consigli per le vacanze

Programmate le prossime vacanze, mentre vi godete queste.  Ecco 10 strane guide di viaggio, selezionate da Paul Collins su Slate.

Photo: no.2 from Keith Hern’s Kenyan photo diary, The Times. A Masai man on Shanzu beach.

“Baboons Are Simply Too Small for Leopard Bait”

The 10 oddest travel guides ever published.

“After five years’ travel,” veteran guidebook writer Geoff Crowther once recalled, “most of us went feral.” So did the books they wrote. Jammed into backpacks, ripped into pieces, guidebooks escape into the wild to get lost or abandoned for the next edition. Here are 10 that are so transfixingly odd that they’ve remained readable long beyond their original itineraries:

1. The Truth About Hunting in Today’s Africa, and How To Go on Safari for $690.00, by George Leonard Herter (1963)
Equal parts Hemingway and Cliff Clavin, mail-order hunting goods retailer George Herter was one of America’s great oddball writers. His self-published guide—bound in tiger-print cloth—is a malarial fever of anecdotes, family safari photos, and horrifying advice: “Baboons are simply too small for leopard bait. … A live dog is one of the best leopard baits.” Hunting with a phonograph of distressed goat calls is encouraged; so is the importation of animals: “Leopard farming would be far more profitable than mink farming,” he proposes. As the corpses of rhinos, lions, elephants—and one of their guides—pile up for more than 300 pages, Herter never misses a chance to sell his sporting goods with such photo captions as: “A Masai warrior admires a pair of Hudson Bay two point shoes.”

2. A Guide Through the District of the Lakes in the North of England, by William Wordsworth (5th edition, 1835)

3. Das Generalgouvernement, by Karl Baedeker (1943)

4. Fodor’s Indian America, by Jamake Highwater (1975)
Fodor’s one attempt to get down with the 1970s got them more than they bargained for. First, there’s the author: Jay Marks, a rock critic who, after claiming Indian ancestry, changed his name to Jamake Mamake Highwater. His book is as much a history and a personal essay as a travel guide.

5. Bollocks to Alton Towers by Robin Halstead, et al. (2006)
This lyrical look at British eccentricity covers such oddball attractions as a leech-operated barometer and the Cumberland Pencil Museum. Whether mourning the military-requisitioned village of Imber

6. Travel Guide of Negro Hotels and Guest Houses, by Afro-American Newspapers (1942)
Like The Negro Motorist Green-Book, the Travel Guide captures an era when African-Americans had to be mindful of where they vacationed. Alongside bucolic listings for shoreline getaways, the Manhattan listings are an urban time capsule: Small’s Paradise (“presenting Chock Full o’ Rhythm Revue, starring Tondelayo and Lopez”), the Savoy Ballroom, $1 rooms at the Hotel Crescent, and Bowman’s Most Ultra Bar and Cocktail Lounge over on 135th Street. The 1942 edition includes an exhortation to wartime travel—”Vacations for Victory. You can do your job better after recreation“—and to modern eyes is striking for what hotels emphasized in the early 1940s. There’s no TV, of course, and rarely any AC. So what’s the most common amenity promised in the hotel ads? “Hot and Cold Running Water.”

7. Lonely Planet Guide to Micronations, by John Ryan et al. (2006)

8. The Night Climbers of Cambridge, by “Whipplesnaith” (1937)

9. A Tramp Trip: How To See Europe on Fifty Cents a Day, by Lee Meriwether (1886)
One of the original college-dropout backpackers, Lee Meriwether figured out in 1886 how to travel across Europe on 50 cents a day: namely, by couch surfing (or, sometimes, pile-of-hay surfing). Half-starving worked pretty well, too. (…)  “I was lodged in jail, and the next morning brought before an officer of justice, and charged with the heinous crime of sleeping in the dead city of Pompeii.”

10. Overland to India and Australia, by the BIT Travel & Help Service (1970)

Too fit to fit in? Bio-psychology of the fat conservative voter

As the presidential run enters the decisive phases, BIO-POLITICS  come to the center of the arena in many ways:

a) subcrime is always the crime at the center of the plot: finance has exploited for years housing, a basic need

b) THE BODY OF THE CANDIDATES. A perfect body VERSUS a wrecked one.

c) Obama, too much perfect to fit into the expectations and indentification of 1/3 fat, obese Americans and 2/3 overweight. And identification, once a mechanism of romantic art, through Hollywood and the media, entered the bio-psichology of elections and voters expectations since long. Today’s, August 1st WSJ: Too Fit to Be President?

