Friday, February 27, 2009

A Diagram for Oddity

Last Friday, finalists for the 2008 Diagram Prize were announced. For those of you who don’t know, the Diagram is awarded to the oddest, most eye-catching title of the year by a British literary magazine called The Bookseller. You can even vote for your pick online at The Bookseller’s website.

Here are the finalists for the 2008 Diagram Prize, and my thoughts on what they could be about:

Baboon Metaphysics by Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth (is a baboon really a baboon unless it thinks it's a baboon?)Italic

Curbside Consultation of the Colon by Brooks D. Cash (make new friends while waiting for a taxi!)

The Large Sieve and its Applications by Emmanuel Kowalski (um, I use mine to get water off stuff)

Strip and Knit with Style by Mark Hordyszynski (kinda like strip poker, maybe? drop a stitch, lose an item of clothing?)

Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring by Lietai Yang (a $285 guide to watching stuff rust)

The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais by Professor Philip M. Parker (a $795 guide to making sure you've got just enough cheese)

Previous winners of the Diagram include titles such as Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice and The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification.

Beware the sound of crying children, watch out for the barmaids, and whatever you do, don't let the Pegasus spit on you.
Surviving Serendipity--

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