I'm out of town again this week in the lovely city of Cincinatti. The last time I was here I managed to watch exactly 19 episodes of Law & Order. And two episodes of Law & Order: SVU. Because that is probably not good for the mental health, I decided to stop by the book store and grab some reading materials. My first thought was that I'd grab the Test Driven Development and Object Thinking book. Unfortunately, my local bookstore is ran by clowns. When it comes to computer books, you run into two barriers. Barrier #1: Lack of new materials. It seems this particular book store has been pretty lazy about getting the latest and greatest computer books in stock (and based on the fact that they still have a book on the .NET Building Blocks on the shelves, I'm not surprised).
Barrier #2 is a doosey. They have a seemingly random approach to putting books on the shelves unless it is clear where they belong. You know that the books with Visual Basic on the cover will be in the VB section, C# books will be in the C# (err, I should say C++ for this book store). But where would Object Thinking go? It could go ANYWHERE based on their logic. So I need to check all sixteen shelves of books. I found books on programing MFC next to “Intro to Windows XP.” I found a book GDI+ next to photoshop books. The ADO.NET books are found, naturally, with the Oracle books. As for books like Essential .NET? They are next to the Cisco and TCP/IP books (the networking section). I found UML books in the XML section. And my favorite, in between a book on CSS and another book on picking colors for websites was a book on WSE. Does anyone else going into a bookstore, and think about breaking in at night and reorginizing their shelves? Drives me crazy.
But I'm not here to talk about bookstores. I want to talk about “How Would You Move Mount Fuji.” One of the more famous questions in the book is "why are manhole covers round?" The author mentions that New York City has square manhole covers, so I got online this morning and looked up square manhole covers. Among the "answers" to the popular question I found a cool site called Forgotten NY, which among other things has pictures of all kinds of manhole covers that are found in NY (including the square ones).
I love the “hidden” features of cities. For example, Cincinatti has an almost complete subway system going unused.