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I don't pay much attention to most awards and prizes that various industries give out for things along the lines of "showing the most potential to put one foot in front of the other and walking to the other side of the room", but one of the ones I do enjoy following is the Diagram prize for the oddest book title of the year.

How can you not love a prize that recognises the shere genius of titles such as "Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice", "The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification" and "Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers".

And so I was pleased to discover earlier this week that the 2009 shortlist is now out.

They are (with links to amazon so you can buy your own copies of all of them):

This clearly calls for a poll...

Poll #1527909 Diagram Prize 2009

Which title should win the 2009 Diagram Prize?

David Crompton's Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter (Glenstrae Press)
James A Yannes' Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich (Trafford)
Daina Taimina's Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes (A K Peters)
Ronald C Arkin's Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots (CRC Press)
Ellen Scherl and Maria Dubinsky's The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (SLACK Inc)
Tara Jansen-Meyer's What Kind of Bean is This Chihuahua? (Mirror)


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
20th Feb, 2010 13:42 (UTC)
Why on earth did it ever occur to someone to illustrate a maths books with models done in crochet? What next? A book on the history of infectious diseases with illustrations done in ravioli? A car manual illustrated with finger painting and papier mache?
20th Feb, 2010 13:44 (UTC)
How do you know it's a maths book and not a crochet book? It looks like a perfectly normal crochet book to me, there's lots of vaguely mathsygeeky crochet and knitting available, and I'd be expecting it to be about incorporating that into desing, preferably with pattern examples.
20th Feb, 2010 14:06 (UTC)
I was just going by the review on Amazon which made it sound entirely like a maths book that happened to use crochet for its illustrations, rather than a crochet book. I haven't seen the book myself, though.
20th Feb, 2010 14:14 (UTC)
... Although at the time I'd only read the first line of the review. (I'm at work and really shouldn't be playing on LJ at all. Er... oops.) The review could of course be a tongue-in-cheek joke.
22nd Feb, 2010 02:55 (UTC)
Hyperbolic crochet is cool. We have several examples in our house, currently being used as cat toys. There's interesting things to look at if you google it--mathematics made manifest through yarn and a crochet hook. In my world, it doesn't get much cooler than that.
21st Feb, 2010 19:21 (UTC)
It's a crochet book with patterns based around hyperbolic geometry, although when I flicked through it (Mum's got a copy) the explanation of the geometry did seem a little dodgy in places, but it's quite fun though.
20th Feb, 2010 13:46 (UTC)
Most of those seem disappointingly tame to me. The spoons is a bit niche, but the crochet one seems fairly standard, and I'd guess the same were true of the robotics/medicine ones. Overall, I give the nominations panel a Could Try Harder.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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