January 27th, 2007

20111112, Marilee

Assorted Odd News

A woman descended from Sioux is suing the University of Illinois to make them stop using their Indian mascot. Some Illinois students have decided that "What they don't realize is that there never was a racist problem before," wrote one, "but now I hate redskins and hope all those drunk, casino owning bums die." Is it possible to suddenly be racist? Don't they have to have thought that in the back of their minds for a while?

The late Jack Kent Cooke, former owner of the Redskins, was married to his third wife for a few weeks. She agreed to abort the pregnancy but then reneged and Jacqueline Cooke is now 19. She gets $50K/year from her father's estate plus some other small amounts of money. She's $23K in debt to Southern Methodist and is trying to get more money out of her father's estate. Her mother says the $50K is meant to be her "walking-around money". I don't get it how she can't live on $50K/year. I get by on a lot less. What the heck is that girl spending it on?

In the Virginia Legislature last year, the Republicans made a rule that bills can be killed in subcommittee which normally don't record the vote. That means there's no way to point at who voted for what (most recently, seven minimum wage bills were defeated by voice vote). The Democrats first tried to get rid of the rule, but in the Republican-controlled legislature, that didn't work. So now they're using cameras to capture what happens in the subcommittees and loading them on YouTube and http://www.assemblyaccess.com. The Republicans are grumbling.

Want to marry a Welsh farmer? The WashPost tells you all about it.
20111112, Marilee

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Thirteenth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Wi

I don't like most fantasy and don't think horror is very horrible, so I read these compilations to keep an eye on the genres. I found only three stories I really liked:

1. "The Grammarian's Five Daughters" by Eleanor Arnason. This is drawn from the stories of kings sending princes out to make their fortunes, but is much much funnier.

2. "Tanuki" by Jan Hodgman. A Buddhist nun has found peace with a temple near a very rural mountainous village and the tanuki who become almost pets. When she's faced with being evicted, she makes a wise choice. (This made me put "My Neighbor Totoro" back on my Netflix queue and jump it to the top.)

3. "Pixel Pixies" by Charles de Lint. In modern times, pixies may invade your house through modern means. How do you get rid of them? This is a Newford story.

I also laughed at the end of a horror story, which I probably wasn't supposed to. If Diana Wynne Jones had told the story, everybody would smile. It's "Dear Floods of Her Hair" by James Sallis. When people in this family die, the body is cleaned down to the skeleton and then dressed and positioned like a doll (and redressed and repositioned). I thought it was a cute idea.