodes of Wolverine and the X-men.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterACF

Heh heh, dirt.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKane

Yeah, I stopped being interested in my family tree when I found out that 1) part of the family would have been million or billionaires now if they had back American in the Revolutionary War, 2) some of them sold everything they had to get away from being coalminers in Wales and got here in tie for the coal boom, guess what the only work they could get was? And 3) some of them got thrown out of Scotland for cannibalism.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

This "Meyer Method" intrigues me, and I wish to learn more.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Rugi

From Wikipedia:

In 1886, Viktor Meyer published a paper describing a synthesis that produced good yields. He reacted 2-chloroethanol with aqueous potassium sulfide and treated the resulting thiodiglycol with phosphorus trichloride. The purity of this compound was much higher and the adverse health effects on exposure, as a consequence, much more severe. These symptoms presented themselves in an assistant, and, in order to rule out that the assistant was suffering from a mental illness (faking the symptoms), Meyer had the compound tested on rabbits, which then died.

Oooh, that's pretty cold, both for the rabbits and for the assistant! Then again, my assistants often fake mental illness so it is a reasonable thing to check for, when being thorough.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteremily

So now I've Googled "The Meyer Method"... How about a BI on explaining my search history to my wife?

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOldbear

And all I could think of in the first panel was George Carlin's rant about people who make "quotation marks in the air"...

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOldbear

Hahaha! This reminds me of a story one of my uncles told me about his two grandfathers... amazing how many "surprisingly bad" things one's family can have floating around in their history.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

dirt farmer sounds like a euphanism...

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhodgy

My great-grandfather ran an "ice cream store" during the prohibition. His son (my grandfather) has about five midle names, one for each of his dad's drinking buddies.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThalia

^ That's probably (aside from the obvious reasons) because the first panel looks like he's air-quoting "my grandfather was a dirt farmer". Which is really confusing for the second it takes to read down to the next speech bubble.

Also, a morbid part of my brain is wondering whether the advances in gas production facilitated by the Meyer Method helped them with their... later advances in that particular field. Ahem. Told you it was morbid.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

euphanism sounds like a euphemism...

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKozz

Wait -- which gramps had the kids & free child labor? I think panel 2 and 3 are out of order...?

How does a dirt farmer find the dirt after he has planted it?

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob Miles

Dirt farmer:

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dirt+farmer

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHari

And I thought rock farming was bad.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

The would be Dr. Fritz Habber who not only developed Zyklon-B nerve agent to help farmers but also a method of synthetic nitrogen fixing of the soil which was a boon and now a bust. He was a Jew and Hitler wanted to get rid of him with his own nerve agent. (I can't recall his fate, but he won a Nobel Prize.) Because of Habber's genius he gave us an average 2 billion more starving people on the planet and growing dead areas in the ocean from the nitrogen runoff. You do something good then it turns out bad later in the long run.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNight-Gaunt

I had a distant relative that was a cannibal. He was stationed on some little island during WWII and was supposed to teach the locals how to fight Japanese; he went a bit native.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJake

I thought the title of this one was "How to Find Your Robots", and consequently got very excited. You see I've been looking for these two 'droids for the longest time...

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVader

Raise your hand if you googled "meyer method." Keep your hand up if you understood none of what you found and are still unsure of what to believe. (FTW, Scott, as always!)

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

Dear god, that caricature looks EXACTLY like me.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMikw

As Meyer is an occupational name, about as common as Schmidt (Smith) sharing it with the mustard gas process inventor is a very low evidence of relationship.

However, as Barry Mackenzie sang:

Oh yes he is:
A ratbag (yes he is)
A raving ratbag (yes he is)
He's a screwball, he's a nut case there's no doubt;
And if you think you're ratbag free,
Then just shake your family tree,
Hear the great big raving ratbags fallin' out.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Maybe you're just related to George Meyer, comedy godfather to the Simpsons.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternorbizness

If anybody's interested in their own roots, there are companies out there that will do it for you.
I hear that they charge a couple of hundred quid to research your family tree and then a couple of thousand quid to keep quiet about it.

May 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStevie Hair

"In the Meyer method, thiodiglycol is produced from chloroethanol and potassium sulfide and chlorinated with phosphorus trichloride:

3 (HO-CH2CH2)2S + 2 PCl3 → 3 (Cl-CH2CH2)2S + 2 P(OH)3"

this doesn't make much sense to me, but Google have all the answers hehehe

January 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDarth GTB

My grandfather was a sea captain who was so awful he was murdered in a mutiny by his own crew. Once I found out about that, I lost all interest in my own genealogy! :-&

October 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason Toddman

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