6-year-old Rivers Hobbs was walking with his family at Big Bend National Park in West Texas, when a mountain lion pounced on him. Rivers’ mother tried to hold on to him, but the cat pulled the boy to the ground, clamping its jaws onto his head. That’s when his father, Jason, pulled out his pocket knife and stabbed the mountain lion in the chest, causing the cat to let go and run away. Nice going, dad.

Just another reason every man should carry a pocket knife.

Read the story (myFOXaustin.com)

Hat tip to Steve A. for the link.


I thought this NYT article from awhile back was a good tie-in with yesterday’s article on roughhousing.

The article details the way in which “dangerous” playground equipment–high monkey bars, tall jungle gyms, seesaws, merry-go-rounds, tire swings, etc have been removed from many of America’s playgrounds. They have disappeared because of parental fears of injury, and most of all, cities’ fear of litigation. But without this kind of equipment, kids miss out on risk-taking opportunities that help their cognitive and behavioral development:

“Children need to encounter risks and overcome fears on the playground,” said Ellen Sandseter, a professor of psychology at Queen Maud University in Norway. “I think monkey bars and tall slides are great. As playgrounds become more and more boring, these are some of the few features that still can give children thrilling experiences with heights and high speed.”

After observing children on playgrounds in Norway, England and Australia, Dr. Sandseter identified six categories of risky play: exploring heights, experiencing high speed, handling dangerous tools, being near dangerous elements (like water or fire), rough-and-tumble play (like wrestling), and wandering alone away from adult supervision. The most common is climbing heights.

“Climbing equipment needs to be high enough, or else it will be too boring in the long run,” Dr. Sandseter said. “Children approach thrills and risks in a progressive manner, and very few children would try to climb to the highest point for the first time they climb. The best thing is to let children encounter these challenges from an early age, and they will then progressively learn to master them through their play over the years.”

Sometimes, of course, their mastery fails, and falls are the common form of playground injury. But these rarely cause permanent damage, either physically or emotionally. While some psychologists — and many parents — have worried that a child who suffered a bad fall would develop a fear of heights, studies have shown the opposite pattern: A child who’s hurt in a fall before the age of 9 is less likely as a teenager to have a fear of heights.

By gradually exposing themselves to more and more dangers on the playground, children are using the same habituation techniques developed by therapists to help adults conquer phobias, according to Dr. Sandseter and a fellow psychologist, Leif Kennair, of the Norwegian University for Science and Technology.

“Risky play mirrors effective cognitive behavioral therapy of anxiety,” they write in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, concluding that this “anti-phobic effect” helps explain the evolution of children’s fondness for thrill-seeking. While a youthful zest for exploring heights might not seem adaptive — why would natural selection favor children who risk death before they have a chance to reproduce? — the dangers seemed to be outweighed by the benefits of conquering fear and developing a sense of mastery.

“Paradoxically,” the psychologists write, “we posit that our fear of children being harmed by mostly harmless injuries may result in more fearful children and increased levels of psychopathology.”

Read the whole article: “Can a Playground Be Too Safe?” (NYT)



Last week we ran a couple of giveaways–and we’ve drawn the winners for them.

For the Frame the Date giveaway which ran on the main site, the winner is:

Ryan Fischer from Fairborn, OH

Everyone who entered the Frame the Date giveaway should have been emailed a discount code for 10% off.

For the Criquet Shirts giveaway which ran here on The Trunk, two winners were drawn, and they are:

Andrew Garceau from Waco, Texas
Mike Wedick from Saint Louis, Missouri

The guys at Criquet Shirts have decided to offer a discount to AoM readers good for 20% off anything in their store.

The code is “Manup” and it is good through the end of February. So if you were thinking about getting one of their great polos, now’s the time to do it!


You remember the delight of throwing aside the boy’s clothes, and putting on the manly toga. Expect yet more joy from putting off a childish mind, and being enrolled by philosophy as a man.”

-Seneca, Epistles, XLV, Sec. 1


In a world where thousands of graphic tee companies print up doofy and forgettable designs on their shirts, Declaration Clothing really stands out. Inspired by the American Revolution and the Spirit of ’76, their knits and handmade goods feature some of the coolest and most unique designs around. Their tees give homage to the virtues of simplicity, liberty, and patriotism, and incorporate unique historical symbols like the U.S.A. monogram that was engraved on the buttons of the Continental Army’s officers during the Revolutionary War and Benjamin Franklin’s famous “Join or die” woodcut.

