I spent the last week in Liverpool, working in the Olaf Stapledon archive. I found, as you do, many serendipitously interesting things (letters from the young Frank Kermode to Stapledon, for instance) and have nearly gone blind trying to read his micrographic journals and notebooks, made even more amusing by Greek-letter substitution at odd intervals and syllable-reduction. But, a worthwhile experience, all in all. I encountered Marseilles soccer enthusiasts chanting in the streets and ate several varieties of the heavily spiced local cuisine.
Robert Crossley’s entry is here. Needless to say, I’m glad to see this. Clancy and I have been visiting my family in North Carolina (you can see some pictures). Everyone seems to have a lab or retriever where I grew up, and they tend to run around unfettered. Driving out to go fishing early in the morning, I’ve noticed several trotting back purposively, for breakfast perhaps, from a morning swim. At a little marina eatery, a pack of them barked at me from a distance, ran up, and proceeded to give me the “perhaps you’d like to throw one of these sticks into the nearby water for us to retrieve” look.
Malcolm Gladwell has an angry article in the New Yorker about the American health care system. Like many graduate students I knew, I didn’t have health insurance in graduate school because it wasn’t provided or subvented and thus couldn’t be afforded. After severely spraining my ankle playing football, I laid off the contact sports for the rest of my stay in Florida. If, like someone on my blogroll, I had broken a wrist or arm, I would not have had to ask the doctor to put an Ace bandage on it–as in Gladwell’s account–because I could have borrowed the money from a bank or the government.
This Guardian article points out some unpopularities, but there’s no mention of the fact that there’s still no Olaf Stapledon entry. It’s still on my Amazon wish list, linked over to the right there, and please feel free to start gifting anytime now, please.