EnglishRussia scanned some illustrations from a Russian version of The Hobbit. Very cool stuff, including this version of Gollum. At the bottom of the post are some video clips of a Soviet b-movie version of The Hobbit which you can miss except the last one which has their version of Gollum which isn’t to be missed.
Ever wonder what it might look like if you combined the Tea Party anger at incumbency with Nordic politeness? Well, wonder no more! The Icelanders have created a new political party (the Best Party) and created their own music video. (h/t Foreign Policy) Of course, it’s not a perfect analogy…you won’t see any guns, pictures of Hitler or references to Chairman Mao but close enough.
Yeah, keep trying to convince me that there are no such thing as the mole people.
Sven talks about tactical agility.
Salt is attracting some negative attention and there are calls it should be regulated by the FDA as a food additive. May I just take a moment to thank my ancestors for endowing me with the genes for a slightly low blood pressure. Not low enough to be a concern but low enough for my doctor to tell me “Hey, you like salt? Dig in!’
Steve Coll summarizes his lessons learned from blogging before taking an extended break to write a book. I’m not naturally inclined to write and so this exercise (now in its fifth year) has been a great experience. I think I’d find it valuable even if no one read this blog but it is also quite nice (and a bit humbling) to think of people deciding to spend their time on what I may have to say.
Some things I did not expect that turned out to be true: 1) An awful lot of people read blogs. Spontaneously conceived essays (if they deserve that elevated name) that are not particularly well-thought-through can instantly go viral on you without warning. …That was a sobering discovery. 2) Goofy experiments that would not work in any other format, such as deciding to read the entire 2009 stimulus legislation and blog about it will be forgiven by many readers on the grounds that we’re all in this experiment together; it’s like going to a rock festival and hearing terrible music but feeling really good about being there. 3) Aggregation and calling attention to other people’s good work without much effort on your own part is enough justification for blogging in the first place.
Some problems that I half-expected that also turned out to be true: 1) Writing fast about serious subjects because they are in the news, without doing a lot of reporting first, can produce crap. 2) Even the better instances of that sub-genre are still not very satisfying over time to the author. …This is just a blog post, however; I am free to revise my thinking in an hour, or whenever…and presumably no one will notice.
Patrick Stewart was apparently just knighted…I wonder if he made the Queen’s clothes just drop off?