Kind of love this. “THE WORST ALPHABET BOOK EVER!” Also, pterodactyl on the front cover!

“P for Pterodactyl was written by Raj Haldar, also known as Lushlife, and Chris Carpenter, with illustrations by Maria Beddia. The color illustrations help demonstrate the context of each word, while clever sentences filled with alliteration make for a fun read. For instance, “The gnome yells, ‘Waiter! There’s a bright white gnat nibbling on my gnocchi!,’ ” accompanies “G is for Gnocchi.””

(By Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter, and Maria Beddia, link to book, and via My Modern Met)

1973 analysis suggests that “person on bicycle” equals number one in efficiency for animals and/or machines.

“It is worth asking why such an apparently simple device as the bicycle should have had such a major effect on the acceleration of technology. The answer surely lies in the sheer humanity of the machine. Its purpose is to make it easier for an individual to move about, and this the bicycle achieves in a way that quite outdoes natural evolution.

When one compares the energy consumed in moving a certain distance as a function of body weight for a variety of animals and machines, one finds that an unaided walking man does fairly well (consuming about .75 calorie per gram per kilometer), but he is not as efficient as a horse, a salmon or a jet transport. With the aid of a bicycle, however, the man’s energy consumption for a given distance is reduced to about a fifth (roughly .15 calorie per gram per kilometer).

Therefore, apart from increasing his unaided speed by a factor of three or four, the cyclist improves his efficiency rating to No. 1 among moving creatures and machines.” (S.S. Wilson from Scientific American, March 1973)

(see this link, via futility closet)

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