October 3rd, 2005

krazy koati

He's the greatest dog ever, I really think so

Borders is pushing children's books this weekend, something I thought pretty well established by the posters around the store of a young girl with a few books and the slogan, ``I'm into dragons, princesses, and bugs.'' (Like who isn't?) Three children's books for the price of two.

But to underscore the point they had wandering around ... Clifford, the Big Red Dog. He's not so big in person as he is on TV, which you could say about many stars. I'm pretty sure I've seen this Clifford wandering around somewhere before, most likely at the Singapore Zoo, where he should have been getting danger pay for wandering around outside in direct sun. He was getting his picture taken a lot, but not with actual kids; they were all young adults getting pictures from other young adults' cell phones.

Of course, I saw Clifford over by the Science books section; presumably by the Children's Books there would be more, uh, children. Actually, I only noticed Clifford as he was walking away, since I was trying to find a biography of William Thompson that I put on the ``maybe'' list a few weeks back. That I didn't find, but I did notice several biographies of Robert Hooke. First was the difficult-to-look-up-on-Amazon The Man Who Knew Too Much (I know it's nearly impossible to come up with a completely unique book title, but could we please avoid deliberately duplicating famous ones?); nearby was Lisa Jardine's The Curious Life of Robert Hooke -- The Man who Measured London; and on another shelf was Stephen Inwood's The Forgotten Genius: The Biography of Robert Hooke. I was preparing to quip on the irony of a book called The Forgotten Genius being one of three recently-published biographies of the same man, when I noticed that The Man Who Knew Too Much was just a retitled paperback version of The Forgotten Genius. Obviously it's not nearly so ironic to have only two concurrent biographies of a man billed as ``forgotten.'' I apologize for the mistake.

Trivia: Sputnik 1 began as a backup Object PS-1 in case the intended first satellite, Object D, were to fall behind schedule. Source: The Rocket Men, Rex Hall and David J Shayler.

Currently Reading: Why Things Break: Understanding the World by the Way It Comes Apart, Mark E Eberhart.