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As a devoted football fan, you are undoubtedly aware of the phrase “not in my house,” a defiant cri de coeur that is generally shouted by a swaggering defensive end who’s just sunk a running back for a loss on third-and-short. Well, imagine for a moment that the Almighty is a 265-pound linebacker with meaty arms, a penchant for smashmouthiness, and one of those scary dark visors on His helmet. –“The Texanist: Is it wrong to wear your football team’s jersey to church?” by David Courtney, Texas Monthly (via)
While it was previously unclear just what food was on the table, we now see that it is neither Paschal lamb nor, as some had supposed, bread alone. There are three large serving platters in the picture, and although the one in front of Christ is empty, the two before Andrew and Matthew—the fourth figures to his right and left—are heaped with food. The plate to our left appears to contain about half a dozen whole fish, while the one on the right is damaged to the point of being all but illegible. Fortunately, the preservation of the three small serving dishes on the right side of the composition is sufficiently good to suggest that we are looking at, in fact, sections of grilled eel garnished with orange slices. Other pieces of fruit—pomegranates perhaps, some still with their leaves attached—complete the menu along with plenty of bread and wine, the only sacramental necessities in any depiction of the Last Supper. –“History’s Table: At Supper with Leonardo,” John Varriano (PDF), in Gastronomica (via)
Review of reviews of Nabokov’s The Original of Laura;
advice needed: “I masturbate while I sleep. Is this normal?” (SFW, but includes traumatizing photo of barefoot dude crashed on couch);
recent excruciating literary sex scenes (“First Pegeen stepped into the contraption.”)
And then there’s the sad fact of the “dancing” [in the big wheelchair number in Glee]; the choreography sucks. The one potentially interesting move that McHale supposedly “does” is a cut– he wheelies on one rear wheel. The rest is notable only for the way that it shows that able-bodied, non-wheelchair-using folk really do think of chairs as bicycles you move with your arms. There’s absolutely no body-chair integration at all. They think of sitting in a chair as being only about not being able to move their legs (and in Artie’s case as being about having his hips and legs twisted to one side). That mistaken understanding leads to some very weird-looking people in chairs. On chairs would be a better phrase for it. The fake paralysis of their legs somehow wends its way up their bodies so that they are really only able to push with their elbows (no wonder they have sore arms!). –“Glee,” Wheelchair Dancer
Lady Gaga’s stylist on making a prop wheelchair (the post’s author: “A Chanel Wheelchair with Swarovski crystals?!? Cripple me now!!!”);
Sarah Palin’s stylist on making a prop candidate: “size 4 or 6 and very attractive, with beautiful skin, if a bit dowdy”;
why Bad Cripple hates going to Catholic churches and health-food stores;
and a church as master’s thesis (via, via)
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”