From the echoing annals of history, it’s the interview meme! Here’s how this works. I’ve been given questions from various people, in sets of five. I will answer them, for your enlightenment and entertainment. You can then comment on these answers, and if you choose, request that I give YOU five questions, for which to use on your own blog.
My first set of questions come from Brooke (
1. What’s a work of non-fiction you really enjoyed reading?
Wow, that’s a lot of non-fiction, because I read a lot of it. I read a lot of history and science for fun. If I had to pick a single book, I might pick Isaac Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare, which is a wonderful, enormous book which endeavours to give Elizabethan contexts to many things that make little sense to modern audiences. And includes of a lot of the sort of writing that made Asimov’s non-fiction so compelling.
Another book that I return to frequently is Robert X. Cringely’s Accidental Empires, which is a fascinating anecdotal history of the personal computer industry.
2. The hobgoblin’s hat is on your desk! But you left your sensible restraint in your other jacket, so you cannot resist dropping an inanimate object inside just to see what happens. Also you can’t resist describing the resulting chaos, neatly skirting the lack of a question mark anywhere in this paragraph.
I reached for the first thing at hand, which turned out to be a smallish paperclip. For hours, nothing seemed to happen, but over the night a change came, and suddenly the entire house was filled with aluminium armoured praying mantises. At first we tried to fight them, and then we realised that all they really wanted was to go outside and sit on branches, so they could glisten in the sun. So we let them outside, and the scampered up the sides of trees and our apartment complex thinks its some sort of subtle art installation.
3. What’s your favourite limerick that has an educational purpose that you just wrote?
Imagine, if you will, that this is read by NPR’s Carl Kassel.
There are many paths leading to power
But your rise might lead others to glower
One part lemon, one lime
Jack and syrup combine
Win their love with a great whiskey sour.
You can find more drink recipes for world domination in my new book, "First, We Make Manhattans."
4. I just tried to order an autographedcat, and the bartender had no idea what I was talking about. What’s the recipe again?
A very reliable drink! It’s sweet, with a tiny dash of bitters, and is highly adaptable to different liquors to suit different palates.
5. Oh god, it’s EVIL ROB, he has a goatee and an eyepatch and everything. How does he TAKE OVER THE WORLD BWAHAHAHAH? I ask out of simple curiosity.
Evil Rob takes over the world by using his vast evil fortune towards controlling all the worlds reality shows. Once he has completely buy in of the market, he launches Who Wants To Be a Global Despotic Meglomaniac. Despite his great advantage, he’s eliminated in Week 4, and then cancels the rest of the show out of spite. (All of Evil Rob’s plans tend to foil themselves. He’s not a very good villain, mostly because he’s not that good at being genuinely evil.