Monday, January 26, 2009


Jacobs gets to shows off some of his newly acquired knowledge on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (another piece of pop culture I have only a passing knowledge of myself). He makes it pretty far, but loses a big chunk when he uses his know-it-all brother-in-law as a lifeline.

There is a rather lengthy entry on vegetarianism, in which Jacbos gives us a lot of information on his aunt Marti, who is actually a vegan. My eleven-year old daughter is a vegetarian, and I must say she eats pretty well. She has talked of becoming a vegan, but she has failed to get me, my husband or her pediatrician on board with that.

One thing Jacobs points out several times is that his Britannica reading and his life intersect. He observes this phenomenon when he reads "X-ray style" at the same time that Esquire considers an x-ray photo shoot. I noticed a similar thing happen a few times while reading this month. I recently learned that a colleague in the Philosophy department is a Leibniz expert. I went from having never heard of him as of 3 months ago, to knowing he was a philosopher, to finding out he was also a mathemetician and a friend of Sir Isaac Newton, thanks to Jacobs entry on Newton.

Jacobs and Shea both mention that reading the last Z entry in their respective books is somewhat anti-climactic. If they had read books with an actual plot there would be some resolution at the end, but when reading strictly by the alphabet that doesn't happen. I wonder if Jacobs had perhaps ever been Zywiec, Poland (the last entry in the Britannica) if it would have had more satisfaction for him. I actually know the people who are listed last in my local phone book and I think if I were to read the phone book (which Jacobs mentions someone in his family does) I would find some gratification when I got to the end and found a friendly name.

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