[PW] lighter not smaller

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Sun Aug 23 07:51:38 PDT 2015

Aussie scripsit:

> I am seeking a short story about a man who took a potion to lose weight and
> did actually lose weight. But he really wanted to lose his fatness, not
> weight, and ended up floating around on the ceiling. Don't know who it was
> by, but had a title something like 'the trouble with portley' or similar
> perhaps.

"The Truth About Pyecraft" by H. G. Wells.


The reference to Santos-Dumont in the story is to the Brazilian-French
aeronaut and pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont, who after developing a number
of dirigibles (including one that made a round-trip flight of 11 km
in 30 minutes), made the first fully verifiable flight in a manned
a heavier-than-air craft of his own design and construction in 1906.
(The Wright Brothers' few flights in 1904-05 had some eyewitnesses,
but none from the press, and the only photographs were by the brothers

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
If [Tim Berners-Lee] has seen farther than others,
        it is because he is standing on a stack of dwarves.  --Mike Champion

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