Farewell, Eden Ross Lipson. And Thanks.

Eden Lipson’s office at The New York Times overflowed with books. Books crowded onto carts. Books rested atop chairs. Books sat in stacks on the floor. Books lay arranged on a credenza. Books waited on her desk.

As far as I was concerned, Eden was books. Certainly, as the children’s book editor at The Times for 20-plus years, she lived books. Eden died this week, and her death brought back many memories.

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Swine Flu’s Watery Rhapsody

The news: Swine flu warnings lash across the airwaves, leaving listeners wide-eyed and talking heads breathless with paranoia. Could it be the beginnings of a pandemic?

The advice: Wash your hands – a lot.

The scene: The men’s room of a major airport. A traveling professor imagines himself in preschool as he lathers up and sticks his hands under an automatic faucet, “The Alphabet Song” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” commingling in his head as he tries to find an automatic faucet that works.

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