28 October 2009

Unsolved Mystery


Tragedy in Kyrgyzstan. An ice-skating bear goes beserk, leaving one man dead, another man seriously injured, and authorities completely baffled:
"The incident occurred during a rehearsal by the Russian state circus company troupe which was performing in Bishkek with the program, Bears on Ice," Ministry of Culture and Information director Kurmangazy Isanayev told reporters.
Isanayev says the bear, who was wearing skates at the time, attacked a 25-year old circus administrator nearly severing one of his legs and dragging him across the ice by his neck...
After the incident, the circus was cordoned off by police and emergency service workers.
It is unclear what prompted the bear to attack...

Obscure books

The American Conservative asked readers to suggest obscure books (in the sense of not widely read). I recommended these:

Time and Western Man, by Wyndham Lewis. For the style, and the hilarious and devastating chapter on Joyce, not for its considerable amount of gobbledygook.


Journey to the Land of the Flies, by Aldo Buzzi. A combination of travel writing, literary criticism, food appreciation, and memoir. Buzzi died Oct. 9, at the age of 99.

Tetrasomy Two by Oscar Rossiter. An entertaining and original novel science fiction fans will like more than I did.

The Gray Cloth, Paul Scheerbart’s novel on glass architecture. It’s about flying around in a blimp and glass architecture.

Operette Morali, by Giacomo Leopardi. Brilliant and allusive little fictions, in the form of essays and dialogues, which have been obscured to an extent by the polymathic prodigy’s poetry.

Decadence, by C. E. M. Joad. Joad was an English philosopher and a celebrity in the 1940s. After fare dodging for years, in 1948 he was convicted of riding the Waterloo-Exeter train without a ticket. Many believe the humiliating episode led to his premature death in 1953.

The True History of the American Revolution, by Sidney George Fisher. Of all the books on this list the one most dangerous to your brain. A Moldbug discovery.

Time’s Children, by Chester Northmour. One of the best novels of the 1980’s. Arguably one of the best novels of the 20th century.

16 October 2009

Float on


Things have become so bad in America a desperate Colorado couple loaded their son in a balloon and cast him adrift in hopes the wind would carry him to a better place.

UPDATE: It turns out the presumptive aéronaute was not on the balloon at all, he was hiding in the attic. I pulled a similar stunt when I was six, only instead of hiding in the attic I walked downtown and checked myself into a hotel under an assumed name. After searching for me for possibly hours my parents gave up and moved away, to the considerable relief of parties on both sides.

04 October 2009

Report of the Board of Consulting Engineers, Vol. 1

STATEMENT OF MR. WALLACE, OCTOBER, 1905.

The Chairman. I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. Wallace, whom you know personally or by reputation. Since Mr. Wallace's time on this occasion is limited, it has been suggested that there be placed in Mr. Wallace's hands the report of the remarks that have been previously made before this Board by Mr. Stevens, Mr. Maltby. Mr. Dose, and Mr. Dauchy, and that Mr. Wallace understand that it is the wish of the Board to question him concerning The Project.

Is it the desire of the Board to-day to ask Mr. Wallace any particular questions? What is the desire of the Board?

Mr. Hunter. Mr. Chairman, you might explain to Mr. Wallace what is so important a matter in the mind of every member of this Board. We would be glad to have the benefit of his experience and his advice as to what he considers to be the Maximum Quantity; and, secondly, what length of time he contemplates would be required for the installation. Those are points of great importance.

The Chairman. In reading over the remarks that have been made and the questions that have been asked the gentlemen named, he will very quickly see that those are the points upon which much stress has been laid.

Mr. Hunter. This is the point.