Friday, May 18, 2007

Thinking of cats...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Dangerous Book for Boys... Conn & Hal Iggulden sounds like a blast, altho it doesn't seem to tell how to make any interesting explosives. My boyhood did include such basics, and no one in my immediate circle lost any important body parts as a result. At least they provide instructions for making a bow and arrows.

We had a lot of fun making ersatz napalm in the garage (not where we ignited it), pouring gasoline on the creek and lighting it, digging caves in unstable dirt bluffs, building tree forts and ground forts all over the neighborhood in which to have rock fights, and building a basement rifle range. Mom was remarkably tolerant of that last as it was impossible to use discreetly.

The Igguldens seem to understand the fun and usefulness of all that good stuff. They have come up with a book in the old style, telling one how to tan a skin- something I tried a time or two, albeit without notable success, especially from a muskrat's perspective. I expect muskrats to take a negative viewpoint no matter how notable the success might be. The Igguldens again seem to neglect the how-tos of making a mortar out of an old pipe driven into the ground, with unusually large firecrackers to power rounds whittled from an old branch, but then they are British. This book sounds much better than nothing. It's at least a starting point on the road to boydom.

Oh, and about rock fights: If you are going to use very large rocks, you might be well advised to wear an old army helmet, especially if the rocks are getting lobbed over a hedge so you can't see them coming.

"It’s time to let Napoleon’s penis rest in peace."

So opines Judith Pascoe, an English prof at U-Iowa. I guess that sensitive stuff is what one must expect from genteel Midwestern liberal arts professorial types. Ivy Envy?

According to Dr. Pascoe, Mary Shelley used to keep Percy's heart in her desk drawer, but that seems perfectly appropriate for the author of Frankenstein. Downright spiritual, in fact. It isn't as though it was beating.

And people think decoy collectors are wierd.