I’m traveling this week to the Air Force Research Lab at Kirtland AFB, in the Space Weather Center of Excellence. Not just “Center,” mind, but Center of Excellence. So I’m feeling pretty good about the idea.
Apparently they’re doing some kind of experimenting of the “Effects of high-energy CMEs and epidermal cellular structure.” I don’t know exactly what that means, but I’m to be a test subject! (There was talk of launching me into space.)
Mr Briggs’ Hat
Kate Colquhoun has written a book which will surely be on everybody’s list: Mr Briggs’ Hat: A Sensational Account of Britain’s First Railway Murder. Hats, Briggs, trains, blood, murder—what’s not to love? Daily Mail review. I’ve already pre-ordered.
Speaking of head coverings: If you’re looking for a custom-made Panama hat, I recommend Panama Hats Direct. Even if you’re not buying, their video about the particulars of hat construction is worth a look.
Pay particular attention to the block used. Most people have ordinary, oval-shaped skulls, with a few toppings roughly circular. Most rare of all are those whose heads are shaped like eggs pushed out by severely constipated chickens. These pates are called long-oval, an architecture enjoyed by yours truly.
The problem we folk have is that if we wear an ordinary hat, our eggheads will push out the front and back abnormally, causing the brim to buckle and take on a wavy appearance. This horror can be masked by dark felt, but will stand out like a beacon in white straw.
Long-ovals will also want to have narrower brims because wide ones make your face appear elongated, like a character out of Edwin A. Abbott novel Flatland. Standard brims on felt are 2 – 2.5″, which is fine. But straws run from 2.5 – 4″, sometimes even more, which is far too wide (though ordinary ovals and circle-heads will look good).
Also take care that the crown height is not too high. Felt hats are about 4″, which is fine; less, down to 3.5″, would be better. Hipster hats range from 3 – 4″. More than 4″ makes your face look like a door knocker. Go for a generous taper to the back; anywhere from 3.25 – 3.5″ (starting with a crown height of 4″).
How can you tell which kind of head enjoy? If as you walk down the street mothers draw their children closer, young ladies gasp, and men move to cover their wallets, you are a long-oval. Otherwise, you’re probably normal-oval.
Or you can use the services of a conformiture, a steampunk phrenological mechanism that transfers your head shape to a 3 x 5 card. A picture of a dormant conformiture is shown on Paul’s Hat Works of San Francisco. Don’t be taken in by its quiescent appearance. It comes alive on your skull and even talks to you.
Get well Soon, Willie!