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For the person who has everything....
December 14, 2011 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Say Hello to My Little Friend. Mary Roach examines the history of head shrinking among Amazon tribes and Americans' fascination with the little things. She also includes a handy DIY guide.
posted by mudpuppie (16 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm so glad that she has a new book out!!!
posted by threadbare at 12:51 PM on December 14, 2011


Will it be coming out in a pocket-sized edition?
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:57 PM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


It would either be the best thing in the world to be married to her, or the scariest. Maybe both.
posted by Danf at 12:58 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sure it would be the best thing! She wrote a whole book on sex!

waitaminute...
posted by sawdustbear at 1:00 PM on December 14, 2011


I'm sure it would be the best thing! She wrote a whole book on sex!

Apparently size is an issue.
posted by hal9k at 1:13 PM on December 14, 2011


Shrunken Heads! (self link)
posted by stinkycheese at 1:37 PM on December 14, 2011


Now that I have a DIY guide to creating a shrunken head I feel obligated to decapitcate someone.
posted by dortmunder at 1:52 PM on December 14, 2011


> It would either be the best thing in the world to be married to her, or the scariest. Maybe both.

She's my book crush. Hands off!
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:40 PM on December 14, 2011


*embarrassed* My first exposure to the words "head hunters" was from an episode of Gilligan's Island, and I was (very briefly, fortunately) terrified that such people could exist.
posted by Melismata at 3:28 PM on December 14, 2011


Now that I have a DIY guide to creating a shrunken head I feel obligated to decapitcate someone.

The follow-up DIY guide you'll need. Good luck!
posted by vidur at 4:18 PM on December 14, 2011


I love Mary Roach and will buy anything she cares to publish.

Shrunken Heads! I'm sure at one time I thought this was a real thing-- after all didn't the Jungle Ride at Disneyland feature headhunters with baskets of shrunken heads? Therefore it was a mixture of relief/dismay when I grew up and learned they were only monkey heads. Alas, poor monkeys. I'm fairly sure that in the 60's (during my childhood) you could still buy Real! Shrunken! Heads! from ads in the back of comic books just as you could buy real monkeys, too.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:42 PM on December 14, 2011


The guys at the Stuff You Should Know podcast did a show called "How Shrunken Heads Work" back in June. It's entertaining to listen to while you're taking a boring drive.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:19 PM on December 14, 2011


She is easily one of the best contemporary non-fiction writers currently wandering this planet.
posted by Evilspork at 6:40 PM on December 14, 2011


Mary Roach is truly amazing. My library consortium read Packing for Mars for its One Book, One Community program this year. She came to speak at the main event, and it was a thrill to hear her talk about how she writes her books. She seems to thrive on investigating things no one else dares look at and writing about the bizarre things she discovers in the process.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 8:50 PM on December 14, 2011


"Never put your flesh-head on a roiling boil, because the hair may fall out."

Good to know.
posted by shoesietart at 9:55 PM on December 14, 2011


From the Shuar wikipedia page (and mentioned in the Roach article):
In the late 19th century and early 20th century Europeans and Euro-Americans began trading manufactured goods, including shotguns, asking in return for shrunken heads. The result was an increase in local warfare, including head hunting, that has contributed to the stereotype of Shuar as violent.
Could anyone familiar with economics terminology clarify whether this is a valid example of perverse incentive?
posted by vanar sena at 12:28 AM on December 15, 2011


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