Monthly Archives: August 2011

Something To Look Forward To

Excuse for me getting amped perhaps a little early, dear readers, but fall is back! It’s that too short a time of year in Pittsburgh where hot coffee makes a glorious return, we bust out the flannels and boots again (I’m assuming you all dress like me), and grow our beards long (I assume everyone can grow a beard or really wants to). But mostly, it’s the time for the best books of the year to start showing up on the shelves. In library lingo, that means get up on the holds list for these books now! Here’s what I’m looking forward to reading in the park while checking out some foliage, thinking of my Halloween costume, and eating a crisp apple with a cup of hot cider.

Haruki Murakami1Q84

Ah, Murakami with a title that just rolls of the tongue. No one ever said being a fan of his was easy, and that may be especially so after his sub-par efforts recently, the too straight forward After Dark and then the running biography no one asked for, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (still a great title, though). Here’s hoping for a return to form, for me that would be to Kafka on the Shore, my personal favorite of his. I like dreaming, the idea of talking cats, and the concept of multiple lives. Therefore, I like Murakami. And if this little interview is any indication, then yeah, he’s bringing back some of the weird.

Jeffrey EugenidesThe Marriage Plot

It’s been a long time since Middlesex (nine years, although I thought it was even longer), so fans have had to sit and twiddle their thumbs for a while now, but for those who read his work the wait is tolerable, armed with the knowledge that it was probably the finest work of fiction in those nine years. Eugenides is pulling a Franzen with the waiting game, but will he also live up to the pressure? I’m thinking yes.

Nicholson BakerHouse of Holes: A Book of Raunch

When I first read The Anthologist, I couldn’t have a conversation with anyone without mentioning this book, which had been recommended to me in a similar fashion by a voice I trust. Baker, to put it simply, is an absolute delight to read. Super intelligent without ever seeming difficult or “elitist,” he waxes poetic on everything imaginable, my personal favorite being an essay on the difficulty of getting into video games. And how can I not be a little intrigued by that title?

Tom Perrotta The Leftovers

I know Little Children is his masterpiece, but it’s successor The Abstinence Teacher is the one that really stuck with me. With that, I am convinced that Perrotta is getting better with each novel.  He is a sneaky author, being as I continually forget his existence, but am always delighted by the memories when they come flooding back. This book’s release date will not sneak by me (note: it already happened, as I’m writing this). Perhaps, I should leave the best words to Uncle Stevie himself.

Aravind AdigaLast Man in Tower

The White Tiger was a stunning read (others agreed, it won the Man Booker). It takes all of a day to push through it, slim enough to not be daunting, but large enough to get lost in. I don’t describe many books as ones “I couldn’t put down,” because I tend to be pretty flighty and distracted by other media and friends (e.g. watching Nic Cage movies), but this book was just that. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

That’s about it for now, dear readers. What have I forgotten? What should I know about, friends? Leave a comment below for interactive fun!

– Tony


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Reduce, Reuse, and Then Recycle

Reduce, reuse, recycle. You’ve heard these terms before, right? But I’ll bet that the one you do most is recycle.  It’s the easiest, after all. But think about it. While recycling is good, not having much to recycle in the first place is even better.

I first started seriously thinking about these things when I saw the documentary, No Impact Man. There’s a blog and a book, too, about how one  man in New York City chose to live for a year with as little impact on the earth as possible. This really got me thinking about the many products I buy and how I could personally reduce my own carbon “footprint” on the earth.

So what does this mean? And how do you do it? You don’t have to be as drastic as No Impact Man but you can do some small things which, over time, might inspire you to do even more. Start by looking at the things you use and buy frequently.  Another good suggestion is to actually look at your trash. It sounds awful but you’ll get an idea of what exactly you are throwing away. For me, at one time, it was tissue. So I decided to purchase handkerchiefs (from a vintage thrift shop) and now that’s all I use. Another example, my husband started making our own peanut butter using bulk peanuts. Don’t want to make your own? Bring an empty glass jar or other container to a store with a bulk section (think East End Food Co-op or Whole Foods around here) and buy it in bulk instead. This way, you’re re-using the container and not creating waste.

