Thursday, February 24, 2011

Neither Baffled Nor Amazed

This little book is contrary to the FIMP tradition of presenting "How To" books that really teach you nothing useful about the subject at hand. In this case, you have a magic trick that you can actually perform for anyone under 10 or so and actually fool them! Patter included!

What I enjoy about "Neither Baffled Nor Amazed" is the attempt to actually perform a magic trick in a little book. A huge success, in that I successfully perform the trick and make the coin disappear. On the other hand, of course, it fails, in that the slow step-by-step illustration of the trick allows you to clearly see where I palmed the coin and placed it in my shirt collar (you did catch that, didn't you? Don't try this trick wearing a t-shirt).

But, of course, I didn't palm the coin. It's a bunch of drawings. I just didn't draw the coin, and so it "disappeared".

But, the drawings are of an event that could actually take place, in which if you did drop the coin on the table, you could easily palm it and tuck it into your shirt collar.

There's a part of our brain that wants to follow along with the sequential images and "believe" that what we see there is actually "happening". It's fun to play with that part of our brain.

So, it's a failure as a trick, but perhaps it succeeds in tricking you into thinking that some sort of event took place that resembled a magic trick.

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's February's Book of the Month!

Subscribers to the Book of the Month Club should start watching their mailboxes for "What Birds Want".

If, instead of reading, handling, enjoying, and passing around amongst your friends a satisfyingly handmade object signed by the artist, you would rather just see all of the images from the book online, you can find them right here on Flickr.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Revolution, revisited

"The Revolution" was a book-of-the-month back in 2007, but I thought I would bring it back in light of the recent awe-inspiring events in Egypt. There has been a lot of attention paid to the important role social media has played in recent events (with some dissenting views as well), so I thought I would bring back my ill-considered exploration of the subject. This book, of course, has nothing to do with the incredibly brave people who actually take to the streets and overthrow dictators - it's more about some of us who watch.

I guess I was unaware of Facebook and Twitter at the time - and look, it's the original judges from American Idol! Proof once again that a FIMP book is a poor place to find meaningful or useful information about the world around you.

Paperwhite Narcissus

Along with the seedlings we've got some bulbs blooming. The Paperwhite Narcissus are very pretty and kinda smelly.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Ceaseless Seedling Drama

Remember that sunflower seedling from a couple of days ago? Its second pair of leaves have opened up. I bet you were on pins and needles, weren't you? A second seedling is having trouble shedding its shell. Will I help it? No. It builds character for seedlings to solve problems like this on their own.


My daughter has a tiny rubber shark with delusions of grandeur.