Oh, and as far as updates go, if we find more links
The recent massacre at Virginia Tech has brought up the issue of gun control again. Two of the most interesting things I've read about it -- neither strictly pro nor strictly con, which is part of what makes them interesting -- are this post by Jack Balkin on the legal issues; and this post on Making Light about the practical issues.
As to whether or not we should be talking about this at all, see Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise.
Update: Also this piece in The New Yorker by Adam Gopnik (of whom see more below), which very much does take a stand,-- but what an amazing articulation of it! (via the wrongheaded dismissive comment here)
• This is a wonderful comics review of Bryan Talbot's new book, Alice in Sunderland (via), which is itself done as a comic, in the style of the work reviewed. I've just gotten my copy of Talbot's book, and will have thoughts of my own when I have a chance to read it with the care it quite clearly deserves (which, given grading & the end of the semester, may be a while). But the review above is still fun even if you haven't read the book -- an entertainment in and of itself.
• This digital photographer is doing really cool things. (via)
• When I was talking about the Codex Seraphinianus, I mentioned the Voynich Manuscript, which may have been an inspiration for the Codex, and which is even more mysterious. Someone has now put the entire thing online as a flickr set (via). I haven't read (if that's the word) it closely, but at a glance it looks less interesting than the Codex Seraphinianus. Also from BoingBoing, there's a new statistical analysis indicating that the Voynich Manuscript may be a hoax. Still a neat text (if that's the word), of course.
• While I'm linking to a site which you probably all read, I'll mention that if you didn't actually click the link in this BoingBoing post about The Zimmers -- a chorus/rock band made up of senior citizens, many of them over 90 -- their version of My Generation is really awesome. (What a cool thing to do!) It totally rewrites the line "hope I die before I get old" anyway. Even better is the video, which you'll find if look at BoingBoing's link-back. (Hey, I just noticed BoingBoing used the link I sent them (which I got from here, incidentally.))
• One of the courses I'm teaching this semester (here) is a history course on "The United States Since 1939". Well, the semester is drawing near to its conclusion... which meant that the other day I found myself preparing a class on the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I remembered vividly that the best piece on the whole affair (so to speak) that I read that year was by Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker -- a reading of the Starr Report as if it were a literary text. So I googled a bit, and yes, someone has put it up online. So I reread it.
It's not as good as I remembered: it's much, much better. Really, it's flat-out wonderful. So do go read it -- or reread it, if you read it at the time. Best thing to come out of that whole sordid episode (with the partial exception -- partial because it's only tangentially related to the episode -- of the novel I'm making my students read, which is also superb. But not online.)
• Criticizing Bush: a preview of things to come. (via)
• A "cousin tree" visually depicts the difference between a first cousin once removed and a second cousin (and so forth). (via) Wikipedia totally rocks.
• Dave Campbell on the practical problems of the Batmobile: "Can that thing even fit into a standard parking spot? Have you ever tried to parallel park a car that has huge scalloped bat wings on the back while wearing a rubber cowl that prevents you from moving your neck more than five degrees in any direction?"