The Case of the Changing Editions, or, The Clue of the Leaning Chimney

January 25, 2009

Last March, I detailed the differences in editions of Nancy Drew and the Bungalow Mystery. I’m at it again with Nancy Drew and the Clue of the Leaning Chimney.

The original has a 1949 copyright, and the most current version, is from 1967.

The main differences between the two books is pacing–the 1967 version only has 20 pages and 176 pages, while the original had 25 chapters and 212 pages. This story also features several Chinese characters. Both books are ignorantly racist in their treatment of the characters, but the 1967 version is slightly better.

But, after the break, we have a chapter-by-chapter comparision of the story, which involves forged Chinese porcelins and kidnapping!

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Inauguration Day!

January 20, 2009

I have to admit, after such a long election cycle, I was a little “over” Barack Obama, and he hadn’t even been sworn in yet. For the past month, I had been going back and forth, back and forth, about attending the inauguration. I hadn’t been able to score tickets, but they were putting Jumbotrons out on the mall so people could go downtown and watch. I knew crowds would be so bad that the only way I’d get to the mall was to walk the three miles.

Normally not too bad, but the weather was for the mid 20s (which is unbelievably cold for the DC region) and I can’t handle the DC crowds on the 4th of July and this would be much, much worse. Plus, the predictions. 6 hours to wait for metro. Bring your own toilet paper and a sandwich. 4 million people sandwiched downtown. I couldn’t tell if this was the Inauguration or the zombie apocalypse. Barricading myself in the house and watching the whole thing on TV was sounding like a very attractive option.

Then, I remembered that my toes tend to freeze and lose feeling on a regular basis, like just hanging around the house. Spending all day outside in freezing temps? I’d need to find some new socks. And I’d need new mittens, as my gloves wouldn’t cut it.

But, when my grandchildren ask me where  I was that day, did I really want to answer that it was too cold and too much of a hassle, so I watched it on TV while still wearing my pajamas? Lame.

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Nicholas Kristof, president of the galaxy

January 18, 2009

Almost nobody thinks he or she wields power.

Most people think politicians wield power. But tell this to a politician, and they’ll point you to lobbyists, donors, bureaucrats, journalists or (most of all) some other politician.

There is, however, a tiny class of people in this world who are aware that they wield power. And the knowledge all too often destroys them.

I’m speaking, of course, of the New York Times’s 10 op-ed columnists.

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Chinese Food: The Open Source McDonald’s

January 8, 2009

Jennifer 8 Lee gave a TED talk on the rampant spread of Chinese food throughout the US and the world, which is as entertaining as it is informative.

For those of you who have never heard of Jennifer 8 Lee, she’s the author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food. I first heard about the book from the NPR review of the book last year, but fellow Geek Buffeteer Jennie also reviewed it over at Biblio File. I have yet to read it, but I really, really want to.

Now I’m hungry…

-posted by Dana