Another great example is coffee. Who doesn’t love that the Main Library has a café? Well, instead of using a throwaway cup each time you get your fix, why not buy a lovely washable container with a lid (not to mention the very cool Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh name and logo on it in this case) and re-use it each time you buy a drink? Again, less waste.

Author's photo

Finally, another great thing to do is just to make your own products; I make most of my own personal care and beauty products  (body lotion, conditioner, toner, face powder, lip balm, deodorant, etc.) using recipes from  library books including Natural Beauty at Home and Natural Beauty from the Garden, both by Janice Cox. I store them in reusable containers and the bonus is I know exactly what ingredients are in them.

There are many ways to reuse things. How about you? I’d love to hear your suggestions.



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All My Outsiders

Everything that is strong in me has gone into my art work.” – R. Crumb

I love Mark Hoggencamp, the subject of the recent documentary Marwencol. It won’t be giving too much away to say that in 2000, Hoggencamp slipped into a coma after being severely beaten by 5 men outside a bar in upstate New York. Upon waking up, he had sustained significant brain damage and had to relearn basic life skills. As a means of coping with what happened to him, he became obsessed with creating a miniature WWII Belgian village in his backyard called Marwencol, populated by an international cast of soldiers, with some Barbie dolls thrown in the mix for romantic possibilities.

Image from one of the many stories of Marwencol, from the website

The world he creates has its own mythos, and the documentary switches between the world of Marwencol and the real world of Mark Hoggencamp. In Marwencol people fall in love, and/or are kidnapped, tortured, saved. In one of my favorite story lines, the male soldiers are captured from the Hoggencamp Bar, and it’s up to the women of Marwencol to save them from the evil German Secret Service. Although the stories involving the world of Marwencol are engaging, it’s really Hoggencamp who’s the star of this documentary. In time, the film becomes less about the actual art Hoggencamp is creating, and more about the mysterious forces that have compelled him to become an artist and to create such an utterly fascinating and unique world in his own backyard. Through Hoggencamp’s art we experience how one invidual has chosen to process the experiences of his life—the good, the bad, the violent—in order to create a safe place in his world that feels like home.

Mysterious artistic forces are also present in the work of outsider artist Henry Darger. For folks unfamiliar with Darger, he was a reclusive custodian working in Chicago, Illinois. He became famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story. His unusual life and work are the subject of the 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal, as well as the books Darger and Henry Darger: Art and Selected Writings. The poet John Ashbery also wrote an entire book length poem based on the work of Darger, entitled Girls on the Run. We can never know the mysterious forces that compelled Darger to create the fantastic world of the Vivian Girls, or why Darger chose to deal with his childhood experiences through his obsessive and highly idiosyncratic art, rather than, say, taking up sports or drinking.

One of many faux album covers from Mingering Mike's website.

That kind of inscrutability is also found in the work of Mingering Mike, an imaginary recording artist. Dori Hadar and a few other record collectors were digging through flea market crates some years back, when they came across a huge stack of albums by an unknown recording artist by the name of Mingering Mike. However, when they pulled the “records” out of their sleeves, they discovered they were instead cardboard cutouts, grooves carefully drawn on with marker. An entire career was documented through faux album covers and track listings: “soundtracks to films that didn’t exist, instrumental albums, a benefit for sickle cell anemia, a tribute to Bruce Lee . . . songs protesting the Vietnam War,” a comeback album, and so on. These covers and more can now be glimpsed in the book Mingering Mike: The Amazing Career of an Imaginary Soul Superstar as well as on his website.

Another musical outsider (one who actually plays music) is artist Daniel Johnston, who sings what is possibly the most heartbreaking song I’ve ever heard about a cow. In The Devil and Daniel Johnston we’re witness to his childhood in West Virginia (he was always manically filming himself), quasi-fame in the Austin, Texas indie-rock scene of the mid-80s, a brief appearances on MTV, and eventual spiral into mental illness. Johnston is talented but mentally unstable, and the film questions the shaky line that exists between genius/creativity and mental anguish. The early, manic episodes in his 20s may have inspired some of his best song writing, but may have at least partially led to his later heavily-medicated existence, living with his parents and playing shows on the rare occasions he feels up to it. And yet, for all his limitations, Johnston has lived an interesting life of fame and infamy—he’s friends with members of Sonic Youth, Kurt Cobain was one of his biggest fans, and his artwork regularly sells for thousands of dollars in the LA art world. There are certainly worse ways to make a living, crazy or no crazy.

