July 29, 2019 By Technology Bethel Off

Periodic: a monthly blog feature

An occasional review of items that caught our eye in BPL’s magazine subscriptions.

A nice aspect of magazine subscriptions is discovering an interesting column or columnist, or a regular feature to which to look forward each month. Often, these involve humor or interesting takes on life.

Reader’s Digest is noted for theirs: “Humor in Uniform” and “Life in These United States” are two of our favorites. Two others (each a logical offshoot of their magazine’s focus) are “Harper’s Index” and the inside back cover of Consumer Reports called “Selling It”.  

Harper’s articles are well-researched reports on current issues, in-depth and thought-provoking without being too academic. Included are the occasional poem and short fiction. 

Perfect for trivia lovers and know-it-alls, Harper’s “Index” is so distinctive that it is a registered trademark. It is a compilation of statistics related to issues in the news, but with a twist – the statistics seem to build one on another. For example: 

  • Percentage change in actual visitors to the National Portrait Gallery since the Obamas’ portraits were unveiled:  +76
  • Percentage by which a selfie makes one’s nose look larger than it is: +30
  • Percentage of facial plastic surgeons who say their patients are motivated by social media: +57

The folks at Consumer Reports test thousands of products a year and no doubt, some are pretty odd, but CR has yet to mock any directly. They do however, give us a chance to do that. Their inside back cover is dedicated to what they call “Selling It” – advertisements sent in by readers that are full of mistakes, poor grammar and even questionable products.

  1. Take the technicians at Poolwerx. Their slogan is “We come to you”.  [That’s helpful.]
  2. Oasis Lawn Care offers “$50 Off of Free Services…w/ purchase of 5-visit budget plan”.  [Oh, you mean tree services!]
  3. “Cooked Maine Lobster: product of Honduras”  [It really is a small world.]

So if you are looking for some “light” reading this summer, why not check out a few magazines. They don’t weigh much and you will be entertained and enlightened.