Holiday various

Monday various

  • Wow, Marvel sounds like a lousy place to work:

    It gets downright messy. Marvel’s new offices have only one restroom for each gender. In a company of hundreds of people. The post-lunch hour piddle line is said to be especially long and people actually stagger their lunches so as not to wait in it. There’s a human resources staff of one for the whole company. Review copies? You’ve got to be kidding. Editors have to purchase copies of the books they worked on. The precious archives of assets have dwindled over the years due to not spending any money to save them.

  • Mark Bittman on why the demise (well, okay, just bankruptcy for now) of Friendly’s might not be such a bad thing. I have some fond memories of the chain, more for the ice cream than the food — and certainly not the ambiance or service — but I’m also not going to pretend like this is necessarily bad news.
  • Emma to Charles Darwin. He nickname for him is…um…
  • Noel Murray defends the Matrix sequels. I’m not sure I’m completely convinced, but he makes a very persuasive argument.
  • And finally, how many books on are written by robots? More than you might think. [via]

Tuesday various

Wednesday various

  • Human Centipede II already banned in the UK for sexual depravity. The description of the film sounds pretty horrific to me, even beyond the pale — and I’m someone who, amazingly enough, found some things to…well, not enjoy, exactly, about the first film, although I was less immediately repulsed by it than I would have expected. (Watching it over Twitter with friends may have softened the blow.)

    But the idea of censoring it, of banning it from the country, doesn’t sit entirely well with me. I tend to agree with Sarah Ditum of The Guardian on this:

    You get extremes of intelligence and stupidity as well as extremes of unpleasantness in horror, and if we’re happy to start banning stuff because of the latter, we might be losing a lot of stuff that falls into the former camp.

  • Meanwhile, the fact that there will be a G.I. Joe sequel — and that it may very well star The Rock — fills me with a weird manic delight. The original was one of the most gloriously dumb movies I have ever seen. I am so renting any sequel, as terrible as it is likely to be.
  • A lot of really interesting thoughts on X-Men: First Class. Though I liked it well enough — more than I expected to, less than I might have hoped — I’m not sure it deserves all this deep thought. But it’s all very interesting nonetheless. Spoiler warnings, of course.
  • Any story that starts with “the night a drunk John Lennon and Harry Nilsson heckled the Smothers Brothers and got in a fight with Pam Grier” has got to be good.
  • And finally, Paul Simon is simply a true class act. [via

Monday various