Monday, April 10, 2017
By the early 1970s, Tony got a heart transplant using artificial tissue. This was fine for a while but then Tony's body started rejecting the tissue and he had to wear the armor to assist his heart again for several years. Tony also converted his armor to run on solar power which was great unless he fought at night or in a deep hole (this actually happened). Eventually batteries got better and Tony stopped having monthly heart problems.
At one point Tony's heart condition deteriorated and he had to wear the entire suit of armor except for the helmet just to keep his heart going.
One last note - in the comic books Tony wore an entire chest plate that actually assisted his heart. It was battery powered and he was constantly charging it in the early years. His suit had extra batteries in the pods he wore on either side of his waist and they all fed into a unified system. If Tony's suit ran down then his heart stopped.
Then at the end of Iron Man III, Tony cured himself. It was a simple solution, actually. He built a large electo-magnet and had a surgeon operate under that. The large magnet kept the shrapnel away from Tony's heart long enough for a surgical team to extract it. This seems simple enough but for some reason it confused people. I've seen two different rants about it as a plot hole.
By the Avengers, Tony was apparently trying to market the new arc reactors. He bragged that he had a monopoly on clean power. In Avengers II, Stark was wearing a Hulk-killer armor powered by multiple arc reactors.
So the Starks created a new (apparently unnamed) element and the arc reactor was stabilized without the toxic side-effects.
Anyway, Howard Stark couldn't have known that Tony would need an arc reactor to keep himself alive but he did leave clues for Tony on how to improve the arc reactor. All it needed was for technology to be so advanced that someone could build a particle accelerator in his basement.
Palladium isn't particularly toxic and the palladium in the arc reactors was contained. Possibly the reactor was vaporizing the palladium allowing it to be absorbed into Tony's body. That would explain why the reactors kept wearing out and why the technology was considered a dead end. Palladium is expensive so feeding a giant arc reactor would be expensive.
By the second movie Tony was having problems. Palladium was building up in his system and poisoning him. While the electro-magnet kept Tony alive, it also prevented treatment. If the electro-magnet was removed then Tony would go into cardiac arrest before the shrapnel could be removed.
We never got any details but apparently any time the power to the electo-magnet was cut off, shrapnel started pressing on Tony's heart causing cardiac arrest. It never actually pierced Tony's heart or no amount of magnetism could fix it.
In Iron Man, Tony Stark is hit in the chest with shrapnel. The doctor on hand were not able to remove the shrapnel while working in caves in Afghanistan but he was able to create an electro-magnet that pulled the fragments away from Tony's heart. At first Tony had to carry a car battery around with him. Since Tony is an engineer and not a doctor, he created a small power source to power the electro-magnet. He treated it as not being a big deal but it was actually very difficult to reproduce. Once back in his lab, Tony was able to create a much more powerful arc reactor.
The movies never go into it in detail but Howard Stark either designed the large arc reactor that powered Stark Industries or at least did a lot of the initial design work on it. He also recognized the limitations of palladium and theorized a new element that would be superior to Palladium in creating cold fusion reactions. For some reason, the arc reactor was seen as a dead end. Possibly it cost too much to produce or was just to finicky to mass produce without the new element.
A lot of people seem to be confused about Tony Stark's heart and the arc reactors he used to keep it beating. Here's a quick rundown.The movies never came out and said it but the arc reactor is a cold-fusion reactor. It creates power by causing hydrogen atoms to combine into helium. The sun is a hot reactor. The extreme heat and pressure in the sun causes fusion. Cold fusion has been hotly debated for nearly 30 years after some scientists claimed to have produced cold fusion using palladium.
Friday, March 24, 2017
There was a lot of talk about cultural appropriation when Iron Fist was announced but the character has a much longer history as a street-wise character. Both Iron Fist and Luke Cage have been revived several times in various forms. The whole point of the character was a western kid being taught by a sort-of eastern civilization then returning to discover his western roots.
One thing to remember about Marvel, though, is that it seldom abandoned characters. Someone got the idea of pairing Iron Fist with Luke Cage, Power Man (the first black character to have his own solo comic). It was a goofy idea but it worked. After seven years in K'un-L'un, Danny needed a mentor and the two characters were fairly evenly matched in powers. Claremont and Byrne wrote the first couple of issues pairing them before moving on to the X-Men where they became famous. Luke Cage and Iron Fist developed into sort of a Hope and Crosby style partnership (that's a movie reference, look it up) and had a fairly long and successful run.
