CIGARETTES AND WHISKEY AND WILD, WILD WOMEN: Reviews of comics and movies and TV.Comics: Planetes v. 4.2. I don't know why this is "volume four, part two" rather than something sane like, say, "volume five." Nonetheless, I loved this manga book. (Manga = cheap. You should read it!) It's really funny. The Golden Age sci-fi wonder at the beauty of the universe is still brilliantly combined with a 21st-century disillusionment about human perfectibility. (Wherever you go, there you are.) And in this … [Read more...]

THE 1947 PROJECT: True-crime tales from 1947 Los Angeles. Via Hit & Run. … [Read more...]

AGAINST MUGABE:A senior Zimbabwean clergyman has issued an unprecedented plea for a peaceful Ukraine-style "popular mass uprising" to remove President Robert Mugabe after elections this week.The highly respected Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, the Most Rev Pius Ncube, said that the parliamentary elections on Thursday were certain to be rigged. "I hope that people get so disillusioned that people really organise against this government and kick him [Mr Mugabe] out by non- violent popular mass … [Read more...]

I THIRST: Amy Welborn has a lot of links on Terri Schiavo. You should click through to all of them. If your time is limited, you should especially click through here (how common?), here (how humiliating!), and here (Congress). … [Read more...]

ONE FINAL VICTIM OF THE RAPE OF NANKING?: From the Times of London...Were it not for the crinkled maps of China, the pictures of mass graves and the two desperately overstuffed Rolodexes on her desk, Chang might have been just another former high school homecoming queen from the aptly named Sunnyvale. But she had become one of the foremost young historians of her generation after publishing, seven years ago, a bestselling account of the Rape of Nanking, one of the worst episodes of human cruelty … [Read more...]

DAPPLED THINGS' EASTER SERMON: "...Christianity, and particularly Catholicism as the perfect manifestation of what Christianity is, is fundamentally a joyful, an optimistic religion. Twelve unkempt fisherman are made the pillars of a Church that encompasses the world. A meek and humble Virgin from Nazareth becomes Queen of Angels. Bread and wine become God's Body and Blood. A murdered Rabbi rises from the dead and promises us the forgiveness of our sins. If the Christian God can do all of that, … [Read more...]

MESSAGE OF REDEMPTION FOR INMATES ON HOLY THURSDAY: From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.The overcrowded chapel was sweltering, but Catholic Bishop Donald Wuerl had an utterly attentive audience as he prepared to wash the feet of inmates at the Allegheny County Jail.He told them that Jesus had offered his life as ransom."Imagine if someone said, 'I'll serve your sentence,'" he told 100 male inmates in red prison uniforms."That is what Jesus did in his death for anything that any one of us would ever … [Read more...]