Mr. Men's Newest Doctor Who Book Will Regenerate Into a Little Miss Title for the Thirteenth Doctor

'Dr. Thirteenth' book
Penguin

In 2016, inspired by a growing number of fan art collections that depicted characters from Doctor Who drawn in the style of Roger Hargreaves’s beloved Mr. Men book series, the BBC saw an opportunity and jumped on it. Partnering with Sanrio, the network—which has been broadcasting the iconic sci-fi series since it first debuted in 1963—announced a new 12-part Mr. Men series, one for every Time Lord who had headed up the television series. Now, with Jodie Whittaker set to make her debut as the Thirteenth Doctor on October 7, the book series is getting ready to add its first Little Miss title to the lineup with Doctor Thirteenth.

Penguin, the book’s publisher, describes the book as a “fabulous mashup of the fantastical storytelling of Doctor Who and the whimsical humor of Roger Hargreaves,” and promises that “the book will to appeal to fans of both iconic brands!” Not much is known about the plot of the book, but here’s the official description:

“An all-new Doctor Who adventure featuring the Thirteenth—and first female!—Doctor reimagined in the style of Roger Hargreaves. The Doctor, Graham, and Ryan try and come up with a fabulous surprise for Yaz on her birthday. And what an explosive surprise it is …”

If you’re wondering: “Wait—Graham, Ryan, and Yaz?” They’re the Thirteenth Doctor’s new companions/pals.

While you’ll have to wait until November to get your copy of Doctor Thirteenth, the series’s first 12 installments, which were written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves (Roger’s son), have already arrived in bookstores. (You can even buy a box set of the first eight titles.)

If you’re looking for yet another way to while away the days until Whittaker takes over the TARDIS, BBC America is kicking off a 13-day Doctor Who marathon at 6 a.m. ET/PT on Tuesday, September 25 with “Rose,” the first episode of the series’s reboot. The network will air every episode from the past 10 seasons, meaning that you can relive every moment of Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi’s time as a Time Lord—all leading up to Whittaker’s grand debut.

Where Did the Phrase 'Red Herring' Come From?

iStock.com/Mathias Darmell
iStock.com/Mathias Darmell

You may have seen a red herring in a recent book or movie, but you probably only realized it after the fact. These misleading clues are designed to trick you into drawing an incorrect conclusion, and they're a popular ploy among storytellers of all stripes.

If you've seen or read the Harry Potter series—and really, who hasn’t?—then you may recall some of the many instances where J.K. Rowling employed this literary device. That endearing plot twist about the nature of Snape's character, for example, is likely one of the longest-running red herrings ever written.

Sometimes they aren't even subtle. Agatha Christie's murder mystery And Then There Were None directly mentions red herring in reference to a character's death, and a statue of a red herring appears in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Perhaps most blatantly, a character in the cartoon A Pup Named Scooby-Doo who was constantly being blamed for myriad crimes was named—you guessed it—Red Herring.

But where does this literary device come from, and why is it named after a fish? For a bit of background: herring are naturally a silvery hue, but they turn reddish-brown when they're smoked. Long before refrigerators were invented, this was done to preserve the fish for months at a time. They can also be pretty smelly. As Gizmodo's io9 blog points out, it was believed that red herring were dragged against the ground to help train hounds to sniff out prey in the 17th century. Another theory was that escaped prisoners used the fish to cover their tracks and confuse the dogs that tailed them.

However, io9 notes that red herring were actually used to train horses rather than dogs, and only if the preferred choice—a dead cat—wasn't available. The idea was that the horses would get used to following the scent trail, which in turn would make them less likely to get spooked while "following the hounds amid the noise and bustle of a fox hunt," notes British etymologist and writer Michael Quinion, who researched the origin of the phrase red herring.

The actual origin of the figurative sense of the phrase can be traced back to the early 1800s. Around this time, English journalist William Cobbett wrote a presumably fictional story about how he had used red herring as a boy to throw hounds off the scent of a hare. He elaborated on this anecdote and used it to criticize some of his fellow journalists. "He used the story as a metaphor to decry the press, which had allowed itself to be misled by false information about a supposed defeat of Napoleon," Quinion writes in a blog. "This caused them to take their attention off important domestic matters."

According to Quinion, an extended version of this story was printed in 1833, and the idiom spread from there. Although many people are more familiar with red herrings in pop culture, they also crop up in political spheres and debates of all kinds. Robert J. Gula, the author of Nonsense: Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language, defines a red herring as "a detail or remark inserted into a discussion, either intentionally or unintentionally, that sidetracks the discussion."

The goal is to distract the listener or opponent from the original topic, and it's considered a type of flawed reasoning—or, more fancifully, a logical fallacy. This application of red herring seems to be more in line with its original usage, but as Quinion notes: "This does nothing to change the sense of red herring, of course: it's been for too long a fixed part of our vocabulary for it to change. But at least we now know its origin. Another obscure etymology has been nailed down."

IKEA's Kåma Sutra Wants to Help You Master the Art of Loving Your Bedroom

iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Plenty of guides can show you how to add spice to your bedroom, but few do it like this new book from IKEA. The IKEA Kåma Sutra includes fully illustrated positions (of furniture, that is) designed to help you get more satisfaction from your living space.

"Are you satisfied with your bedroom? Have you grown bored or tired with the same old bedroom positions? Do you yearn for more?" the book's description reads. "The IKEA Kåma Sutra can help you master the art of loving your bedroom. We've designed multiple bedroom furniture positions that will satisfy your every need."

The online manual features bedroom layouts furnished with popular items from IKEA, including couches, bed frames, and dressers. "The Seated Desire" comes with a leather LANDSKRONA sofa, and "The Doggy Style" has a LURVIG pet cushion. Each design includes a full-color picture, so you know exactly what you're getting into before you try the position at home.

You can browse the IKEA Kåma Sutra online, or download it to read it at your leisure.

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