Friday finds


Dissection is a new book showcasing the macabre photos medical students once made with their cadavers This review (which includes a slide show of some of the more striking and gruesome pictures) ponders the implications of how students felt free to make sport with what were mainly the bodies of the poor and the black. 

Craig Arnold, an American poet and academic living in Japan on a creative exchange fellowship, disappeared last month after setting off to hike up the slope of a volcano. Friends and supporters need help pressuring the local authorities to keep searching for him. 

Bathsheba Monk, an Approved Author for 2008, is in the home stretch on her novel-in-progress.  Naturally she’s thinking about other books she could have written a lot faster.

Winnie the Pooh and Swine Flu too! And Pogo offers some insights into party-switching and the workings of democracy.

Any work which can move me to disgust and psychic pain is worth high praise.” Amen, brother!

intellectuals1“Scialabba tries to get a handle on just what intellectuals do for civilization, by delving into the work of Great and allegedly Great Minds. In that latter category, critic Edward Said comes in for especially droll and scornful attack because of what Scialabba sees as the damaging legacy of his writing: that is, inspiring this current generation of academics into deluding themselves that they’re carrying out political work by teaching, say, post-colonialist critiques of Paradise Lost. If intellectual work matters, Scialabba implies, it has to matter in ways that run deeper than delusionary self-puffery.”

From Athenodorus to Zero the Ghost Detective, from Buffy Summers to Dagon Smythe, from Doc Savage to Dr. Silence — they’re the Ghostbreakers of page, screen and TV. But wait, you say — what about Fero, Planet Detective?

What your favorite Grateful Dead song says about you. Amusing article, but “Ripple” isn’t on the list so I must continue to stumble through life without the hard-earned wisdom and piercing insights of Slate writers to guide me. As for the songs that are on the list, I can’t hear “Dark Star” without nodding off, “Cosmic Charlie” without covering my ears, or “Truckin'” without going on a cross-country spree of random violence against hackysack players. But that’s just me.

Some West Dorset residents want to reopen the Three Cups Hotel, a pub reputedly once favored by J.R.R. Tolkien as he toiled on the manuscripts of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Meanwhile, Tolkien tourists in the Oxford area can take a trip to The Eagle and Child, the pub that hosted meetings of The Inklings, the writers group that boasted Tolkien and C.S. Lewis among its members.

I said: ‘You’ve chosen to build a story around these characters who don’t speak. The only sound they make is like fat people having an orgasm,’” the 250-plus-pound [Bruce] Vilanch recalls. “In fact, I told [George] Lucas he could just leave a tape recorder in my bedroom and I’d be happy to do all the looping and Foley work for him.”

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