None of Marvel's spin-off titles lasted long. Iron Fist was cancelled before it could wrap up a plot involving a rival from K'un-L'un. Claremont and Byrne were also producing a Spider-Man team-up so they wrapped things up there.
The hero, Danny Rand, accompanied his parents and his father's partner in a search for K'un-L'un. When they found it, the partner killed Danny's father over his mother. She in turn sacrificed herself to a pack of wolves so that Danny could make it to the safety of the mystic city just before it vanished for seven years. Danny was taught martial arts and eventually defeated a mystic dragon, bathing his hands in it's heart and taking the ceremonial title Iron Fist. When K'un-L'un returned to Earth, Danny left to seek revenge for his parents.
So it was inevitable that Marvel would do a second martial arts character and make him sort of a super hero. Marvel also followed the literary origins of Shang-Chi by inventing the mystic city, K'un-L'un inspired by Shanghai-La and Brigadoon. The population of K'un-L'un practiced martial arts and the city was only on Earth one day every seven years.
At the time Marvel had a policy of milking hits, usually putting a super-hero spin on the follow-up strip. When Dracula was big, they also introduced Morbius the Living Vampire. Werewolf By Night was imitated by the Man-Wolf. Both Morbius and Man-Wolf were characters from Spider-Man. When Conan was big, Marvel started a strip featuring King Kull who had also been created by Robert E. Howard.
There's been a lot of talk about the Netflix Iron Fist series, most of it bad. It's worth reviewing where the character came from and why Netflix chose him.It started with the TV series Kung Fu and the first of the Bruce Lee movies. Both of these were released in the US around the same time and started a huge martial arts craze. At the same time, the Silver Age was winding down and super heroes weren't selling like they had been. Marvel was looking for something new and decided to try a martial arts comic. But that wasn't Iron Fist, it was "Shang-Chi, Master of the Martial Arts". Shang-Chi was the son of Fu Manchu who had been raised in seclusion to be his father's weapon. It only took a single issue for Shang-Chi to realize that his father was a bad guy and to join forces with Nayland Smith and the British Secret Service. The character was a hit.
As Iron Fist, Danny was part martial artist and part super hero. He wore a costume and a mask. Most of Iron Fist's fights were straight martial arts but if he needed to he could summon sort of a super-punch.
Marvel was a bit of a mess in the 1970s. New titles would be launched by a known team, in this case Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, then it would be turned over to a succession of junior writers and artists. The character would be just a footnote if it hadn't been given to Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Both would become comic superstars but this was pretty early in their careers. Byrne in particular was still learning his trade and this was where he developed his skills. You could see his art improving every issue. Among other things, it featured the best action sequences since Steve Ditko left Spider-Man.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
So, I'm afraid to say, the Storm Troopers are poor shots.
The truth is that it's a flaw in the script instead of a cunning master plan. The script needed the troopers to shoot a lot but miss then Lukas needed some way for the Death Star to threaten the rebel base so George Lucas added a throw-away line that the Empire let them get away and had a tracker. She probably meant that was why they only sent a few TIE fighters.
Possibly Vader guessed (incorrectly) that Ben was there to rescue Leia but at that point he was still portrayed as a flunky, similar to the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John in Robin Hood. He wasn't exactly in a position to order that.
That's the big problem with the "they let them escape" theory. At what point did the high command realize that a rescue attempt was underway and how did they manage to let ALL of the Storm Troopers know that they should fire to miss while not letting Luke or Han (who were wearing Storm Trooper equipment) know?
The Death Star scooped up the Falcon, not having any idea who was in it or why. The exception to this was that Darth Vader sensed that Ben was near. Ben went to disable the tractor beam so they could escape. While waiting, the others discovered that Leia was on teh Death Star and decided to mount a rescue.
Luke and company weren't expecting to find Leia or the Death Star. She was captured near Tatooine and transported to the Death Star then it moved to Alderaan which it blew up. Luke and Ben were just trying to get R2D2 to the proper people. They had no intention of trying to rescue Leia. This part is important.
The theory is that the troopers in the Death Star had been instructed to allow Leia and company to escape in order to follow her to the rebel base. It sounds good until you examine it.
The main exposure to Storm Troopers was inside the Death Star.
Note - the fact that an expeditionary force left blast marks indicating precise aim proves little about the Storm Troopers in general. We didn't see the attack so we have very little to go on.
