Odd book titles #2

In a previous post I mentioned the Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year. It has been in existence since 1978 and has given us such classics as Highlights in the History of Concrete, How Green Were The Nazis?, Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality and The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification. The other day I was checking out last year’s winner and the books on the shortlist. I have included the title of the book, the author, the publisher, the price and a product description. You will be pleased to know that all the books are available at Amazon and if you have around $1,200 you can have the full set gracing your bookshelves for many years to come.

The winner was:

THE 2009-2014 WORLD OUTLOOK FOR 60-MILLIGRAM CONTAINERS OF FROMAGE FRAIS by Professor Philip M Parker (Icon Group International) $795.00

This econometric study covers the world outlook for 60-milligram containers of fromage frais across more than 200 countries. For each year reported, estimates are given for the latent demand, or potential industry earnings (P.I.E.), for the country in question (in millions of U.S. dollars), the percent share the country is of the region and of the globe. These comparative benchmarks allow the reader to quickly gauge a country vis-à-vis others. Using econometric models which project fundamental economic dynamics within each country and across countries, latent demand estimates are created. This report does not discuss the specific players in the market serving the latent demand, nor specific details at the product level. The study also does not consider short-term cyclicalities that might affect realized sales. The study, therefore, is strategic in nature, taking an aggregate and long-run view, irrespective of the players or products involved. This study does not report actual sales data (which are simply unavailable, in a comparable or consistent manner in virtually all of the 230 countries of the world). This study gives, however, my estimates for the worldwide latent demand, or the P.I.E., for 60-milligram containers of fromage frais. It also shows how the P.I.E. is divided across the world’s regional and national markets. For each country, I also show my estimates of how the P.I.E. grows over time (positive or negative growth). In order to make these estimates, a multi-stage methodology was employed that is often taught in courses on international strategic planning at graduate schools of business.

The four losing finalists were:

BABOON METAPHYSICS by Dorothy Dorothy L Cheney and Robert M Seyfarth (University of Chicago Press) $12.24

Lovers’ quarrels and murder, greed and social climbing: baboon society has all the features that make a mainstream novel a page-turner. The question Cheney and Seyfarth (How Monkeys See the World) ask, however, is more demanding: how much of baboon behavior is instinctive, and how much comes from actual thought? Are baboons self-aware? To find answers, the authors spent years observing a clan of baboons in Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve. Like most primates, baboons are social creatures, living in large groups of 100, where individual rank—and the ability to claim food or a mate—is based on a complex web of birth and consort relationships. Cheney and Seyfarth pepper their descriptions with surprisingly apt literary comparisons, such as the example of a baboon who runs afoul of a higher-ranking member and receives much the same treatment as an unwitting character in an Edith Wharton novel. Along the way we get a good look at the state of current primate research on intelligence and learn why scientists think the human brain is still unique. While describing important research about baboon cognition and social relations, this book charms as much as it informs. 50 b&w photos, 1 line drawing. (May)

CURBSIDE CONSULTATION OF THE COLON by Brooks D Cash (SLACK Incorporated) $79.95

Are you looking for concise, practical answers to questions that are often left unanswered by traditional medical searches? Are you seeking brief, evidence-based advice for complicated cases or complications? Curbside Consultation of the Colon: 49 Clinical Questions provides quick and direct answers to the thorny questions commonly posed during a “curbside consultation” between colleagues.

 Dr. Brooks D. Cash has designed this unique reference, which offers expert advice, preferences, and opinions on tough clinical questions commonly associated with the colon. The unique Q&A format provides quick access to current information related to the colon with the simplicity of a conversation between two colleagues. Numerous images, diagrams, and references are included to enhance the text and to illustrate the treatment of the colon.

Curbside Consultation of the Colon: 49 Clinical Questions provides information basic enough for residents while also incorporating expert advice that even high-volume clinicians will appreciate. Gastroenterologists, fellows and residents in training, surgical attendings, and surgical residents will benefit from the user-friendly and casual format and the expert advice contained within.

Some of the questions that are answered:

 • What is the appropriate evaluation for fecal incontinence?

• What colonic infections are associated with AIDS?

• What are the current colorectal cancer screening and surveillance recommendations?

• What is the best way to manage chronic constipation?

• Where do probiotics fit into the management of IBS?

• How should diverticulitis be managed?

• What is colonic pseudo-obstruction and how is it managed?

THE LARGE SIEVE AND ITS APPLICATIONS by Emmanuel Kowalski (Cambridge University Press) $84.18

Among the modern methods used to study prime numbers, the ‘sieve’ has been one of the most efficient. Originally conceived by Linnik in 1941, the ‘large sieve’ has developed extensively since the 1960s, with a recent realization that the underlying principles were capable of applications going well beyond prime number theory. This book develops a general form of sieve inequality, and describes its varied applications, including the study of families of zeta functions of algebraic curves over finite fields; arithmetic properties of characteristic polynomials of random unimodular matrices; homological properties of random 3-manifolds; and the average number of primes dividing the denominators of rational points on elliptic curves. Also covered in detail are the tools of harmonic analysis used to implement the forms of the large sieve inequality, including the Riemann Hypothesis over finite fields, and Property (T) or Property (tau) for discrete groups.

STRIP AND KNIT WITH STYLE by Mark Hordyszynski (C&T) $20.48

Knit 16 fun, fashion-forward wearables and home accessories with strips of cotton, wool, fleece, and other fabrics.


Corrosion monitoring technologies are a vital step in efforts to combat corrosion, which can have major economic and safety implications. This important book provides a comprehensive analysis of the range of techniques for corrosion monitoring. It includes practical applications and case studies.

The first part of the book reviews electrochemical techniques for corrosion monitoring, such as polarization techniques, potentiometric methods, harmonic analysis, galvanic sensors and multielectrode systems. A second group of chapters analyses other physical or chemical methods of corrosion monitoring. These include gravimetric techniques, radioactivity methods, hydrogen permeation methods and rotating cage techniques. The third part of the book examines corrosion monitoring in special environments such as concrete and soil. A final group of chapters discusses case studies, including the ways that corrosion monitoring can be applied to engine exhaust systems, cooling water systems, pipelines and equipment in chemical plants.

With its distinguished editor and international team of contributors, Techniques for corrosion monitoring will be a valuable reference guide for engineers, scientific and technical personnel who deal with corrosion in such sectors as automotive engineering, power generation and the petrochemical industry.


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