Archives for the month of: December, 2008

A SOAP-BUBBLE is an uncouth, inelegant name for such an ethereal, fairy sphere. It is such a common. every-day sight to us that we seldom give it much attention or realize how wonderful and beautiful is this fragile, transparent, liquid globe. Its spherical form is typical of perfection, and the ever-changing. prismatic colors of its iridiscent surface charm the eye.

It is like a beautiful dream; we are entranced while it lasts, but in an instant it vanishes and leaves nothing to mark its former existence except the memory of its loveliness.

Few persons can stand by and watch another blowing bubbles without being seized with an uncontrollable desire to blow one for themselves. There is a peculiar charm or pleasure in the very act which not many who have known it ever outgrow.

I love it! I saw my old copy of The American Boy’s Handy Book at my mom’s this weekend and I couldn’t resist taking it home with me. It had been on my mind lately: there seems to be a trend of books in this genre, I’ve been wanting to build things I remember reading in it, I think of it as the closest I came to being a boy scout (It turns out that the author co-founded the BSA).

I’m glad I found it. It’s amazing! Maybe even more amazing than I remember. There are plans for all kinds of boats, kites (I’ve been planning on making kites this spring – he’s got great designs), snow forts (I didn’t get snow when I was young. I designed imaginary forts while reading this book), miniature hot air balloons! I’ve looked around for paper balloon ideas recently — Ray Bradbury mentioned somewhere that all the boys he knew would make them — and never found anything quite like what I was looking for. I knew the whole time exactly where I’d seen better plans.

Anyway, you should take a look at it. And give a copies to the boys you know.

While you’re over at google books, check out The Adventures of a Woman Hobo. Out of work and withering in Chicago, Ethel Lynn and her husband decided to travel back to their native San Francisco. . . on a tandem bicycle. How cool is that? I wasn’t sure I liked her at first, but once she started describing the actual trip and the people they met I was hooked. I am a little biased, though, as it features the city I love and the city I live in.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Go on, read it! Here’s a tiny taste.

Each word was a tiny explosion.

“Just because I didn’t think! Didn’t think! That’s what ails the world. We don’t think, won’t think and can’t think. Now, which do you consider is the worst?”

“The won’t thinks are the worst to my mind,” I assured her gravely, “because the don’t thinks get waked up now and then, and after a while the can’t thinks will grow some more brains, so that there is a chance of them getting started right, but as for the fellow who just naturally refuses to think at all, there is not much hope for him.”

Have you ever found anything cool through google books (or project gutenberg or or…)

P.S. Actually, that Popular Mechanics book looks pretty cool.


I realized that I haven’t posted here in a week.  I haven’t really used the computer in the last week. I blame NaNoWriMo burnout. Neat stuff has happened and maybe I’ll tell you about it later. In the meanwhile, enjoy a few random tidbits I’ve found lying around.

My new favorite quote about stories (from this excerpt):

By this, she means one of those children “interested in the imagination and in the relationship between the real and the unreal. They are entirely capable of telling the difference between truth and falsehood, but they prefer the falsehood occasionally.”

My favorite creative protest: 

My favorite new toy-I-wish-I-could-get-every-child-I-know:

Alphabet blocks for budding mad scientists