Stranded In The Southland

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Fabulous satirical stickers + The Man-Eaters of Tsavo

Apparently, the school board of Cobb County, Georgia, has decided to place stickers with disclaimers on some books mentioning evolution. My buddy Jack Rusher forwarded a link with some further suggested stickers for the students down there. I do so love people who enjoy the benefits of modern medicine and engineering, but want to pick and choose which parts of science to accept.

Jack also provided a link to the The League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, which is completely fascinating. I'd really like to be able to build and program that sort of fun, artsy robot!

As long as I'm doing actual blogging, refering to interesting links, I suppose I should mention The Man-Eaters of Tsavo (this is a link to the full text of the book, which was published in 1906 or so). This is the book on which the movie, The Ghost and the Darkness, was based. I've never seen the film, but the book proved to be fascinating.

It's a whole series of recollections of an engineer trying to build a railway into Uganda, when his work is stopped completely by a pair of man-eating lions wo devour one or two members of his crew every night. His crew is terrified (quite rightfully), and he cautiously hunts down these two killers over a period of months, during which they almost get him several times. Check it out if you enjoy a good turn of the century adventure yarn, written in characteristicly fussy British style.

Lt. Col. Patterson, the author, certainly seems to be the real deal. Besides, who can't love an engineer, who, when on a return trip, "reached Tsavo at midnight [... and] took the trouble, however to wake [his companions] out of their peaceful slumbers in order to point out to them, by the pale moonlight, the strength and beauty of the Tsavo bridge." He notes that, "I fear this delicate little attention was scarely appreciated as it deserved." I'm kind of touched that he woke them up to check out the bridge, rather than the scene of his amazing bravery in hunting down these two lions.