Wizard of Changes -- ©cdozo 2004 to 2015 (cdozo) wrote,
Wizard of Changes -- ©cdozo 2004 to 2015

Where Is Hercules When You Need Him?

The root for hydraulic is hydra, which is the name of a monster that would grow two heads for every one that was cut off. Hydra and hydro are prefixes for words that relate to water. My mom said this concept came from people who were trying to block up a water spring bubbling up from underground. They would cover it with dirt and rocks and not too long later, two or three smaller springs would appear nearby. If they tried to block those springs more would appear in yet another spot.

Every time I read about BP trying to stop up their ruptured oil well I think of the Hydra. I'm pissed at them for making such a mess, but I hope they win their battle with the monster that they created.

From Wikipedia: realising that he could not defeat the Hydra in this way, Heracles called on his nephew Iolaus for help. His nephew then came upon the idea (possibly inspired by Athena) of using a burning firebrand to scorch the neck stumps after each decapitation. Heracles cut off each head and Iolaus cauterized the open stumps. Its one immortal head Heracles placed under a great rock on the sacred way between Lerna and Elaius (Kerenyi 1959:144), and dipped his arrows in the Hydra's poisonous blood, and so his second task was complete. The alternative to this is that after cutting off one head he dipped his sword in it and used its venom to burn each head so it couldn't grow back.

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