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Cool Bookshelf

Here’s yet another unique idea for a bookshelf: the inverted bookshelf. The books hang upside down! How weird is that!

Roman Catapult

This is too cool! It probably doesn’t have anything to do with Carp, although Carp does contain the book, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Some timber engineers (guys who make stuff out of wood) were asked to recreate a Roman siege weapon for a BBC/Discovery Channel show. They did. Now the giant catapult sits in their lot doing nothing.

So they put it on eBay! You too can own a giant Roman catapult. The article wants you to know that this would be a great investment as tourists will come to see it. What say ye Carpers? Shall we go in on a giant catapult? My sister says we can keep it in her yard and shoot stuff across the street. We can charge people money to pult different things, including but not limited to cats. Easy money!

Here’s the eBay listing including a video!

Thoreau’s Woods

Henry Thoreau spent lots of time wandering in the woods and writing about how totally awesome he was for doing so. Now, some of the woods that Thoreau wandered in the most are close to being developed into 975 homes and two exclusive resorts.

The people of Maine are up in arms over the proposed development of their wilderness. I’m for wilderness and wandering and telling people how awesome I am to wander in woods. It’s cool. No one brags about how awesome they are for wandering around a housing development.

Robert Burns Toilets

This post is not about a bathroom arsonist named Bob.

Robert Burns is a poet, who happens to be on the Carp 500 by the way, born in Scotland. He wrote a poem called the Selkirk Grace that is traditionally said before eating meals. According to legend, the verse was written in a Scottish hotel, The Selkirk Arms in Kirkcudbright.

The hotel is proud of its heritage and to show how precious they believe their treasured history is, they have decided to put the four line verse on each of the toilet lids in the hotel! How lovely.

The owner of the hotel came across a company called Loo Prints that produces personalized toilet seats. Now that, my friends, is a job right there. The key to happiness in life is to make money doing what you enjoy.

OK, I couldn’t help it, I had to Google it. Their web site is under construction, bummer.

Banned Books Week

September 27-October 4 is Banned Books Week. You can go here for a nice list of banned books, many of which are on the Carp 500.

In honor of banned books week, pick up a banned book and read it. Why? I don’t know, seems like the thing to do. Celebrate freedom! Every man lives, not every man dies.

Oh wait, that’s not it. Everyman dies. Not every man lives. Freedom! For more articulate reasons, go here.

Reading James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man has been finished. Many readers of Joyce struggle with his writing. I didn’t for some reason, not sure that’s a good thing. I knew what he was talking about the whole time and had little problem following his train of thought.

The basic gist is a young man who struggles with his works-based religion, has a fleshly fling, repents, balks at going deeper into religion to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. He turns on his religion, which forces him to turn on his family, which then forces him to turn on his country.

He does it all for supposed freedom. The book does not go so far as to let us know if he found freedom. My take is that he went into religion so deep life became unenjoyable, so he went to education, also causing him to view life as unenjoyable. While he was in religion and in academia he looks down on mean pleasures such as playing cricket. Either way he’s miserable.

Either that or he just doesn’t like cricket. I gave the book a 6.

Bibliomania

Bibliomania is a web site devoted to giving free copies of classic literature. The site also includes study guides and other stuff to help you get the most out of classic literature.

Many Carp books are available here for free, online versions anyway. If you are looking for some free ways to read Carp books, here ya go!

DanteWorlds

Dante’s three books, Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, are all on the Carp 500. These books describe, in Dante’s unique way, the scope of these worlds. Since the books are written in a weird way for modern readers, many people have struggled to follow what Dante is saying.

To help you out, The University of Texas at Austin has devised a web site to help you understand what in the worlds Dante is talking about. Very cooly done!

Literature and Christianity

Many of the books on the Carp 500 are just awful, awful in so many ways. Thus, I feel somewhat responsible for being in a position to recommend them, or encourage people to wallow in the mire of cultural pig pens.

Reading literature, and things written by people who read literature, it is quite obvious that most of these people are humanistic, socialist, commi-pinkos. I don’t know if reading these books makes you this way or it’s just that people who are this way read these books.

I have resisted commi-pinkodom to this point.

Anyway, there is a conflict in my mind about reading literature that is, well, not edifying. I picked up James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man from the library the other day. I knew by about page 23 that the main character was going to frequent prostitutes, I just knew it. I’ve read enough Literature to know how literary prostitute visitors write.

Sure enough, by page 100 he was with the prostitutes. Now, I don’t know, should I stop reading? Should I have not read it once I knew prostitutes were on the horizon? Or does that constitute sheltering and sticking your head in the sand?

Hast thou faith, have it to yourself, says Paul in Romans 14. It’s up to you. Be careful out there. How do you manage your Christian reading filter?

Hemingway’s Cats

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum has been in an argument with the Feds over the 50 cats that roam the premises. The cats are all descended from Hemingway’s cat, Snowball, and they carry the trait of having six toes. I’m guessing the six toes are on one foot for a total of twelve toes rather than three on each foot.

Anyway, the USDA got the museum in trouble because the cats were not enclosed and threatened to fine them $200 per cat per day! After nearly five years of arguing with the Feds, who were thus diverted from catching Osama Bin Laden, the argument has come to a peaceful resolution. The museum is now fenced in.

Yup. That’s it. Five years for that. God bless America.