While doing the usual perusal of sites at lunch on my smartphone, I came across a link on Instapundit to a Jerry Pournelle article on “The Education Mess” where he makes some good points on the state of our education system – I particularly liked his summary of the No Child Left Behind Program:
As many of us pointed out at the time, the only way to be sure that no child is left behind is to see that none get ahead.
Scrolling down through his essays and thoughts I came across a link that looked interesting on survival:
I also found this Survival essay, and while some of the books it lists are out of print, none of it seems to be out of date even though it was written twenty five years ago.
Following the Survival Essay link, I read his great article written in March of 1983 that addresses, among other things (getting out my air guns this weekend!) the need for a good survival book library. There are some classics mentioned but the one that caught my eye was this one:
Probably the most valuable book I own is MacKenzie's 10,000 Formulas. Published in 1868, it has 400 pages telling how to make everything known about at the time. The section on medicines is useful only for amusement, but MacKenzie shows how to butcher animals, smoke and preserve meat, make soap, gunpowder and fireworks, and how to brew beer–from choosing the barley and hops to malting the barley ("Throw the malt up into a heap as high as possible, where let it lie till it grows as hot as the hand can bear it, which usually happens in the space of about 30 hours"). Alas, nothing else like MacKenzie's book seems to be available.
Well, that book is available on Google Books in PDF or in plain text for those that have a hard time reading the tiny 1860’s era typesetting! And when it says 10,000 formulas – it truly has information on just about everything, from growing cotton and rearing silk to making glue, ink, manufacture of glass, iron, managing canary birds, crocheting and on and on and on ….as long as you are okay with 1867 technology which doesn’t sound too bad nowadays. Lots of olden timey stuff and it is a just a whole lot of fun to look through and it could be very, very useful. Best part is at the very end when you see where the scanned book came from: University of California Library Berkeley….
You can get a hard copy of the book on Amazon too if you wish.
Also on Google Books:
And take a deep breath for this one:
The Scientific American Cyclopedia of Formulas: Partly based on the 28th Edition of Scientific American Cyclopedia of Receipts, Notes and Queries (they sure don’t make book titles like they used too!)