failures: The first known failure of a nuclear bomb was the "P.P. shot" (Puny Plutonium bomb). Of it Enrico Fermi said, "Now you're making progress!"
sounding: The Aerobee is a series of upper atmosphere research, or "sounding," rockets.

Athena's: "The common thread of all her attributes is...She is goddess of tekhne--technology, or better yet, know-how: all those pursuits which humans learn to do by skill...Here we have, it seems, the deity or power of human skill pitted against a divinity or force (Poseidon) of that which is untamed and chaotic." (Atchity & Barber,1987) The Athena is a research vehicle used to study atmospheric reentry phenomena.

apehoods’s fire: Along with other animals, monkeys were used in high altitude experiments, to be recovered by parachute. Thus, to the possibility of a manned flight to Mars, Ray Bradbury wrote: "And gone and flown and landed there in White Whale craft, / Remember Moby here, this dream, this time which does suspire, / This kindling of your tiny apehood's fire." (From, "Old Ahab's Friend and Friend to Noah Speaks His Peace.")

hissing: "Athena's aegis bears a snakey fringe around its border and the Medusa's head in its center. In psychoanalytic writings and in Greek literature the aegis is usually called a dreadful weapon. But just what harm does it do? Athena shakes it at her enemies. The aegis, then, only wards off danger, a fairly benign deterrent except on the battlefield where a slaughter could result from the panic its causes." (Eisner,1987)

Mars: Refers to PEP. This cone-shaped shell "is an aluminum parafoil, or lifting body, which was dropped from a balloon and impacted...in anticipation of a 'soft' landing on the planet Mars." (Fact Sheet, Missile Park. White Sands Missile Range, Public Affairs Office). Mars is the god of both war and vegetation; a farm boy drafted into the military, and loving it.

mystic flowers: Talos, whose mother was a mystic flower, invented, among many other things, the compass. Here Talos is a ship-to-air missile.
ropes: These strips of leather represent sacred butterflies, "symbols of temptation and foolishness, so despicable that their behavior, 'acting like a moth,' has come to stand for insanity, the punishment for breaking taboos." (Reichard,1983). "Rope" is also long strips of electromagnetic reflectors, sometimes attached to parachutes, used to confuse enemy radar.

inquisitive shells: The world's largest-aperture synthesis telescope is the Very Large Array (VLA), located 50 miles west of Socorro, NM. The array consists of 27 individual "dishes."

biodegraded: "Is not the word 'biodegradable' a recent artifact...a modern and unstable graft of Greek and Latin in order to designate primarily that which is opposed to the signature of certain products of modern industry, products that are themselves artificial and synthetic, from plastic bags to nuclear waste." (Derrida,1989)

Kwahu Kachina: This Eagle Kachina, which probably has Aztec connotation, appears in March during Hopi night ceremonies.