Declaration Clothing is giving away two items from its shop to two lucky AoM Trunk readers. To enter to win, simply browse through Declaration Clothing’s offerings, and leave a comment telling us which item you’d like if your name is drawn as the winner (except for the wallet–they only have one left unfortunately). Don’t leave a link, as this can get your comment marked as spam–just the name of the item will work.

Giveaway ends Feb. 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm CST.

Update: Contest is over. Check back soon for the winner.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Just in case you were wondering.

From The Land of the Lion, 1874

By William Stephen Rainsford

Unless you want to waste money do not buy your shooting clothes till you reach Nairobi. There you can get an admirable choice of khaki stuffs and have them very well made for about a third of what you must pay your London tailor, one fifth of what your New York man will demand. Three good suits are sufficient for a year’s work. They will not weigh three pounds a suit, and will cost about one pound each.

Study the question of pockets. Have plenty and have them large. Each little contraption that you must carry with you daily should have its own pocket. Thus you can always find it quickly and, always keeping it there, you will not leave camp without it.

Have four wide, deep pockets in your khaki hunting jacket, good flaps buttoning over them, to keep out rain.

The best place by far to carry your field glasses, is in the left breast pocket of this jacket; the narrow leather strap of the glass passed round your neck. They can then be used instantaneously, which is most important. Carried in a leather case slung round the shoulder, they are practically useless for quick work, and in stalking the case is very much in the way. The right hand lower pocket of the shooting jacket is the best place for handy cartridges. The leather holders, London gun makers insist on pressing on you and charging you very highly for, are useless things. Unless your gun boy constantly takes out the cartridges in them, the dampness of your body produces verdigris on the cases, and they stick. If the leather cover over them is not buttoned, every drop of rain falls full on the one exposed part of the cartridge, the butt, and dampness once in there, a misfire is certain. You cannot afford misfires in Africa. In thirteen months constant shooting I had just one. Then I never carry my cartridges on a leather belt, and if the rain has got into my pocket, I promptly throw away the cartridges that had been in it. I think the right pocket of the jacket, and if you want to carry two sorts of cartridges, as sometimes you will, the right trousers pocket, are the best places in which to stow them. A big cotton handkerchief can be thrust into the left breast pocket over the glasses. There will then be little chance of their becoming thoroughly wetted. Save your Zeiss glasses from wet. Once the dampness gets in they must be cleaned or they may take weeks to dry off. Always take an extra pair; you can get your money back for them.

Tobacco, pipe, matches, notebook, will fill the other two jacket pockets. Compass, measuring tape, pocket knife, and a bit of string, always useful, will fill your capacious trousers pockets. If you are obliged, as I am, to wear glasses, then have an extra big pocket made down the front of your left leg. There carry your cases, and an extra pair of spectacles. It is the safest side. Wear a strong leather belt, with a short, light, tested, hunting knife on it: wide in the blade; thin in the back.

Always carry a whistle, and teach your men to come immediately to its call…I have a whistle pocket in all my jackets, high up on the left side.

Now, one thing more. Fill your pockets over night. Always fill them, and keep them filled. You cannot rush off without your clothes, you can rush off leaving many necessary things behind you. There is nothing more annoying than to have to wait on a man in the early raw morning, while he rushes round in the murk looking for the essentials which should have been carefully stowed in his pockets the night before. It is a bad way to begin the day.


Submit your best Chuck Norris Action Jeans Fact in the comments below.


Here’s an idea for mixing up the old wings and pizza routine for the Super Bowl. And don’t forget that Wrigley’s helps reduce tension–pop a piece in if the game goes into overtime.


A great video about Alexander Conley the III, a man who’s been making custom hats the old fashioned way for 64 years. Mr. Conley reflects on how he became a hatter and his love for his craft.

Hat tip to Rich M. for this link.


Hawleywood’s Barbershop looks like a great place to get a haircut. I need to get out to L.A. one of these days…

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, stop by one of Hawleywood’s locations. I’ve been told that the Costa Mesa location keeps our book out for the patrons to read, which is cool.

via Gentlemint