Saturday, February 23, 2013

Various & Sundry: Supermodels, Martyrs, Poets, and other animals

*sigh* It's been one of those weeks that's clunked along. I had lots of plans of things to blog, but, as you see, it didn't happen. Probably because I never did get that handsome dose. But I do have a few things left lying about the place that are worth sharing, late as it is, so here you go.

For example, there are good reasons I didn't become a supermodel. Again, the handsome dose would have made my career as a supermodel more likely. But there are other legitimate reasons, as Nancy Kho points out.

I don't know if you've been following Lent Madness, but this week the martyrs have been beating the tar out of the more naturally-death-inclined. Yesterday, however, in a match-up between John Donne and the martyr Agnes of Rome, Donne charmed the votes out of people, which broke the martyrs' win streak. Does it have something to do with his erotic poetry?

This leads very nicely into Book Riot's Date, Dump, or Marry: Famous Author Version. Your choices? I'm thinking to date Jane Austen (she would be an excellent dinner companion, don't you think?), dump Poe (I mean, creepy, although I'd worry I'd be the inspiration for some gothic character), and marry Dick Francis. He seems stable and unpretentious.

Oscar fanatics and film buffs may want to read this analysis of Django Unchained. I haven't seen the movie, and don't plan to, so I am in no position to opine, but it strikes me as a really important perspective.

I really liked what Beth Kanter had to say about the importance of being data-informed rather than data-driven. And I especially appreciated this article on the seven  habits of highly effective mediocre people:
Being mediocre doesn’t mean you won’t change the world. It means being honest with yourself and the people around you. And being honest at every level is really the most effective habit of all if you want to have massive success.
In law enforcement news,
Prosecutors in England, prepping for a case, repeatedly contacted a police department for details on the arrest—specifically, they demanded a witness statement from "PD Peach," an officer who assisted. The problem is, PD stands for Police Dog, and Peach is an adorable German Shepherd, and as such is incapable of reading or writing.
Well, maybe, maybe not, as this police report shows:

Perhaps Peach had someone speaking for him, something Pat Derby did quite well. Ms. Derby, who died last week, was "a former animal trainer for television shows like “Lassie” and “Flipper” who became a crusader against animal exploitation in entertainment and founded of one of the largest privately operated wildlife sanctuaries in the United States." I read two obituaries for her this week, one in the Times, and one in the Telegraph. In both, she sounds tough-minded and realistic. "Throughout her life, she remained acutely conscious of the inherent shortcomings of raising wild animals in captivity: 'You can never replace the wild. You can only make the prison as comfortable as possible.'"

I don't know. I think this bucket of sloths looks pretty cozy.

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