All Hallow’s Books

BorgesBookWorld is full of spooktastic and Halloweeny reviews this week.

Michael Dirda looks at a new translation of Borges’ The Book of Imaginary Beings (from which that illo comes):

Anyone who falls under the spell of The Book of Imaginary Beings should look out for several comparable (or complementary) works. Above all, don’t miss T.H. White’s The Book of Beasts , a translation, with delightful commentary, of a 12th-century bestiary; Willy Ley’s various excursions into "romantic zoology" (starting with The Lungfish, the Dodo, and the Unicorn ); Avram Davidson’s highly idiosyncratic and hard-to-find Adventures in Unhistory ; Peter Lum’s Fabulous Beasts ; Richard Carrington’s Mermaids and Mastodons ; and, not least, the grand-daddy of them all, Pliny’s Natural History (especially books 8 through 11). Here be wonders.

These are all excellent recommendations and I particularly love the Willy Ley books; hunt them down.

Oh, and Octavia Butler’s new vampire novel sounds AMAZING.

Know Your Opponents

Zombie20How Stuff Works on zombies:

Like a lot of monsters, zombies have their roots in folklore and — according to some researchers — in real events in Haiti. In this article, we’ll discuss Haitian zombies, explore depictions of zombies in films and video games and review the best course of action for surviving an attack.

Links to related topics here, such as vampires, mummies, bigfoot, chupacabras … cells and brains? If you say so.

(Via MorrowPlanet.)

Friday Hangovers

Hummingbirds of the Mind

BabybirdThe Washington Post has a pretty wonderful–if slightly depressing for the bird flu mentions–animal photo gallery up. The only photo I managed to grab features a one-month-old parrot from Bangkok ("One night in Bangkok makes a hard parrot humble… "), but number two is a beautiful shot of a hummingbird on the wing. No, really, it’s not like these; you can see it clear as if it’s stuck in time. There’s also a monkey drinking from a bottle and a cow moose.

What Don’t I Know

Over the weekend, I was having a polite little small talky conversation-in-passing with someone post-funeral. We started talking about seven-year-olds and what they’re like. I said something about how I’d like to be seven again for a week or two. To which the other person said, "And know then what you know now, huh?"

Now, I’ve heard this before, as have you. But it occurs to me that I have no idea what it means. I’m not sure what I know now that would help me at all at being seven (though I’m not so confident about the reverse). So, what have I missed? Is this statement just a bullshit cliche? What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you were seven?

(p.s. Our web connection is spotty at the moment — web bunny plea for help commence — so if you’re not getting a response from me, that’s why. Should be back up later, fingers and toes crossed.)

Punctuate Me, Baby


quotation marks
You scored 61% Sociability and 76% Sophistication!
There is a lot more to you than meets the eye. You certainly get plenty
of "action," but you’d be happier if those who lusted after you were
more selective. You hate being used as a general intensifier; haven’t
these people ever heard of underlining? Italics? And yes, you remember
the cruel words Mr. Joyce directed at you.
But you let none of this get you down; those who abuse you are destined
for a "special" reward, sooner or later. You feel particularly warm
toward periods, commas, exclamation points, and question marks, and
usually wish to have them next to you. Parenthesis can sometimes
trouble you.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 77% on Sociability
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 88% on Sophistication

Link: The Which Punctuation Mark Are You Test written by Gazda on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

(Via Sonya Taaffe.)