It's been a running gag for decades that the Storm Troopers in Star Wars can't hit anything. This is most on display in the original movie. I've seen a defense of this on YouTube trying to save the Storm Trooper's honor. I'm not buying it.The first argument is that Ben makes a comment on how precise some blast marks are which shows that they could only be from Imperial Storm Troopers. Keep in mind that, at this point, Ben's been in hiding for nearly twenty years. We never learned if the original of clones that were the original Storm Troopers was still in use or if they'd been replaced or augmented. If they were the originals then they were getting up there in years. Regardless, his experience was out of date.
The Death Star scooped up the Falcon, not having any idea who was in it or why. The exception to this was that Darth Vader sensed that Ben was near. Ben went to disable the tractor beam so they could escape. While waiting, the others discovered that Leia was on teh Death Star and decided to mount a rescue.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
I've been looking at pictures of the causeway and I doubt that a drawbridge would be appropriate for it. It seems to be connected to the outer wall and that probably is part of it's supporting structure.
The stream at the Hornburg serves as a sort of moat but it's a mountain stream. You have to be careful with those. Start damming it up and a good rainstorm will flood your castle or wash away your dam. Or the enemy can simply knock a hole in your dam and your moat is gone.
I've been to dozens of English castles. Very few have a moat. Moats are tricky things. You have to have a nearby source of slow-running water to feed it (as with the Tower of London) or enough drainage feeding into the area that you can create what is essentially a farm pond around the castle. They also need a lot of work to keep the moat from silting up.
All of this seems very soundly built but the video excoriates it for not being even stronger. Among the complaints are that they could have dammed up the Deepening Stream to make a moat, they could have had a portcullis and drawbridge on the causeway and they should have had crenelations on the curtain wall. Lets look at those complaints.
Helms Deep is a series of natural caverns in a valley protected by a heavily fortified tower caned the Hornburg. The Hornburg has a causeway that loops back on itself leading to the outer wall. Within that is a higher inner wall. There is also a curtain wall going off to the side. The gate is recessed which allows archers to shoot at an enemy trying to break through the date. There is also a sally port to allow a counter attack from the rear. The curve of the causeway exposes an invader to arrow fire.
By the way, Gondor means made from stone. In early drafts, Tolkien referred to them as the "Men of Stone" then changed to "Men of Gond" and eventually Gondor. Not surprisingly, the other two fortifications discussed were built by Gondor.
It should also be pointed out that Rohan didn't have any master masons who were able to build a large wall and the decline of Gondor meant that they were short on masons, also. Skilled masons were important to a kingdom and Gondor wold be reluctant to spare a group able to spend years building a city wall.
Which is exactly what happened in LotR.
The people of Rohan fight from horseback. Even some of the women ride to battle. They also have mounted rangers and scouts to spot any large forces moving into their kingdom. The palisade around Edoras is meant to resist a small, stealthy group from attacking. Any group large enough to seriously threaten the wooden wall would be met in the field before they got to Edoras. If a very large host invaded then they sent everyone they could to Helm's Deep until the cavalry cleared up the matter.
The big complaint about Edoras is that it has a wooden palisade instead of a stone wall. The movie depicts Edoras pretty much just at Tolkien described it and the wooden palisade is justifiable for several reasons.
Edoras is the only city in Rohan. The video complains that it's too small but that misunderstands just how sparsely populated Rohan is. There is a valid complaint that Edoras should have a lot of farmland surrounding the city in order to support its population but I'll forgive that as a budgetary constraint.
With that out of the way, I'll get on with the specific fortifications.
More recently, but still a few hundred years before, a group of horsemen had drifted in and were allowed to occupy the Plains of Rohan in exchange for a mutual protection pact with Gondor. The people of Rohan were comparable to the Vikings while Gondor was more like Rome and Constantinople.
But by the LotR, Gondor had been declining for centuries. Even it's capitol city, Osgiliath, had been abandoned and the remaining population wasn't even enough to fill Minas Tirith which was originally meant as a protective fortress. It's sister fortress, Minas Morgul was also abandoned and taken over by orcs and other nasties.
