Saturday, 21 July 2007

Two kinds of dynamite

I'm recently back from the Objectivist Summer Conference in Telluride, Colorado. During the outing to the nearby town of Ouray, set in a valley on on which Ayn Rand based the fictional Galt's Gulch, I took shelter from the rain in the local museum. Here, among the collections of rusty nails, old bottles and photographs of local worthies, I found this box:

The Atlas Powder Company, it seems, supplied high explosives. But for a real blast, only this Atlas will do:

This is the old Signet edition - the one I read back in the early 1970s (though not that particular copy, which disintegrated long ago). Apart from the sentimental value, it's much more attractive than the latest Penguin edition with the hideous Tamara de Lempicka painting on the cover.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Nature's hierarchy

I have an email from Pet Supermarket informing me that

It's also National Flea Week! This exciting week is dedicated to raising awareness of fleas and the problems they cause to pets, people and homes. See below for 2 articles on awareness of fleas and what you can do to stop them evading your pet and home!

Howzat? Mothers only get a day, but fleas get a whole week?

And heaven knows what we'd do if the fleas decided to invade instead of evade.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Strange beauty

We can't all be beautiful, but I did try:

And if you want to know where I got the special clay for the face mask, here you go:

(The whole cliff is made of it).

The Wanderers

Padysseus and Valzelope (or is it Valypso?) are back from the Greek islands. We didn't quite make it to Ithaca, but you can see Itahaca from the north and east of Kefalonia.

Yes, I know I should have read Captain Corelli's Mandolin instead of Herodotos and Thucydides before going. Actually, I happened to have read CCM about a year before and was so exasperated with the way the story developed in the second half of the book that I couldn't bear to read it again.

Inedible Dog

I don't dare keep a real dog (Pussy Kirk eats dogs for breakfast). Here, though, is a favourite dog that even PK can't scare. He lives in the British Museum. Apparently he is "a Molossian dog, ancestor of the modern mastiff breed." He's known as the Jennings Dog and also as The Dog of Alcibiades, although he's 2nd century BC Roman. I was disappointed to learn that the sculpture is twice life size (so Kirk probably would have eaten the real thing).