Dawkins has some political commentary sort of moments in this book. For example, in the middle of a discussion of New World Monkeys, he bursts out “The present leader of the largest nuclear power in the world… thinks the word is ‘nucular.” He has never given any reason to suggest that his wisdom or his intelligence outperforms his literacy. He  has demonstrated a predilection for ‘pre-emptive’ first strikes. What are the odds against a terrible mistake, initiating Armageddon?… We came awfully close in 1963, and that was with an intelligent president.”

Shortly beyond that point we come to the earliest primate, the tree shrew. No surprises there, because of course we are primates and of course the earliest primate is the tree shrew, but the next branching point is the rodents.

Are you surprised? Did you know that our nearest non-primate relatives are rodents? Not only was I surprised, but I was unhappy about it, too. Dawkins can talk all he wants about the sheep-sized rodents in South America (declared honorary fish by the Catholic church back when they had fish on Fridays) and the recently-eradicated donkey- and rhino-sized rodents, but I still think it is like meeting a group of near cousins who happen to be gangsters. Who wants rats in the family?

Why couldn’t it have been giraffes? Or tigers?

After I had finished the grocery shopping but before I got around to scrubbing the front porch, it began to snow. I had checked out the local craft store for books on modular knitting, without success, and had found to my surprise that my own collection of knitting books had nothing to say on the subject. So I got dinner into the crockpot, staked out a spot in front of the fire, armed myself with Dawkins and a cup of tea, and tackled the modular knitting without assistance of any kind.

It is clearly too late to join Team Angstylvania, but check it out anyway.

Here is the headband. It would be tedious to detail all the ways in which I did this wrong. My personal favorite was when I had the two rows of triangles point to point, as though I were doing a Statue of Liberty effect. Now, though, I have a reasonably winsome little headband, for GlazyJ‘s five year old or for the gym, as the case may be.

I have begun the bag satisfactorily. It will not look like the inspiration piece, I am sure. However, I think I will be challenged, finish it by the deadline, and know how to do modular knitting by the time I finish.

The goal of finishing by the deadline is a bit easier than it might otherwise be, because I have no pattern, so I can declare myself finished when the time or the yarn runs out.

I am just repeating the headband to make a fabric of interlocking triangles. I have added some striping to the light-colored ones. I think this will be a handy little bag for times when I just need my keys and my billfold. I will probably line it, and if it looks too funky I will felt it. If that makes it too small, I will declare it a cell phone cozy or something. One way or another, I will complete it, whatever it is, by the end of the Olympics. Dal ati!, Daliwch ati!