Interesting Article

I found an interesting article about an interesting book. Being a fan of WWII spy strategies, both The New Yorker article and the book it is about, Operation Mincemeat, seem fascinating.

The story of Major William Martin is the subject of the British journalist Ben Macintyre’s brilliant and almost absurdly entertaining “Operation Mincemeat” (Harmony; $25.99). The cast of characters involved in Mincemeat, as the caper was called, was extraordinary, and Macintyre tells their stories with gusto. The ringleader was Ewen Montagu, the son of a wealthy Jewish banker and the brother of Ivor Montagu, a pioneer of table tennis and also, in one of the many strange footnotes to the Mincemeat case, a Soviet spy. Ewen Montagu served on the so-called Twenty Committee of the British intelligence services, and carried a briefcase full of classified documents on his bicycle as he rode to work each morning.


Read more: at The New Yorker.

Eden’s Baby

I’m a big Suzanne Brockmann fan. I read the book where Izzy’s wife Eden (who was given a date rape drug) had a baby and the baby wasn’t black, so Izzy no longer believes her. He still loves her but he doesn’t believe her.

I had heard that all babies come out about the same color, and Eden’s baby was premature on top of that… So, I went looking. I found two relevant quotes.

Babies of all races and ethnicities are born with reddish-purple skin that changes to pinkish-red within a day or so. The pink tint comes from the red blood vessels that are visible through your baby’s still-thin skin. Because your baby’s blood circulation is still maturing, his hands and feet may be bluish for a few days. Over the next six months, your baby’s skin will develop its permanent color.


Newborn skin varies in appearance according to how far along your baby is at birth. Premature babies have thin, almost transparent skin that may be covered with a fine, downy hair called lanugo.

Both are from Why Newborns Look So Funny

Seems like Izzy could have used the internet too.


One of my chapters was supposed to be published this summer. But the press appears to be folding. So that’s not going to happen. I went to a conference and heard of a new press, know another press that is soliciting, and looked up university presses that publish in the topic area and that the editor might not have thought of. I sent an email off tonight.

I really would like this work published, since I wrote it. It was fun and I think people who are generally interested in the topic would like the work. It would also be useful to students who need to write papers on the subject, since it includes already culled primary sources.

I hope one of the presses works out. I would really like to have the book in print. I’ll buy several. One for each of my libraries (That’s four, three universities and my own.), one for my folks, and (if it’s hardback) one for my sister. So… if each of the contributors bought five that would be a guaranteed sale of 100.

Can I write a paper quickly?

Just saw a CFP for a topic that would help my publications and my chances of being accepted for that job I have an interview for… But it’s due next week.

Could I get it written that fast?

Probably not. But I might could… If I had my books with me. But I don’t, because I am at my parents’ house. I might get Ron to come over here and bring them. That’s a possibility.

I need to look at the possibility.

mixed genres= autobiography/biography with other things, fiction, recipes, etc.
mixed time= the works don’t follow a natural time progression

These two effects are significant. I think there are good aesthetic reasons for both of these. Life is not clean and easy, why should our literature be? Plus it helps the monolingual person understand the confusion and disorientation of the new immigrant/dual culture person operating in the U.S.

I think that’s what I want to say. The problem would be saying it for 4,000 words and doing a good “scholarly” job with it.

Sookie Books

You know, I really loved the Sookie Stackhouse books when I was reading them. Sure there were some problems, including major continuity errors and absolutely worthless men, but they were fun. I even got my husband to read them… And my sisters and brother have read them and my mother has started them.

After working on the books for a paper, though, I am much less impressed with the books. I was driving home last night thinking about all of her books and I have to say that Charlaine Harris has issues with men. The only potentially good guy in the books is Sam… although Quinn has some incredible redeeming features and Calvin is a great person for who Calvin is.

I’m not even sure I like Sookie anymore. I was very turned off by her rejection of Quinn over his family.

Yuck. Way to ruin a fun read, really think about it.

Quote for the Year

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.” -Christopher Morley

From Katie, via Facebook.

Thoughts on wheelchair access

after talking with Jill.

Don’t want to sit in front because if you need to leave, everyone is watching you.

The back is preferable because you need a deeper space for the wheelchair.

A good idea to fix the problem of wheelchair people not being able to see the words is to hand out copies of the words to people who want them before the service.

Putting a sign where it would be clear that pushing the handicap button would open the “locked” doors would be useful. Especially because it is next to the visitor’s spot.

And I should read Joel Rosenberg’s books, starting with The Last Jihad.

Funny Lines

Another sighting for my “Natural History of the Common Troll” article.
from Mouseman

Oh, yes, and there is a HYSTERICAL citing of a troll on that same page:

March 26th, 2009, time 19:01. I had another sighting of a troll today. As I observed, it marked a thread with its urine, and disappeared into the underbrush. Interestingly, its calls are similar to the cry of a young human, and have been mistaken for actual speach. It seems to feed off attention, and will appear out of nowhere, interrupt a conversation, and derive nourishment from the response of the persons participating the conversation. It has been known to actually repeat words from the conversation that it interrupted, albeit in a garbled and nonsensical manner. This particular troll seems to be attracted to conversations that mention the words “students”, “professors”, “colleagues”, and “relationship”. Since the troll do not understand speech and language as we know it, it would be very interesting to know just what these particular words mean to this specific troll, and why the evoke a response. A study of the cognitive processes of troll may be very enlightening in this context, but such a study remains beyond the scope of this project.

by mouseman

That is funny!

Dr_Evil added:

This research is sponsored by the other NSF: National Society of Fantasy. Trolls were long considered to be creatures of fantasy until the creation of the internet. At that time, sightings dramatically increased, much to the annoyance of everyone else.

Then Anakin suggested grant money from the stimulus for the trolls to mountainguy and frogfactory. After that Mouseman said s/h/it was appalled that s/h/it wasn’t invited, since s/h/it had done most of the preliminary work.


You must not be a zoologist. It’s well-known that trolls are a genus containing many species, including trollus schadenfreudus, which thrives on annoying others; trollus aburridus, which thrives on posting pointless drivel; and trollus penderatus, which thrives on making minute and insignificant grammar corrections.

Laugh at a Book Review

For a very funny review, on (apparently) one of the worst books ever, go look up Shadow God on Amazon and read the first review. It is hysterical. Okay, maybe I’m hysterical. But it was fun and funny to read.

Of course, I am an English teacher.

Vocabulary: Tranche

A portion of something.

I have a tranche of students re-taking the final.


I love new words. You can tell I am an English geek, because inside I am doing a little happy dance about new words.