This post briefly interrupts the TCS prediction posts with a library-related theme, given the overwhelming popularity of these in the past.
For various reasons, I sometimes work at the local public library. It’s a small place, but still the largest one in the county, and a nice place overall. The magazine section looks like your typical sort of situation:
I decided to check it out a little more extensively today, prompted by a recurring failure to find any true scientific journal in most public libraries in small to medium sized towns, and in some cases even in large cities. There are 137 magazine publications total; I tried to break down the topics represented by the current issue’s front cover, into some thematic categories, neither thorough, systematic or mutually exclusive. It came out as:
Humans: 65 (Women: 39; Men: 22; Kids: 4)
Animals/Plants: 10 (Animals: 8; Plants: 2; Deer: 4; Birds: 3; Snails: 1)
Holidays: 13 (Thanksgiving: 2; Christmas: 11)
Crafts: 11 (Mostly quilting and sewing)
Health/Nutrition: 9 (e.g. Bicycling, Eat Well, Vegetarian, Yoga)
Sports: 9 (Football: 3; Hunting: 3; Golf: 2; Cycling: 1)
There were a number of uncategorized others also, like one devoted to autism, one to retirees, one to coin collecting and etc. Three of the four deer-related were pictures of bucks on hunting magazines, while the fourth was a pair of deer on a quilt in a quilting magazine. Two of the three birds were male cardinals, and the third was of a pair of great blue herons.
On what I might term the quasi-academic front, it breaks out this way:
Science- or engineering-related: 10 (Scientific American, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics; Natural History, Audubon, Science News; Sky and Telescope; Smithsonian, Discover, Journal of Inland Seas)
History-related: 6 (World War II, Civil War Times, Timeline, Discover, J of Inland Seas)
Literature: 2 (Ohioana Quarterly; New York Times Book Review; Analog (SciFi))
Journal Format: 3 (J Inland Seas, Ohioana Quarterly, Timeline, with only the first thereof being published by a truly research-oriented group (The Great Lakes Historical Society))
The politically oriented stuff is there too of course, although it’s a small proportion comparatively, and nothing really radical. Whether there was any intention in placing the three on this shelf the way they are is an open question:
For the adult human covers, the (admittedly subjective) interpretation of “overall suggestiveness” fell out as follows. For the 37 with women on the cover, 19 were focused on some aspect of personal appearance, and 8 of those implied sexuality. The typical suspects were involved here (Esquire, Self, etc), including the partially pornographic e.g.: For the 21 with men on the cover, that breakdown was 2 appearance-oriented and either 0 or 1 sexually suggestive, respectively.
The famous are there but not in huge numbers, and other than Abe Lincoln, Bob Dylan, Oprah Winfrey and JJ Watt, I don’t recognize them. Movie and TV stars probably. JJ Watt and Taylor Swift (?) are on 2 covers each. And no I’m not going to Google to find out who she is, I’m really not.
On the newspaper front, there are the several papers from the county seats of the surrounding counties, but if you want state, national and international news, it’s either the Toledo Blade, Cleveland Plain Dealer, New York Times or Wall Street Journal. All good papers fortunately.