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PLEASE NOTE: Constable Colgan's Connectoscope is in production so your name can not be listed in the back of the book. However, you are guaranteed a copy of the special Unbound edition that will not be available in the shops.
I found myself fascinated and somewhat dizzy. Most impressive.
Quite simply the best way to spend time when not shopping, sleeping or preparing food
TONY HAWKS (author of Around Ireland with a Fridge)
For many years, we have known about something called Six Degrees of Separation; the idea that every person on this planet can be linked by a chain of just six, or fewer, individuals. Now I’ve designed a machine to do the same thing with facts; a kind of Six Degrees of Information.
I’ve called it the Connectoscope®
Imagine the scenario. I’m in my office, deep in the bowels of Scotland Yard, sipping Earl Grey tea and pondering upon the intricate and myriad connections that bind the universe together when, all of a sudden, a colleague bursts in and says 'PC Colgan! We have to find a connection between Batman and koalas or the kidnappers will throw the Duchess of Wycombe into a pit of ravenous Komodo Dragons! Fire up the Connectoscope®!'
Thus begins a frenzied flurry of detective activity… staccato word association… frantic whipping through the pages of an encyclopædia of marsupials… finding out every fact I can about the Caped Crusader… Everything is fed into the miraculous steampunkish thinking machine that is the Connectoscope®. The cogs whirr, the flywheels spin, as connections form and break apart only to regroup as solid chains of association. In a moment, the links are all forged and the case is solved.
Sound good? I hope so, because I’m going to need your help to build it.
Pledge to make it happen through Unbound and I’ll share some of the Connectoscope®’s most interesting discoveries to date:
- what humans taste like to robots
- why there were bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover
- how a tree became the New York Stock Exchange
- why Bob the Builder has more fingers in Japan than in the UK
- who the patron saint of medical record librarians is... and
- how to make Superman gay
Pledge at the higher levels and I might even get the machine to solve a case for you.
Remember, everything can be connected; the fun lies in figuring out how.
By choosing Unbound, I’m nailing my colours to the mast: authors and readers should decide which books get published, not accountants. Books should be sold to readers, not to retailers. I believe that this is the future of quality publishing.
CASE 2: Terry and chewin’ Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is an edible plant used to flavour food – particularly fish. It is also a primary ingredient in making the spirit Absinthe. Its gentle aniseed-like flavour can be found in its feathery shoots but is concentrated in the bulb, which can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. In mediaeval times, it was used as a medicinal herb in conjunction with St John’s Wort as a charm against witchcraft and other evils. It was also once said that eating fennel improves the bust. Modern chemistry has revealed that the plant does contain phytoestrogens that can promote growth of breast tissue so it’s maybe not so much of an Old Wives’ Tale after all.
Spotting connections is in my DNA. For thirty years I was PC Colgan of the Metropolitan Police. I worked in criminal intelligence. I researched and analysed crimes and community problems and helped design solutions that were more permanent and sustainable than the usual short-term enforcement-based tactics.
Now I’m an artist, author, songwriter and speaker currently living in Buckinghamshire. Among other things, I’ve been a potato picker, a chef, a police officer and a lecturer. I’ve written briefing notes for Prime Ministers and scripts for TV series. I’ve helped build dinosaur skeletons for the Natural History Museum and movie monsters for Bruce Willis to shoot at. I was the official artist for the 2006 National Children’s Book Fair and am an exhibitor at the annual Royal College of Art Secret Auction. I regularly contribute to the QI Annuals and my artwork has been seen on the BBC TV series. I have spoken at events in the UK and USA for audiences as wide ranging as police chiefs, doctors, magicians, entrepreneurs, comedians, politicians and prostitutes.
I have two books currently in print: Joined-Up Thinking (Pan Macmillan 2008) and Henhwedhlow (Kowethas 2010). The latter (translated by Tony Hak) is a re-telling of eight classic Cornish folk tales in both English and Cornish languages and is the largest collection of original Cornish prose currently in existence.
I fully intend to return to the Westcountry (I’m originally from Cornwall) some day to become the grumpy old sod at the end of the road who won’t give local kids their ball back.
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