Donald J. Sobol, the author who created the great Encyclopedia Brown series, died last week. Encyclopedia Brown were kids' mystery stories about a boy detective, whose solution required careful reading and imaginative reasoning. When I started working on Little Brother, I told people it would be "Encyclopedia Brown meets Wargames" -- and I've often noodled with the idea of a set of contemporary, Internet-based mystery stories called "Wikipedia Brown."
I'm always running into die-hard Encyclopedia Brown fans in the happy mutants set. GeekDad's Ethan Gilsdorf is another megafan, and he's written a very good, informative obit for Sobol:
I lived vicariously through Encyclopedia Brown. And I came up with a hundred schemes a summer to make money, trick the bully, or otherwise engineer a scenario to be the smart one who would sweep in to save the day.
But Encyclopedia’s success wasn’t only due to his problem-solving prowess. Credit his best pal (and girl Friday) Sally Kimball: older, stronger and sometimes smarter. She also could stand up to Bugs, and was Encyclopedia’s bodyguard. That was a novel premise, to give that role of “the muscle” to a girl.
Update: There's one more Encyclopedia Brown book coming out in the fall (Thanks, Craig Pittman!)
R.I.P. Donald J. Sobol, Encyclopedia Brown Author, 1924-2012
See also: Donald J. Sobol, Encyclopedia Brown author, RIP
5 years ago, Boing Boing described James Gleick’s The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood as “a jaw-dropping tour de force history of information theory… The Information isn’t just a natural history of a powerful idea; it embodies and transmits that idea, it is a vector for its memes (as Dawkins has it), and […]
Etsy seller Chet Phillips sells his amazing science-fiction/vintage Japanese matchbox art remixes as 5″x7″ signed prints with mats and backing boards at $12 each. (via Kadrey)
Hinterland’s Pink Sea Urchin Jellyfish are a $13 set of three air plants (Oxacana, Scaposa, Medusa) set in 2-3.5″ sea-urchin shells that you hang in a way that simulates jellyfish — keep ’em misted and they’ll remain jauntily decorative! (via Interesting Finds)
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]