The elves were the first inhabitants of Middle Earth. They are very long-lived and some of them were instructed by the Valar (Tolkien's version of pagan gods). They were quite advanced. Men came from further east and began drifting into Middle Earth during the great war between the elves and Morgoth who was a renegade member of the Valar. Many men took service with the elves and learned a great deal from them. Eventually the great war ended with the Valar returned to Middle Earth and overthrew Morgoth. It was a cataclysmic battle. The continent itself was reshaped. With their kingdoms wrecked, most of the elves went with the Valar to the Undying Lands in the west. The men who had been allies of the elves could not enter the Undying Lands but a large island called Numenor was created for them, partway. They spent centuries there while other men drifted into Middle Earth from the east. Eventually, Sauron, one of Morgoth's lieutenants, corrupted the Numenoreans and convinced them that they would become immortal if they conquered the Undying Lands. The Valor punished them for this, sinking Numenor. A small colony of Numenoreans escaped in seven ships, each carrying a palantir. They returned to Middle Earth and founded the kingdom of Gondor. At it's height, Gondor included most of Middle Earth. All of the action in the Lord of the Rings except for the elf kingdoms and Moria takes place in lands that had been part of Gondor and all of the various monuments and ruins had been built by the Gondorians.
Before I look at the fortresses themselves, some background is in order for those who have not read the Silmarilion.
The three in questions are Edoras, the Hornburg in Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith.
A portcullis or second gate probably would have been used but that would mean slowing the movie while the orcs battered their way through two gates so I'll forgive them some dramatic license in leaving it out. A large, determined enemy such as the orc force in The Two Towers would have been able to breech a portcullis, anyway so it makes no difference in the end.
The lack of crenelations in the curtain wall does seem to be a mistake. These were normally built to allow archers to have cover while firing at the enemy. They were probably eliminated in a piece or artistic license to allow for the defenders to be shown lined up along the top of the wall.
However, a case can be made that not having crenelations made the wall easier to defend against ladders. The orcs could have climbed above the defenders and dropped on them from above instead of trying to climb onto the points of the defenders.
Not all castles incorporated all possible features. I'd rate the Hornburg as being stronger than most English castles, even with the deficiencies noted.
As I said before, originally this was one of two massive fortified towns meant to guard the capitol city of Osgiliath. As the population of Gondor declined, Osgiliath was abandoned and fell into ruin and Minas Tirith became the capitol. It was carved into a mountain with a peak jutting through the city, It was constructed in concentric rings with staggered gates which made it nearly impossible for siege equipment to be used on the other gates even if the great gate was breached. In all there were seven gates before you reached the citadel at the top.
This was a seriously fortified city. It was much stronger than anything built in the Middle Ages in Europe. So what were the complaints about it?
The main complaint was that it was too steep. This is true - you would need to do a lot of climbing if you were in on lower ring and needed to do business with an upper one. It's steep but you can find people living on steep mountains all over the world. The mediteranean has several villages that wold require a lot of climbing. This on on the Isle of Cyprus is much higher than Minas Tirith.
There is the same complaint about the lack of a portcullis. In this case, Tolkien gave a detained description of the gate. The reason that gates are attacked is because they are a weak spot. A portcullis is added to strengthen the gate. But the great gate at Minas Tirith was a wonder all by itself. Instead of being wood bound with iron, they were iron and steel. You couldn't just send some people with axes to chop through it. It took a custom-made battering ram, 100 feet long to burst the great gate. A portcullis wouldn't have lasted a second against Grond.
In the book, the great gate was breached then the army of Mordor drew back a bit and the Witch King rode to the gate with his hood thrown back and a gold crown sitting on his invisible head. Gandolf rode out to meet him and the Witch King drew a flaming sword. But they were interrupted by the arrival of the Army of Gondor.
In the movie the orcs and trolls invaded the first level and the defenders pulled back to the next level before the Riders of Rohan arrived. The Extended Edition had a variation of Gandolf's meeting with the Witch King.
Regardless, even with the gate breached and the army of Mordor inside the first wall, it was still going to be difficult for them to advance further. The remaining six gates were smaller and staggered. The orcs and such would be bottled up in the streets with arrows and loose masonry raining down on them and no chance of bringing Grond or other siege equipment into the narrow streets. The battle would have devolved into a long siege with the orcs trying to undermine the walls or tunnel under and up. Assuming Gondor had enough food, the siege could have gone on for years. The impression of Rohan and the fleet brought by Aragorn saving Gondor at the last moment is false.
In fact, the only real complaint that can be made about Gondor was that it was too good.
Note - a few things were dropped from the book. Minas Tirith should have been surrounded by miles of farms and it took two days for all of the reinforcement to arrive before Mordor's army. Again, this is forgivable in a movie that was already very long.
