(1) Following my spoof column last week I got some emails asking me what Arthur C. Clarke story I’d quoted from. Sorry, no clue. I can remember the story well enough. It’s about a world that has a high wall built all the way round its equator. The wall was built in remote antiquity, and is guarded with terrible taboos about how, if you try to cross the wall, you will lose your mind. An adventurer none the less crosses the wall… I can’t remember the story’s name, though. If anyone knows, I’ll broadcast it.
(2) My math-teaching anecdote yesterday had several readers asking for junior math-textbook recommendations. Well, the old (I mean, early-20C) textbooks I was raised on seem all to have been written by either (a) Clement Durell, or (b) Hall and Knight. An Abebooks advanced search on those authors should turn up some good books. Homeschooling sites are also v. good for this kind of thing.
(3) Agree or disagree with Pat Buchanan, but don’t tell me he isn’t a very, very sweet guy. Just on the strength of having quoted me a couple of times, very briefly, in his new book, Pat sent me a copy of the book, personally inscribed with a thoughtful message, and including a covering note, also hand-written and also appreciative & thoughtful. I have met Pat just once, for a two-minute conversation. I love this man… and now have two copies of his book, since I bought one when he came to my town for a book signing (though I didn’t stick around for the actual signing–the line went four times round the store). Anyway, it’s a splendid book, and you should buy it. Or I could give you my spare copy.