Holiday quiz for the idle

Here are some questions of interest (to me, at least) that have been asked and answered in the blogosphere this holiday season. The answers may not be right, but they will save you the bother of dreaming up your own, and may generate a smile, or disagreement, or both.

Who will win next year’s Oscar for best actress and actor? (See Guardian blog for an answer (actress) and the Guardian again for actor.)

What do I do when friends ask me to read their manuscripts, and I hate what they’ve written? (See Dr Sue at Buzz, Balls and Hype for an answer.)

What does Nature consider to be the greatest hits of science it has published? (See Nobel Intent for answer, or go direct to Nature’s "history of the journal" website.)

Why does nobody comment at Google news? (John Battelle’s Searchblog has the answer.)

What is the most inane book jacket design? (Light Reading has an answer that will be hard to beat.)

What are the ten worst jobs ever? (Female Science Professor lists hers here — and what’s more, she’s done them all.)

Who was crime fiction’s greatest polymath? (Answer to include: author, critic, anthologist, social historian, journalist, poet and biographer.) Check out Martin Edwards, who has the answer at his blog "Do you write under your own name?".

Have a lovely time reading the answers! I did. The blogosphere is such a sociable place.

4 thoughts on “Holiday quiz for the idle

  1. It will be more fun to guess at some answers before seeing what the critics had to say.
    Crime fiction’s greatest polymath? I’d say Rex Stout or even Colin Dexter have Julian Symons beat. As impressive as Symons’s accomplishments may have been, they were all, with the possible exception of poet, closely related. Stout, on the other hand, was a political activist, invented a banking system and was, I believe, a spelling-bee champion in addition to creating one of the most enduring and memorable pairings in crime fiction.
    I’d say a good tack when asked to read manuscripts is to refuse or to ask for money. The first averts embarrassment, the second creates a necessary professional distance.
    As for the worst job ever, I’d say it might involve work that is professional but not treated as such, that the skills it calls for are drastically undervauled, that the work it offers is an insult to one’s professional dignity, that the employer be a self-aggrandizing, delusional, helpless member of a declining industry, that its top managers be no more honest than their counterparts in any other business, and that its owner do everything in his power to deprive employees of their benefits and lower their standard of living. Yes, speaking hypothetically, all that might add up to a worst job.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    “Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

  2. Hi, Petrona,
    Great post.
    Munchy and full of nourishment after days spent mostly eating, etc.
    I was dismayed by the title ‘Female Science Professor’ (we don’t use the title ‘Male Science Professor’ (or ‘Male Writer’ for that matter). But then I read it.
    Have a happy end of year and bw for 2008.

  3. Happy new year to you, Sally. I’ve loved your recent photos of London. FSP is an excellent blog, exposing the shocking sexism that is well and truly alive today in the highest academic spheres – just by FSP telling it like it is. I’m a fan.

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