“Is this for a class?”
March 31, 2015 11:45 AM   Subscribe

posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:50 PM on March 31, 2015

This starts out being super-geeky as you'd expect, but gets deeper into the sociology of the subway as it goes. Well worth it.
posted by dhartung at 1:01 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]

Very interesting, thank you.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:06 PM on March 31, 2015

This had me looking at the GBoWR wikipedia page, which has a fun origin story:

On 10 November 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the marketing director of the Guinness Breweries, went on a shooting party in the North Slob, by the River Slaney in County Wexford, Ireland. After missing a shot at a golden plover, he became involved in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, the golden plover or the red grouse (it is the plover). That evening at Castlebridge House, he realised that it was impossible to confirm in reference books whether or not the golden plover was Europe's fastest game bird. Beaver knew that there must be numerous other questions debated nightly in pubs throughout Ireland and abroad, but there was no book in the world with which to settle arguments about records

Now of course we have the internet and the problem is those unscrupulous people who google pub trivia answers on their phones. Too much information instead of too little.

Also interesting, one of the founding editors was assassinated by the IRA.
posted by pseudonick at 1:36 PM on March 31, 2015

Also, fuck that "It's the last stop" guy. You actually can't stop the homeless from riding the subway if they paid their fare, conductor dude.
posted by corb at 2:50 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also interesting, one of the founding editors was assassinated by the IRA.

And he was one of a pair of genius identical twins who used to edit the book together. This is familiar territory to people who grew up in the UK in the 70s when the book had its own kids' TV show, Record Breakers, and the McWhirter twins were on it every week verifying record attempts.
posted by w0mbat at 3:29 PM on March 31, 2015

Great story, well observed. Cool guy.
posted by psoas at 4:51 PM on March 31, 2015

Thanks for linking to this! Glad I read it.
posted by brainwane at 8:17 AM on April 1, 2015

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