According to Bill Taylor, a Los Angeles bowling teacher, present-day scores are much too high, and he attributes the startling increase to the recent introduction of plastic-coated, high-impact, high-velocity pins. "They bounce farther and faster and deflect faster," Taylor says, aghast. "The scores are fantastic. The plastic-coated pin is the equivalent of a golf cup three times the regulation diameter, so that everyone sinks his putts."
To plead his cause, Taylor has helped to found the National Committee for Honest Bowling Conditions, which now has 30 members and has published a 22-page booklet with such eye-catching chapter headings as "Has Your Daughter Shot 300 This Week?" and "Coming Soon: The Weaker Breed."
Taylor blames manufacturers for the lively pins, but he also puts it to alley proprietors for artificially inflating scores. Some proprietors, he says, round off the bottoms of pins so they will topple easily, and others sand a groove in the lane to guide the ball to the pocket. As Taylor asks in Chapter 5, "Will Bowling Join Wrestling As a Fake?"
According to popular belief, Cam's lupus, the wolf, is a fierce beast given over to eating Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother and chasing Russians in sleds. All that is so much blather, says Farley Mowat, the Canadian writer and biologist, in a book appropriately titled Never Cry Wolf (Atlantic-Little Brown, $4.95).
Mowat did his research for the Canadian government, which was alarmed by reports from trappers that wolves were gobbling up caribou herds to the point of extinction. Literally dumped into the arctic Barrens by a bush pilot, Mowat was lucky enough to stumble across a wolf family near by. Setting up a tent with a view of the den, he was able to study the family at work and play for half a year. There were the father, a stately, dignified wolf that Mowat named George; Angeline, the mother; an unattached male dubbed Uncle Albert, and four pups. Almost the first thing that Mowat learned was that, instead of being nomads, George and his brood were settled creatures who lived on an approximately 100-square-mile estate. Unless invited, other wolves did not cross the boundary lines, which were marked off by George and Uncle Albert periodically—much in the manner of dogs making the rounds of the neighborhood.
The wolves led a well-regulated life, with George and Uncle Albert doing most of the hunting at night. Sometimes Uncle Albert baby-sat while Angeline went off with George. The wolves were curious about Mowat, but they never bothered him, even when he crawled into their supposedly empty den to explore. (There is no authenticated record of a wolf ever killing a human in the Canadian north.)
For the most part, Angeline fed her pups on field mice which she would regurgitate by the dozens after a hunting trip. Wolves ate very few caribou and if anything, they kept the caribou herds fit by knocking off the halt, the lame and the blind. The real culprits were the trappers themselves, who slaughtered caribou by the thousands to feed their sled dogs.
Despite Mowat's pro-wolf report, the Canadian government has stepped up its wolf-control program with cyanide poisonings by air. Like children, the government apparently believes in fairy tales.
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