Mary Beard of A Don’s Life (at the TLS) writes amusingly about how the National Geographic has confused her with an encyclopaedia. Oh, I know the syndrome all too well; being on the receiving end of an email sent blind to me and 10, 100 or 1,000 other "experts", with a one-line question that would require about half a day of work. Usually it is from a "student" or other scholar who has an assignment to write about a particular topic, and rather likes the idea of getting you to do their work for them.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Susan Hill writes cogently and correctly about a ludicrous situation by which people in young offenders’ institutions are not allowed books, whether sent to them or via the prison library. Sheer madness, for all the reasons Susan writes. If you agree, please join her Facebook group (via the link at the start of this paragraph).
The deviously convoluted mind of Uriah Robinson, inspired, apparently, by the "Round Britain" radio quiz, has come up with a set of questions so fiendish (and he’s been called worse than that, he says) that one can only read the answers in utter amazement — an amazement that is increased when one reads that somebody in the world was able to score 80 per cent. We are assured that an easier version is in the works for the Spring. These retired dentists!
In all the immense verbiage about the US elections, you may have missed two pertinent posts: Improbable Research reports an exclusive on the cost per page of books by US presidential candidates; and the difficulty of labelling Barak Obama, Dilbert-style.