Notorious comic artist Robert (R.) Crumb sports his own brand of crazy, but may actually be the most well-adjusted artist in this post. He’s highly successful, married to a fellow cartoonist, owns a country house in France, and appears to be a pretty loving dad to his daughter Sophie. And he’s definitely the most well-adjusted member of his immediate family. Fairly early in the documentary Crumb we are introduced to his two sibling brothers (mom is briefly viewed as well) and it becomes apparent that his childhood was less than rosy. Crumb and his brothers drew mind-blowing comics as an escape from their chaotic childhood, but it was only R. who would turn his talents into a means of permanent escape, while his oldest brother remains at home with his mom and never leaves the house, and his youngest brother is holed up in a seedy residence hotel and spends his days sitting on a bed of nails (I kid you not.) Whether or not you’re a fan of Crumb’s work, this is an amazing documentary about an eccentric individual and the world of underground comics.

How about you, do you have a favorite (or least favorite) outsider artist?




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What’s New in JCEC

A lot of exciting things are happening in the Job and Career Education Center.  First of all, our new Job Club starts Wednesday, August 31 at 6:00 PM.

What does it take to be successful in your job search? Many experts believe that being part of a group can help. Exchange ideas and offer support to other job seekers during this informal time of networking. As a Job Club member you can share employment experiences, advice and encouragement while participating in discussions and activities geared towards helping you achieve your career goals. The topic for our August Job Club will be skill and interest assessments. Register online, or call 412-622-3133.

Another program we’re about to launch is the Skills for Success Speaker Series, including presentations on career planning, writing a cover letter, and fine-tuning your resume.  The first one is on September 14th, and will help you choose the best career for your personality type.

The PC Center is also adding three new career classes to its schedule – Career Cruising, Online Job Searching, and Resume Tune-Up.   Check the class information page for calendars, descriptions, and handouts.

And the JCEC and Teen have collaborated on a SAT and College Prep Resources workshop, which will be held September 24th.  We’ll show you what free online and print materials you can find at the library, and how to use them.

Registration is required for all of these events.  Please visit the JCEC or call us at (412) 622 – 3133 to register or find out more.


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You Are Here. (But I’m Not!)

Western United States Landscape

I hope to see sights like this one!

By the time you read this, I won’t be here. No, I haven’t quit or been fired, at least as far as I know. I will be on vacation. And being a conscientious employee, as all our library staff members are, I prepared this blog post before I left.

Currently, I’m somewhere in the mountainous western states. Beginning in Salt Lake City, Utah, we plan to drive in a big, somewhat lopsided circle through the states of Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and back to Utah again. Along the way we will stop to visit as many National Parks and Monuments as we can fit in, including Arches National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Jewel Cave, Mt. Rushmore, Craters of the Moon, Little Bighorn Battlefield, Golden Spike, Grand Teton, and, of course, the ultimate National Park – Yellowstone.

When preparing for this trip, I did what any good librarian or library user would do, I consulted the library’s travel section. Here are some of the guides I found to be most helpful for planning this trip:

Fodor’s Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West – I probably could have used the book  that also covers the area a little south and east of this one, but this had everything I needed for Yellowstone. I had already made a list of must-see places in Yellowstone from miscellaneous state-specific travel books. In its Yellowstone chapter, this book includes a small call-out box of “Things Not to Be Missed.” I was delighted that everything on my list was also on their list. Even better, they mapped out a two day itinerary that includes all of the hot spots, how to get to them, in what order to see them, where to park, and how long to plan for hiking. By a happy coincidence, two days was exactly how long we were planning to spend in Yellowstone. I am assured that we will have enough time to see what we want to see.

Off the Beaten Path Idaho & Montana & the Dakotas – This series helped ensure that we were not only seeing what is most popular, but what we should see. Included in these books are lots of nifty little places that not everyone knows about. I would liked to have looked at the books about Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, but they were checked out. If I had started my search sooner, I could have put a hold on them. I plan, but that does not mean I plan far enough ahead.

