A throwing stick used by Aborigines in Australia that returns to the user when properly thrown. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a hunting weapon, as it is too light and relies too much on the direction of the wind in order to return.

A graphic element in googie design. The boomerang is closely related to the kidney and blob shapes of 1950's-60's graphic design. However instead of the smooth contours of the kidney and the blob, the boomerang was sharp and angular. Another name for googie btw is "populuxe"

Today, there are 2 forms of boomerangs, War and sport. I believe the War one is more difficult to use, while the Sport one is meant for novices. They can stay in the air for a really long time, I've heard 4 minutes for some pros.

There are various models:
Erics Fast Catch
You can learn how to make your own at http://www.rediboom.com/englisch/bauplane/index.html

From the Boomerang FAQ at usba.org:

Were boomerangs used for hunting?

No. Returning boomerangs aren't heavy enough to kill anything bigger than a large insect. In Australia, where the returning boomerang probably originated, boomerangs may have been used as decoys to mimic birds of prey, tricking a flock of ducks into the waiting nets of the hunters.

And the history of the boomerang, which dates back to prehistoric times:

Aerodynamic throwsticks were developed by Stone Age civilizations in different parts of the world as long as 15,000 years ago. The Australian aborigines are the best known; however, these special hunting weapons were also developed in other areas including ancient Egypt, the American Southwest, and eastern Europe. While there are many stories of how the returning boomerang came to be (many rooted in myth and misinterpretation), most anthropologists agree that it originated from the throwstick.

The throwstick, called a kylie by the native Australians and a rabbit stick by the Hopi people of pre-European America, was a heavy, non-returning aerodynamic weapon thrown horizontally to kill or stun prey. At some point (perhaps by accident) the stick became more curved and refined (and much lighter) so that, when thrown vertically, it would return to the thrower. These true boomerangs were probably only used for fun and games, not as weapons.

On the wall above my door hangs my old boomerang. It's a Real Boomerang. Laminated wood, long as my arm. I haven't thrown the thing for ages.
Boomerangs are cool. I've never been cool, I never surfed, I never skated, I used to hate sports, but I did own a boomerang.

Throwing a boomerang the right way is a great way to impress your friends. I used to have this Zen routine all worked out... slowly walking around, looking for the right spot, picking up some grass and sprinkling it on the ground. This looks like a strange ritual but it is done to determine the wind direction (I've seen rugbyplayers use the same trick before kicking the ball between the goalposts) then throwing it and seeing it glide in a long lazy curve accross the field.

...it takes about ten seconds but it feels more like a minute...

And if it's a good throw, you catch it while spinning on your heels.
Boomerang, a spin-off cable TV channel of AOL Time Warner's Cartoon Network, went on the air on April 1, 2000. The network was started to facilitate the massive amount of Hanna-Barbera vault material collected from over the past 43 years. This includes everything from classics such as Yogi Bear and The Flintstones, to cult favorites like Top Cat and Speed Buggy, to stuff salvaged from USA Networks old Cartoon Express like The Herculoids and Mighty Mightor, to the completely forgotten cartoons (some with good reason) like Goober & the Ghost Chasers and Three Robotic Stooges.

Since Cartoon Network doesn't have enough time within the broadcasting week to air both their current programming and the H-B vault material, they decided to start up the new network and create a Saturday morning show on CN itself, which would air from 6AM-8AM Eastern Standard Time and focus on material from a specific year every week. Almost all of the focus material on Boomerang (both the network and the show) comes from the H-B output from the 1950s, 1960s, and the 1970s.

The network has been doing fairly well so far with its' currently limited distribution, both with kids and adults. As of this writing, the network is found most often on satellite and digital cable packages, and the marketing department is pushing for further expansion.

Website: http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/boomerang/

Boom"er*ang (?), n.

A very singular missile weapon used by the natives of Australia and in some parts of India. It is usually a curved stick of hard wood, from twenty to thirty inches in length, from two to three inches wide, and half or three quarters of an inch thick. When thrown from the hand with a quick rotary motion, it describes very remarkable curves, according to the shape of the instrument and the manner of throwing it, often moving nearly horizontally a long distance, then curving upward to a considerable height, and finally taking a retrograde direction, so as to fall near the place from which it was thrown, or even far in the rear of it.


© Webster 1913.

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