Friday finds

Blogger-illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi offers a mini-history of illustrations for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, starting with some of Tolkien’s own pictures and concluding with this 1967 sketch by the great Maurice Sendak, part of a proposal for a new illustrated edition. Unfortunately, Sendak was sidelined by a heart attack shortly before he was to have met with Tolkien about the project, leaving us to wonder what the creator of Where the Wild Things Are would have done with Smaug. Meanwhile, the tsuris that The Lord of the Rings films managed to avoid (and is being visited tenfold on the production of The Hobbit films) continued with the hospitalization of director Peter Jackson.

Frederik Pohl recalls Gustav Hasford, whose Vietnam War novel The Short-Timers was the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s film Full Metal Jacket.

Geoff has a very personal and emotionally generous reaction to Toy Story 3.

Hunter! Scavenger! Hunter!

I seldom agree with conservative apparatchik David Frum about much of anything– and I despise his war-whoring on Iraq — but I do enjoy his readiness to ridicule radio ranter Mark Levin, second only to Rush Limbaugh among the gas giants of the conservative solar system, and first in his readiness to respond to even the slightest criticism to torrents of childish invective. Frum has been happily slapping around Levin’s magnum bolus Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, and the reluctance of other conservatives to point out Levin’s intellectual malfeasance in any but the most circumspect terms. Now Alex Knapp has joined the fun by blogging the book chapter by chapter, which might seem like an exercise in pure masochism were it not for the fact that Levin’s tome is a kind of intellectual grease trap in which most of the cherished notions of movement wingerdom can be scraped loose and subjected to scrutiny. Knapp’s first chapter is here, and subsequent installments are here, here, and here.

Mount Shinmoe, the volcano used for the secret rocket base in You Only Live Twice, is erupting.

The life and times of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs.

Urban infiltrators drink up.

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