15 December 2014

Year in Books

A Handbook of Greek Mythology, by H.J. Rose.  A scholarly and wide ranging overview, concisely and skillfully written. Do professors like Rose still exist?

Kill or Get Killed, by Col. Rex Applegate.  The classic guide to "riot control techniques, manhandling, and close combat". Full of information I look forward to applying in 2015.

Lord Byron’s Foot, by George Green. His poems are funny, he’s the contemporary master of ekphrasis, his references range from Pindar to David Lee Roth.

The Counterfeiters, by Hugh Kenner. Themes include "[T]he Enlightenment; Buster Keaton (stoic comedian); bad poetry; Albrecht Durer; Joyce; Swift, Pope; closed systems, mathematical and mechanical; Charles Babbage and his Calculating Engines; the late history of Latin abstract nouns; Andy Warhol; Gödel’s Proof; horses; computer games; a clockwork duck that suffered from indigestion; and a man who wore a gas mask to ride his bicycle."

The History of Atlantis, by Lewis Spence. Originally published in 1923, it’s still the most intelligent and evenhanded history of the lost continent I've ever read.

Eric Ravilious - Imagined Realities. Catalogue to the 2003 Imperial War Museum exhibition of the artist’s work.

The Opposing Shore, by Julien Gracq . An aristocrat from the mythical country of Orsenna must choose between waiting for catastrophe or hastening its onset (unless it’s not really a choice, and the catastrophe already happened and is merely unrecognized).

22 November 2014


Last week bandits in Guinea stole vials of Ebola infected blood. Were I not preoccupied with a multitude of existing charity efforts I would create and distribute an infographic illustrating items Guinean bandits should steal (cash, jewels, gold bars, etc.), and items Guinean bandits should not steal (old couches, gum wrappers, rocks, vials of Ebola infected blood, etc.).

19 November 2014

Clanging Chimes of Doom

To atone for telling Ebola jokes I've pledged to mail a copy of the "We Are The World, We Are Ebola" song to anyone who (1) writes me a letter requesting it; and (2) is currently infected with Ebola.

Update: The deal is off, it turns out "We Are The World, We Are Ebola" is unavailable on vinyl, and vinyl is my preferred format for charity singles I mail to diseased strangers.

11 November 2014

No Word Back Yet

The Ferguson verdict to be announced soon, and I have offered to go there and run over rioters with one of those armored vehicles police need now because society is collapsing. I mention this because I’m often accused of not being civic-minded.

Ebola Solutions II

Send Ebola patients to the aspiring Gulag of Winchester, Massachusetts:
Popping by the store for a pack of smokes may soon be a thing of the past in a central Massachusetts town, which is mulling an outright ban on the sale of all tobacco products within city limits. If approved, it would be the first such ban in the US.
Board of Health officials in Winchester, Massachusetts, a small town of 7,700, are set to hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed tobacco ban with townspeople on Wednesday, AP reports.
Town health agent Elizabeth Swedberg, a proponent of the ban, believes it is a reasonable response to a frustrating and persistent problem. 
It’s not as if they could refuse: unlike smoking, Ebola is one’s own private business. Why does a town of 7,700 people have its own "health agent"? If any Winchesterites are reading this, I urge you to throw eggs and small dead animals at Elizabeth Swedberg's house until she resigns in shame

15 October 2014

Ebola Solutions

Isolate Ebola cases on a tiki-themed party barge floating five to ten miles offshore; staff the party barge with RI-MANs, deliver supplies by drone. This will contain the spread of infection and provide a festive environment in which to die a horrible death. (If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned restricting travel from Africa it’s because I’m focused on realistic solutions.)