I don't think it would come as any surprise that Tyler Cowen of George Mason University and Marginal Revolution knows something I don't -- it's probable he knows quite a bit I don't -- but I am surprised to find that one fantasy I've enjoyed is, instead, fact:
What were the most blogged about books in 2005?

Here is a New York Times list, no permalink yet. The data are drawn from an automated survey of the top 5000 blogs. Freakonomics, Harry Potter, Blink, and The World is Flat lead the list. Jared Diamond has two in the top ten. Surowiecki's Wisdom of Crowds is #12. The first work of fiction is The da Vinci Code at #10. Orwell and Narnia are not far behind. I conclude, tentatively, that the blogosphere is increasing the influence of non-fiction books, relative to fiction.
Well, that explains that bespectacled punk who keeps coming around claiming that my Pinewood Derby trophy is some sort of "horcrux."
From a tomb in the Basilica of St. Emmeran in Regensburg, Germany: Death sits for his Cosmopolitan centerfold, circa 1972.

I like the way the artist has elegantly arranged the drapery as if to say "I must cover up my naughty bits, even though they rotted off hundreds of years ago."
Not only is the cause of LeBron James's pulled left pectoral curious, so is his language:
Afterward, reporters were trying to gauge the seriousness of his injury. Asked whether he was 75 percent, James said, "I'm nowhere near close to playing live basketball right now."
Live basketball: it's not only a retronym as yet untracked by William Safire, it's another celebrity endorsement for the Xbox 360.
After reading The New York Times extol the social value of gossip, I had to share my favorite line from Marjane Satrapi's Embroideries:
To speak behind others' backs is the ventilator of the heart.
I'm not sure I'm totally following what's going on in the fandom, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay Spuffy fans to traumatize me.

Abu Ghraib

Apr. 30th, 2004 06:06 pm
I am saddened and sickened by the news from Abu Ghraib (scroll down to "Appalling" if the permalink isn't working). I realize that between the news from Virginia, Sinclair Broadcasting Group's craven show of disrespect for our troops, and some singularly awful news from one of the brightest and funniest people on my friends list, this has been lost in a tumult of crappiness over the last twenty-four hours. (I am slightly heartened that the comments threads at some stalwart warblogs have been universally condemnatory of the actions of our troops -- even to the point of awakening some sympathy within me for those young men and women who find themselves in a situation they are ill-prepared for.) It comes as no surprise to me (or to Henley and Silber) that the first casuality of war is the belief in a unitary humanity, but I crumble at the sight of it so clearly demonstrated.

My typical reaction to anything overwhelming is a quip, a humorous distraction, a mollifying jape. This really deserves better, but I am not capable of better, so I'm just going to take some really cheap shots at Glenn Reynolds. (Who does express a suitable outrage at the story.)

Unfortunate Juxtaposition At InstaPundit #1

PHOTOBLOGGING: Here's a gallery of beautiful photos from Vietnam.

Unfortunate Juxtaposition At InstaPundit #2

RYAN BOOTS has his weekly roundup of the Iraqi blogs, which he's calling the Carnival of the Liberated. It's a must-read.

Unfortunate Juxtaposition At InstaPundit #3

ARE WE GOING TOO SOFT IN IRAQ? Some people think so. It seems that way to me, too, though I'm reluctant to make a judgment at this distance. But in my lifetime, at least, the United States has generally erred by not being violent enough, rather than by being too brutal.



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