Roadfood: The Coast-to-Coast Guide to 700 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice Cream Parlors, Highway Diners, and Much, Much More by Jane and Michael Stern – I don’t know about you, but when I travel I like to try local food, and avoid national chains. I prefer to dine where the locals do, eat what they like to eat, and generally learn as much as I can about a place through its food. This book reminded me very much of the show on the Food Network, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. (P.S. I also checked out this web site for local restaurant ideas.) I have a feeling that more than a few good meals in interesting locales are in my future!

I also looked through Moon Handbooks, Fodor’s and Frommer’s travel guides for the states we planned to visit. These series are always a good source for consistently reliable information.

So I hope you got to go someplace good this summer, even if it was your own front porch. Remember, the library always has materials for planning your next getaway, even if you just need a good read for the trip to the sunny spot in your backyard.

-Melissa M.


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New Conan Delivers Thrills, While Older Stories Offer Timeless Action

Last Friday two library colleagues and I donned our loincloths and went to see Conan the Barbarian: The Mask of Acheron.  Despite the histrionics of critics down on the film for not presenting some sort of  universally accessible, Hollywood puff-piece, the new Conan movie delivers the goods.  Director Marcus Nispel and lead actor Jason Momoa hit all the right notes.  Incredible levels of violence and gore?  Check.  Amazing sets, costumes, and weaponry?  Check.  A Conan who is at once powerful and dynamic?  Check.

In honor of Conan’s return to the big screen, here’s a quick list of some newer and classic material from the steely-eyed barbarian’s long career.

The Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian / Robert E. Howard ; illustrated by Mark Schultz.
New York : Del Rey, 2005.

Frankly, no list of Conan stories should start with anything but this amazing volume.  Featuring classic tales like “The Phoenix on the Sword” and “The Tower of the Elephant,” Del Rey’s Coming of Conan offers the very best of Robert E. Howard’s Cimmerian adventurer.  Mr. Howard’s prose possesses a unique voice, at once muscular and erudite, that fearlessly uses language to deliver pulse-pounding action. It is a style often imitated, but rarely duplicated.

Conan And The Songs Of The Dead / writer, Joe R. Lansdale ; artist, Timothy Truman.
Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Books, c2007.

Whenever you combine the creative talents of Joe Lansdale and Tim Truman, you’ve got a chance for magic.  Fewer non-superhero characters have enjoyed greater coverage in comic books and graphic novels than Conan, but these two creators managed to wring something new and exciting out of Howard’s barbarian.  Replete with desert themes and imagery, Conan and his wise-cracking companion, Alvazar, must survive the schemes of a vile wizard in this tale of sex, swords, and sorcery.  This story is gritty, and its unvarnished portrayal of life and death in Conan’s Hyborian Age embodies the essence of Mr. Howard’s original work.

Conan. Volume 1 / written by Roy Thomas ; illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith ; colored by Peter Dawes … [et al.].
Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Books, c2010.

This amazing hardcover collects the original 1970s Marvel Comics Conan stories, and features the one-two creative punch of writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor Smith.  This collection features my favorite story from this period, “Rogues in the House,” where Conan must tangle with Thak,  a massive ape who walks like a man!

Conan and the Spider God / L. Sprague de Camp.
New York : Tor, 2002.

A lot of Conan purists get down on the pastiches written by guys like De Camp, Carter, and even Robert Jordan, but Conan and the Spider God was one of the first paperback novels I recall buying.  I remember mowing a few lawns one hot Friday afternoon, then hopping a bus down to Atlantic Books in Downtown Pittsburgh and picking this up for a cool $2.95.  Those were the days.  De Camp’s Conan relies a bit more on plots and plans than Howard’s elemental force of destruction, but the the story still possesses all of the necessary attributes.  Weird cults?  Yes!  Gorgeous maidens?  Yes!!  Giant spiders?  Yes!!!

There’s plenty more barbarian action where this came from, but these selections will get you well acquainted with the genre, allowing you too to “tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under your sandalled feet.”



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what’s that word??

