Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Watty has a new hero:

Well, I would if I didn't think it somewhat unseemly for grown-ups to have heroes. Let me introduce you to Ben Schott. Ben is a photographer by trade, and I have absolutely no idea whether or not he's any good at it. For Ben has another talent. The story goes like this: Ben Schott is the kind of person who hand crafts his Christmas cards, and last year he thought it might be fun to send his friends some lists of almost, but not quite, useless information. Researching these lists took on a life of its own, and before he knew it, he had written a book. Not just any book, either.

Where else could you find the complete list of laundry symbols alongside the Glasgow Coma Index? The layers of the atmosphere along with a list of famous Court Jesters? The history of the Hat Tax alongside a list of countries which drive on the left? Never mind that this is hardly an original idea (whatever happened to Pears' Cyclopaedia?), this is a gorgeous book, compiled with care and a real eye for what is just the right side of trivia.

I know what I want for Christmas now...

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