Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z

The toys and games described in this watercolor-illustrated children's picture book are authentic 19th century pastimes enjoyed by youngsters growing up in America's Appalachia Mountains.

Ranging from "A is for apple dolls" (a wrinkled toy molded from Rome apples) to "W is for whimmydiddles" (a toy carved by young boys on a stick with a spinner), author Linda Hager Pack provides an alphabetical sampling of traditional games, toys, and songs depicting playtime in 19th century Appalachia. The book describes familiar toys like marbles, slingshots and pick-up-sticks along with lesser-known toys such as limberjacks, Tom Walkers, and buzz buttons.

The letter "C" stands for corn shuck doll, "D" is for drop the handkerchief, "F" is for fox and hound, "G" is for game of graces, and "H" is for hoop and stick. The alphabet continues...

Continued in ... The Book Stall
by Linda Hager Pack
The University Press of Kentucky, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lousy Sex: The Purpose of the Past

"For millenia, evolution has been shaping human genes for a single purpose - reproduction. Those who didn't measure up didn't reproduce. Evolution is a harsh mistress. Genes that helped animals make more of themselves survived. 
"At the moment of conception each of us is given that legacy - helices full of genes as old as life itself. Genes that brought fish from the dark into the light, genes that made lizards strong, genes that allowed apes to stand up, genes that crushed others and forged a living from their remains, genes that will write poetry and explore constellations, genes that will stare and the stars and wonder, and genes to make us care about all of it. A genomeful of genes."

excerpted from:
Lousy Sex: Creating Self in an Infectious World
by Gerald N. Callahan
University Press of Colorado, 2013