AUTHOR TURNS LOVE OF RATS INTO BOOK: Sullivan's book tracks the history of rats, describes such oddities as the promoters of rat fights in the 19th century and details a convention of exterminators.While he once captured a rat, Sullivan says he has never brought one home nor is he likely to adopt one as a pet."No I never kept a rat. I'm married," he explained.moreVia (who else?) The Rat. … [Read more...]

WHICH CICADA ARE YOU? Stupidly funny. I am Teenage Mutant Ninja Cicadas! … [Read more...]

"KISSABLE PICTURES": OOH OOH, THEY'RE OBSESSED WITH YOU. In which John is disturbed and disturbing, and our music journalist attends a concert.More workaday prose here, sorry, and a few placeholders that I will change in the final version. But there are a couple things in this segment that I like. There are two or maybe three sections left after this one.The usual warning: This story has sex in it. (Not, as such, in this section.) It has creepiness in it (this section and passim). This story … [Read more...]

FREE THE IRAQI PRESS!: Excellent piece from the Weekly Standard. Excerpts:...Then came bad news. On March 20, the Coalition issued Decree Number 66, signed by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, turning the Iraqi Media Network into the Iraqi Public Service Broadcaster, a government media enterprise equivalent to the British Broadcasting Corporation. Zayer and the al-Sabah staff professed shock that, under the decree, their newspaper would become a state-owned newspaper, with no prospect of the … [Read more...]

IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT: The scathing Army Times editorial on Abu Ghraib. Via Hit & Run, I think. … [Read more...]

IN THE GRAND TRADITION OF SCREAM FOR JEEVES!: H.P. LOVECRAFT MEETS P.G. WODEHOUSE: Terry Teachout at About Last Night writes: "Apropos of last week’s posting about whether Raymond Chandler and P.G. Wodehouse attended Dulwich College simultaneously, a reader writes:"'Moments in greatness: suppose if Wodehouse had had to fag for Chandler? The parody almost writes itself.'"You know who you are. You know what to do."Eve adds: Aaaaiiiieeeee!!!! PLEASE, somebody, do this!!! … [Read more...]

A WINTER'S TITLE: Scattered notes on The Great Title Discussion:1) Embarrassingly, I misremembered the Ray Bradbury title I listed as one of my top five! It's THE OCTOBER COUNTRY, not THE OCTOBER PEOPLE (although Bradbury uses the latter phrase, with much the same meaning as the former, in his excellent Something Wicked This Way Comes). Anyway, as a title, THE OCTOBER COUNTRY is better.2) I now have a title theory! Sort of. And it's astonishingly boring. Still, here it is, for what it's … [Read more...]