To summarize, the fortifications as described by Tolkien and depicted in the movies compare very well with real life counterparts. A few liberties were taken so as not to slow the action but in general these were very good examples of the types of fortifications they were meant as. Anyone who spends 20 minutes trying to poke holes in them is just engaging in self-aggrandizement.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
I credit most of the show's success to Jonathan Frid. Frid was an excellent actor but he admitted that he was slow to learn his lines and he was a constant presence in the show. His performances were always tinged with some panic that he'd mess up a line (he often stumbled over his lines). Since Barnabas was always hiding something, his added an edge to his character. At the same time, Frid was excellent at being the tragic hero, trying to make up for his personal failings by helping others. The rest of the cast was also strong and the writing, while corny, was engaging. And it was unique among soap operas that you had to keep watching it because periodically everything changed.
In addition to its TV run, Dark Shadows spun off two low-budget movies with the original cast, a revival in the early 1990s and a high-budget movie in the 2000s.
In the mid-1980s, the show was resurrected on PBS and shown in its entirety. I watched it religiously and finally saw all of the parts I missed.
In the late 1970s some of the episodes were run late at night.
The final plot took place in the past and in the parallel dimension. For the only time in the show's run, Frid played a different character - Bramwell, Barnabas's son. By then the show was running out of ideas and ratings had dropped.
Barnabas went into a parallel universe only to be chained in his coffin for weeks while Frid and the main cast filmed House of Dark Shadows. Eventually Barnabas was freed and returned to his own universe only to have a vision of the future in which the Collins family was destroyed. Returning to their own time, Barnabus and Dr. Julia Hoffman, his constant companion, tried to stop the destruction. They failed but got another chance when Julia traveled into the past. They finally succeeded and returned to find the Collins family alive and happy.
Eventually Jeb turned against the Leviathans but was destroyed himself.
That's when I got hooked. Jonathan Frid's version of a vampire was, and still is, unique. More than anything, he reminded me of a drug addict. Except when he gave in, people died.
I was following the show but not really hooked until Barnabas tried to steal the magic box. A bat was hidden in it. It bit him and transformed him into a vampire.
I was rooting for Jeb and his group. He was younger and Caroline was in love with him. Caroline was pretty and had hair so perfect it looked like a special effect. Jeb couldn't be too bad if a hot chick like Caroline was with him (after seeing all of the episodes I discovered that the monsters always fell for Caroline).
The Leviathans' creature started as a baby but grew up fast. His eventual human form was named Jeb Hawks. There were two other groups. One was headed by Barnabas and was trying to stop the Leviathans. The third group was the innocent bystanders. This group kept getting smaller. All the Leviathans had to do was show someone a magic box and they gained a convert.
When I started watching it, they were wrapping up one of the time travel plots and introducing a cult called the Leviathans. There were also Lovecraftian elements involving a creature who was s inhuman that the sight of him drove people insane. Barnabas had already been cured of being a vampire, Quentin of being a werewolf, Angelique had retired from witchcraft and Victoria Winters had left the show.
I started watching it after it changed time slots and was no longer running during school hours. My mother suggested it because "it was popular with the college kids".
50 years ago Dark Shadows started it's run. I didn't watch it back then, of course. It wasn't aimed at 11 year old boys. It was a soap opera trying to take advantage of the 60s craze for Gothic romances. These were all the thing at the time. Every paperback shelf had a section of Gothic Romance novels. All of them had the same basic plot - a simplified version of Jane Eyre. The covers all had a young woman running with a castle or large house in the background. The plots were always about a young working woman, often a governess, coming into a new environment. There would be a mystery with some spooky overtones and the man she was interested in was always implicated. By the end she'd solve the mystery but be in danger and he'd save her and they'd fall in love.Dark Shadows had all of those elements. But it wasn't enough. After a few months of sluggish ratings, they decided to change the show from suggesting the supernatural to embracing it. First they added some ghosts then a human phoenix. That went well enough that they decided to add a vampire. That's when they struck gold.
Monday, March 14, 2016
That's a pretty weak plot hole. You might as well ask why she didn't text him?
Finally, even if Ariel had managed to write a note to Eric, would he have believed her? He had fallen in love with a voice and here's someone with no voice at all claiming to be the person he loves. Eric would have good cause to be skeptical. And even if he believed her, would he love her or just pity her for losing the thing he loved?
And yes, we saw her sign her name. That's not as conclusive as you might think. Illiterate people make their mark. This is usually some pictogram that is meaningful to them and known as their mark. As a princess, Ariel would have had such a mark and used it for contracts and such. We saw that as her name for the same reason that Belle's French village spoke English - so the audience would know what's going on. Don't use dramatic license to prove a plot hole.
