Well, the Complete Calvin & Hobbes Collection arrived this morning. I think it’s far too good a reward incentive for the challenge I completed. It’s not often I get something from Amazon that totally belies all expectations. But man alive, this thing is awesome.
First off, it came packed in a cardboard box, so right there, I have my own free Transmogrifier and Time Machine. I picked it up and nearly broke my back – it’s proper heavy. I had to have a rest taking it up the stairs, this thing is a beast. There are three volumes, each bound in an amazing cover, and the quality of the print is phenomenal. Every single strip is reproduced on heavy stock glossy paper, and every so often there’s an original watercolour full page frame. Watterson’s artwork is even better the bigger it gets.
All three volumes come in a thick cardboard box holder, and to be honest I’d have thought it was an incredible bargain had I paid full price. Comparing the quality to the previous excellently produced Treasuries is like comparing VHS to Blu-Ray. If The Complete Far Side Collection is as well produced, I might set myself a Gary Larson challenge.
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My sister asked me this evening how I can explain the advances in technology over the past century if not for alien intervention. I’m not sure if she was just trying to wind me up, but I was so flabbergasted I didn’t really respond properly. I muttered something incoherent about microchips and silicon, and it wasn’t until she left that I had a proper answer in my head. I hate it when that happens.
In the meantime, she responded to the inarticulate ramblings about silicon chips by asking the equally dumbfounding question: “But how did anyone know how to invent a chip? Who told them what to do?”
I told her that this does an incredible disservice to the ingenuity and hard work of some brilliantly focussed people, but it came out as, “What the fuck are you on about?”
The whole argument was framed in a wider debate about spiritualism, and it finally occurred to me as she left, that the reason we’ve made so much progress in such a relatively short period of time is precisely because we have begun to reject the notions of superstition, that our drive to understand the way things really work has propelled us forward at higher speeds.
I allayed my disgust at my inability to respond to such a tortuous point by reading some more Calvin & Hobbes.