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The Perfume Critic, The Map Thief, and the 'Publy Party

Filed under: Eustace Google   Tagged: , , , ,

The magnificently named Chandler Burr has just been appointed the Times' first perfume critic, which will make lots of entertaining work for the fine-nosed folks at Now Smell This, et al. (Perfume Critic promises an interview with him in the near future.) You'll remember Burr as the author of the Hermes scent creation story in The New Yorker last year.

Meanwhile, remember the crazy map dealer who was stealing pages from books in the Beinecke Library and wherever else he could get away with it? There's even more to the story, which William Finnegan first covered in the magazine last October 17. From the August 4 edition of American Libraries Online:

Massachusetts map dealer E. Forbes Smiley III, who admitted in June to stealing more than 100 antique maps from six major libraries in the United States and England, is suspected in additional map thefts from the same libraries.

Officials at Harvard University’s Houghton Library have released a list of five maps they think Smiley took, beyond the eight he has confessed to stealing, and the British Library suspects Smiley of three additional thefts, the Associated Press reported July 30. “I think all of the affected institutions believe he took other maps,” Boston Public Library President Bernard Margolis said in the August 1 Boston Globe.

The recovery is complicated by the fact that some of the missing maps are copies of ones that Smiley has admitted stealing. Map specialists from the affected libraries plan to meet August 7 to determine exactly which maps have been recovered and which are still missing.

Tom Carson, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, told reporters the office has no reason to believe that Smiley hid any thefts, although he noted that “If [the libraries] are uncovering more information, we’ll be more than happy to take a look.” Smiley’s lawyer, Richard Reeve, said his client had provided complete information to the FBI. “Either the maps have legs themselves or there are other people taking maps,” he said.

Finally, here's an op-ed from the Houston Chronicle on that ridiculous habit Republicans have picked up of calling the Democratic Party the Democrat Party, which Hendrik Hertzberg wrote a Talk about earlier this month. As the editorial says, "The practice isn't due to ignorance or indifference to correct usage. It's simply bad manners." It doesn't even scan. No wonder their speeches are so wooden.

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