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Picked up the only Wodehouse at the local library some weeks back, and have since been reliving some of the Jeeves-Wooster magic. The book is titled Very Good, Jeeves, and is, in the unlikely instance that you are unfamiliar with the series, a collection of short stories centered around the master-manservant duo of Bertie Wooster, a somewhat foppish character without a vocation thanks to an inheritance, and Jeeves, his über-smart valet often counted on to extricate his master from seemingly inextricable situations that often involve aunts and friends. A few of the other recurring characters in these stories are Wooster’s aunts – Aunt Agatha (the “nephew-crusher”), and the relatively benign Aunt Dahlia. One might say that Jeeves-Wooster are to British humor what Holmes-Watson are to detective fiction, set in and around the Edwardian era.

There are far too many passages of interest in the book to cite, and they may not stand by themselves as being funny unless one reads them in context. If your interest has been piqued, a close second to reading the book may be to watch the Jeeves and Wooster television series that is available on youtube. Go on, pip-pip.

The conclusion section is very easy to write: all you have to do is to take your abstract and change the tense from present to past.

A fine potshot on writing a scientific paper from the archives of Annals of Improbable Research. This is the same society that awards the Ig Nobels. The quoted excerpt reminded me of a query from a colleague concerning the difference between the abstract and the conclusion in scientific papers.

And if the world of academic publishing and paper-reviewing piques your interest, here’s more humor on reviewing papers and addressing reviewer comments. You’ve got to be a fellow geek, if you’ve clicked on the links and spared a laugh at the least.

If only I could swim 3500 miles.

Update: The link above led to directions on Google Maps from Santa Barbara, CA to Rome in Italy, that included swimming across the Pacific. Google maps has disabled this feature, the last time I checked on July 2, 2007.

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