Yes, Ariel did sign an agreement. That proves that she can sign her name or make her mark using a magic stylus and scroll. Eric had neither.
Except, this is the same Ariel who didn't know what a fork was, She's supposed to know how to use pen and paper (neither exists underwater)? And, assuming she does know how to write, why would she use an alphabet Eric understands?
The Sea Witch took away Ariel's voice and gave her three days to make Erin call in love with her. She could have sped the whole process up if she'd written him a note saying "I'm the woman who saved you and whose voice enchanted you."
The Little Mermaid - Why didn't she write Eric a note?
Taking the eagles would have been easier but much riskier. No plot hole here.
Consider that the ring wraiths were mounted on flying creatures. It was clearly stated that some birds acted as eyes for Sauron and Sauruman. Also, in the book, Sauron was using the silmaril from Minas Morgul to see the outside world. In the movie he was a giant eye, able to see great distances. So the odds of being able to slip into Mordor by air and remain unseen were poor. Once spotted, the eagles would be at a huge disadvantage against flying ring wraiths armed with poisoned arrows to say nothing of their mounts.
Tolkien had no problem leaving Gandolf on top of Orthanc until the eagles noticed him but it wasn't dramatic enough a rescue for a movie. Accordingly, Gandolf was able to capture a moth and send it to the eagles for help. So he did have a way to summon the eagles to carry the ring-bearer. Was it a good idea?
First, there is a difference between the book and the movies. In the book, Gandolf had no way of calling the eagles. They had to notice you, usually because they were investigating unusual events like big battles or fires or because you were in a high place long enough for them to pass by. Keeping in mind that the Ring-bearer was trying to keep a low profile, none of that worked. In fact, the sorts of things that attracted the eagles were likely to attract hostile notice first.
The eagles kept showing up and saving the day. So why not use them to bypass most of the plot and go directly from Rivendale to Mount Doom?
Fans love to pick holes in plots. "Why didn't they do this?" they ask. Here are two perceived plot holes that don't actually exist.Lord of the Rings - Why didn't the fly on the eagles to Mount Doom?
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Bryan Henderson, working under the name Giraffedata holds the record for editing the most articles in Wikipedia. Unlike most editors, he only edits one thing. He is fighting the use of the words "comprised of". He has corrected this over 47,000 times! He has also written a long screed explaining why this usage should not be allowed. This boils down to the complaint that it is non-standard usage and recommended against by style manuals. He is basically fighting a rear-guard action against the way that language evolves. This can be seen in the Free Dictionary:Clearly, Henderson is fighting a losing battle. English, like all living languages, changes over time. Words acquire new meanings or shift in how they are used. There is a great example of this given by 15th century writer, William Caxton. He was often criticized for not using "homely" words. In discussing the problems with choosing the proper words for a translation he told of some northern merchants who went to get some food on the Kentish side of the Thames:
The traditional rule states that the whole comprises the parts and the parts compose the whole. In strict usage: The Union comprises 50 states. Fifty states compose (or make up) the Union. Even though careful writers often maintain this distinction, comprise is increasingly used in place of compose, especially in the passive: The Union is comprised of 50 states. Our surveys show that opposition to this usage is abating. In the 1960s, 53 percent of the Usage Panel found this usage unacceptable; in 1996, only 35 percent objected.
And specyally he axyed after eggys. And the good wyf answerde that she coude speke no frenshe. And the marchaunt was angry for he also coude speke no frenshe but wold haue hadde egges and she vnderstode hym not. And thenne at laste a nother sayd that he wolde haue eyren. Then the good wyf sayd that she vnderstood hym wel
For those who don't read Middle English, the merchant asked for eggs but the goodwife said that she couldn't speak French. The merchant said that he couldn't speak French either but that he wanted eggs. Someone else pointed out that the local word was "eyren" which the goodwife understood.
One can imagine a 15th century of Henderson tut-tutting anyone using "egg".
In a living language, words usage shifts constantly. The only real guide is how a word or phrase is currently being used. Style guides usually represent the training edge of acceptable usage.
Henderson inadvertently is providing ammunition that "comprised of" is now standard usage. He has documented 47,000 uses of it within a single source. That means that around 1% of Wikipedia entries have used it. That's a fairly high percentage, especially given that Wikipedia entries are made by people with a higher education than the background population.