The mystery of the dejected Hardy Boys author

Through Patrix’s blog, I discovered a fascinating article in the Washington Post on the author behind the Hardy Boys series.  Franklin W. Dixon (or at least the first Franklin W. Dixon), it turns out, was really someone named Leslie McFarlane.  The first few dozen Hardy Boys books were churned out by Leslie, and later the…

Why no one cares if food grains rot

How many decades does it take to build a godown? CNN-IBN had an article a few weeks ago about how 10 million tons of wheat and rice are at risk of rotting in India, as they are stored in the open under tarpaulins. This isn’t new, as we know. Every few years, some newspaper publishes…

Why Joel Stein will not apologize

There are a few things that stood out in Joel Stein’s Time article on the Indianization of Edison, New Jersey, his hometown : 1.   There is the casual, drive-by racism: One kid I knew in high school drove down an Indian-dense street yelling for its residents to “go home to India.”  In retrospect, I…

In which I eat my words

I am gladly eating my words. I have gone on record in the past saying that I am glad Wimbledon has a “no 5th set tie-break” policy.  After watching the match between Frenchman Nicolas Mahut and American John Isner,  I wonder whether it is time to rewrite the rule. My objection to deciding the fifth…

Too much TV kills the Spelling Bee?

Am I alone in wishing Anamika Veeramani had screamed, or jumped up in joy, or cried, or shown some emotion after winning the Spelling Bee?  She seemed so matter of fact, I was left wondering whether it hadn’t sunk in, or whether she was too shy or reserved to show any emotion.  But more than…