Saturday, May 18, 2013

But the strangest of all were the people who lived in...

...our house. Probably. The strangest of all were the people who lived in...

I was reading to the girls tonight, each tucked up into a ball and cuddled into either side of me, just as they were meant to be, while the Benjaboy listened in, practicing his standing while slapping my legs with his chubby baby fingers.

"These houses were quite small," I read, "the biggest of them reaching only as high as Dorothy's waist. There were also pretty little barns, with china fences around them. Many cows and sheep and horses and pigs and chickens, all made of china, were standing about in groups.

"But the strangest of all were the people who lived in..." I paused to turn the page—since our story was interrupted by a full-colour illustration on the next page—and found, to everyone's dismay, a new chapter heading.


I quickly skimmed through that page and then flipped to the next.

"This forest is perfectly delightful," declared the Lion, looking around him with joy. "Never have I seen a more beautiful place." Page turn. for us to go any other way except due South."

Oh, no.

We skipped from page 182 to 190 and back to 184. Fortunately 190 was repeated, but in its proper location, eight pages down the road, but page 183 was no where to be found. With bedtime looming over our heads I made the split second decision to truncate an entire page of a childhood classic.

Miriam was already so distracted by the illustration because it was of Dorothy melting the Wicked Witch of the West (which happened over the course of pages 122–123) and she wanted to know why that picture was there. Was the witch back? That would be rather troublesome because Dorothy melted her (and she didn't say "Oh, what a world!" but instead "Look out—here I go!" (this book is nothing like the movie (silver slippers? Our iconic ruby slippers were invented to show off colour television) and both Rachel and Miriam have been a little conflicted about that).

"But the strangest of all were the people who lived in this place," I told the girls after we quelled Miriam's fears about Witches regenerating after being melted by buckets of water. "We need to head South."

We finished reading the chapter and put the kids to bed. And then I hopped online and headed over to Project Gutenberg to find out what happened on page 183. I threw it into InDesign and did a little guesswork on fonts and things but Andrew caught me fudging through the process and insisted that if we were going to create an addendum at all we'd be doing it right, crop marks and all.

So, in case you were wondering...

The page size is 38p6.047 (16.3 cm) by 53p7.5 (22.7013 cm).
The top margin is 2.2 cm.
The outside margin is 4.2 cm.

We didn't measure the other two margins because they'd fall into place on their own.

The main text box is 10.5 cm by 17 cm.
The running side-header is 0.5384 cm away from the main text box. It is 2.54 cm wide and 4.0053 cm tall.

The text is technically set in Bulmer but we don't have that font and didn't want to purchase it so we looked it up and found out that William Martin (who created Bulmer) worked with Baskerville and so his font borrows strongly from Baskerville himself (both were typesetters back in the day). We used Baskerville because we have that font.

The main text is 13.9 pt, with 17.1 pt leading. The side-header is semi-bold italic, 19 pt with 25 pt leading, and I scaled it up vertically to 110%.

We printed it out, cropped it down to size (with scissors because we don't have a paper cutter (though a paper cutter would have been incredibly useful in this situation)) and glued it in our book.

Problem solved, super-nerd style!

Don't worry: we didn't glue it in here!

"I just made a page in a book!" I sighed to Andrew, as I marveled at how perfectly everything lined up. "Is this how you feel every day?"

"Yup," he admitted. "It's kind of addicting."

He does this kind of thing for a living. Kind of. You know, besides going to school. He's working on a rather ancient medical book right now (by Maimonides), typesetting both the English translation and the original Arabic, side by side.

Here are a few wonderful snippets of this book:

"Someone whose body is very emaciated or dominated by a dry dyscrasia should be given milk to drink. The best milk is that of women—after that, the milk of a donkey, and then the milk of a goat. The younger the animal, the better the milk, especially if it has been well fed and well provided for. The best milk to use is that which is sucked from the breast; and if that is impossible, one should bring the animal close to the patient so that he can [drink] the milk the moment it is milked, while it is still hot and has not cooled off."
"The degenerated nerve, on the other hand, should be putrefied with melted butter until it falls off. "
"If the blood is not contained with the bandage, one should scrape off the skin and catch the vein on a hook, pull it upward, and bind both edges with a silken thread while the vein is in the middle."
"The setting of a broken bone is effected through straightening the limb, [so that] the deflected part is brought into one line with the straight part above it. Then it should be put together by gently and carefully bringing in the splintered parts, one upon the other, and the fissure should be mended so that [the bone] returns to its initial shape. Then it should be bandaged and splints should be put on it such that it reassumes it original shape. The splints should have the same shape as the [broken] limb so that they preserve it [the shape]."
"Do not treat evil diseases [so that] you will not be called a 'physician of evil.'"
"If we see a nosebleed that increases, becoming more severe, which cannot be stopped with remedies, we bleed from the veins of the arm that is on the same side as the nostril from which the blood flows, and we apply cupping glasses to the hypochondria. If the blood flows from the right nostril, [we apply cupping glasses] to the liver; and if it flows from the left nostril, [we apply them] to the spleen, so that the blood is attracted downward."

Andrew is typically sent a copy of the book after it's been sent to print, so I'm super excited to have this reference book on our shelf. It will go along great with our copy of On Hemorrhoids, also by Maimonides. You can get your own copy here.

Oh, come on—you know you want to.


  1. I am surprised that you didn't attach the pages with Japanese paper, which is much better for the task than glue. But neither of you worked in book repair...

    I love your wonderful nerdiness! :o)

  2. Super nerds to the rescue! (I'd like you to don capes and masks now, but there's more than one kind of nerd...) :)