EVALUATING THE BUYER'S BIBLE

CONSUMER REPORTS COMMANDS 5 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS, BUT FACES QUESTIONS ABOUT ITS ADVOCACY AND COMPETITIVENESS

GINNY LUI SITS UNDER A 100-WATT light bulb, studying spoons. The spoons have gone through eight full cycles in one or another of a battery of 20 dishwashers; Lui's task is to examine each one for telltale signs of dirt. If she detects a speck, she must then decide just what sort of speck she has spotted. Is it gritty? Is it "medium soil" or "heavy soil"? When she runs through all the spoons, Lui turns to plates and cups and knives and glasses that have been emptied from the dishwashers, making the same inspections and rendering the same hairsplitting verdicts....

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