Jump to content

Portable hole

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In various works of speculative fiction, a portable hole is a two-dimensional device that can be used to contravene the laws of physics[1] by creating a passage through a solid surface, through which characters can move.[2]

Notable uses

The 1955 Looney Tunes cartoon, The Hole Idea, presents a fictional account in which Calvin Q. Calculus invents the device.[2][3]: 317 [4][5] Another early Looney Tunes example, Beep Prepared from 1961, developed the trope further and features the Road Runner lifting a (previously ordinary) hole off the ground, carrying it, then laying it down for the Coyote to fall through; the hole in this case is mundane until the start of the gag, as opposed to an intentional scientific creation as in The Hole Idea.[6] The concept was shown in The Beatles' 1968 movie, Yellow Submarine, where Ringo picks up a hole from the Sea of Holes, stores it in his pocket, and uses it later to release Sgt. Pepper's Band from captivity.[2][7]: 249 [8]: 348  In 1988, Who Framed Roger Rabbit again used a portable hole as a plot device.[9][10] Detective Eddie Valiant is able to escape being crushed by a steamroller by using one, echoing the 1955 Looney Tunes gag.[11][12] The 1988 cartoon series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh features a portable hole with similar properties in the episode "Bubble Trouble."[13]

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, a portable hole is a circle of cloth made from phase spider webs, strands of ether and beams of starlight. When deployed, it creates an extradimensional space six feet in diameter by ten feet deep. Folding the cloth causes the entrance to this space to disappear, but items placed inside the hole remain there. Sufficient air is contained in the hole to support life for up to ten minutes.[14][15] In the novelization of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Elliott uses a portable hole when the lead characters are playing Dungeons & Dragons.[16]

In episode 695 of the Final Fantasy-based comic 8-Bit Theater, Fighter, after buying some items and a portable hole with Red Mage, decides to "work smarter, not harder", and put all the items into the portable hole. He then proceeds to fold the portable hole into itself.[17]

In Rajiv Joseph's play, Guards at the Taj, one of the characters, Humayun, invents a transportable hole.[18][19] Humayun describes it as a hole one can carry and attach to anything to make a hole in it.[20]

Other uses of the term

A 1933 newspaper described John Williamson's underwater photography apparatus as a portable "hole in the sea". It was a bendable tube from the ship to the sea bottom for a photographer to descend.[21]

A 1949 newspaper column by Truman Twill speculates on a prefabricated underground storage unit described as "a portable hole to be sunk in the ground at a desirable location".[22]

Gramicidin A has been described as a portable hole; it is a polypeptide with a helical shape. When it forms a dimer, it can embed itself in cellular bilayer membranes and form a hole through which water molecules can pass.[23]

The Museum of Modern Art has a work by Ben Vautier titled, The First Portable Hole (Le Premier trou portatif).[24]

In Shari Lewis presents 101 magic tricks for kids to do, a trick named "the portable hole" is described.[25] A card trick titled Acme Portable Hole is available commercially.[26]

See also


  1. ^ Kennedy, Victor (2018). "The Gravity of Cartoon Physics; or, Schrödinger's Coyote". ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries. 15 (1): 29–49. doi:10.4312/elope.15.1.29-49.
  2. ^ a b c Segal, Eliezer (2015-06-30). Chronicles and Commentaries: More Explorations of Jewish Life and Learning. Quid Pro Books. Section, "Portable Holes and Rolling Stones". ISBN 978-1-61027-823-2.
  3. ^ Liebman, Roy (2015-05-20). Vitaphone Films: A Catalogue of the Features and Shorts. McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-0936-2.
  4. ^ "Robert McKimson's "The Hole Idea" (1955) |". cartoonresearch.com. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  5. ^ "The hole idea [Motion picture]". Library of Congress: Catalog.
  6. ^ "Beep Prepared". The Big Cartoon Database.[dead link]
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Yellow Submarine Movie Review (1968) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  8. ^ Goldsmith, Melissa U. D.; Willson, Paige A.; Fonseca, Anthony J. (2016-10-07). The Encyclopedia of Musicians and Bands on Film. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-6987-3.
  9. ^ "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". Brandon Talks Movies. 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  10. ^ Elwood, Graham; Mancini, Chris (2012-06-01). The Comedy Film Nerds Guide to Movies. Morgan James Publishing. ISBN 9781614482215.
  11. ^ "May 28th, 2018 Movie – Who Framed Roger Rabbit". movieadayblog. 2018-05-28. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  12. ^ Solomon, Charles (28 January 1994). "Attraction Review: Disney Spins a Car Toon Tale". Los Angeles Times. p. 259. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Bubble Trouble". The Big Cartoon Database.[dead link]
  14. ^ "Wondrous Items :: d20srd.org". www.d20srd.org. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
  15. ^ "Portable Hole | D&D 5th Edition on Roll20 Compendium". roll20.net. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
  16. ^ Collins, Terry (2002). E.T., the Extra-terrestrial: The Movie. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780689843679.
  17. ^ "Nuklear Power » Archive » Episode 695: Physics are for other people".
  18. ^ "On (Trans)Portable Holes". Marin Theatre Company. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  19. ^ "Guards at the Taj". Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  20. ^ Joseph, Rajiv (2017-04-11). Guards at the Taj. Oberon Books. ISBN 9781786821447.
  21. ^ "At The Theatres: With Williamson Beneath The Sea". The Daily Record. Long Branch, New Jersey. 29 March 1933. p. 4. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  22. ^ Twill, Truman (26 May 1949). "In the Vault". The Marion (Ohio) Star. p. 6. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  23. ^ Mouritsen, Ole G. (2005). Life - As a Matter of Fat: The Emerging Science of Lipidomics. Springer. p. 186. ISBN 9783540232483. OCLC 1156049123.
  24. ^ "Ben Vautier. The First Portable Hole (Le Premier trou portatif). 1960 | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  25. ^ Lewis, Shari (1990). Shari Lewis presents 101 magic tricks for kids to do. New York: Random House. p. 64. ISBN 9780394820590.
  26. ^ "ACME - Portable HOLE". Tricksupply. Retrieved 2020-07-02.

External links