DUAL BINDING: OBAMA at the same time is required TO BE AND NOT TO BE a Nietzschean Super Man.

FT: Obama-love could hurt what it cherishes most

US presidents must be supermen who bestride the globe but must do a plausible impersonation of an ordinary guy, writes Chrystia Freeland

d) Mc Cain: a wrecked body by tortures and war, a wrecked campaign. Finding no better argument than this idiot one: “On Wednesday, the McCain campaign launched a new ad titled “Celeb” that compares Sen. Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears” (wsj, quoted). “Senator McCain’s latest “inexperience” TV ad about his opponent opened with fleeting images of celeb babes Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, who likely don’t know who he is. The celebrity link was a leap that fell flat.” (wsj August 1, editorial: Obama’s Bad Turn).

e) Question: how many neurons are connected in McCain’s brain? Here is the answer, from an above suspect source, such a hardliner conservative bastion as WSJ: HARDLY ANY NEURON. Is John McCain Stupid? By Daniel Henninger.

On Sunday, he said on national television that to solve Social Security “everything’s on the table,” which of course means raising payroll taxes. On July 7 in Denver he said: “Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I won’t.”

This isn’t a flip-flop. It’s a sex-change operation.(..)

t’s not just taxes. Recently the subject came up of Al Gore’s assertion that the U.S. could get its energy solely from renewables in 10 years. Sen. McCain said: “If the vice president says it’s doable, I believe it’s doable.” What!!??

… Sen. McCain called Nancy Pelosi an “inspiration to millions of Americans.” Notwithstanding his promises to “work with the other side,” this is a politically obtuse thing to say in the middle of a campaign. (…)

Yes, Sen. McCain must somehow appeal to independents and blue-collar Hillary Democrats. A degree of pandering to the center is inevitable. But this stuff isn’t pandering; it’s simply stupid.

(..) Why .. shouldn’t the Obama camp exploit all of this? If Sen. Obama’s “inexperience” is Mr. McCain’s ace in the hole, why not trump that by asking, “Does Sen. McCain know his own mind?”


f) ICE CREAM are the Presidential test, and Obama didn’t pass it yet. Innocent Shasha Obama says the bare  truth: there is something anti-bio, deeply in-natural in all this comedy. WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM. WHY SHOULD PAPA NOT ICE SCREAM? WSJ:

On a campaign stop in May at Lew’s Dari-Freeze in Milwaukie, Ore., Sen. Obama’s wife, Michelle, and their two daughters ate ice-cream sundaes and onion rings, while Sen. Obama grinned for the cameras and swirled a spoon around in his quickly melting ice-cream concoction, taking only a few nibbles.

During a July family appearance on “Access Hollywood,” Sen. Obama’s 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, revealed that her dad doesn’t like ice cream or sweets. “Everybody should like ice cream,” she said.

g) AS IF THE CONTRAST ENERGY-YOUTH versus  OLD & IDIOT was not enough, Vanity Fair yearly competition for Best Dressed has irrupted into the electoral campaign. Underlining a bio evidence which was under the table until today: Michelle is just beautiful,  her elegance is superb. We might have under-valued the incoming First Lady. This is the  odd of bio-politics: Vanity Fair has altered the whole  balance of power, by just registering a matter of fact.   By Melissa Whitworth:

Keren Eldad, New York fashion manager of the Los Angeles Times, said: “McCain’s style is like the political style of her husband: conservative and outdated. It screams ‘safety’ and escapes any nod to change, to risk, or to bravado. She may throw on a tailored leather jacket every once again, but through her pearls and all that hairspray, can we really detect any semblance of inspiration? Of fun?

“Obama, on the other hand, gets it. She IS a modern woman, she has fun with fashion, she embraces life with fury and grace – making apparel choices so varied, that time and again signal this woman never sees anything in life as constant. That’s change. And that is the essence of what fashion is all about”.