Thursday, 31 March 2005

Picking Up a Stick

I've just picked up one of the unaddressed sticks from Normblog.

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
US Army Field Manual TM31-210 Improvised Munitions Handbook. Sorry, no link, you'll have to look it up yourselves.

Picric acid can be used as a booster explosive in detonators (Section VI, No. 13), a high explosive charge, or as an intermediate to preparing lead picrate (Section I, No. 20) or DDNP (Section I, No. 19)....
I wouldn't make being a Fireman a hazardous occupation, but I'd certainly make insurance rates on factories making their equipment go through the roof. Along with the machine tools in them. If they ban Aspirin, there's soap, or flour, or aluminium foil, any of a number of other materials that can be used to make some quite satisfactory bangs.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
That's the definition of a crush isn't it?. It's always with a fictional character we've built in our heads, not the actual person who we don't know well enough. OK, Kim Possible. Green eyes and red hair.

The last book you bought is:
Thomas the Tank Engine Vol 4, along with a dozen other children's books, at a fete. Andrew loves them as bedtime stories.

The last book you read:
Between Silk and Cyanide.
In 1942, with a black-market chicken tucked under his arm by his mother, Leo Marks left his father's famous bookshop, 84 Charing Cross Road, and went off to fight the war. He was twenty-two. Soon recognized as a cryptographer of genius, he became head of communications at the Special Operations Executive (SOE), where he revolutionized the codemaking techniques of the Allies and trained some of the most famous agents dropped into occupied Europe.
What are you currently reading?
The post I'm writing, what else? Apart from that, the proceedings of the 2004 SimTecT Simulations Technology conference, which I've just received on CD.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:
  1. A Facsimile edition of the first version of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, from 1768. The medical sections are useless except for amusement, the geographical ones reasonably good for navigation (even if a little dated regarding cities, nations etc), but the rest has much practical help on making ropes, log cabins etc.
  2. SAS Survival Handook for obvious reasons.
  3. A Canticle for Liebowitz - excellent and under-appreciated SF book. Failing that, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, a better book, but better known.
  4. Annotated Shakespeares' Complete Works - always wanted to read the lot, never had the time. The best annotation I know of is Asimov's.
  5. US Army Survival Manual FM21-76 - I'm a computer scientist. Of course I'll have a backup, and use it to cross-check too.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
The first three people requesting one in the comments section - because I got this one as a Freebie from Norm. In fact, make that *anybody* who requests one, in the same spirit as his post.

Free Offer of Sticks taken up so far by :
Stephen Waters Casual Blog
The Unchanging Reality

No comments: