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I guess that confirms it: I don't speak French. Merde.

Astrobleme 02:50, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Paddy Prowblame. I do. Even Stephenson's wacky phonetic transcriptions... FrancoFile 13:01, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

--- Is English even mentioned in this whole book? He can't speak Fluccish, though - don't know about French. 115.186.122.168 16:15, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

The name Zh'vaern could also be an allusion to Javert the character from Les Misérables (whose name is also an alter-ego) and who is a character of inviolate order who commits suicide rather than violate his vow to maintain order. User: MrDave2176 13:05, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, but probably not since the characters don't mesh and it fits his real name. Yes, English is noted in that the Gan and others call our planet "Earth" rather than "La Terre." So some (most) people in the human sector speak English, and JVD surely speaks it as well.--Bradtem 18:30, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

How can Jules breath Arbran atmosphere? Edit

It says in the book that Jules from LaTerre cannot digest Arbran food because of cosmos specific molecules. Must have missed an explanation why Jules is able to breath on Arbre, or to be more precise, why his body is capable of chemically reacting with Arbran oxygen. Does anybody know?

93.243.132.139 15:26, June 17, 2011 (UTC)

Here's a conversation between Raz and Ala that sums it up:


She shrugged. “Hemoglobin is a classy molecule. Finely tuned to do what it does—take oxygen from the lungs and get it to every cell in the body. If you give it oxygen that is only a little bit different from what it’s used to, well, it still works—just not as well. It’s like being at high altitude. You get short of breath, woozy, can’t think straight.”

“Hallucinations?”

“Maybe. Why? Did you hallucinate?”

“Never mind…but wait a second, Jules can get along just fine on Arbre air.”

“You acclimatize. Your body responds by generating more red blood cells. After a week or two, you can handle it. So, as an example, some of the people who live on the Daban Urnudrarely leave their home orb. They have trouble going into common areas of the ship, where the air is a mixture. Others are used to it.”

“Like the Fthosian cosmographer who let us in the airlock at the observatory.”

“Exactly. When she saw you guys gasping for breath and starting to lose consciousness, she recognized what was going on. Sounded an alarm.”

Astrobleme 20:42, June 17, 2011 (UTC)

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