Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fun with Graphs

Today, I discovered Google Ngram Viewer. I don't know all the ins and outs of the formulas (my mathematical abilities declined with the absence of chocolate frogs*). Basically, it scans all the google books for the frequency of a word over a period from 1800 and produces a graph.

This was too good to resist.

 Do you know the word 'princess' is on the decline? I wouldn't have guessed that.

 This, sadly, didn't surprise me. Although, I hadn't expected Perrault to be quite so dominate across the board. Particularly against the Grimms.

I thought it might be interesting to look at the different elements of a tale. Cinderella wins by a landslide and Prince Charming isn't quite as ubiquitous as you'd think.

Cinderella is definitely in the lead over Donkeyskin.

Cinderella also has the lead over Finette, though there is a little bump there towards the end of the 19th century. I'm really hoping that is the fairy tale Finette.

I also looked at Little Red Riding Hood. She's leading the wolf by a mile.

This is a very imprecise bit of fun, but intriguing.

* I fulfill the stereotype. My interest in maths declined after I reach high school, apart from a high point in grade eight when our teacher rewarded us with chocolate frogs when we got good grades. We have jokingly suggested that this is evidence girls would do better at math if more chocolate were involved.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Brilliant Cook Books

Over the Christmas holidays, I became a little obsessed with jelly. It was, in part, because I came upon a stash of Victorian copper moulds (one with a squirrel on top that is my absolute favourite); in part because we found a book about jelly recipes, some of which involve wonderful things like Irish Baileys and champagne.

As a result, I was scouring shops for vintage jelly booklets. I threatened friends with a special jelly supper.

I don't think I'd caused as much controversy since the antlers on my scottish terrier incident. But aren't those just amazing images?

One friend, however, understood, and shared her love for Be Bold With Bananas. I had to look this up.

Yes, this was such a popular book, there was a revised edition!

My thoughts? Be bold, be bold, but not too bold with bananas! (Yes, that is a dreadful pun on the fairy tale of Lady Mary and Mr Fox and the whole reason I wrote this post.)