To have a conversation with me lately is like playing charades. I start a sentence such as, “Would you order me two . . . whatsits?”  Then this game follows. “What’s the word for the round thing you put stuff in and write an address on and the people in the blue-grey shorts deliver it, and you use it so that your whatchamacallit doesn’t get bent?” And then, if you’re as good as my colleagues are at guessing what I’m talking about, I say, “Yes!  A mailing tube!  Thank you! That’s what they’re called.” I’m sure it’s very rewarding.

As someone who really enjoys words and aspires to have an extensive vocabulary, I keep reminding myself that it’s only temporary. I hope. If this continues for too long, I may find myself looking for these titles:

10 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary 10 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary, by the Princeton Language Institute and Tom Nash

Quick Vocabulary PowerQuick Vocabulary Power: A Self-teaching Guide, by Jack S. Romine and Henry Ehrlich

100 Words Every Word Lover Should Know100 Words Every Word Lover Should Know, by the editors of the American Heritage dictionaries

Better Word PowerBetter Wordpower, by Janet Whitcut.

More Words You Should KnowMore Words You Should Know, by Michelle Bevilacqua.

Smart WordsSmart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite, and Those Who Wish to Be, by Mim Harrison.

Vocabulary SuccessThe Vocabulary of Success: 403 Words Smart People Should Know, by C. Edward Good.

Word NerdWord Nerd, by Barbara Ann Kipfer.

Wish me word luck. Or would that be brain luck? 

– Kaarin

p.s.  I realize after re-reading this post that it’s not like charades at all, but rather like Taboo, or possibly some other board game that I can’t think of at the moment.


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Fifteen cents a word to read . . .

Western Union, The Five Americans, 1967 .

Most of us are familiar with Western Union as a way to send or transfer money, if regular banking or Paypal can’t be used. Before ATMs, a Western Union “Moneygram” was about the only way to get funds outside of a bank if you didn’t have a credit card.  Before they did money though, Western Union did telegrams.  If you can find one it will likely be yellowed and crinkly, complete with the word “stop” to emphatically designate a period. Like text messages, earning income from telegrams was piece work. The sender paid by a block of words – $1.95 for 15 words, a nickel per word over that in 1950.

photo of a Western Union telegram

The Telegram

More so than for personal use, the telegram was the most effective communications tool available for business. It was equally convenient for trans-continental communications and trans-oceanic. You need to be able to speak to your customers and suppliers, place orders, send instructions, and wire payment.  How do you do that without breaking the bank?  Western Union didn’t offer an unlimited word package the way AT&T (they used to be in the telegraph business too) does with text packages.

Catalogue No. 10. Hall & Brown Woodworking Machine Co.

I may have found the answer. I’m selecting Trade Catalogs for a digitization project we’re  undertaking. It’s a complementary program to the IMLS Iron & Steel project that will be completed this fall. While reviewing Catalogue No. 10 of the Hall & Brown Wood Working Machine Co., I came across – in  addition to a rich vein of all manner of machinery – their cable codes. It’s a true lesson in Twain’s dictum to not let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. How does it work? Well, if you’re a wood working machinery salesman, you might need to know “shall we ship by rail?” or “shall we ship by steamer?” That’s 10 words. In Hall & Brownese, it’s “Aberdeen” “Abernathy.”  The full example they cite in their instructions looks like this:

         HOW TO USE CODE

We have arranged this Cipher and Code for the use of our correspondents. As each machine or size of machine has its own independent word by which it is designated it will be seen at a glance the saving of both time and expense which may be affected by its use. For the benefit of those who are not familiar with codes, the following example as to use of same is given:

Code:  Anteros Firdonsi Amadeo Shreveport

Translation:  Telegraph lowest price and earliest delivery number one fifteen inch Mississippi Planer and Matcher.  What is the best rate of freight you can obtain from your place to Shreveport?

Concise and to the point, and money-saving for both seller and buyer. When you look at the code pages in the Hall & Brown Catalog, it’s easy to see the cipher pattern in each usage area. In some instances there are distinct tie-ins to biblical names and words. Much of it looks like ancient Hebrew or Aramaic, other codes are straightforward literary or place names.  Take a look at the two partial listing below:


  • Abaddon . . . Express at once
  • Aaron . . . Freight at once
  • Abba . . . Answer saying when you can ship
  • Abdalla . . . When will you ship order


  • Amram . . . Goods not received, send tracer
  • Amurath . . . Follow with tracer
  • Amsterdam . . . Send wire tracer after shipment
  • Anak . . . Will send tracer immediately
Under Miscellaneous codes they utilize Beatrix, Bedouin, Belfast and Belgrade as code words too. The alpha coding is easy to spot, but I’d like to have met the person or people who came up with it. I’ve since come across other catalogs with similar coding and abbreviations, but nothing as extensive as Hall & Brown. They have 7 pages of code for everything from percentage of discounts to letter salutations and closings.  This catalog and several hundred others will be digitally available next summer when we complete “American Marketplace.”

By the way, the Firdonsi (the No.1 15” Mississippi Planer and Matcher) weighs 9500 lbs., and no price is listed.



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American Memory

I recently had a reference question from someone who was looking for film footage of President McKinley at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition.  The Exposition presented exhibits on technological advancements of the time, a wild west show, and an “Indian Village” in which Native Americans were actually displayed as side-show exhibits.  History buffs might also know this event as the location where McKinley was assasinated.  A brief search led me straight to the Library of Congress’ American Memory collection, where the collection of films are available for free online viewing

The nice thing about getting reference questions like this is that I’m often reminded of great resources that I don’t always remember to use, like the American Memory collection.  This collection documents the American experience with items like sheet music, sound recordings, photographs, films, and letters (among other things), and makes all of these little bits of history available digitally, for free. The variety of subjects is broad: interested in sports?  In architecture?  African-American history?  Literature?  The list is long, and you can browse by topic or search for a specific item. 

This is a great place to find primary source material, but it’s also a lot of fun to browse.  Some of my favorite things that I’ve come across in this collection are Walt Whitman’s notebooks (which also include this amazing cardboard butterfly); the collection American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera; and Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier, recordings of the Appalachian folk fiddler Henry Reed.

This isn’t the only great online collection that the Library of Congress has made available; you can find more of their digital offerings here.  Happy browsing! 


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Sports, Sex, and Crunching Numbers

In this information age, you might feel deluged with factoids, survey results, statistics, and countless other tidbits that you don’t know what to do with.  But in the following two books, four authors (and teams of assistants) have done massive amounts of research, a great deal of data mining, and a bunch of number crunching.  So you just get the fun part of reading their findings, speculations, and conclusions about two of the most fascinating subjects imaginable: sports and sex.

Moskowitz, Tobias J. and L. Jon Wertheim

Scorecasting: the Hidden Influences Behind How Sports are Played and Games are Won

After reading this book, I think football teams waste too much money on first-round draft picks, I don’t think icing the kicker is so clever, and I have newfound respect for Bill Belichick’s strategy of often going for it on 4th down.  Rest assured, it also covers other sports: baseball, basketball, golf, etc.  My rational side loved seeing the mathematical undoing of the shibboleths of sports radio hosts and players and coaches at press conferences.  Finally, I can’t help mentioning the annoying cover blurb where the self-aggrandizing co-author of Freakonomics praises this book because it resembles Freakonomics.

Ogas, Ogi and Sai Gaddam

A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals About Human Desire

The subtitle is a little misleading because it’s not really an “experiment.”  Ogas and Gaddam tried to avoid the pitfall of most sexual behavior studies whose subjects typically are young, white, well-off, college students.  Instead, they mined immense amounts of data from Internet users’ searches, preferences, habits, interests, purchases, etc.  (Don’t worry, it was anonymous.)  They combined this with an impressive review of previous research as demonstrated by the enormous bibliography.  As with many other studies, the results both accentuated differences in men and women yet at the same time recognized the enormous spectrum of desire and sexual behavior for all people, whatever their gender, age, or orientation.  I would have liked to see more emphasis on cultural differences, though, because while the Internet is indeed worldwide, its user base still skews toward well-off, college educated people.

What are some of your billions of thoughts about books and studies that try to apply scientific rigor to human behavior and recreation?

— Tim


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